Doughnuts or Donuts? Call them what you like but I’ll take a dozen please.

I have been making doughnuts every week for a couple of months now, and i’m finally happy to share my recipe and technique with you. This recipe is very versatile as it allows for both ring and filled and can take on additional flavourings to the dough. In this method however I will stick to my classic vanilla butter glazed ring doughnuts. My all time favourites.

A perfect doughnut for me has to be light with great crumb texture inside, whilst maintaining a crisp outer surface. The doughnuts must retain moisture and be coated evenly and generously in sweet, sticky glaze. Looks don’t mean that much to me though- I rather enjoy when they all turn out in different shapes and sizes. Doughnuts are like snowflakes- but deep fried and delicious.

I have tried hard in avoiding dense and bready results. The main aim is to create a texture as light as possible, because you know, easier to eat more that way.

One of the key things for perfect results is your fryer. I like to use an electric fryer with vegetable oil at around 185 degrees celsius. You can use a deep pan with oil on the hob, however its harder to regulate the temperature that way. Whichever method you choose, it is important to use clean fresh oil. This will ensure your doughnuts don’t get tainted with foreign tastes or an old oily aroma. It also really helps with even browning.

Before you begin please note that this recipe calls for overnight proving in the fridge, so ensure to begin at least a day before you need them for.


Makes 12-15

For the Dough

  • 14g active dried yeast
  • 50ml warm whole milk
  • 250ml room temperature whole milk
  • 650g plain all purpose flour
  • 8g table salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste

For the glaze

  • 125g salted butter , melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 320g icing sugar
  • Around 80ml whole milk ( more or less depending)


  1. Pour the yeast over the 50ml warm milk, stir lightly and leave to blood for around 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, followed by the salt, sugar and finally the bloomed yeast mixture.

  3. Mix using a dough hook attachment until all combined.

  4. slowly pour in the remaining milk and mix until it forms a rough dough.

  5. Add the room temperature butter followed by the two eggs and vanilla, mixing continuously until a smooth and shiny dough is achieved. Around 6-7 minutes.

  6. transfer the dough to a well buttered bowl with lots of extra space for proving. cover securely with cling film, and leave in the fridge overnight for a slow prove.

  7. The next day, remove the dough from the fridge- it should have more than doubled in size. Punch out the air and place the dough onto a well floured surface. Roll gently until about 3cm thick.

  8. Cut out into disks- re roll, rest and keep cutting until you have used almost all of the dough.

  9. Now cut smaller circles out of the middle of each one using a smaller cutter. You can either keep these doughnut holes and fry them off later or discard.

  10. Arrange these rings onto well floured trays lined with parchment. Space them out as you don’t want them to touch once proved.

  11. Prove in a warm space for 1 hour until noticeably increased in volume. Make sure oil is up to temperature.

  12. Carefully place the doughnuts, three at a time into the hot oil and fry for two minutes. After this time, carefully flip them over and fry for a further two minutes.

  13. Remove from fryer and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat until all doughnuts are fried.

proving doughnuts and a cup of coffee

For the Glaze.

  1. Mix melted butter and vanilla into the icing sugar.

  2. Add milk gradually until thickness of double cream is achieved.

  3. Dip each doughnut into the glaze whilst still slightly warm.

I would recommend eating these on the day they’re made- but they will keep ok for a further day if kept in an air tight container.

Selection of glazed doughnuts, vanilla, chocolate, caramel and cinnamon