Just a few important notes about this easy homemade doughnuts recipe before you start:

  1. Get the right equipment – you’ll need a doughnut cutter (find one for under $5 at your local supermarket or kitchenware store).
  2. Plan ahead – you’ll need to stand the dough mixture aside for an hour and then another half an hour or so.
  3. Be prepared – you’ll never want to eat another store-bought doughnut again. Never. Ever.

Doughnuts are the ultimate feel-good food and these days you can find them everywhere you look, from specialty shops in shopping malls to airports and supermarkets.  While they may be a favourite modern treat, they actually have a long and interesting history.

At the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1934, doughnuts were hailed as “the food hit of the century of progress” and Red Cross women, known as Doughnut Dollies, handed them out during World War II. So it’s perhaps not surprising to find this doughnuts recipe in Nana Ling’s recipe book dated 1940.

Apart from the frying part, this is a great recipe to work through with kids. Miss Z and Miss Y loved the fact that the dough expanded and using the doughnut cutter was fun, fun, fun. They can also help decorate – we made our doughnuts before the Easter weekend and simply added some colourful Easter eggs to our tray of doughnuts. But you could replace the icing sugar dusting with some icing and sprinkles.

After testing this recipe, Miss Z quickly delivered her verdict: “They really do taste like doughnuts, only better.”

homemade donuts recipe 1 - spices and sugarhomemade donuts recipe 2 - doughnut cutter in actionhomemade donuts recipe 3 - doughnuts frying in vegetable oildoughnuts on plate with icing sugar

Doughnuts that taste better than doughnuts? Is this possible? There’s only one way to find out. Keep scrolling for Nana Ling’s original recipe and then, below that, the converted and tested easy homemade doughnuts recipe.

Nana Ling’s Easy Homemade Doughnuts recipe

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

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Doughnuts
doughnuts on plate with icing sugar
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Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 115 grams butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • vegetable oil
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 115 grams butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • vegetable oil
doughnuts on plate with icing sugar
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Instructions
  1. Add yeast to milk and then stir into half of the flour. Allow to stand for 1 hour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar well. Add the egg and mix well. Then add to the yeast mixture.
  3. Add the rest of the flour to the mixture and knead lightly. Stand aside till it doubles in size.
  4. Sift icing sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg onto a plate. Prepare vegetable oil for deep frying.
  5. Roll out dough and cut using a doughnut cutter.
  6. Deep fry doughnuts in vegetable oil until golden brown.
  7. Drain well and then roll in icing sugar mixture.

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