Cinnamon Sugar Donuts are simple, sugary, and cozy homemade treats that I make every fall and winter! These classic fried donuts are sprinkled to perfection with sweet and earthy cinnamon sugar, making each bite even better than the last.
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts Recipe
Is there a better combination than cinnamon and sugar? Yes, actually – cinnamon, sugar, and a freshly fried donut! This is a simple recipe that’s been used in my kitchen for years and years, and now it’s going to be one of your go-to donut recipes too! After all, you really can’t beat a classic, and these donuts are definitely classic.
If you’ve ever ordered a cinnamon sugar donut at a donut shop before, you already know how delicious they are! With that being said though, this recipe really yields the best cinnamon sugar donuts I’ve ever had. I think it’s the ingredients and frying method combined that make these homemade treats so masterful.
The inside of these fried donuts is fluffy while the exterior is fried and delightfully crunchy. When topped with the simple cinnamon sugar topping, these fried donuts turn into the most perfect autumnal treats that you’ll love pairing with a piping cup of apple cider or a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Why You’ll Love this Easy Fried Donut Recipe:
- Cozy: When it comes to cozy and comforting treats, it’s hard to beat a homemade warm cinnamon sugar donut.
- Easy: If frying donuts has ever intimidated you, fear not! I’ve simplified the steps to be clear, concise, and super easy.
- Customizable: The best part of making these at home (besides how delicious they are) is that you can add more or less cinnamon or sugar, depending on your preference.
Need another sweet treat to start your day? Try this churro French toast!
How to make Fried Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Combine lukewarm buttermilk, sugar, and yeast. Whisk together, then let sit.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- Add in the flour.
- Slowly incorporate the butter cubes.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to proof.
- Punch the dough down. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll out the dough.
- Use a donut cutter to cut out the donuts, and be sure to save the donut holes, of course!
- Cover them with plastic wrap.
- Allow the donuts to proof.
- Fry the donuts three at a time for about 30 seconds per side.
- Drain the excess grease with paper towels.
- Once slightly cooled, toss the donuts in the cinnamon sugar.
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 undercooked donuts.
I love keeping these donuts classic with just cinnamon and sugar. However, for a real fall-inspired treat, you can add a sprinkle of nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or allspice to the mix.
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.
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.
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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Canola and vegetable oil are the best for frying! Don’t use any other type of oil.
- While these donuts are perfect on their own, you can certainly drizzle them with chocolate or caramel sauce for added sweetness.
- Be sure to flip the donuts every 30 seconds! You don’t want them to burn.
Make these warm homemade cinnamon sugar donuts this fall for the coziest treat ever!
More homemade donut recipes we love
- Vanilla Glazed Baked Donuts
- Boston Cream Donuts
- Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes
- Baked Strawberries and Cream Cake Mix Donuts
- Homemade Churros
If you make this recipe be sure to leave us a comment or rating. Enjoy!
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
- 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