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Homemade Cake Donuts with a glaze over a cooling rack.

Cake Donut Recipe

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert - Misc
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: American


Fast and easy – this Cake Donut Recipe is made from pantry staples and is a great way to have homemade donuts in no time at all.




  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Milk, as needed (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven to 375ºF.
  2. While the oil is heating, make the donuts: place the sugar and shortening into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until it is combined. Add the egg and the vanilla and continue to beat until combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat to combine. Add half of the buttermilk, beat, then another 1/3 of the flour. Finish it off by adding the last of the buttermilk, beating to combine, then the remaining flour. Beat just until combined, do not over-beat.
  5. Flour a counter or work surface, then pour the dough out onto it. If the dough is super sticky, knead it a few times in the flour. Roll the dough out to about 1/3” thickness. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 9 donuts. Use a smaller circle to cut out the centers, then cut more small holes from the scraps.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Slowly start adding the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, adding in milk as needed. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, continue adding milk until you have a good glaze consistency.
  7. When the oil is hot, add in half of the donuts. Fry until they are golden brown, then flip and cook the second side. It should take about 3-4 minutes per batch. 
  8. Drain the donuts on a paper towel lined plate. When cool enough to touch, dip both sides in the glaze then transfer to a baking rack to dry.
  9. Repeat with the remaining donuts.

Recipe Notes:

Adapted from

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% of oil after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.


  • Serving Size: 1 donut + 1 donut hole
  • Calories: 471
  • Sugar: 44 g
  • Sodium: 163 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 64 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 36 g

Keywords: cake donut recipe