Traditional recipes

Vanilla Sugar Doughnuts

Vanilla Sugar Doughnuts

In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast mixture, flour, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Beat at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. The dough will be soft and sticky. If it’s too sticky to handle, add up to ½ cup more flour.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and then lightly sprinkle the dough with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm place and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round that’s ½ inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 3-inch cutter (or a doughnut cutter, if you prefer a hole in the middle) and transfer the doughnuts to a lightly floured baking sheet. Do not reroll scraps (they’ll make for tough doughnuts). Cover the doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.

Heat 2½ inches of oil in a deep, 4-quart, heavy pot until it registers 350 degrees on a thermometer. Fry the doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Quickly submerge the doughnuts in the hot oil, and then immediately transfer them to the vanilla sugar (recipe follows). Toss well, transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet, and let cool.

Return the oil to 350 degrees between batches and continue until all of the doughnuts are fried. Doughnuts are best served the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Vanilla Confectioners'-Sugar Glaze:

Whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and thick, and has the texture of pourable honey. Glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days stir until smooth before using. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla seeds on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet let cool 10 minutes.

While still slightly warm, dip top of each donut in glaze until halfway submerged, turning as needed to evenly coat one side, then place, glaze-side up, on rack. Let stand until glaze sets and donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.