Raised Doughnuts: Raising the Roof with Mom

December 29, 2008 · 81 comments · Print This Post

in Breakfast, Doughnuts / Pastry, Friends / Family, Holidays / Entertaining, Maine

Frying Doughnuts

The weekend before Christmas I went home to Maine in order to spend an early holiday with my family. Sunday morning, after the presents had been opened and the Eggnog Milkshakes thoroughly enjoyed, my mom and I decided to make her drop-dead delicious Raised Doughnuts. This kitchen adventure was particularly special because my mom hasn’t made these for us since I was a Sophomore in college. I plead with her to make them around the holidays every year and she usually says absolutely not. But this year she relented.

Now my mom and I have very different kitchen styles. I’m usually a very meticulous, clean-as-you-go and follow the rules kind of girl, while my mom has much more of a kitchen rebel mentality. That morning I stood next to her, my little measuring cup in hand, and watched in horror as she poured all of the doughnut ingredients into her bread machine (not even in the proper liquid, flour, yeast order) and pressed the dough button. When I started pointing out that there were actual directions to the recipe, not to mention a proper bread machine layering technique that we were completely ignoring, she essentially told me that she’d been using bread machines since Noah brought them over on the ark, and to please chill out. So for once in my life I did.

A Million Doughnuts
The dough did rise sky high in the bread machine. In fact, it eventually pushed the cover of the machine open and looked a bit like the blob was making a move to takeover our kitchen, but the texture was perfect. We turned the monster out on the counter and got to work. After cutting out the doughnuts and allowing them to rise again, my mom was christened the “Queen of Frying” and I took over the finishing work.

We made a million doughnuts. The recipe claims to only yield 2 dozen finished doughnuts when in reality it’s really more like 4 dozen. My fingertips were sore for days after dipping and glazing literally dozens and dozens of 350º fluffy dough pillows, not to mention all of the mysterious burns my mom and I got on our arms, but it was so worth it. If you’ve never made homemade doughnuts you’re missing out on one of the greatest food moments in your life. They are melt in your mouth, better than chocolate cake, and macaroni and cheese combined good.

Raised Doughnut Holls

In past years we’ve only dipped the doughnuts in sugar, but this year we tried a glaze too. The glaze is definitely better in my opinion, but it’s sort of like comparing Cheesecake to Tiramisu. You really can’t go wrong. After stuffing ourselves silly on both types, my mom packed up the majority of the leftover doughnuts and drove them around to various friends and neighbors before almost 2 feet of snow walled us in for the day. Without a doubt, this was one of my favorite holiday memories of the year.

Shiny Glazed Doughnuts

Bubbling Doughnuts

Raised Doughnuts
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Old-Fashioned Cookbook
Yields approximately 4 dozen doughnuts

5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

2 packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups very warm milk (120º to 130º)
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
Vegetable oil

(My note: You’re welcome to do all of the below steps in the first paragraph, or you can be rebels like my mom and I and place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a bread machine and press the “Dough” button. It will rise really high and push up the top of the machine, but it works like a charm. Don’t be scared).

Mix 2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add milk, shortening and eggs. Beat on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place 50 to 60 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentations remain when touched).

Turn dough onto generously floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Push together scraps and gently knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with floured 3-inch doughnut cutter. Cover doughnuts and let rise 30 to 40 minutes or until double.

Heat oil (1 1/2 to 2 inches) in Dutch oven to 350º. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula. Fry about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surfaces); drain on paper towels. Roll or shake in sugar. (My note: Or alternatively you can also dip the tops of the doughnuts in glaze. See recipe below).

White Doughnut Glaze
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons milk (depending on your desired consistency)

Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl with a fork. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. If the glaze is too thick, stir in a little extra milk.

Sugar Coated Doughnuts

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 zestycook December 29, 2008 at 10:01 am

Oh Erin, You hit a zesty weakness. These look amazing!! I have to stumble these.



2 ovenhaven December 29, 2008 at 10:16 am

I don’t know which I adore more, the tempting sugar glaze, the cute lil doughnut hole balls, or the last photo just before the recipe, where the middles bubble up like they’re having fun blowing bubbles of oil 😛


3 Elle December 29, 2008 at 10:17 am

Erin, those are a thing of beauty! I love that you created a great holiday memory with your mom, too. I’ve always wanted to try doughnuts at home!


4 marilyn @ simmer till done December 29, 2008 at 10:23 am

Hello, gorgeous! It’s criminal to show bubbling, sugared doughnuts first thing in the morning. I’m off to make some.


5 rachel December 29, 2008 at 10:25 am

Those look great! I love homemade doughnuts!


6 LizAndrsn December 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

Your Mom must have the Schwarzenegger Bread Machine model! Five cups of flour? Oh my.

I’d have to say I like your mom’s cooking style. I was raised to be the clean-as-you-go good cook. Something broke and I’m all commando all the time in the kitchen. It happens.


7 wummy December 29, 2008 at 12:00 pm

What is the next holiday we can make these again!! They were sinful.


8 RecipeGirl December 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I love this post. I could eat every one of those delicious-looking donuts. And I love that your Mom told you to ‘chill out’ on the bread machine. 🙂


9 Bren December 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

yeah ur pretty mean with these!! I haven’t had doughnuts in ages and I’ll cheerfully have some by just looking at ur pics! Niiiiice!

Hope you had great Christmas.


10 Ginger December 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I am going to try these and if they look half as good as yours, my family will be happy!! YUM, YUM, YUM!! Thanks for posting and happy New Year!


11 Jaime December 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm

These donuts are beautiful. I can’t let Kelly see this page, or she will make me stay home from work tomorrow to make her some.


12 carrie December 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I honest to goodness can’t tell if it’s the pictures or the recipes, but DUDE. you make me want to eat the screen. I may just end up hating you come lent when I give up everything again.

but now? ooohhhh. this post is hurtful. like “who the heck is krispy kreme, and how do I get to Erin’s mom’s house” HURTFUL.


13 kristina December 30, 2008 at 3:11 am

Oh my gosh those look so gorgeous! Although might have to cut recipe in half as 4 dozen doughnuts could be extremely dangerous! K x


14 Tracie Meader December 30, 2008 at 7:40 am

Erin-Thanks for sharing the recipe! I work with your Mom & just told her-next time bring some in to work for us!! Yummo!
I use to make donuts as a teen as well-I w/use the Presto Fry Daddy-(Yup, they still make the model!)


15 Lys December 30, 2008 at 12:18 pm

What a great recipe!! And so much better than, perhaps, DD 😉


16 Michele Coates December 30, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Not to rub it in or anything but… I was one of the recipients of these fabulous donuts and they absolutely tasted as good as they look! Thanks Erin and Lisa. You guys can make me donuts anytime!!!!

PS I find it funny that you are a clean up as you go Erin. I seem to remember kitchens full of dirty dishes at your mom’s from the multitude of treats you would make 🙂 Happy New Year kiddo!


17 Maria December 30, 2008 at 2:44 pm

We got a deep fryer for Christmas. My husband can’t wait to make doughnuts! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Yours look great! Sounds like you had fun with your mom too!


18 Cher December 30, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I used to make homemade raised doughnuts all the time! I haven’t made them in years. These look so wonderful, I can’t resist making some! Thank you for sharing!


19 gaga December 30, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Wow, those look so perfect! I love donuts but don’t get to enjoy them as often as I’d like. If I made my own, I’d be in big trouble!


20 Holly December 31, 2008 at 12:38 am

Awesome! When I was a child, my mom would make raised doughnuts. Her recipe used leftover mashed potatoes. They were out of this world, but I don’t have the recipe so I think I maybe trying this one.


21 Seng Lam December 31, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Wow donuts !! they look yummy !!!

come check out my site to http://www.sushi-yum.com


22 Mama JJ December 31, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Hello there,

We made donuts, too, this Christmas (a couple days prior) and had so much fun. I just had some leftovers today (they had been frozen, of course). I ate them standing at the sink with my back to the living room since I didn’t want to share with my kids.



23 omer December 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm

mmmmmmmm they look amazing 🙂 hats off to ur mum 🙂


24 Diana December 31, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Oh my gosh, these donuts look divine! I saw Alton Brown make donuts on Good Eats awhile back and wanted to try the recipe out, but after seeing these, I may go for this recipe instead. Yum! 🙂 Diana


25 Sommer Green & Clean Mom January 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

These look amazing. I don’t make stuff like this and try not to eat the sweets to often but these…oh, I’d have to gobble up!


26 Liz January 2, 2009 at 12:14 am

I am so glad I stumbledupon your site!!!


27 Bob January 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

Great recipe. I used to make those in a bakery. I placed all the raw doughnuts on a screen with long handles on the sides and lowered the entire contraption into hot oil. The screen settled on the bottom of the hot oil vat with the handles above the oil level. The doughnuts floated on the hot bubbling oil. Using a wooden dowel, I gently flipped them to the other side when the side in the oil was golden. When they were done, I picked up the screen by the handles and pulled them all out and let them drain awhile. Next I took a thick wooden dowel, strung the doughnuts on the dowel, and set the ends of the dowel onto the edges of a big steel bowel full of glaze. Using a ladle, I poured glaze over the entire batch, set the dowel (loaded with doughnuts) onto a tray, and pulled the dowel out. The process was repeated until I had several massive trays ready. That’s how it’s done in a bakery, and how they get doughnuts are all lined up on the trays. That was 40 years ago – when real bakeries existed.


28 dick June 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm

My dad had a bakery and I used to have to do his same thing – that was 55 years ago now. What I hated were the jelly donuts. You havd to stick the donut on a tube and pump the jelly in one at a time. I got so d–ded sick and tired of pumping those things.


29 Carrie Harvey January 2, 2009 at 11:29 am

Good morning! I just finished cleaning up from preparing these FANTABULOUS donuts!! Oh my gosh!! My family couldn’t eat them quick enough!! Thank you so much for the recipe! Definitely gonna make these again!! Happy New Year!


30 FoodRenegade January 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for sharing these beautiful homemade doughnuts.

I’d make them “healthier” by using sprouted wheat flour and frying them in lard. You wouldn’t be able to tell much difference in taste, and WOW. They’d be so yummy.

Michael Pollan suggested that eating junk food is okay, so long as you make it yourself! (That way, it’s a rare and wonderful treat, rather than a way of life.) I tend to agree.


31 farzan January 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I am fond of eating doughnut.Thanks for ingredients.


32 hugh January 3, 2009 at 3:28 am

I just made these! They’re really great, and I thought I’d cut them too thin –they can never really be too thin, because they expand so much! I learned a couple new things, and the process was very enjoyable.


33 Melissa January 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

Ummm…These look super scrumptious. And those doughnut hole are so cute!


34 Katy January 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm

This is why I love the Stumble Upon button.

What a great recipie! What a great post! I now have a hankering to make doughnuts….I hope you’re happy.


35 Ben DooN January 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Found this like so many other through StumbleUpon (almosgt as great as Pandora.com if you ask me), but I digress… I think I am suffering form dehydration from salivating for the past four hours straight since first seeing this post. I cannot get these donuts out of my mind and I have been spending the past 15 minutes trying to research bread makers so I can make some donuts too. What kind of bread maker does your mom have? Moms always seem to have the best kitchen gadgets. My mom has a hand crank cheese grater that you drop a block of cheese in the top and turn the crank while a circular grating head makes light work of poiund after pound of cheese. I have yet to find one like it anywhere, until I found an attachment for my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, I was so pumped. Anyway, again I digress, breadmaker suggestions anyone?


36 Lindsey January 5, 2009 at 8:16 am

After making the cakey cider donuts, I must try making the lighter ones, as they were always my favorite growing up. These look so good!


37 HoneyB January 5, 2009 at 10:55 am

Oh, these look delicious! I did the donut making process with my mom not too long ago myself! I am giving this a thumbs up AND bookmarking because I want to make yeast donuts now after seeing these!!


38 Beau January 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I’m trying to work and I accidentally (really, I did) clicked my Stumble button and it brought me here.

What a great family activity to make donuts. And those pictures – they look mighty yummy.

I’ve already eaten two breakfasts today and those pictures are making my mouth water.


39 Bridgett January 5, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Yum! These look so good. I had to laugh at your comment of the different cooking styles of you and your mom. My mom never followed a recipe and I can’t cook without strictly following the recipe. Thanks for the recipe (found you through Stumble Upon and glad I did!).


40 bunny got blog January 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm

These look great just like my gramma makes .


41 MELODY January 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm



42 Mari January 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

I’ve been dreaming about having a Sunday afternoon doughnut party sometime this month, though lord knows my waistline doesn’t need it. But it sounds like a really good idea, with fancy hot chocolate and espresso cocktails. Thanks for reminding me…


43 tom January 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm

To make these a little easier use readymade buttermilk biscuts from the grocery, storebrand or pillsbury it doen’t matter. use a bottle cap to make a hole and fry them using the directions above. My kids love them and they can help cut the holes and shake the bags. We use 2 brown lunch bags for the sugar, 1 for confectioners and 1 for regular sugar with cinnamon. next time I’m trying the glaze.


44 Olivia January 11, 2009 at 9:19 am

Great recipe, I anglicised the ingredients, and made these yesterday.

However, I got nowhere near 4 dozen… maybe 2 dozen…


45 cassie January 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

omg, i must have these! i need to make them!! i love your site =)


46 Joy the Baker January 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Your doughnuts were the first thing I saw when I stumbled this morning…. that’s just not right! Gorgeous but so cruel!


47 cassie January 15, 2009 at 12:42 am

i need to make this..it looks amazingly yummy


48 Sara January 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I am going to have to make these soon!


49 craig February 5, 2009 at 2:28 am

i am by no means a donut lover, i can’t stand Krispy Kreme. BUT your donuts looks MARVELOUS!


50 craig February 5, 2009 at 2:34 am

i am by no means a donut lover, i can’t stand Krispy Kreme! BUT you might have just made me a convert, your donuts looks MARVELOUS! i need to give the recipe a try! ever heard of “malasadas”, it is our hawaiian style donuts, i think you might like it.


51 e-rock February 6, 2009 at 8:04 am

Those doughnuts look gorgeous. Kudos on the photography. Have you ever tried them with anything other than the traditional sugar or glaze?


52 Liz March 4, 2009 at 7:19 am

I -still- LOVE this recipe! I love it to bits. I even bought a doughnut cutter JUST because I love this recipe so much.

My neighbours love it too.


Krispy Kreme can bite my nonfranchised ass.


53 Josh March 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm

These are awesome. These are the best.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They taste better than all my favorite foods combined. Tell your Mom thanks! 😀


54 jennifer hazard July 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Hi Erin,

Came across your blog today while researching apple cider donuts in Maine for something I’m working on. In the mean time, I’m so glad I found it! Love all the great photos and delicious looking recipes.

All best,

Jen Hazard


55 Jack Simpson August 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I nearly “raised the roof” when I saw that your recipe ddid not call for nutmeg which my mom always put in her raised doughnuts. Try a teaspoon or more nutmen, use oil in the batter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup and you will have the perfect doughnut. The photos are outstanding.


56 wanda April 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm

i tried your recipe today, but i didn’t get very good results. i followed recipe as wrote, putting the yeast in with the flour, then mixing together.letting rise.but when it had risen, the yeast still hadn’t fully dissolved. is it possible the you forgot to put in a step where you soak the yeast in warm water like the other recipes? or maybe it was just my doughnuts that didn’t turn out. i haven’t had no problems with the other recipes. i like trying new ones, that’s why i tried your. please help as doughnuts look great in pictures.


57 joyceyvonna April 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Thanks so much for the recipe!! I halfed the recipe and got 12 doughnuts. The dough needed a bit more flour than posted. They tasted so delicious!
But mine looked no where as smooth and pretty as yours. It had a bit wrinkly skin..was it rising too long? I added a little nutmeg to the ones i made too.


58 Joy May 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Was looking for a good homemade donut recipe and found this one. Soooooo glad you shared this. They are the best dounuts I have ever had. Once you eat one you will never eat another store bought one again. So light and airy. They are Amazing. Thanks again.


59 Mary Jane Wahlmeier February 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I found this site several months back and put it on my favorites. Well this morning I woke up and made up my mind I was going to try your recipie. The best donut recipie I have ever made. It was so delicious. And light I will always use this recipie. They are amazing. I am so glad I fianlly decided to make these today.


60 Amanda D July 8, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thanks for the recipe! You’ve made a 6-year-old boy very happy on his birthday. 🙂 I got about 3-dozen. Perfect! We’ll have some to share.


61 Audie Ewing August 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

How do you pick the donut up without makeing the dough to fall? I tried the spatula and being very gentle and they fell anyway.


62 Joanne Hepler January 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

Oh My Gooooooodness, this recipe is PERFECT! I used it to make apple fritters and they turned out awesome!


63 Jennie September 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm

How much flour would I need if I cut this recipe in half?


64 Brett December 27, 2020 at 4:11 pm

Hello neighbor in Maine! I love this recipe! Just a note for those using dry yeast from a jar instead of packets: there is apparently a difference. Using it from a jar, my yeast never fully dissolved when simply stirred into the flour as this recipe directs. My donuts still came out okay this time, just not as fabulous as usual.


65 Pupathi Sadagopan March 21, 2021 at 1:27 am

Doughnuts…I love it…Thanks for sharing.


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