5 Tips for Making the Best Homemade Doughnuts
Use this guide to make sweet, pillowy doughnuts at home.
Making soft, pillowy doughnuts at home is probably much easier than you think. Use a few pantry staples: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, and you’re good to start. No special equipment is needed to make them, either! Read on for useful tips to making delicious doughnuts at home.
1 Be resourceful.
There is no need to shell out extra cash for a commercial deep fryer—use the Filipino household essential, the kawali, or any heavy-bottomed pot with high edges. No wooden rolling pin? Use an old wine bottle. Can’t get your hands on the right-sized cookie cutter? Use a large drinking glass to cut holes out of your doughnut dough.
2 Know the right deep-frying temperature.
Doughnuts fry quickly, and expand into large, fluffy pillows when they do. Remember to heat a good amount of oil so that they don’t hit the bottom of the pan. The ideal temperature for frying doughnuts is 360 to 375°F, anything lower and the warm about could quickly be absorbed and weigh your doughnuts down instantly. Without equipment, you can check if your oil is hot enough for frying by throwing in a pinch of flour into the pot. If it sizzles, it is ready. Remember to place fried doughnuts on paper towels instead of cooling racks to soak up any excess oil.
3 Familiarize yourself with the different types of doughnuts.
The two types of doughnut recipes you will most likely come across are: cake doughnuts and yeasted doughnuts. Cake doughnuts often use baking powder or baking soda as a leavening agent, like these mini doughnut holes, while yeasted doughnuts use dry active yeast to give them a lift. Cake doughnuts are dense, so opt for nutty and fruity mix-ins in the dough instead of filling them up with jams and custards like their pillowy yeasted counterparts.
4 Glaze, frost, and fill.
Doughnuts dough itself is lightly sweetened, so be creative with the flavors of your glazes, frosting and fillings. To glaze doughnuts, dip the tops of your doughnuts into a bowl of glaze and let the excess drip off. Leave to set on a wire rack. To frost doughnuts, use a small offset spatula to spread frosting on top. You can top them with textured ingredients like nuts and cereal to cut the creaminess of frosting. To fill doughnuts, use a small knife to poke a hole in the side of your doughnuts. Using a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip, carefully fill your doughnuts with creamy custards for fruity jams. Remember: before glazing, frosting, and filling, make sure that your doughnuts are completely cool so that nothing melts!
5 Seal and store.
While doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made and filled, they can keep at least one day longer in a sealed paper bag or paper box. If you are using a plastic container to keep your doughnuts, line it with paper towels to soak up the moisture that can easily build up in the refrigerator.