Homemade Glazed Donuts recipe makes light and fluffy donuts that are truly the best donuts I’ve ever eaten. They’re my absolute favorite! If you are new to donut making, this is the perfect donut recipe. Keep reading for an easy step-by-step tutorial with photos!
Fluffy Glazed Donuts
Can I tell you a secret? I am in love with glazed donuts. There’s just something about the fluffy and light, yet sweet richness to them that is positively addicting, in the very best way. We don’t live near any donut shops -- in fact, even the closest grocery store that carries donuts is more than a half-hour away -- so I’ve had to learn to improvise.
And with this homemade donut recipe? I happily oblige. They’re actually better than any store- or bakery-bought glazed options I’ve ever tried… Yep, they’re THAT good. They practically melt in your mouth when you take a bite, and even though they do take a bit of time, it’s so worth the end result.
We love to make these for my son’s birthday every fall instead of birthday cake, and we’ll also work up a batch sometimes when we have friends over. It’s a fun group activity, and you’ll have some help eating them when they’re all finished!
Ingredients for Homemade Glazed Donuts:
You may be surprised to learn that making donuts at home doesn't require a bunch of fancy ingredients. In fact, you probably have most of these on hand in your kitchen already.
For the donut dough you'll need:
- Whole milk
- Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
- Unsalted butter
- All Purpose Flour
- Shortening or oil for frying
For the hot donut glaze you'll need:
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
- Cream or Milk
That's it! Now let's see how to turn these simple ingredients into the best glazed donuts of your life.
How to Make Doughnuts
Step 1: Make the Donut Dough
The first thing we are going to do is make the donut dough. Warm your milk until it is about the temperature of a warm baby's bottle - in other words, just hot enough for you to drink without scalding your mouth. (About 105F.) Yeast is actually alive and if you put it in milk that is too hot, you'll kill it, which means no fluffy donuts.
Once your milk is warm, add it to your a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the yeast and let everything rest for 5 minutes. You have to give that yeast time to wake up.
Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to your yeast mixture and stir to combine. Then, with the mixer running slowly, add the flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together. If you don't have a mixer you can also do this by hand.
If using a stand mixer, switch to your dough hook attachment and knead the dough for a full 5 minutes. If you are making the dough by hand, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be thick and soft, but slightly sticky.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic saran wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 2-8 hours or overnight.
Step 2: Shape the Donuts
Now it's time to shape the donuts! Remove your dough from the fridge and roll it out using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it is ½ to ⅓ of an inch thick. Then use a three-inch donut cutter to cut out the rounds.
Place the cut donuts and holes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rise until they are doubled in size. This will take about one hour. When the donuts are ready for frying they will be very puffy and airy looking.
Step 3: Fry Your Donuts
To fry your donuts heat a few inches of oil or shortening in large cast iron skillet, dutch oven, or fryer over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. When it reaches 365F to 375F you're ready to fry.
Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside. Prepare your glaze in a medium bowl by combining all the glaze ingredients and mixing well. The glaze should have the consistency of school glue. Set aside.
Carefully add the donuts a few at a time to the oil. Do not drop them in the oil or it will splash and you can get burned. Depending on how big your pan is, you can probably fry 3-4 donuts at a time. Don't overcrowd the donuts or they will be hard to flip and the temperature of your oil will decrease too much from cooler dough being added.
Fry the donuts until golden brown, about 1 ½ minutes per side. Use a metal slotted spoon or metal tongs to gently flip the donuts when ready. Once they are golden on each side, remove the donuts one at a time to your prepared baking sheet. The paper towel will help soak up the excess oil.
Step 4: Glaze the Donuts
Let the donuts drain and cool slightly. Move them to a plate. Put a cooling rack on top of your baking or cookie sheet already lined with paper towel.
When the donuts are just cool enough to touch, use your fingers or a fork to dip each side of each donut in the glaze. Place on your cooling rack.
Once you have glazed all your donuts, it's time to dig in! (Unless of course your kids have already started digging in while you were glazing all those donuts - make sure to snag some for yourself!)
Frequently Asked Questions About this Donut Recipe:
Why do I need to chill the dough?
The chilling time is a must for these donuts. The butter needs a chance to solidify in the fridge which makes the dough much less sticky than when it went in the fridge. Don't skip it. But you can be flexible with it. If your dough has firmed up after 2 hours, you can use it! You can also wait as long as overnight. Let the timing work for you.
Chilling the donut dough also allows the donuts to keep their shape so much better, and gets them nice and fluffy. But if you don't have time to chill the dough, I have another great donut recipe: Beth's Famous Glazed Yeast Donuts that comes out almost just like these and it does not need the chilling time that this recipe does. I'd recommend making that recipe if you are in a hurry to get your donuts in your belly.
What is the best temperature for frying donuts?
The best temp is 350 to 375 degrees F. The oil temperature is hard to gauge without a thermometer. I recommend getting one. I like to use this candy thermometer for my candy making and for keeping an eye on my oil frying temperature. That being said, make sure your thermometer is calibrated so that you know it's showing the correct temperature. Here's a good post about how to calibrate your thermometer.
How can I shape donuts without a donut cutter?
No donut cutter? No worries! You can use a wide-mouth canning ring and anything to make the smaller hole. I have used a piece from my kid's marble tracks (love these!), the fat end of a large piping tip, and even a pop bottle lid (that one is a bit annoying because the dough sticks in it). I also have this great set of round cookie cutters that I love and use for all kinds of things (like these amazing biscuits).
How do I know when donuts are done cooking?
The donuts will be done when they're golden-brown -- it'll take about a minute-and-a-half per side and 30 seconds per side for donut holes!
What's the best glaze for donuts?
I love a traditional buttery glaze on glazed donuts, but feel free to make a maple, chocolate, or colored glaze. The possibilities are endless.
Glaze is very easy to make. All you need is melted salted butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and a generous splash of milk. Combine until all the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and dip your warm donuts halfway into the glaze to cover the tops with the sweet icing.
What other kinds of glaze can I use on donuts?
- Chocolate Donut Glaze: Add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder when you add the powdered sugar. You'll need to increase the milk by a bit too to form a smooth glaze.
- Maple Donut Glaze: Replace the vanilla extra in original recipes with ½ teaspoon maple flavoring (you can use up to 1 teaspoon, adjust to your liking).
- Colored Donut Glaze: Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the glaze.
Need more help?
Here's a full instructional video for you to see the entire donut making process!
I hope you enjoy this donut recipe!
Homemade Glazed Yeast Donuts
For the Donuts:
- 1 ⅛ cup whole milk - warm
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons Instant Or Active Dry Yeast (one package)
- 2 whole large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, a total of 10 tablespoons (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons), melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Shortening/oil for frying
Glaze for hot yeast donuts:
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Enough cream or milk to thin about 3 tablespoons
- Dash of salt
To make the dough:
- Warm the milk until it is getting nice and warm when you dip your finger in it (about 105 degrees). Add the milk to a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let the yeast rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to the bowl and stir to combine.
- While the mixer is running slowly, add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Mix for a whole five minutes to work the dough well. Turn off the bowl and let the dough sit in the bowl of the mixer for 10 minutes.
- After the rest period turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, but up to overnight. The goal is to get the dough cold enough to work with easily and have the butter solidify.
To form the donuts:
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is ½ to ⅓ of an inch thick. Use a three-inch donut cutter to cut out the donuts.
- Place the cut donuts and holes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cover the donuts and let them rise until doubled in size, about one hour. The donuts will be very puffy and airy looking.
To fry the donuts:
- Heat a few inches of oil or shortening in a large cast iron skillet or fryer over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 to 375 degrees (use a thermometer!). Carefully add the donuts to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 ½ minutes per side. The donut holes will only take about 30 seconds per side.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the donuts from the hot oil and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet to remove extra grease. Let them cool slightly. Dip the hot donuts in the glaze (I like to flip on both sides so it's fully covered) and enjoy right away.
For the Glaze:
- Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the powdered sugar and stir to form a thick paste. Thin out the paste with milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is about as thick as school glue.
- This is the most amazing donut recipe and the only one I have made for years. ENJOY!
- Didn't realize this recipe needed so long to chill? No worries! I have another great donut recipe: Beth's Famous Glazed Yeast Donuts that comes out almost just like these and it does not need the chilling time that this recipe does. I'd recommend making that recipe if you are in a hurry to get your donuts in your belly.
- To Make Chocolate Glaze: Add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder when you add the powdered sugar. You'll need to increase the milk by a bit too to form a smooth glaze.
- To Make a Maple Glaze: Replace the vanilla extra in original recipes with ½ teaspoon maple flavoring (you can use up to 1 teaspoon, adjust to your liking).
- These donuts are much better eaten fresh. They store about as well as most grocery store donuts.
Other sweet recipes you'll love:
- Beth's Famous Glazed Yeast Donuts
- 15 Minute Donuts from Scratch
- Simple Pumpkin Donut Holes
- Easy 15- Minute donuts from Butter with a Side of Bread
- Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
- Homemade Apple Pie Recipe
- Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- Biscuits and gravy recipe
- Gingerbread Cookies
Feel free to comment on the life-changing experience that making these glazed donuts leads to. You'll never be the same. And did you know that you can leave photos on my website in the comments too! Just create a simple account (you can save your recipes there too!) and then a camera icon will be in the bottom right corner of the comment box. I'd love to see pictures of your donuts if you'd like to share!
I have made these several times and am now getting requests for orders. I have gone from making just donuts to sugar twists using the same recipe. Thank you
This recipe is amazing! Huge hit in my house!
Can you air fry these?
My 9 year old guy wanted to try making donuts while out for the last 2 weeks during “snowmageddon” other than I burnt a few these were absolutely delicious! My son decided to fill a few with the homemade Strawberry jam we made this summer! We will be making these again very soon!
I was wondering if anyone had tried frying them in an air fryer?
I LOVE that you put a picture, he's the cutest (and I have a 9 year old too who loves to be in the kitchen!) thank you! I didn't have great luck in the air fryer but I want to play with it more!
How many does it make?
About 18 depending on your cutter.
`love the donuts
Recipe calls for 1 stick plus 1/4 stick of butter, and in parenthesis 10 TBs or 1 cup plus 2 TBs. But 1 1/4 sticks is 12 TBs. I’m assuming you meant 12 TBs?
One stick (1/4 lb) of butter equals 8 TBSP - always has, always will! So, 8 + 2 = 10, not 12...
OMG thank you SO much for this recipe!!! My family could not stop raving about these donuts. My sister said that they were even better than Krispy Kreme and that's the highest praise I could ever get haha
This was my first time making donuts ever and your recipe was so easy to follow! I didn't have a stand mixer so I just used a whisk (in hindsight I did not knead it at all properly lol) and left the dough in the fridge overnight. I used a mini blender and the cap of the vanilla extract bottle to cut the holes since I didn't have any cutters. And I could only guess the temperature of the oil since I didn't have a thermometer. BUT it was so much fun to make and turned out so great 🙂
One question I had - what is the maximum rise time after you've cut the donuts? I'm wondering if I could cut them the night before and fry them in the morning?
The longest I have risen them the second time at room temperature was 2.5 to 3 hours, they yeast can over proof and they'll collapse when you pick them up. I'm wondering if you could roll them out and cut them right away and just let the rise overnight in the fridge and fry them cold?
Ooh that's a good idea! I'll have to try that the next time I make them. Thank you!
For measuring oil without a thermometer use a wooden spoon, if the oil bubbles around the spoon when you stick it in the pan then it's hot enough. Great recipe, sent it to my students to try during online schooling.
I only did half the glaze and had enough for all the donuts both sides.
Great trick with the spoon, I hadn't heard that!
if we don't have unsalted butter what can we use
salted butter will work great!
Do these need to be refrigerated with the milk
in the glaze?
We don't generally overnight, I suppose if you were going to store them longer you could.
Delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I made half with the maple and half with the vanilla glaze. My friends will really appreciate the treats I drop off later.
Made these with my 2abd4yr old granddaughters! Amazing so delicious
This doughnut looks perfect!🥰
I will love to try them, but I’m struggling with the measurements! Can you pls give me the measurements in grams and millilitres, I will really appreciate! Thank you 😊!
I followed the recipe to a Tee. I own a home bakery so I’m very skilled to say the least but I couldn’t get them to rise. I chilled mine overnight, rolled and cut them the next morning. I let them rise for 30 mins, no change, an hour still nothing. I fried them off anyways and my kids and husband liked them but they were very dense and almost cake like. Super disappointed.
Sounds like old yeast!
Do you keep it in the fridge and use within 6mo?
Best donut recipe ever!!! I made mine vegan with the maple glaze and they were devoured. My next batch will be vegan apple fritters!!
What did you use in place of eggs
Very curious too. What did you use for the egg, butter, and milk ?
Yi De Guzman
i have tried several donut recipes, and this, by far, is the best! thank you!!! the dough is just perfect, and the donuts came out dense but soft and chewy --- just the way my family loves them.
i didn't need to set aside more than an hour for both the first (the one in the ref) and second rising. even for the first rise, the dough held together wonderfully. also, i halved the recipe for the glaze, and it was enough to cover the tops and sides of the 16 donuts i came up with.
They look amazing!!
Can i substitute some whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose flour?
Yep! They'll be a little more dense but I still like them!
I made these and they are amazing but for the glaze I added much less for it I made it once and it seemed to much and tasted off so i remade it and it was amazing thanks!!
1 star?? 😛
I have been dying for a real glazed donut....Made these today and I'm in heaven! I added 1tsp Vanilla and 1/4tsp Nutmeg to the dough as well and they are just perfect!
We love this recipe!!! It's by far the easiest and most reliable of all the ones we've tried (including New York Times and Food Network), and produces consistently lovely doughnuts. My 13-year old daughter decided one day to teach herself to make doughnuts, and now is quickly becoming an expert. Thank you!