Recipe Box: Simple Yeast Doughnuts!


I have not had the pleasure of eating a doughnut in nearly two years. Far too long, for sure. I love them, I swear, but going out of my way to procure bakery treats doesn't often fit into my day-to-day life. Sure, I'll seek out renown bakeries when on vacation (Tartine! Magnolia!), but a sad, dry pastry with a fly stuck to it from the corner store isn't really worth my dime. The ones sitting out in the break room scarred with anonymous thumbprints? Forget about it. My general philosophy is, if I want junk food badly enough, I will make it myself, from scratch, with quality ingredients. It's a challenge that adds fun and adventure to my cooking repertoire, and thankfully, the time and labor involved keeps my sugar habit in check. These projects are always a big production, something to be excited about and shared with friends. Every crumb is savored, guilt free.

Kurt showed me this a passage from Michael Pollan's book, Food Rules. Yessir, that pretty much sums it up:
#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we're eating them every day. The french fry did not become America's most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes -- and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they're so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you're willing to prepare them -- chances are good it won't be every day.


Simple Yeast Doughnuts:

Doughnut recipe from Butterfly Foodie (New favorite food blog! Go see her beautiful doughnuts, right now!)

2 pkg fast raising yeast
2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamon* I added this to the original recipe. I love cardamon. 
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour
Oil, for frying. I used coconut oil.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and water. Allow to sit for five minutes until yeast activates (should look a little foamy). Add the egg, butter, spices, salt, vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Slowly add flour, while mixing on low speed. When all of the flour has been added, increase speed to medium and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl and is no longer sticky to the touch. Roll out dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut dough into doughnut shapes (I used different sized jar lids) and lay them on a baking sheet to raise for 30 minutes. Fry in oil at 360 degrees. Turn once to cook and brown both sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels.
For the doughnuts pictured, I made two toppings: marzipan glaze with chopped almonds and fresh strawberry icing with toasted coconut. Once cool, dip doughnuts one at a time in icing. Sprinkle icing with nuts/coconut/sprinkles/whatever. Let set icing-side-up on a cooling rack for five minutes before serving. YUM! 

Marzipan glaze:
1/4 cup whole milk
3 tbsp almond paste
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Pour milk over almond paste. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the paste to soften. Whisk this mixture until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners sugar and mix slowly until well combined. 

Fresh strawberry icing: 
4-5 fresh strawberries, hulled, leaves removed, pureed in a food processor. (I didn't strain the seeds, because I thought the green specks were very pretty.)
2 tbsp whole milk 
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Combine strawberry puree and whole milk. Add confectioners sugar and mix slowly until well combined.

P.S. Unglazed doughnuts can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. Freeze doughnuts on a baking tray. Once frozen, seal in a freezer bag. On doughnut day, reheat in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes.


  1. i love your idea that if you're going to eat junk food, you might as well make your own and use the best ingredients.

    these donuts look heavenly.

  2. Eat all the junk food I want as long as I cook it myself? I can totally support that. :)

    I have yet to attempt making donuts, but you're inspiring me to do so!

  3. ohhhhh. those look INCREDIBLE. you're so amazing, johanna. i wish i could come over and have dinner at your house...or maybe breakfast!

  4. I love this. Make your own! Awesome. Only a genius would think of that. Yummy!

  5. These look awesome! I got a copy of Well-preserved from the library today and there was a recipe for home-made bacon that looked delicious and it made me think of you!

  6. those look amazing. beautifully executed

  7. I have a similar philosophy with goodies (especially sweets) and I haven't had a doughnut in forever... this just might change that! they look so good!

  8. Thank you, thank you everyone! I wish you were all here to share a batch of doughnuts with me.

    Ash - Thanks for the inspiration!
    Athena - I will add that book to my list. Awesome.
    Jasmine - You're invited over to dinner/breakfast anytime, my dear. You're only half dozen states away!


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