Homemade Frosted Yeast Donuts are your classic bakery donut but made in your kitchen. These are light, fluffy, airy, golden in color, and topped with the easiest glaze. These donuts are made with simple ingredients and have clear instructions to ensure these come out perfectly!
There’s something about that light, airy, fluffy texture that makes a donut so dang special. I don’t want a classic donut any other way, so we use YEAST in this recipe, and we also fry these! You can do it… don’t worry! If I can do it, you can do it.
I use instant yeast in this recipe. It makes everything rise much quicker, which is a huge bonus for me. Here is the brand that I ALWAYS use!
One of the biggest turnoffs for working with yeast (from personal experience before falling in love with yeast) is the rising time. Great news! It’s too easy with a little bit of direction!
- This dough requires two rises– one, 1 hour rise before shaping the donuts and one, 30 minute rise after shaping the donuts.
- I like to preheat my oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit right as I’m beginning to make the dough. As soon as it preheats, turn off the oven. By the time your dough is ready to rise, the oven will provide a warm (not hot) environment for your dough to rise.
- I know some people just leave the dough out under a light, a lamp, or on the counter, but I haven’t had much success with that. Other people run a cycle of their laundry dryer before placing the bowl in the dryer! As long as you have a pretty warm space for your dough, it will double in size within an hour!
If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, you are more than welcome to knead with a mixer! If you were to use a mixer, mix on medium speed for about 6-7 minutes.
If you are kneading by hand, it might seem tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here is a video that can help you if you don’t know how to knead properly. Please note that the dough in the video is much thicker and drier than the sweet dough we work with in this recipe, but the kneading is the same. I honestly don’t think you can mess it up. I once read that it is very difficult to over-knead because you would be way too tired to ever reach that point.
Basically, you’ll fold the dough, massage it with the palm of your hand, turn the dough, and refold it. The dough will get less sticky as you work with it, but it should not be dry. The dough should be elastic, stretchy, and a little sticky. It should have a slight shine to it. This dough will be tough to knead at the beginning of your process because of how “wet” it is. Add a teaspoon of flour at a time when the dough gets too sticky to work with. Keep your hands and surface floured. Eventually, you won’t need much flour… you’re getting close to the dough being ready to rise!
The frying is genuinely so simple…. if you have a food thermometer. I didn’t have one that actually worked until a week before testing this recipe. Here is the one that I have been using!
You don’t need to have a specific pot or a designated amount of oil. You want at least 3-4 inches of oil in the pot that you use. If you don’t have enough oil, your donut will stick to the bottom of your pan which is such an inconvenience.
I found that I got the most lightly golden donuts at about 315 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not too tricky to tell when the donuts turn golden brown. You don’t want them a dark brown color, but you don’t want them too too light. It’s that GOLDEN shimmer we are looking for. You’ll know it when you see it. You may need about 30 seconds- 1 minute on each side. Make sure you are flipping them with a spatula. They are too delicate to be flipped with tongs.
If your donuts are turning brown too quickly, your oil is too hot. Make sure to check the oil temperature every once in a while to ensure that you don’t ruin your donuts. Simply add more oil to the pot or turn down the heat to wait until your oil hits between 315-330 degrees Fahrenheit.
Parchment: For best donut shape, you’ll want to put each donut on a small piece of parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray before letting them rise for the 30 minutes. This dough is soft and fragile, and you might (I did) ruin the shape of your donut when you drop it into the oil. By putting each donut onto its own small piece of parchment, you can simply lift the parchment, and the donut will hopefully slide right off and into the oil!
Storing and Serving: These donuts are best served within 2 days of making them. I’m going to keep working on some ways to make them last longer, but that soft, fluffy texture just gets less and less fluffy the longer these sit around. Store these in an airtight container at room temperature.
Warm Liquids: Your water and milk should be pretty warm. It shouldn’t be piping hot because that will kill the yeast. However, a warm environment helps the yeast to activate. I find 110 degrees Fahrenheit to be a perfect temperature to work with. If you don’t have a thermometer, you should be able to stick your finger into the milk and water without it being too hot that you need to remove it, but it should feel like it’s on the verge of being hot. Use your best judgement!
Homemade Frosted Yeast Donuts are light, airy, golden in color, and topped with the easiest glaze. These are made with simple ingredients and have clear instructions to ensure you have the most gorgeous bakery-style donuts from your kitchen!
For the Dough
- 1 (1/4 oz) packet instant yeast
- 2 Tablespoons water, warm (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 3/4 cup milk, warm (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4– 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For Chocolate Icing
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
For Vanilla Icing
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 Tablespoons milk
For the Dough
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for rising purposes. As soon as the oven preheats, you will turn off the oven. This will provide a warm space for your dough to rise. You can also run your dryer before beginning the baking process or just find a warm spot in your house.
- In a medium/large bowl, add warm water, warm milk, butter, egg, sugar, yeast and salt into the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and combined.
- Slowly add flour to the bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. When flour is fully mixed, the mixture should be sticky and look pretty wet. These donuts are soft, light, and airy, so the dough should not be tough or dry. You should be able to touch it with floured hands without any of the dough being transferred to your hands. If it transfers to your hands, add another tablespoon or two of flour at a time until it is not longer sticky and wet.
- If using a dough hook, knead for 6-7 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn your dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead until dough is stretchy, elastic, and tacky. Massage the dough with the palm of your hand, fold it, turn it, and repeat. Add flour by the teaspoon to your dough to help with the stickiness of the kneading process. The longer you knead, the easier and less sticky the process will become.
- Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl. Roll the dough around in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a damp cloth before placing it in your warm oven, warm dryer, or in a warm place in your house. Let the dough rise for one hour until it has doubled in size
- Once the dough has risen, push down on it to release the air. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to be 1/4 inch thick using a rolling pin. Use a cup, bowl, or cookie or pastry cutter to cut 3-4 inch rounds. This doesn’t need to be exact, but try to make sure all of the donuts are the same size even if they aren’t 3.5 inches. Note that the donuts will grow in size after the second rise.
- You may need to re-roll the scraps of the dough to get a few extra donuts. Simply combine the scraps together and use the rolling pin to roll it to 1/4 inch thickness again. Only reroll the dough once.
- Transfer donuts with a spatula to individually greased parchment slips on a large plate or pan. This will allow them to easily remove from their surface, keeping their shape as they are being fried later on.
- Use a coring tool, piping tip, or a sharp knife and spoon to cut about 1 inch rounds out of the center of each donut to create the hole. I used the top of a large, round piping tip to do this.
- You can put the middle of the donuts on their own parchment slips to make donut holes.
- Cover the donuts with a damp towel and allow them to rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes. You can re-preheat your oven if it has gotten cool.
- In a medium-sized pot, add oil to fill 3-4 inches. The amount you need depends on the depth of your pan. The amount of oil doesn’t matter too much, only that it isn’t too shallow in the pot. The donuts will stick to the bottom of the pot if there isn’t enough oil.
- On medium heat, bring the oil to 315 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it has reached this temperature, lower the heat slightly to ensure it doesn’t heat up too much more.
- Slide as many donuts that can fit in the pot into the oil. Allow the donuts to cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the donuts reach a light golden brown color. Use a spatula to flip them and remove them.
- Once you remove the donuts from the oil, place them on a paper-towel- lined plate to soak up some of the excess oil.
For the Frosting
- After all donuts have been cooked, begin making the frosting. If you would like to make both flavors, I’d recommend halving each recipe. Simply whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Frostings should not be too runny or thin. They should be thick enough that they don’t look wet or watery but thin enough that they fall off of a spoon when the spoon is lifted out of the bowl. If the frosting is too thin, add confectioners’ sugar by the Tablespoon. If the frosting is too thick, add milk by the teaspoon. Thick frosting will stick to the donut and will not go on smoothy, and thin frosting will spread and turn into more of a glaze.
- Once the donuts have slightly cooled, dip the top of the donut into the icing. Twist the top of the donut around to better coat it. If you are using sprinkles, dip the donuts into a bowl of the sprinkles if you want the donuts to be fully coated, or simply use your hands or a spoon to drizzle them on top if you want a lighter topping of sprinkles. You’ll want to make sure you immediately add sprinkles or toppings after dipping the donuts because the frosting will set.
- Serve as soon as possible for best texture. Cover for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Keywords: Chocolate Glaze, Yeast Donuts, Homemade Donuts, Frosted Donuts, Glazed Donuts