Frosted Deep Fried Doughnuts: How To Make Them At Home

There’s nothing, nothing, nothing like a homemade deep-fried doughnut. While I wouldn’t exactly call them easy, the process is straightforward, and I’ve included all my best tips and tricks. The soft and delicious results are totally worth the trouble ❤️.

It’s one of those recipes (like most deep-fried recipes) that saves you a ton of money because the ingredients are cheap.

You can do this. Be the hero. All your kids’ friends will be jealous now.

finished homemade fried donuts.

Deep Fried Yeast Doughnuts

Like the corner shop, but better. Homemade doughnuts. are made with a yeast dough and then fried until pillowy soft and puffy. Dipped in a simple homemade frosting. What's not to love?
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size 12 doughnuts


  • Stand mixer
  • Doughnut cutter or 2 biscuit cutters


For the Doughnuts

  • 1 ¼ cup milk whole or 2%
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ¾ -5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts canola oil or peanut oil for frying

Chocolate Icing

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops pink food coloring if desired or more or less for desired shade of pink
  • Rainbow sprinkles or any colored sprinkles desired


Make the Doughnuts

  • Prep milk. Warm milk in microwave on low power for 1 minutes. (If using active dry yeast, you can mix it with the milk at this time if you prefer, or add with other ingredients.)
  • Mix all ingredients except flour. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with an electric mixer with a large bowl, beat the milk, yeast butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla.
    eggs and butter in mixing bowl of stand mixer.
  • Add flour. Continue to mix in flour one cup at a time until dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl. Switch to a dough hook with a stand mixer and knead an additional 5-6 minutes or knead dough by hand.
    kneaded dough in stand mixer bowl.
  • First rise. Transfer dough to a greased large bowl, cover with plastic wrap sprayed with butter spray, and let rise 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • Roll out and cut. Roll dough onto a floured surface until dough is approximately ½ inch thick. )If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 3 ½ inch circular cutter to cut the outside circles and a 1-inch cutter in the center for the inside circles for the doughnut holes.) Cut the outside circles as close together as possible and place circles of dough on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Combine and roll out scraps of dough until all dough is used. The final doughnuts will not look quite as nice, but most imperfections will be covered by the icing.
    dough rolled out and being cut with biscuit cutter.
  • Second rise. Cover cookie sheets with a cotton towel and let rise for 1 to ½ hours. 15 minutes before doughnuts are done rising, pour oil in a deep pot until about 2 inches deep. Bring oil to a temperature of 360 degrees, using a thermometer to monitor temperature.
    rising doughnuts on baking sheet.
  • Prep for cooling. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a paper towel and place a cooling rack on top. Place cookie sheet near your pan with oil.
  • Fry. Cut parchment paper under risen donuts in squares. Using a spatula, lift the donut with the parchment paper underneath into hot oil. Place two donuts or several donut holes in the oil to cook at once. Cook donuts for one minute on one side, flip using a strainer spoon or slotted spoon, and cook for 45 seconds on the other side. Donut holes cook a little faster. Remove the parchment paper with tongs and discard while the donuts cook, it will just float and is safe in the oil. Use a strainer spoon to place the cooked donuts onto the prepared cooling rack. Cook all the donuts and let cool. Prepare icing while donuts cool.
    fried doughnuts.

Make the Chocolate Icing (Optional)

  • Melt ingredients on stovetop. Pour an inch of water into a small pot (double boiler) and bring to a simmer over low heat. Place a double boiler insert pot or heat-proof bowl over simmering water, making sure the bottom of the pot or bowl doesn’t touch the water. Combine all chocolate icing ingredients in a bowl or double boiler pot and whisk periodically until chocolate and butter are melted and all ingredients are mixed together. Keep warm on low heat setting.
    frosting ingredients in saucepan.
  • Dip. When doughnuts have cooled, hold each individually and dip it into chocolate until the inner hole has been filled with chocolate. Swivel a little back and forth and lift out, turning the doughnut a little as you raise it out of the chocolate to ensure it is is completely covered in glaze. You can redip if necessary.
  • Sprinkle and let set. Place the doughnuts back on cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with desired sprinkles. Let cool on cooling rack. Eat immediately or place in a covered container. Eat right away.
  • Vanilla Icing (Optional)
  • Place powdered sugar, half and half, vanilla, and salt in a small to medium bowl and whisk until ingredients are combined. Add a little more half and half if needed if too thick. Add food coloring if desired.
  • Dip and garnish. Using the same process as the chocolate icing, dip cooled donuts into icing, turn, and place back on cooling rack. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles.


Watch your oil temperature! You want to make sure they cook all the way through without turning excessively brown. 360 turned out to be the perfect temperature and I would use a thermometer to watch the temperature. If it gets warmer than 360 I would only cook the first side for 45 seconds instead of a minute. With 1 minute on one side and 45 seconds on the other side at 360 they were always cooked through.
Depending on the humidity and measuring styles for the flour and liquids, the 4 ¾ c – 5 c of flour is an estimate for the amount needed before the dough starts to release from the sides of the bowl when being mixed.
Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 399IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

I hope you love these homemade yeasted doughnuts. Once you try them once I think you’ll find them to be simple and fun to make. Honestly!

donuts setting on wire rack.

🥣 important tools and ingredients

  • Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast: This is the magical ingredient that makes the donuts light and fluffy. Ensure it’s fresh for the best rise. You don’t need to activate yeast, even active dry. But since this is a rich dough, I prefer instant yeast because it works just a little faster. 😊.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: For the chocolate icing, the quality of chocolate can make a big difference. Choose a good brand for a richer taste.
  • Food Coloring: This is optional but adds a fun twist to the vanilla icing, especially if you’re making these for a special occasion.
ingredients on marble counter.

If you want to skip the icing, that’s totally fine of course! They. are delicious tossed in powdered sugar and you’ll save a lot of step 😉.

  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer: For easier mixing and kneading.
  • Thermometer: Crucial for maintaining the correct oil temperature.
  • Doughnut Cutter: Or round cookie cutters for shaping.
  • Rolling Pin: For evenly rolling out the dough.
  • Cooling Rack: Essential for cooling donuts post-frying and icing.

If you don’t have a mixer of any kind, you can do this by hand. You’ll whisk at first and then the dough out onto a counter and knead by h and.

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Do not use a glass or something dull-edged as a cutter. It will crimp down the edges of the dough and they won’t rise as high.., and then you won’t have fluffy doughnuts.

✨ Tips for the best yeast doughnuts


  • Adjust the flour. You’ll need about 4 ¾ to 5 cups of flour, depending on humidity and measuring methods. This amount should be enough for the dough to stop sticking to the bowl while mixing.  It may be slightly more than 5 cups.
  • About the parchment. squares. I got the idea to lift the donuts using parchment paper from Claire Saffitz, a dessert cookbook author. She shared it on a King Arthur Baking video.  It’s genius. The donut holder keeps the donuts in a perfect shape and prevents marks on the doughnut. It also helps lower the donut into hot oil.  A spatula makes it hard to keep the donuts round.  Additionally, there were marks from the spatula on that side of the donut. I cut parchment paper into squares. Then the doughnuts rise on the squares. I worried the doughnuts would rise larger than the parchment paper square. So I cut them after (but you could cut them first!)
  • Rerolling. When cutting the doughnuts into circles, try to get as many circles as possible in the first cut.  The dough can be gathered, rerolled, and cut again.  I recommend letting the dough rest after gathering it for a few minutes to make it easier to reroll.  After the third reroll, you’ll notice the seams and the dough might not be perfectly round when it rises.  They still taste great and the icing covers most of the imperfections.
  • Watch your frying temperature. When frying doughnuts, different recipes suggest different temperatures, ranging from 350F to 380F.  The donuts brown fast.  The trick is you want to make sure they cook all the way through without turning too brown.  I do 360 and always use a thermometer to watch the temperature.  If it gets warmer than 360 I would only cook the first side for 45 seconds instead of a minute.  With 1 minute on one side and 45 seconds on the other side at 360 they were always cooked through.
  • Eat fresh, if you can! Donuts taste the best on the first day, and I recommend eating them the day they are cooked.  Having said that, they still taste great for a day or two when stored in a covered container.  They don’t turn hard but don’t taste as fresh.
  • Drain carefully. After removing the donuts with a strainer or slotted spoon, let the oil drain back into the pot before transferring them to the cooling rack. This will help reduce any mess.
  • You have time to work with the icing. The chocolate icing stays good for a long time when kept warm with a double boiler.  Whisk it to keep looking fresh.  The vanilla icing could be heated with a double boiler the same as the chocolate.  Federal Donuts cookbook suggests using cold donuts and warm icing.  Most recipes use the vanilla icing cold and to keep the consistency of the icing the same, I did as well.  It just won’t last quite as long.  Additional half and half can be used to thin to desired consistency if it thickens.  The chocolate icing looks amazing 1-3 days after baking.  The vanilla icing tends to wrinkle somewhat.
  • It’s best to use a stand mixer for dough. I haven’t tried a hand mixer, but it might work until the dough has too much flour. Then you can knead it by hand.

I know this was a lot. I just want to see you succeed, not overwhelm you! You can find a video of the parchment paper trick here.

🥫 Storage and make ahead instructions

You really should eat them fresh! Go pass one out to your lonely neighbor.

Store doughnuts in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days.  They can keep a couple of days longer in the fridge but lose their quality.  They do not freeze well.

❤️ More deep-fried sweets you’ll love

I love sweets and I love deep frying, so here ya go:

  • Glazed Apple Fritters
  • Apple Cider Doughnuts
  • Deep Fried Oreos
  • Deep Fried Snickers Bars

Making these tasty homemade yeast doughnuts is about more than the finished product. The. process is fun too, from rising to frying to (best of all!) dipping. Simple ingredients, amazing result. Enjoy.

stack of doughnuts one missing
Frosted Deep Fried Doughnuts: How To Make Them At Home

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