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Homemade Sugar Donuts

There is no better way to start your day than with a scrumptious, warm donut. With this easy, delicious recipe, you can whip up a batch of donuts in about 30 minutes. Serve with a cup of piping hot coffee or hot cocoa, and you are starting your day off right!
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings 15 donuts + 15 donut holes


  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4-5 cups vegetable oil, for frying (see notes)

For Coating Donuts:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar


  • Pour enough oil into a large pot to give you about an inch of oil. Heat oil to 365°F over medium-high heat. Use a frying thermometer or a candy thermometer to ensure proper temperature. While oil is heating, prepare donuts (keep an eye on the oil temperature).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, and using a fork, mix just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ½ inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Then using a 2¾ inch pastry cutter and a 1-inch pastry cutter, cut out donuts and donut holes, placing cut donuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or cutting board. Re-roll as needed to use all the dough.
  • Once the oil has reached 365°F, place no more than 3 donuts in the oil at a time (or you run the risk of cooling your oil too much). Fry for about 2 minutes, flipping once. Donuts are done when they are golden brown on both sides. Move to a paper towel-lined cooling rack to cool.
    **Keep an eye on the oil temperature and adjust the heat up or down to maintain a temperature of 355°F to 365°F.**
  • Allow fried donuts to cool for 1 minute before rolling them in sugar, coating all sides.
  • Continue the process until all donuts are fried and coated with sugar.
  • Fry donut holes using the same method, frying no more than 12 at a time.


The amount of oil you need will depend on the size of the pot you use. You want the pot big enough for three donuts to float freely. So an easy rule of thumb is to use enough oil to have at least an inch of oil in your pot.
You can reuse your oil. Allow the oil to cool completely, strain (to remove any food particles), and store in an airtight jar.  I recommend labeling your oil jar with the date and what it was used for. 
I don't recommend keeping leftover donuts. They just do not taste the same the next day. So if you need to, make half of a recipe.
****Another option for these donuts is to roll them in cinnamon and sugar. Use 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.