These old fashioned donuts are tender, cakey, and smothered in the tastiest vanilla glaze. Plus old fashioned donuts are not a yeasted dough, so you can whip them up in no time!
Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts
TRULY there is nothing better than a hot, glazed donut. Like, it’s a universal truth. Nothing compares to that first, sweet, crumbly bite. And while I love a good yeasted donut, old fashioned donuts have my heart. Dense, cakey, and coated in the most sumptuous vanilla glaze, these sour cream donuts are what breakfast dreams are made of.
This old fashioned donut recipe come from the brilliant mind of Vallery Lomas, winner of The Great American Baking Show–so you know she KNOWS her stuff. Her cookbook, Life is What You Bake It is packed with delicious recipes, stories, and inspiration. And Vallery is the reigning donut queen. She has a whole section dedicated to these fried confections, and nothing competes with her old fashioned donuts recipe.
You can buy her gorgeous cookbook here, and watch an informative video on exactly how to make these scrumptious sour cream donuts here!
What are old fashioned donuts?
No yeast, no multiple rises, no fancy ingredients, and no fancy kitchen gadgets–your great great grandma could have made these. Which is probably why they’re called old fashioned! Old fashioned donuts are a cake donut with a crisp, crackly exterior and tender, cakey interior. Unlike a yeasted or risen donut, old fashioned donuts are dense and cakey and don’t require any rise time
So you can whip these bad boys up in no time at all!
What do you need to make old fashioned donuts?
I know that donuts and donut frying can feel like a lot of work, but it’s one of those high risk high reward situation that you’ll be happy you labored a bit for. The moment you sink your teeth into that warm, cakey donut you’ll forget about all the work that went into them.
And the good new is that old fashioned donuts are made with simple, pantry staples so no need to run to any specialty stores or search through grocery store. Here’s your shopping list:
How to make old fashioned donuts
Okay, so now you know what you need to make these old fashioned sour cream donuts..but how exactly do you make them? While it is a multistep process, you won’t need to knead your dough or let it rise! You’ll make a simple donut dough, roll the dough out and cut out donuts, fry them up, and finally dip them in a vanilla glaze.
Plus old fashioned donuts are pretty rustic so they don’t have to be perfect! At the end of the dough fried dough dipped in sugar is going to be downright delicious no matter what it looks like 🙂
Tips for making perfect old fashioned donuts
Vallery has allll the tips and tricks in her cookbook, but these three are ones I learned myself when making these donuts! I make the mistakes so you don’t have to hehe.
Make sure your frying oil is good: The oil will seep into your donuts as they fry, so make sure you’re using fresh oil. Bad oil can give your donuts a really weird flavor at best and a spoiled flavor at worst.
Use a thermometer to get your oil to the right temperature: I’ve tried to fry donuts without a thermometer and sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. Homemade donuts are a fair bit of work, so do yourself a favor and set yourself up for success. Oil that is too cold will lead to a claggy, mushy donut and oil that is too hot will burn the exterior.
Glaze them hot: If you wait until your donuts are cool to glaze them they won’t get the same crackly sheen and the frosting will not adhere properly to the donuts. It’s best to glaze them while they are still hot! It’s also best to eat them hot 🙂
Combine the dry ingredients. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the salt then set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the sugar on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy– about 1 minute
Add the egg yolks and increase the speed to medium. Continue to beat until the ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined, them, add half the sour cream and mix on slow speed until just combined. Repeat, adding half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream, and finally the remaining flour mixture, combining until no streaks of flour remain. Stop the mixer to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour so the butter can firm up.
Generously flour a baking sheet. Flour a large piece of wax paper and tip out the dough onto the wax paper (it will be sticky!). Generously flour the top of the dough and place a second piece of wax paper on top. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Carefully remove the top piece of wax paper.
Generously coat a 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter with flour. Cut out the doughnuts coating the cuter with flour between each cut. Use a spatula to carefully move the doughnuts to the floured baking sheet. Gently brush off any excess flour on each doughnut. Gather the scraps, gently knead and repeat.
Line a plate with paper towels. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or large pot for deep-frying. When the oil reaches 325°F, gently place 3 doughnuts into the oil (the doughnuts need plenty of room to bob around). They will immediately sink and then should rise to the surface. When they rise, gently flip them over using a skewer, chopstick, or butter knife. Fry until they are golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and fry on the other side until golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the doughnuts to the rack set over the baking sheet and drain for about 1 minute.
Make the glaze. Sift the confectioners sugar into a large bowl. Whisk int he butter vanilla and milk until smooth.
While they’re still hot submerge the ridged top-side of each doughnut into the glaze and place on the cooling rack, glazed side up. Repeat until all the doughnuts have been fried and glazed. Serve immediately.