What was I thinking?

Go nuts

Have you ever tried to make homemade cake doughnuts? Not the yeast kind… the cake kind? Well, I tried to last weekend and it was a disaster. I had dough stuck to my hands. Stuck to the counter. I did manage to squeak out a few doughnuts, but they ended up with crusty outsides and doughy, sticky insides. I was really frustrated, disappointed and ultimately donutless. But, I’m pretty sure I know what went wrong.

  1. When recipes say generously flour your surface… They mean it
  2. When recipes say heat oil to 365 degrees. They mean it. (But, in my defense, I didn’t have an oil thermometer and the oil looked hot.)

So this weekend, I gave it another go… and with much better results. Not perfect, but much better.

The dough was really sticky on both attempts, so I was sure something was wrong. But this time, I generously floured everything around… the surface, the rolling pin, my hands, me. I sprinkled flour on top of flour determined to make the dough workable.


And it worked. I was able to roll out the dough and cut circle shapes for the doughnuts. I don’t have a doughnut cutter, so I used two different size circle cutters. One about 3 inches wide and the other about 1 inch wide. Looks pretty good, huh?!

Stuck dough

Not so fast. Ugh! I guess I still didn’t use enough flour because I couldn’t get them to come away from the surface.

Distress call

Doughnut patties

Frustrated, again… I just took the dough in my hand and formed doughnut patties and I used the small cutter to remove the centers while still holding the dough. (Hey, it worked.)

Finally, a good one

Eventually, though, I got it down and was able to turn out some really pretty ones that I could even pick up. Yay!

Frying cake

They went in the oil when the temperature was right.

Oil thermometer

And I knew just when that would be because of my handy dandy new oil thermometer. It definitely makes a difference.


See. Doughnuts. (applause, here)

Doughnut holes dough

The best thing about doughnuts? The scraps.

Doughnut holes

You can fry them, too. Cover them in powdered sugar and it almost makes it worth all the trouble.


You can also make a glaze and dip the tops of your doughnuts.


Sprinkles don’t hurt either.


Yum! And definitely not doughy inside. They were really pretty good. Maybe a tiny bit dry… or maybe I left them in the oil too long.

But, I’m not going to find out.

It was fun trying something new, but the next time I want doughnuts, I’ll be hitting up my local Dunkin’ Donuts for some chocolate glazed munchkins… and maybe a few blueberry ones for kicks.

Here’s the recipe I concocted after researching multiple ones for cake doughnuts in case you want to improve on it.

Slightly Dry Cake Doughnuts
4.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk*
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • Beat eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add sugar and continue beating until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine melted butter, milk and vanilla.
  • Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture stir until combined.
  • Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with. (Ha!)
  • Generously flour your work surface and roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use a doughnut cutter or two circle cutters (1 and 3 inch) to cut out shapes.
  • Heat about 2 quarts oil (about 3 inchees deep) in a large, heavy pot to about about 360 degrees.
  • Fry 1-2 doughnuts at a time about a minute on each side. (I didn’t actually time this, but it wasn’t too long)
  • Remove and place on a paper towel-lined tray.
  • When cool, sprinkle powdered sugar or dip them in a vanilla glaze.
  • Makes 12 doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes.

* Most of the recipes called for a cup of milk. I dropped it back thinking the dough was too wet, but it probably needs it for the moistness if you can figure out how to work with the dough. :)

Vanilla glaze
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3-5 Tbsp milk

  • With a mixer, mix sugar and butter.
  • Add vanilla
  • Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.


P.S. Here’s what happens when you don’t own an oil thermometer. Doughnut disaster!

Messed up doughnuts

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275 comments on “What was I thinking?”

  1. It’s too bad you’re not going to try those again because you probably only needed a bench scraper to pick up your doughnuts! I bought one when I started making biscuits and use it for bread, croissants, danish pastries, in short anything that might stick to the counter. I even use it to cut bar cookies. Talk about fast.
    P.S. I love all beautiful things you make on your blog.

  2. My trick to avoid the annoyance of flouring my rolling surface (and having the dough stick anyway) is to use floured parchment paper, which can relatively easily be peeled off the back of the cutouts.

  3. OMG! These like the donuts you can get down at the Seattle Pke Place Market. I LOVE them!! Can’t wait to try them out.

  4. I’m planning my daughter’s Rainbow Brite Birthday Party and I would love to make the cake pops in the shape of the Sprite (Rainbow Brite’s “mascot”). Do you have any suggestions as to how I could shape the cake to assimilate the Sprite?

    Any help will be so greatly appreciated!

  5. you must change this picture on this blog! every time i visit here + see it, i crave donuts HORRIBLY :)

  6. they are gorgeous! congrats!

  7. Oh the donut carnage! At least the second batch came out looking pretty :)

  8. wow, Love them! Or my waist or bump line doesn’t but, wow, what a great job! Your a true baker inspiration to me, a baker but, not that good.

    I do make a great cinammon raisin bread with duck eggs. I always bake with my game animal eggs as everything becomes so much fresher.
    It takes 3hours 40 minutes to make 6 loaves of this bread.
    It is so yummy toasted and smart butter.
    I have discovered over the years that chicken eggs deviled eggs are way to fresh, that is why I have to buy eggs to make them then.


  9. it looks so yummy!! :)
    though it sounds like a bit of a hassle… reading your post makes me want to eat some doughnuts now ^^

    and i haven’t had those in a REALLY long time.

  10. It’s 11pm where I live, but I’m thinking it’s time for a doughnut run. Sure, they won’t be this cute. But your doughnuts have inspired me to consume mass quantities of glazed goodness. I didn’t need to fit into that swimsuit anyway! ;)

  11. yum yum yum. I was so excited to try this one cause no baking :-) but i don’t have a theremometer :-( Oh well, will still have to try though

    Thanks again!

  12. You are so creative. I love your recipes, the colors, your website. You are so talented! Thanks for sharing all these with all of us. I found your blog tonight, and I’m already a fan.

    I also love the fact that you have a ‘piece’ of my country in your kitchen (Puerto Rico – sand from Rincon Beach :)

  13. I think I’ve just gained 5 lbs. just looking at these yummy doughnuts.

    They are amazing and I’m off to my kitchen to try them.

  14. They look like store bought ones, you did great! You are braver than me!

  15. beautiful donuts! Loved you on PW site too!

  16. I hate deep frying things. The mess, all the oil, the clean up, having to perfectly time it. Ugh. Kudos to you for giving it a second shot, they do look beautiful.

  17. I decided to try my hand at cider donuts last fall, and had a similar experience the first time around, so now when I make them, I make sure to flour the crap out of everything. And an oil or candy thermometer is definitely key.

    The cider donuts don’t come out dry at all, probably because of all that cidery goodness!

  18. I want one !!!! Thanks for all the tips, I plan on trying soon since my boyfriend keeps craving for donuts !

  19. I hope you don’t mind, I used your writing with food idea on my blog :) I just wrote something with chocolate chips for a recipe I was making. I’m just getting into baking and you are such an inspiration to me!!

  20. Lately, when making bread, and just recently, beignets, I’ve been spraying the counter with Pam instead of using flour and it has worked like a charm. I think that’s my new tool from now on! The doughnuts looked yummy, and so did the cake from your last post. MMMMMMM…

  21. Yum..they look good whether they turned out or not. I like your title. My 3 yr old calls them gonuts instead of doughnuts. Will have to give these a try.

  22. OK, so you know that if they are slightly dry there’s actually a great opportunity there…for DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING! Oh yes. ;-)

  23. I love homemade donuts I tried Pumpkin last time and they were excellent. I used a deep fryer so I didn’t have to worry about the temp.

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  25. Thank you so much for posting this. I think you must’ve read my mind because we just moved to a town in Montana with no donut shops. No Krispy Kreme and no Shipley’s. The grocery store does make donuts, but I can’t wait to try to make some of my own. Thank You!

  26. Oh yes. Fresh donuts? You’re going to make lots of friends with those.

  27. Disaster never looked so good ;)

  28. What kind of camera are you using? Great pictures.

  29. DIVINE! I love this post!

  30. Since I’m not a big donut fan, I think I’ll pass on this trying this recipe. I applaude your perseverence though. They looked great.

  31. They look fabulous! Way too time consuming for me, but I’m going to live vicariously through your mouth-watering pictures – yum

  32. I love making yeast doughnuts, but have bever tied the cake kind. You make them look so good!
    ~ Stacey

  33. Hey there! I’ve got the screen covered and I’m on the look out for a stray kid or my husband because if they saw me looking at photos of donuts it would be over for me! LOL! I tried them last year and my daughter still retells the horror of biting into her yucky donut Mommy made. Gotta love kids, right? Every time we leave Morocco, the top of the must-see’s is the donut shop. Who needs the Eiffel Tower or the Egyptian pyramids when there are donuts to be found?!

  34. They look amazing!! Thanks for sharing your non-successful story as well. It’s nice to know even Bakerella has a flop lol Give me hope! :)

  35. Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life – Yes, if they didn’t have gooey unbaked centers.

    RinRin – thanks

    Anonymous – you said it!

    CottageGirl – if you had been here you would have been laughing at me.

  36. Thank you, Bakerella Girl for being real! I laughed so hard top see your mistakes and your “Help” sign,,, and the title to your doughnut recipe!!!!!!!!!! (I’m not laughing at you I’m laughing WITH you!) Things like that happen to me all the time!!!!!!!

  37. That’s a lot of work for 12 donuts and 12 donut holes!

  38. Hi Bakerella. I love your site. I stumbled upon this site and thought of you. Just thought that I would drop you a note


  39. I have a question…the ones that didn’t turn out…could you make those into cake balls by crumbling them up and mixing in the frosting???

    Just wondering…and I hope I didn’t drool too much on your blog…

  40. I love all your great baking escapades so I had to tag you in my meme on my blog. Thanks!

  41. Yummy!Can you come live with me?

  42. I tried to make maple bars once and it did not work out (kind of brick-like)…Good for you and your persistence! Another success!! :)

  43. The donuts look beautiful, giving me the urge to try my hand at donut making. Lets see how it goes. Thank you, your blog is so creative

  44. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I’ve been wanting a good donut recipe and this will be tried out this weekend :) YOU ROCK!

  45. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see how you set up your photo shoots! Do you use scrapbooking paper below and behind your food? Your photos and graphic design are SO BEAUTIFUL. Please PLEASE please give us a post about your photography and design process!

  46. My great-grandmother used to “whip up” loads of these…WHAT A WOMAN!! I have tried, too, but have decided that my recipe for Applesauce Drop Doughnuts is (sorry, Granny) better. They are SOO simple and absolutely delish!!

  47. Yay, I'm not the only one with donut difficulty. But thanks for all the tips. Especially Just for Knits n Giggles. With that one from Target. Who knows, It's worth one more try.

    Didi – they were some seasonal sprinkles I found at Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

    LaDue & Crew – chin up

    Kara – I used to have one that was never used. But I have no idea where it went to.

    Yael – ditto

    Laurel Nelson – ha. pro? I wish.

    morgana – thanks!

    Cheryl B. – thanks for the tip

    ODD imagination – fun!

    Victoria – I need one of those.

    Memoria – what leftover glaze?

    Starwoodgal – thanks!

    Lan – Williams Sonoma

    Just for Knits n Giggles – Okay… with that I might actually try them again. thanks

    Annie – i think we had the same one. Never used and now it's gone. boohoo.

    Katie – sounds yum, send me some.

    The Fab Five – yes … treat bags and tied with ribbon. stick them in a styrofoam block.

    miss shortcake – a macro extender
    Here's my stuff

    Anonymous LaughingFamily said…

    Brittany – Yikes! Hope you're ok.

    Ashley – Williams sonoma

  48. Wow! They look delicious :D I’ll definately stay away from trying to make them myself. Anything that involves a thermometer is dangerous for me :P

  49. LOVE your blog! Everything looks Fabulous!!!

  50. You were a brave, brave women to try for a SECOND time! Glad you had success! They look delicious! And picture perfect, of course. ;)

  51. Way to go “Donutrella”! I love the way you always share your good and not so good experiences.


  52. What’s next… doughnut hole pops? Please?

  53. Wow-look at all these comments! You are so creative-LOVE the help sign! It made me laugh.

  54. where did you get your thermometer?

  55. I don’t make the cake kind, our family makes the yeast kind, we use Baba’s old recipe. And I’ve never used an oil thermometer for my doughnuts or my chicken fingers… I just wing it “old school” but somehow it works. But if I tried a new recipe, I think I’d be screwed.

  56. i made chocolate cake donuts last weekened and it was a disaster, too! as i was lowering a donut into the oil, it slipped off the spoon and splashed all over my arm! i have second degree burns now. ): plus my donuts got all hard. so i put them in pudding instead!

  57. You inspire me to want to bake more and more……

    Hence- Want to! LOL
    You make some really great stuff- thanks for sharing!

  58. You are making me HUNGRY!

    As a kid I made them with pillsbury bisquits…I know, not the same.

    Yours looked fantastic!

    Now all you need is some chocolate frosting :)

  59. Oh, my….I love homemade doughnuts. My mother used to make the best yeast ones but the cakes ones were always my favorites :)

  60. Too funny! Your experience with donuts reminds me of my first go at pretzels. It was not a pretty day, but I recovered, and my recipes has greatly improved. I’m just impressed that you gave them a shot!

  61. Hark! Here be one brave lady! I am so afraid of deep-frying, I humbly bow in your presence! P.s. do you use a macro lens, and if so, which one? (I’m shopping)

  62. Hmmmm, that pile of doughnut disasters look heavenly to me. MUNCH!

  63. They still look great!

  64. i am so going to try these. i dont like the yeasty ones. these look delicious

  65. They are so cute, they look to good to eat!

  66. Impressive. The glaze looks fantastic. And I prefer cake doughnuts anyway. Except for warm glazed yeast doughnuts. I worked at a bakery as a teen, and one morning ate eight. They were warm. They were glazed. They came down on the dumbwaiter. You understand.

  67. Those look yummy! Thanks for sharing your donut adventure with us even though they didn’t work out the first time (great picture to demonstrate this, hee!) I thought the powdered donut holes looked the best! I don’t think I could ever attempt something that involves hot oil though…I’ll just have to stick to Krispie Kremes!

  68. forget glazed, only a cake will do! … and yours look ever so delish :)

  69. ooh those look just like the ones my Nan used to make. Brings back memories of being a kid.

  70. ok this post was sooo not good for my diet

    now all I can think about is donuts!

  71. Hey, I give you credit for taking it on!! They look delicious!!! I don’t think I am going to try it though!

  72. uhhmmm!!….mouth-watering doughnuts! Thanks here!

  73. oh they look Delicious! I have never tried to make homemade doughnuts because, well for what happened to you! Im glad you had some success! Now I want doughnuts!

  74. Well, they look beautiful and delicious! I’m so impressed.

  75. I’ve got to say– that donut “disaster” still looks pretty darn tasty.

  76. Mmmm! My Mom has been wanting a recipe for home-made donuts. Now I know whate recipe I’ll use to make some for her!
    ~ Alexis

  77. HELP!!!!!! I’m helping to host my neice’s senior luncheon this weekend and I want to make cute pick cake pops for parting gifts/desserts for all the guests. Now, I’m thinking the best way to persent them would be indivually wrapped on a stick as opposed to boxing them in a small dessert box. Now, what do you suggest after I put them on sticks? I hate to just lie them on the tables?? thanks! angela

  78. Bakerella — I’m sooo glad we made cake pops at PW’s Lodge instead of donuts! It wouldn’t have been pretty to see that many women crying all at once. :-)
    Keep up the inspiring work!
    Luv, GypsyBiscuit

  79. I’ve made lots of donuts like this and there are a few secrets. I make my dough the night before. 30 minutes isn’t long enough to the dough to chill, over night does wonders. Very little stickiness and not so much flour needed. Also buttermilk is excellent for the milk part. I think it makes a big difference. I have even used dry buttermilk for it.
    The recipe I use is from the 1959 Betty Crocker Cookbook. (My mom gave it to me for just two recipes, the donuts and a cinnamon coffee bar cookie.) Best cookbook ever!

  80. Props to you for trying. And then trying again! This is such a great post. And the “help” photo gave me a good little chuckle. By the way, I wanted to thank you for providing me with several recipes I’m using for a large dessert party I’m baking for. You’re a one stop shop!!

  81. The ones from your second attempt look great. Actually, the scraps from your first attempt look pretty darn good, too. I’d be happy to dunk them into that bowl of vanilla glaze.

  82. These brought back fond memories of my grandma in North Dakota. Making them was a day long event and she was working waaaay before we got up. I think the cake donut is supposed to be a little dry because you use them to dunk in Swedish coffee,or at least you do on the prarie. So, you made them just right!!

  83. I make donuts several times a year. I learned how to make them from my grandfather, who learned from his father, we sold them at our diner for over 65 years. So here’s a tip that might help; you are best off letting the dough refrigerate overnight so it gets a chance to firm up better, otherwise its way to sticky, but don’t let it go any longer than that or the dough tends to dry out. Also dough cutter can come in handy for the few that do stick.

  84. If you ever get an urge to tackle fried doughy goodness again, try sopapillas. They’re so puffy and delicious and amazing! Especially if you inject the airy cavern with honey, oh yum!

  85. Wow, if those were a failure, I don’t even want to think about what mine would have looked like!

    Your blog is so terrific. I just love seeing what you’ll come up with next. You are so creative and funny and fun. I’ve given you a really well-deserved award on my blog. Congratulations!

  86. Wow! If you had trouble I will stick with my non stick regular & mini donut pans! They do seem a bit like glorified muffins but are much less healthy with sugar, glaze or sprinkles on them! :)

  87. Hey Bakerella–Back in the 80’s my Mom made the most wonderful purchase ever. It was an electric donut maker that she bought at a Service Merchandise (anyone else remember these stores?). We used it all the time. Ah, sweet, beautiful donuts!

  88. i think i gain five pounds every time i read your blog :)

  89. ooooh… My Gram used to make us doughnuts all the time!
    A little trick to getting the cut doughnuts off the counter… one of these:

    I don't remember where I got it but it works wonders. I'm sure you could find one just about anywhere.

    OR one of these?!!!

  90. I’m looking for a candy thermometer and I love yours. Where did you get it?

  91. Awesome. these donuts look delicious! :)
    Ps it s nice to know that even great masters have flops :)
    I love your blog

  92. I love your blog and your pictures are priceless – they tell a story on their own! You are inspiring me to try new things. I have definitely been in a rut. Thanks!

  93. We make doughnuts every year for Shrove Tuesday. The secret to cake doughnuts (yeast doughnuts don’t need this) is to chill the dough at least a couple hours before you work with it. It makes it much easier to cut out and move. We use a deep fryer so we use the temperature selector on that.

    wv: jamultr (n.) Tool used to fill doughnuts with jam that is generally stored in a holster.

  94. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog all evening and to say that it’s inspiring would just be an understatement. Especially considering that my jaw has reached the floor and the tongue will roll out any minute.

    You’re a cake decoration goddess, you are!

  95. Those look Da-Lish!

    Love the donut carnage.

  96. They look yummy! However I agree that homemade doughnuts are just too hard, so I use a can of biscuits and homemade glaze. You just cut the hole in the biscuits and then pan fry them until brown on each side. Then glaze them up and they are just as good as krispy kreme. It may be cheating, but they are still fun to make with the kids.

  97. You are SO brave! I would probably spill the hot oil and burn the entire house down in a grease fire. Way to go on the donuts – they look positively delicious.

  98. Oh man… my parents used to make doughnuts all the time when I was a kid. You just reminded me. I haven’t been brave enough to try them yet. I better get on it!

  99. Hi,I have the dough nu matic but your
    prescriptios is a formidable idea,
    my childres to put very happy.

  100. They look amazing!! Not sure I would be brave enough to try and make fried doughnuts. We have a Krispy Kreme not too far away :P

    Great job and remember: sprinkles cover all mistakes!!

  101. you did beautifully, when I was in culinary school we had a section of donut making. it is harder then most people think, also since I wqas pregnant and had to smell doughnut oil at 4 in the morning … I can usually pass up a doughnut these days…oh oh I was also going to say that the fat used to fry doughnuts is very different then what you use at home the plasticity is very high and it is so solid you have to chunk it with a knife, like it cracks off, my arteries are still shuddering. k I am gonna stop babbling about donuts now

  102. Oh, yum! I’ve had a terrible time making doughnuts too!!! But yours look yummy!! Good job!!

  103. You should try having a donut with a nice Riesling…It’s really good!

  104. They look ammmmmmazing! You are so great. I am sure you hear this a lot but you are my idol. I refer to you all of the time when I am baking and my family laughs. I talk about you like we are good friends.

    I hope you are having a great Monday!

  105. The reason commercial cake donuts are better is that the dough is actually like a thick cake batter and it is dropped into the oil from a special hopper that extrudes it into the donut shape as it comes out. They are never rolled to start with so the batter can remain a batter instead of a dough. I used to work in a bakery and I loved making cake donuts. It is fun to crank the donut hopper and watch the fryer fill up with cakey goodness.

  106. My multicooker is packed, so I will have to experiment with those some other time. Is it wrong that I would have just floured my hands to kingdom come and roll them into balls and see if I could turn them into jelly donuts?

  107. I do exactly what houseofestrogen says and have for years! I enjoy rolling mine in cinnamon sugar. YUM!

  108. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has trouble with doughnuts.

  109. My mouth is watering just looking at these!

  110. They are sooo pretty! I am not going to attempt to make them, but oh so pretty to look at!

  111. they look good. When I’m in the mood to make doughnuts I use the recipe from RealSimple magazine. The Yum factor is off the charts!

  112. Its been ages since I participated in donut making – the last time was a hot July morning and rather than heat the kitchen up we used our trusty propane fish cooker / turkey fryer outside. It worked really well & we were able to have a bigger production going.

  113. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yummy yummy :)

  114. You are a hoot. I made donuts last night, but I cheated. I used used refrigderator biscuits. I got the recipe from Make and Takes. Love it.

  115. My mother makes the most delicious cake donuts, using the Betty Crocker recipe. Hers always turn out so perfectly but everytime I try to make them I end up having the same problems you did! lol I always swear ‘never again’ but find myself craving them.

  116. I am impressed! They look professional.

  117. Ha! ‘Slightly dry cake donuts’ Great recipe title!

  118. Oh great…guess who started Atkins today, and I am pretty sure your delicious donuts are NOT on the menu! They look amazing! Cake donuts were always my favorite growing up, the best ones I found being just outside Capitol Reef National Park in Torrey, Utah. Why is my mouth watering?! Glad they turned out for you. They are beautiful!

  119. Wow – (the slightest bit dry or not) they are gorgeous! Yummy glaze and sprinkles can deliciously cover anything!

  120. YUM!!! They are beautiful! I made yeast doughnuts from leftover brioche dough last week, and they were so good! I still have leftover chocolate glaze. What do you do with leftover glaze?

  121. These look delicious and really yummy. I bet they would be fun to make with some kiddies.

  122. I don’t even LIKE donuts, but you make them look good!!

  123. hehehe I love donut Holes!!!

  124. I love this. I feel that everyone can appreciate the work that goes into donuts at the bakery. :) I’ve owned a donut shop for the past two years…it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life! I wish I could help with suggestions, but we’ve never tried making them at home…always with commercial equipment. But all of ours were handmade, not with a robot. :) My husband is the BEST at it! Good job Bakerella! I am very impressed. BTW, roll them thicker next time…and I’m thinking our oil is hotter than that. One minute on each side….

  125. I admire your tenacity! I have to say, it looks like a little more trouble than it’s worth. I think I’ll just keep driving through Shipley’s Donuts when I have a craving.

  126. Hee hee hee Ha Ha Ha, I am SO glad I am not the only one. But next time e-mail me first and I can tell you NOT to try this at home! Save your sanity! GO to Krispy Kreme they have been doing it for DECADES and are WAY better!

  127. Thanks for the recipe! I tried to make chocolate cake doughnuts a few months ago and had a hard time finding a recipe. The one I ended up using wasn’t that great. I’ll have to try this one.

    I have a mini-doughnut pan to bake them, instead of frying. Possibly easier to make, but less delicious?

  128. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with cake donut making! I have made lots of yeasted donuts through the years, but these look wonderful!

  129. Wow, You have a lot of patience, :) They look excellent!!! Do you by any chance have any Mother’s Day ideas ?
    ~Digitally Kelly~

  130. I love to make donuts! I use an old-fashioned mashed potato donut recipe. It helps keep them moist. Then if you add a generous pinch of ginger it helps keep them from soaking up too much oil. I love them fresh from the oil with some homemade rasberry jam. MMmmmm…

  131. SWEET! And look how lovely they are with sprinkles.
    When I worked in a bakery (many moons ago) we had a nifty machine that plopped the cake batter right into the oil – it created the hole and everything. When it ran low on batter it made these really cool squiggly things akin to funnel cake. :o)

  132. My Mom makes yeast and cake donuts, every year for Xmas. I’ve only tried making them once and they turned out pretty well. My favorite part is when she dips the donut holes in chocolate glaze and rolls them in coconut. YUM!!

    Glad you gave it a second try. Looks like it was worth the work.

  133. Yum! Way to keep on keepin’ on.

  134. You go girl! I would have given up half way through the first time!
    They look delicious!

  135. That’s why I bake donuts, not fry them! Too much work.

    Your’s look excellent though, great job! =)

  136. I’ve been thinking about trying to make donuts all last week. Now after reading this, I think I’ll go get an oil thermometer and get to work today.

  137. I have never made donuts. And even though this wasn’t your most successful adventure it seems like you had fun making them.

  138. I have never made doughnuts. These look good. Great photos, too!

  139. Yum!!!!!!!!

  140. In Turkey we don’t bother making them donut shaped… the best summer dessert is Lokma, which is basically donut holes. I’d take them over Dunkin Donuts any time- except maybe the chocolate munchkins. Gotta love chocolate munchkins

  141. I would suggest that you spray everything before sprinkling it with flour. I don’t know if you have a GFS (Gordon Food Service) store in your area, but their Vegaline pan coating spray is won-der-ful!!!
    I spray the counter and the rooling pin before doing pie crusts, or rolled cookies, or . . .and then sprinkle them with flour – it makes all steps easier – including clean up ;-}

  142. Wow!!!!! They look really yummy. I’m sure you’ll get perfect donuts one way or another.

    Go for it!!!

  143. OOOO, but they look sooooo good!!!!!

    I have also made the donuts using biscuit dough! They are very good and very easy!!!

  144. Mmmmmm…..Those look amazing! I love that you’re always trying new things. It inspires me.

  145. Well at least SOMETIMES the pros don’t always get it right. Now we don’t have to feel so bad about our sad attempts. BUT I will say that when your stuff turns it puts all the rest of our stuff to shame. Even if they are still “slightly dry”

  146. Mmmmm, those doughnut scraps remind me of the beignets my Mom would sometimes make us for breakfast. Nothing better than fried dough with powdered sugar.

  147. I love making doughnuts!These are so pretty!The first time I made doughnut I had the same problem.

  148. your photos are always so fantastic.

  149. We used to make doughnuts when I was growing up. But instead of glaze we'd shake them in a bag of cinnamon & sugar. Oh the goodness… mmm… Oh, I'm back now.

    Good job even without the oil thermometer. :)

  150. mmmm, donuts are on my list of things to try and make. So thanks for sharing your tips! It makes me a little more confident to go for it. And thanks for sharing disasters too! I am just about to publish a disaster of my own, and thought I was the only one who would do that. :)

  151. Oh! Donuts have been the bain of my existence this week. I bought a dozen assorted for my kids on Driday (even though I’d sworn off all carbs) and by Saturday night I was a ravished, sweating heap of donut-cravings.

    And, now. Bakerella! That glaze. Those sprinkles.

    I consider it a sign from the Donut Gods. I’m listening. I’m waking up early. I’m downing donuts by the dozen. Tomorrow, a donut-celebration shall commence!

  152. I really need to get an oil thermometer…there have been so many things that I just haven’t tried because I didn’t own one.

    I love cake doughnuts. I haven’t had one in years because…well, lets just say “the freakin’ scale!!” Ugh.

  153. What a great post (no surprises there). Love the Help photo, just love it.

  154. I attempted cake donuts back in the fall and it was an utter failure. I’ve been too scared to try them again plus there’s a Dunkin’ Donus right around the corner and an amazing French patisserie that have managed to keep my cravings at bay. :) Your finished products always look amazing btw.

  155. I’ve made cake doughnuts before, with great success. I didn’t realize it was supposed to be difficult, which means that my perfect doughnuts must have been a flukes because I’m NOT that great at baking! I made them for a women’s tea I was hosting here and when they were still piping hot, I stuck them in cinnamon and sugar… mmmmmmmm… darnit… now I need them. Stupid cravings.

  156. Bakerella! OMGOSH! Those are simply gorgeous. Thanks for figuring out all the frustrating parts for us and telling us what works!

  157. LOL, oh Bakerella! Your blog is so entertaining, and I appreciate you sharing your disasters and successes! Those doughnuts look yummy, but I think I’m going to leave the doughnut making to someone else!

    Thanks for the good read!

  158. Your cake doughnuts look awesome! I’m so proud of you for sticking (hmm, bad word choice) with it! You’ve got your oil thermometer and your flour and you’ve got beautiful cake doughnuts!! I might have to give this recipe a try–at least once. Great job!

  159. More power to you for trying a second time! They certainly look good enough, but I personally think there are certain things that are better left to the experets and one of them definitely is donuts. Nothing like a box of Krispy Kreme! (Being overseas, I dream often about them!!)

  160. Yep! Lived that this weekend! Spooky, huh?! Since my kids like donut holes so much, I’m just going to leave the batter in the bowl and use my small scooper (sprayed with oil or coated with flour) and skip the mess of rolling – IF I EVER MAKE THEM AGAIN!!! I thought my donuts were kind of dry in the middle too. I think our local donut shop is better, cheaper, and much neater.

  161. Hey Bakerella! I gave you the Zombie Chicken Award at my blog:

    I’ve never tried to make doughnuts but these look yummy!

  162. This is never going to sound right but the fact that YOU- Bakerella!- had a not-so-successful run makes me kind of happy… not that I don't want you to be perfect in every way but you seem some what more… uh… real? no, well maybe it's not what it makes you but that it makes me feel more like- hey, she failed and it was okay so give it a whirl…

    I have no idea what I'm trying to say. Thanks for sharing everything!! <3

  163. I was just telling my husband this morning about my Mom making homemade donuts when I was little (when we used a fry daddy for just about everything, not thinking that it might be bad for us!). Thanks for posting this recipe and all the hints. Maybe I’ll try my hand at it…

  164. I never thought about making my own doughnuts.. it’s sucha great idea! I actually can’t stand buying doughnuts because they’re always so dry. These look sooo good.


  166. Many years ago on a Christmas Eve I made jelly filled yeast doughnuts. They were delicious but I have to agree with the consensus, totally not worth the hassle and fuss. Krispy Kreme makes a killer doughnut anyways.

  167. Your donuts look really good, I hate when things come out the complete opposite from what you were trying to do, but at least you can say you officially made donuts.

  168. If you want a real short cut. Buy a cake doughnut maker. It looks like a waffle maker and makes two at a time. I bought mine off ebay (my mom had the same brand when i was a kid). Just use a regular cake mix and they are so yummy especially when they are warm=)

  169. Even your disasters look pretty.

  170. I giggled when I saw the “HELP” written in flour! They truly do look delicious. I am so glad, though, that you posted your troubles as well- it made me feel better. I’ve been having such a crummy baking week… must be something in the air!

  171. They sure are pretty. The best donuts I’ve ever had in my life were baked applesauce donuts from Apple Hill in the California gold country. The problem was, the lady who brought the recipe from the “old country” refused to give the recipe to her family. When she passed away, so did the donuts. Absolutely delish covered in cinnamon and sugar.

  172. This brings back tons of memories for me. I remember making doughnuts with my mom on Saturday mornings every now and then. It was probably the hardest recipe we made, but it was also the recipe that I learned the most from. Your doughnuts look delicious!

  173. Wow! They look awesome! However, I won’t be trying to make any. I just don’t have that kind of dedication for a donut, but enjoy seeing you do it!

  174. Bakerella,
    Hi! I’m new to your blog and SO inspired! I wouldn’t consider myself a baker. Mostly just do chocolate chip cookies. But you have me on a new path! I have made the mini cheesecakes and the cake balls so far and my family says they are delicious! Yay! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Your blog is GREAT!! :)
    Thanks again for the inspiration!

  175. Oh they turned out really good! They look yummy :)

  176. oh man! can’t let my doughnut obsessed husband see me looking at this or i’d have my work cut out for me!

  177. Oh wow! I was totally jonesing for donuts this past week and looked up some recipes. After a few searches, I just said to heck with it! I’ll go to the donut shop.

    But your donuts look great!

  178. Love yor photos. your second trial yielded magnificent results, I’m very impressed. No way I can find these in shops!! hell!

  179. Sensational {as awlays} You are so, so cute even putting up disaster photos:) I put cakepop photos on my blog {and should have included the top heavy ones toppling all over the place….even landing on the floor}, Vanessa xoxox

  180. Oh. My. Yummy.

  181. My mom makes spudnuts; they are always light and perfect. I guess practice makes perfect! The holes are ALWAYS the best part!

  182. Hi Bakerella – They look so yummy! I must say you are brave to attempt this only 1 week later! I usually avoid failed attempts for a whole month before revisiting the recipe – haha!

    I do have a question – what brand and color combo of sprinkles did you use? Where can I get them too?

  183. Doughnuts scare me. But my 2-year-old LOVES them. So … maybe i’ll try. Who knows?

  184. I’ve had the exact same donut disaster! I was dead set on apple cider donuts last fall. I found the perfect recipe, the perfect cider and bought my oil thermometer, and I failed too. Instead of trying again, I went and bought a donut pan and baked my next batch. They turned out great that way (and much healthier)!

  185. Great job for trying! I’ve always wanted to try making doughnuts. The end results look like the work was worth it :)

  186. Those look so yummy! I love seeing what you are up to in the kitchen when I visit your blog. Thanks for sharing the recipe and pictures of your process making the doughnuts.

  187. Oh How I love Donuts! I mean LOVE them. When that HOT sign is flashing just get outta my way. Just plain ol’ glazed are my favorites. I even tried them without the glaze (not recommended) it wasn’t as good as I thought.Yucky really. I was hoping for a cake like Donuts like the ones you made.

    After your numerous tries at the recipe you got some really yummy looking results. Wanna come over and teach me how to make them now?

  188. Bakerella, why do you make everything look so good? You could probably plop some of the glaze on top of your first batch from last weekend and they wouldn’t taste so good but LOOK delicious!

  189. two words: OH MY.

    I love watching your blog! Thank you so much for all your ideas… made the brownie cookie bars last night for the third or fourth time, a huge hit again! Thank you thank you.

    Hmmm donuts sure sound good.

  190. Yummy! Looks like fun to make — when everything goes as expected! I can’t wait to get my hands on a candy thermometer (there’s a great one on our wedding registry) which, along with the KitchenAid stand mixer, will totally revolutionize how I cook! :-)

  191. Hey Bakerella!
    My husband and I tried making donuts two weeks ago too! We tried using a strawberry cake mix base and also tried a suggestion of using ready made biscuit dough. The first few were too crispy on the outside and too gooey on the inside as well! We ended up lowering out temp a little and they turned out perfect. Although it was a lot of fun, I think I still prefer the already made donuts from our local Daylight donuts! Thanks for sharing, it was fun to read about your experience making donuts!

  192. I am on a diet. I am on a diet. I am on a diet.

    Whew! Made it through those pictures just fine! LOL That was some awesome doughnut making you did there. Thank goodness I have willpower.

    Great job!!! :)

  193. They did turn out looking great but I’m thinking Tim Hortons or Dunkin’ Donuts may be more my style.

  194. I really admire your creative flair in everything you do, down to the photos, you are very creative and your approach is fun to see and read!

    The nuts however, look might fab!

  195. They are really pretty, that must make it worth it.

  196. I’ve been there! My oil was first not hot enough, so totally drenched doughnuts…then it was too hot, so they looked really good, but still wet in the middle. I eventually got a batch of some good ones, and powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar definitely made it worth the effort…but not enough to make it into regular rotation :)

  197. YUMMMMY!! Holy cow… you’ve got me hankerin’ for some donuts now!
    And how can you make a donut look so darn beautiful??
    You’ve conquered a whole new frontier, Bakerella :)

  198. So would it be wrong to send my husband to Krispy Kreme right now? I am pregnant after all…

    These look so amazing! I tried frying donuts once and, well, big disaster.

  199. They look delicious!!! Next time, you could try my aunt’s short-cut donut recipe!! She takes biscuit dough (think Pillsbury or Hungry Jack in the tube), flattens the biscuit, cuts out the hole, fries up those, and sprinkles with powdered sugar! Delish!! :)

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