Sugared Doughnuts



When I was a little girl I would go to the trash and treasure markets every Sunday with my dad. I loved exploring the different stalls and their wares, with all their little trinkets and knick-knacks being offered for sale. From memory, the goods ranged from old mechanical parts to garden tools to baby budgerigars in cages and trays of farm-laid hen eggs. In hindsight though, I think there was much more trash than treasures to be pawned off each week. But I digress.

If I discovered something that I liked and had been a good girl, that is, if the ‘thing’ was less than a dollar, my dad would buy it for me and I’d be the happiest girl ever until I either lost it or broke it. And although I loved to roam the market and enjoy spending one-on-one time with my dad, my absolute favourite part of the day was visiting the friendly old man inside the greasy jam doughnut van (hey, that kind of rhymes!). We would always buy three (one each for my dad and I and one for mum later) and eat them piping hot, straight from the fryer. They had wonderfully crispy golden exteriors and were warm and fluffy on the inside with oozing, gooey, ruby red jam that would drip all over my hands no matter how hard I tried. But I did love making a real mess of myself and licking off all the sugar and jam off fingers though. I loved those doughnuts.


I don’t frequent those markets anymore, but the memory of those early Sundays mornings prompted me to try my own homemade donuts. I did intend on making jam donuts, but we had no jam and was too lazy to go and get some, so these sugared doughuts were made. Simple, but ridiculously delicious. Enjoy!


Sugared Doughnuts

Recipe from ‘Modern Classics 2’ by Donna Hay.

This recipe can be adapted to make doughnuts with any type of filling. Try custard, Nutella, chocolate ganache or any kind of jam you like. To do so, at step three, omit the step of cutting out the middle hole and fry as instructed. Pipe your desired filling into your doughnut using a small piping bag. Don’t toss them into the sugar, dust with icing sugar instead, or leave them be.

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

1 cup lukewarm milk (I just combine the two liquids in a jug and nuke it in the microwave for a bit)

3 tablespoons caster sugar

100g unsalted butter, melted

4 ¼ cups plain flour

3 eggs

vegetable oil, to deep fry

1 cup caster sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to coat

  1. Place the yeast, water, milk and one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
  2. Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix with a butter knife until a sticky dough forms. Bring the dough together by kneading on a lightly floured surface. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for five minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic.
  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1cm thick. Cut 8cm rounds with a cutter. Cut a 3.5cm hole in the middle of the rounds. Place a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
  4. Heat the oil in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 180C. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time until golden. Drain briefly on paper towel and toss in the combined sugar and cinnamon.

28 Responses to “Sugared Doughnuts”

  1. oh yum! these look great. How do you feel about iced doughnuts? I’ve always preferred the sugar and cinnamon ones. I made doughnuts for the first time last year, they were even better than krispy kreme :)

  2. 2 Joy

    I want to make these so badly! Looks so good!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  3. What gorgeous looking doughnuts! A real treat!



  4. yummmy! i have really tried to give up sweets in the new year, but when i see ur posts, its kinda impossible!
    Slurrrrp! thanks for the visual treat!

  5. Oh my, did you say NUTELLA?! Why would you put such an idea in to my head… Now I must make my own nutella filled doughnuts.

  6. I love Donna Hay’s recipes. These came out perfectly!

  7. I really didn’t need to see those so soon after my Christmas over-indulgence! I have similar fond memories of doughnuts from my childhood. They look delicious, jam or no jam!

  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m absolutely smitten with homemade doughnuts. They’re just about the best thing EVER! And what a great Dad for taking you to a doughnut van every Sunday.. now that’s livin’! Great post!

  9. I want to eat my computer screen right now. Those donuts not only look gorgeous but dare I say sexy! (am I weird for saying that?) What a great job you’ve done!

  10. Lisa – as a kid, I used to love those chocolate iced ones with sprinkles on top, now, the cinnamon ones are my favourite (after the jam-filled ones of course!)

    Amanda – yep, Nutella. You can fill doughnuts up with anything. Even curd!

    Joy – my dad is awesome :)

    Maria – please don’t lick the screen. That’s just odd.

  11. These look sooo good!!!

  12. I have always wanted to make doughnuts but have been a little afraid… but after reading this I think I may be able to do it :)

  13. Linda,

    Just found your blog, thanks to Tartelette. You sound like a kindred spirit. I have over the top fond memories of apple cider donuts which my dad would pick up for us as a very special treat during the fall in Upstate New York. If we were lucky they were still warm when he got them home. My brother, sister and I would be on them like sharks on a feeding frenzy! Boy, were they great!

    I am with you on the cookie thing, too. I actually have worked profesionally in pastry and cookies still are my favorite treat.

    Lucky you to be making passion fruit marshmallows. I am a big fan of delicious magazine, though I don’t buy it often at it’s $10 US price tag here state-side. But from reading it, I have drawn the conclusion that the average Aussie supermarket has a lot more for the offering than do our’ s here. I look forward to stopping by your site again. Feel free to visit mine (brand new…had to get up the guts to try it). I am adding you to my favorites! You have a fun, friendly writing voice. Happy 2009!

    Lynda….with a “Y”
    PS Your donut pics are lovely, as well. I think you will be doing ok in the picture-taking dept. I’ve yet to learn! :)

  14. Dani – give it a go! It isn’t that hard :)

    Lynda – hello! Thanks so very much for your lovely comment :)

  15. Oh my stars, do those sound fantastic!

  16. Oh my, these look absolutely yummy! I love cinnamon sugar donuts and I can imagine how they taste warm. Man, now my mouth is watering.

  17. Yum! I love doughnuts! Those look so good!

  18. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing. Love your photos.

  19. One of my fondest memories was spending Friday mornings before school at the local donut shop. My mom would sit with me at the counter as I meticulously and lovingly ate my chocolate cake donut, licking every sugar crystal from the paper. I’ve always thought about making my own but haven’t seen a recipe that was good for a first try. Now I look no further. These are beautiful, and I can’t wait to make them!!

  20. I am still dreaming about your marshmallows and now these….oh wow! It’s passed midnight I wish I had a couple to sink my teeth into!
    Happy belated New Year!

  21. Ok not fair! I am drinking a coffee right now and really want one of those for dunkin’. They look marvelous.

  22. marvelous, as always. a sugared donut is the way to go. and those double chocolate cookies a few days back… i’m still talking about those. your blog is fabulous – the writing, the photog, everything. i aspire to turn my new food blog into something like this. would love for you to drop on over!



  23. Love the sound of those markets (as well as your doughnuts!) I’ve been nuts about yeast lately, so I’ll have to try these. :)

  24. Thanks for reminding me that I have this cookbook and that I REALLY need to make some doughnuts!

  25. I searched on google and I had a hard time located the right info….until I found your blog.

  26. 26 Malin

    Your donuts look divine! I haven’t eaten a real doughnut in ages, since the local doughnut van disappeared from the market many years ago. And those dry things you get at 7-11 is not even close! Doughnuts should be warm and greasy, straight out of the fryer! Yum…..

    I guess I have to face my doughnut fear and give this recipe a try!
    Simple sugared doughnuts are my favourite too :)

  27. At our flea markets here, similar to what your described, there is this stand that sells mini donuts covered in cinnamon, powdered sugar or some with fillings. We would always get a bag of mini cinnamons and a bag of mini powdered sugar and they were delicious. This reminds me of that.

  28. I have to try it on my site doughnuts recipe
    She looks great! Thank you for sharing.

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