Old Fashioned Donuts

Old fashioned donuts will melt in your mouth. These glazed buttermilk beauties are so easy to make!

Old fashioned donuts are soft and tender. They have a classic buttermilk flavor that is oh so good. For more donuts to add to the box try Grandma’s Famous Homemade Donuts and Homemade Biscuit Donuts with Chocolate Gravy.

Old fashioned donuts stacked on a white plate

Classic Buttermilk Donuts

Donut day is long anticipated in our home. We love donuts, we’ll pretty much eat any flavor or variety (grandma’s version has been our go-to). But there is something so delicious about buttermilk donuts made at home from scratch with just a simple glaze.

Making old fashioned donuts yourself may seem like a daunting task, however it is quite simple. The dough comes together easily. Frying to golden perfection might take a few tries, but you are sure to master in in no time!

Soon, you’ll be dunking these shiny beauties or just eating them straight from the oven when they are melt in your mouth perfection.

Using a donut cutter to cut donuts out of the dough

How to Make Old Fashioned Donuts

MIX. Add eggs to a large mixing bowl and beat. Then mix in the sugar and shortening.  Stir in the buttermilk and add all of the dry ingredients.

DIVIDE & ROLL. Once the dough is mixed divide it in half. Flour the counter and turn the dough balls onto the surface. Lightly flour the dough before rolling them out to ⅓ inch thick.

REST. Once the dough had been rolled allow it to sit for 20 minutes. During During the time you can heat up your oil.

PREP. Pour oil into a high sided skillet. Heat it to 370-380°F. Once hot, fry one donut to test. Adjust the oil temperature accordingly.

FRY. Use a wide spatula to place the donuts in the oil. Place as many as can easily be turned, usually about 3. Turn donuts as they rise to the surface. Fry for about 3 minutes until golden all over. Use a long fork to lift out. Be careful they don’t get poked or smashed.

DRAIN. Drain on wire rack and cool on paper towel.

SERVE. Serve glazed, frosted, or sugared.

Frying Tips

The Right Oil temperature: It is important that the oil temperature is correct. Too low and the donuts will get soggy. Too hot and they’ll burn before cooking all the way through. Using a cooking thermometer is the easiest way to make sure you have the correct oil temperature. If you don’t have one here is  a trick I have used: 

  • Set the burner to medium high heat
  • Take a wooden chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon and dip it into the oil. If you see a steady stream of bubbles, then the oil is ready.

Fry in peanut oil or vegetable oil. You need enough oil for the donut to be able to float. If the oil level drops, add more and let it heat up again before adding another donut.

Buttermilk donuts cut out of the dough

more tips

Donut holes: One of the best parts of making donuts is the cute little donut holes. Fry them in the same manner as the regular donuts just cut down the fry time by about half.

Topping: You can top these delicious donuts with cinnamon-sugar mixture, glaze, powdered sugar, frosting and more. 

  • A simple glaze recipe includes: 3 tbsp melted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp hot water. Mix until smooth.

I have to say these are also delicious served with a cold glass of milk or a warm cup of hot chocolate.

A glazed buttermilk donut being dunked in the bowl of glaze

how to store + freeze

Place cooled donut in an airtight container and they’ll taste great for 1-2 days. They can last longer but you’ll notice them becoming dry and stale.

Old fashioned donuts can also be stored in the freezer for up to one week. Place the individual donuts into sandwich bag and place them all in a freezer Ziploc.

A stack of old fashioned buttermilk donuts on a white plate

For more yummy fried desserts, try:

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Old Fashioned Donut Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Old fashioned donuts will melt in your mouth. These glazed buttermilk beauties are so easy to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
proof 20 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 241 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c sugar
  • ¼ c soft shortening
  • 1 1.2 c thick buttermilk or sour milk
  • 7 c flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Add eggs to a large mixing bowl and beat. Then mix in the sugar and shortening. Stir in the buttermilk and add all of the dry ingredients.
  • Once the dough is mixed divide it in half. Flour the counter and turn the dough balls onto the surface. Lightly flour the dough before rolling them out to ⅓ inch thick.
  • Once the dough had been rolled allow it to sit for 20 minutes. During During the time you can heat up your oil.
  • Pour oil into a high sided skillet. Heat it to 370-380°F. Once hot, fry one donut to test. Adjust the oil temperature accordingly.
  • Use a wide spatula to place the donuts in the oil. Place as many as can easily be turned, usually about 3. Turn donuts as they rise to the surface. Fry for about 3 minutes until golden all over. Use a long fork to lift out. Be careful they don't get poked or smashed.
  • Drain on wire rack and cool on paper towel.
  • Serve glazed, frosted, or sugared.

Notes

*The amount of spice added can vary according to taste. You can even use 2 tsp vanilla instead of nutmeg and cinnamon.
*To make sweet milk donuts use regular milk instead of buttermilk and use 4 tsp baking powder and omit the baking soda. 

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    My morning just got better! Definitely make these when others are home otherwise you might end up eating them all by yourself, haha! Too good to resist.

  2. 5 stars
    There is nothing better than homemade donuts! I love this recipe! It makes the softest donuts & the icing is perfectly smooth & creamy!

    1. So sorry, I will need to fix that. I have a donut cutter, so once it is rolled out, I will cut the donuts out & then let sit for 20 min. Hopefully, that makes sense.

  3. You have missed a step the step on how you turn the half dough into the donuts? You divided into 2 then what? You roll it tthe whole dough ouece into a 3/4 inch circle?

    1. I have not tried making these chocolate yet, so I don’t know the measurement. I would have to play around with it. I would start with maybe 1/3 cup at a time, until it was right.

  4. After making the dough, can it be refrigerated over night and used the next day? I was thinking it would just need to be brought to room temp, tcut and sit for 20?