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Soft Fried Yeast Donuts

Developed by Jack Achenbach, RDN, LD

Yeast donuts, as the name implies, are made with yeast which allows the dough to rise for a lighter, airy, more bread like quality. Cake donuts on the other hand are made with baking powder which does allow it to rise, however less so, creating a more cake like texture as the name implies. If your wondering which is best, it’s quite easy to say. I have found that both are best for their own purposes. A yeast donut is a great Sunday brunch sort of donut. Its croissant like quality is perfect with a cup of coffee and a nice conversation. It’s less mess, less fuss, and doesn’t need anything more than a quick dusting of sugar to make it shine.

Servings: 12 donuts

Level: Hard

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Bread flour

Active dry yeast


Granulated sugar

Vanilla extract

Whole milk


Unsalted butter, softened

2.5 c.

1.5 T.

2 t.

2 T.

1 T.

1/2 c.

2 E.

6 T.


Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Switch to a dough hook and set to medium speed for 20 minutes to knead. Cover with a towel and place in a warm oven to rise for 1 hour.

Transfer to a floured work surface and roll out to 1/2-inches thick. Cut out doughnuts with a 3-inch cookie cutter and cut out the center with a 1-inch cookie cutter. 

Bring a fryer to 340F and fry doughnuts for 2 minutes and 30 seconds on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl on granulated sugar and toss. 


To Serve:

Top with anything your heart desires or pipped them full of cream.


Cooking note:

Always cook a test doughnut to determine the correct cooking time.


Storage Instructions:

Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator.

Registered Dietitian

Personal Chef

Food Photographer

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© 2023 by Jack Achenbach


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