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Donuts or doughnuts: however you spell it, there’s no denying these confections are firmly entrenched in the American diet. These fried dough snacks are further glazed or powdered, and of course sometimes filled with a cream or jelly. Donuts come in a wide variety, but none perhaps are more ubiquitous than the simple glazed donut.

There’s something classic about the humble glazed donut. We wanted to capture a perfect cake-like texture that isn’t too greasy despite being fried, with a sweet- but not too sweet- glaze that hardens perfectly. It turns out that in order to not end up with a greasy mess, our frying medium and temperature was important. Vegetable shortening like Crisco worked perfectly for what we needed. At too low of a temperature, though, the donuts wouldn’t cook and would just absorb the shortening. Too high, and the dough would burn. The trick was to bring up the oil to about 375F. As for the donuts themselves, we went for a simple buttermilk recipe. The glaze was a decadent combination of powdered sugar, vanilla, and just a hint of salt to really bring out the sweetness. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe…

Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts recipe

(makes 18 servings)



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 cups vegetable shortening for frying


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Mix together 1 cup flour, the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together butter, buttermilk, and eggs in a large measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in the mixing bowl, and beat either using an electric mixer on medium speed or by hand until smooth. Decrease the speed to low, and add the remaining flour. Mix until just combined, making sure to scrape the edges to ensure that all the liquid is incorporated. The consistency should be somewhere between cookie dough and cake batter (moist and tacky).
  3. Add the shortening to a large kettle and attach a candy thermometer to the side. Gradually heat the shortening over medium-high heat to 375F. While it’s heating, turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll out with a heavily floured rolling pin until the dough is about 1/2″ thick. Stamp out the dough rings with a donut cutter (or use two circle cutters with the second being about half the diameter of the larger one). Transfer the rounds to a large wire rack, gather the scraps, and repeat rolling and stamping until all the dough is used.
  4. Carefully drop the dough rings into the hot oil four or five at a time. Use tongs to turn the donuts as they rise to the surface. Fry the donuts until they’re golden brown, about 50 seconds per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Let the frying oil return to temperature before adding the next batch. Repeat until all the donuts are cooked.
  5. For the glaze, mix together all the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl until completely smooth.
  6. Dip the cooked donuts into the glaze until about halfway submerged. Remove the donuts from the glaze, then return to the wire rack set over a baking sheet, allowing to cool on the dry side.
  7. Serve warm if possible.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted fromThe Pioneer Woman

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