Old Fashioned Donut Recipe

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Experience the fun of making old fashioned donuts at home using our crafted recipe. These treats are known for their cracked texture and rough sides. My favorite kind of old fashioned donuts is the glazed ones at your local bakery. One of the differences between this and other donuts is the yeast content. Old Fashioned donuts do not contain any yeast and are fried at a lower temperature. 

Our classic Old Fashioned donut recipe includes easy ingredients like cake flour, nutmeg, sour cream, and eggs. We highly recommend using a stand mixer when combining the dry and wet mixture. Check out our helpful tips for perfecting your recipe. 

Old Fashioned Donuts on a modern table

Old Fashioned Donuts

Have your sweet old fashioned donuts with your morning coffee for a great start. Follow our easy directions to make this delicious treat at home. Cake doughnuts have been around since 1829 in the United States. Some people describe the taste of old fashioned donuts as nutmeg-like and vanilla. 

How To Make Old Fashioned Donuts

Making old fashioned donuts is similar to creating other baked pastries. You will need the following ingredients to bake this classic dough item; cake flour, nutmeg, sour cream, sugar, eggs, butter, oil, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Follow our easy instructions below for a quick guide on making old-fashioned donuts.

  1. In a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat until combined; then, add egg yolks. Afterward, add sour cream and beat until well combined. 
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add to the stand mixer until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Flour a surface and dust the dough with a generous amount of flour. Roll into 1/2 inch thickness and cut circles inside the dough. 
  4. Fry donuts in hot oil for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside. 
  5. Make a glaze by mixing sugar, water, vanilla, and salt. 
  6. Dip donuts into glaze and put them on a wire rack.  
Old Fashioned Donuts shared with friends

What is the Difference Between Old Fashioned and Regular Donuts?

Old-fashioned donuts are cakey and leavened with baking powder. Regular donuts use yeast to raise the donuts, which makes the texture lighter. For customers, it comes down to preference; if you’re into a rough-edged pastry, we recommend old fashioned donuts. Follow our recipe in this article for a perfect experience. 

What Makes An Old-Fashioned Donut?

Old-fashioned donuts are notoriously known to pair well with coffee. What makes them unique is their crispy texture and crunchy feel while cakey on the inside. Typically, this donut is deeply fried, which is why you see cracks and pores on the surface of the pastry. Old-Fashioned donuts are also made with leavener. 

Old Fashioned Donut Ingredients

Old fashioned donuts taste and feel different than your typical pastries. Learn about the ingredients to make this perfect for families and friends. Check out our list below so you can prepare to bake this donut! 

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Egg yolks
  • Sour cream
  • Canola oil
Old Fashioned Donuts homemade on a cutting board
Old Fashioned Donuts homemade on a cutting board

Old Fashioned Donut Recipe

Check out our latest recipe for old fashioned donuts for a delicious experience. Follow our easy instructions to make this family favorite cakey donut.
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Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: donuts, pastry
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter cool temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • canola oil


  • cups powdered sugar sifted
  • tsp corn syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • cup hot water


  • In a bowl. sift together cake flour, baking powder salt, and nutmeg.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together.
  • Add egg yolks and mix until light and thick.
  • Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, also mix in sour cream, and flour.
  • Mix on low speed until dough is smooth and sticky. If dough is too sticky, add extra flour.
  • Place dough on a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ½ inch thickness. Use doughnut cutter to cut out as many donuts. Dip the cutters into flour to prevent sticking.
  • Refrigerate donuts while you heat oil in a pan for frying.
  • Pour 2 inches of canola oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Heat to 325°F, fry the doughnuts a few at a time. Fry each side for 2 minutes, make sure to keep an eye on the thermometer.


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip each donut into the glace and place on a wire rack about a sheet pan. Let donuts sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.

Old Fashioned Donut Recipe Tips

Creating old fashioned donuts is a fun family activity but requires some tedious preparation. Baking is fun, and with our recipe tips, you’re sure to make a tasty pastry. We recommend using a scale to weigh your ingredients. Other users have also used real bleached cake flour to make old fashioned donuts. 

cooked food on black ceramic plates

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