Time to make the donuts!

coffee & donuts

Happy Friday, friends! I’ll start this recipe post, gauranteed to help get your weekend off to a great start, with a simple question: What’s better than a donut?

Well, only one thing, really: a hot, fresh donut.

I mean, Krispy Kreme doesn’t advertise in big, red neon lights when the donuts are “HOT NOW” for nothing. But now imagine if you could have the same thing,  involving minimal effort, & without even having to leave the house?!?

Zac Young

photo courtesy of Bravo

Last weekend was Matt’s birthday weekend. And all week we’d been hearing a lot about donuts. This is because, Zac Young (right), of Top Chef: Just Desserts fame, is the dear friend of MY dear friend, Nikka. Zac is the Executive Pastry Chef at Flex Mussels, & last week, they set up a donut pop-up shop in Grand Central Station. Everyone was excited seeing all the positive attention he was receiving in the press! And, of course, many of the articles included craving-inducing pictures of his infamous donuts.

Basically, this whole story leads to Matt getting a major craving  for donuts. Matt rarely has a real craving for anything, so I came up with the idea of making him homemade donuts over the weekend for his birthday. I was all prepared to mix dough ahead of time, & let it rise, & roll it out, & cut it, & so on & so forth. But then, Nikka’s boyfriend, Dan, sent me this article.

Kids, it doesn’t get any cheaper or easier than this. Now, I know you may have your doubts. I admit that I did. I mean, I’ve had biscuits from a can before, & they don’t exactly make me think of donuts. However, the Serious Eats article sang their praises, & so I decided to give it a try.

frying stationI woke up early Sunday morning & set up my frying station, with a deep fry/candy thermometer to measure the temperature pf the oil, chopsticks to turn the donuts (these really are the perfect tool for the job), a spider strainer (not pictured), & a paper-towl lined plate for the fried donuts.

glazing station

While the oil was heating up, I made my glazes. I figured I would make several glazes to try out, as they essentially contained the same ingredients, & therefore were easy to make all at the same time. I also threw together a little cinnamon-sugar mixture for the donut holes. However, the brown butter glaze was the clear winner, by far. It was similar to the plain, but it was a little richer & nuttier, & had a little bit of that wonderful salty-sweet combination that I LOVE. Seriously, major donut chains, you need to get on this. Stat.

ready for the fryerOnce the oil was hot, I popped open 2 cans of 10 regular sized biscuits (which were $0.45 each!), separated them, & cut out the middle using the wide end of a pastry tip. I also rolled together the cut-outs of every 2 donuts to make donut holes. Then I dropped them in the oil, 5 at a time. Each batch took maybe 2 minutes to fry.

freshly glazed

Once they were cooled just enough to touch, maybe another minute or two. Then, I plopped each one into the glaze, turned it over in the bowl a few times, & then put the glazed donuts on a cooling rack over some parchment paper to set.

Another minute later, we had donuts. REAL DONUTS. HOT NOW. (Oh, & coffee. of course.) These really were the real thing. Soft, glazed, yeast donuts that I think beat out many store-bought ones. So here’s my advice: MAKE THEM. DO IT. THIS WEEKEND. GO!

I delivered the finished donuts to the birthday boy, who was still in bed. Asleep. I think this emphasizes how quick & easy these were, as he hadn’t even realized I had been in the kitchen making them, & was completely surprised. I think he ate maybe 8 that morning. I guess such things are allowed when it’s your birthday, & the donuts are this good.

The World’s Easiest Homemade Donuts (courtesy of Serious Eats (& Dan))

Servings: Regular can yields 10 small donuts, Large biscuit can yields 8 large donuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes (most of the prep can be done while the eggs cook.)
Total Time: 30 minutes



  • Canned Biscuit Dough
  • 8 cups vegetable oil

Plain Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Butter Glaze:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup strawberry-flavored milk

Special equipment:

  • 1/2-inch round cutter and/or 1-inch round cutter
  • 1 pair chopsticks
  • deep-fry thermometer


  1. Heat oil in a large pot, Dutch oven, or large skillet with high sides, over medium-high heat until temperature registers 350°F. (Oil should be at least 1- to 1 1/2 inches deep).
  2. While the oil is heating up, prepare the glazes. (Each batch of glaze makes enough to coat a whole can of donuts. Depending on how many donuts & how many glazes you make, you can double or halve the recipes as best suits you.)
  3. For the plain glaze: Place confectioners’ sugar and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  4. For the brown-butter glaze: Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a small stainless steel saucepan. Cook the butter until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. The butter will begin to foam; the subsiding foam is an indicator that the butter is almost done. Once the solids are caramel brown remove pan from heat and immediately pour butter into a medium bowl, scraping in all the solids. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  5. For the pink glaze: Place confectioners’ sugar and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter and milk and whisk until smooth.
  6. Pop open biscuit container. If any of the biscuits look irregular, gently pat them down to even rounds and even thickness. Cut out doughnut holes.
  7. Add half of the doughnuts and half of the doughnut holes and fry until the bottoms turn golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes for small doughnuts and 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for large doughnuts. Using chopsticks, turn the doughnuts and holes and fry for until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  8. Transfer doughnuts to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool slightly, 1 to 2 minutes before dipping in glaze. Serve warm.


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5 Responses to Time to make the donuts!

  1. Lauren says:

    Oh my. My new pants are going to hate me after I master this recipe. I agree with you. There’s basically nothing better than a really hot donut!

  2. Dulce Dough says:

    Oh my goodness! Your post brought back memories! When I was in junior high I learned to make donuts using biscuits like this in home-ec! I made them quite often for my family when I was young because it was one of the only things I knew how to make. I love all your glazes! I used to just dip mine in sugar and cinnamon.

  3. Eftychia says:

    Can I have a doughnut please? These doughnuts looks delicious!!!!!!

  4. Elyse says:

    But still soundsintimidating! 🙂

  5. they really are almost TOO easy. it’s so tempting to make them all the time.

    i’m glad you guys enjoyed the post. thanks for stopping by!

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