Cinnamon Sugar Donuts are homemade, fried to absolute perfection, and topped with the best combo of cinnamon and sugar! Don’t let the homemade dough scare you off, because these from-scratch donuts are actually so quick and easy to whip up.
What’s in this Cinnamon Sugar Donut Recipe
A handful of inexpensive baking staples is all you need in order to make a big batch of cinnamon and sugar donuts!
- Buttermilk: While buttermilk is key for that classic donut flavor, you can substitute regular milk or make DIY buttermilk by combining 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is needed for both the dough and for coating the donuts.
- Active Dry Yeast: It’ll need to be dissolved in buttermilk prior to using.
- Eggs: Make sure they’re room temperature, not cold.
- Vanilla Extract: For the very best flavor, consider making your own homemade vanilla extract!
- Salt: Just a pinch.
- All-Purpose Flour: When measuring flour, spoon it into the cup instead of dipping the cup directly into the bag of flour. Dipping the cup into the flour really packs it in there and results in too much flour.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is preferred. It’ll need to be softened and cubed.
- Oil: Canola and vegetable oil are the best for frying! Don’t use any other type of oil.
PRO TIP: I love keeping these donuts classic with just cinnamon and sugar. However, for a fall-inspired treat, you can add a sprinkle of nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or allspice to the mix.
What else can I add?
While these donuts are perfect on their own, you can certainly drizzle them with chocolate or caramel sauce for added sweetness.
You want to avoid overcrowding the pan. If you fry too many donuts at a time, the temperature of the oil will decrease. When decreased, the oil will not fry the donuts appropriately, and you’ll end up with greasy under-cooked donuts.
Dissolving the yeast in a warm liquid helps to ensure that the yeast is alive and working as well as dissolve its protective coating. It’s important to make sure the liquid is at the right temperature. To do this, stick one pinky into the liquid. If the liquid feels warm and you can withstand the temperature for 5-8 seconds, then the mixture is the right temperature to activate the yeast.
Wait for the donuts to cool enough to safely handle. Then, while they’re still a little bit warm from the oil, toss them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. If they cool for too long, the mixture may not stick.
How to Store
In an airtight container at room temperature, these donuts will stay tasty for about 2-3 days. However, I find that they’re at their best when they’ve just been fried, sprinkled, and are still deliciously warm.
Good morning! If you want to compliment your donuts with something caffeinated, try my favorite java chip frappuccino.
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes We Love
- Boston Cream Donuts
- Orange Rolls
- Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts
- Sour Cream Waffles
- Pancake Bites
- Krispy Kreme Glazed Donuts
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts Recipe
- ¾ cup buttermilk 170 grams, lukewarm
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 38 grams
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 7 grams (1 envelope)
- 3 eggs 150 grams, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 grams
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour 480 grams
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter 127 grams, softened and cubed (1 stick and 1 tablespoon)
- vegetable oil for frying
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar 99 grams
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 18 grams
- Stand Mixer Optional
- Dutch Oven
- Combine the lukewarm buttermilk, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes until foamy.¾ cup buttermilk, 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Add in the eggs, vanilla, and salt.3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the flour. Mix using a dough hook on your mixer or by hand. Knead on low-medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until it forms a ball around the hook.4 cups all-purpose flour
- Slowly incorporate the butter cubes, one piece at a time, and knead well. The dough has to be glossy and smooth.9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Once all of the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium speed and knead for 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof in a warm, draft-free place for about one hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll to about 1/2″ thickness, and use a donut cutter to cut out donuts (save the donut holes).
- Cover them with plastic wrap as you re-roll and cut out the remaining dough. Allow the donuts to proof at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
- Fill a Dutch oven at least 2-3″ deep with canola/vegetable oil and heat to about 350-360°F. Fry the donuts, three at a time, for 30 seconds on each side for a total of about 2-3 minutes (about 1 minute for the donut holes).vegetable oil
- Remove donuts from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels.
- Once slightly cooled, toss each donut in the bowl of cinnamon sugar, and set aside to cool.⅔ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon