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Glazed Old Fashioned Donuts

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Soft and cakey on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside, these Old Fashioned Donuts are just like the ones from the bakery. With just 30 minutes of chill time and no yeast in the recipe, these sour cream donuts can make it to the table in just over an hour!

Easy Sour Cream Donuts

If you find yourself craving a classic sour cream donut from the bakery, you have to try these Old Fashioned Donuts. Made with sour cream and shortening, they’re soft, cakey, and moist, with a crispy outside. Add a simple powdered sugar glaze and you have the perfect donut recipe.

The best part? These old fashioned donuts are made without yeast. That makes them significantly easier to make than many other donut recipes, mostly because they don’t require much any time and just 30 minutes of chill time. Then it’s just a matter of cutting out the donuts (I highly recommend getting a donut cutter if you don’t have one!) and frying them for just 2 minutes on each side.

As they cool, you can whip up the glaze. From start to finish, this classic donut recipe takes just over an hour. Perfect for weekend brunches or a special breakfast!

A pile of old fashioned donuts

Key Ingredients

Donuts are made with pretty basic ingredients, like flour, sugar, and butter. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and measurements.

  • Cake flour – Cake flour has lower protein than regular flour so you end up with a softer, more tender donut. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use this handy substitute.
  • Baking powder & baking soda – The leavening agents help the donuts rise without yeast.
  • Unsalted butter – Since salt is added to the dough, you definitely want to use unsalted butter. it should be at room temperature.
  • Vegetable shortening – You can use melted butter instead if desired.
  • Egg yolks – Add richness to the donuts.
  • Sour cream – Sour cream actually thickens the batter and helps to keep these donuts super moist. You can also use plain or Greek yogurt.
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Vegetable oil – Don’t be alarmed by the large amount of oil needed – it’s for deep frying the donuts. Be sure to use fresh oil.
Overhead view of glazed old fashioned donuts

How to Make Old Fashioned Donuts

Homemade donuts are likely easier to make than you think. And since this recipe is yeast-free, there’s just 30 minutes of chill time required!

Step 1: Make the dough. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, butter, and shortening with a stand mixer. Beat until smooth then add in the egg yolks. Add the sour cream and vinegar, followed by the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Step 2: Chill. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Heat the oil Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until it reaches 375F.

Step 4: Cut out the donuts. Press the dough out until it’s 3/4″ thick. Cut as many donuts as possible with a donut cutter. You’ll get 9-12 donuts depending on the thickness of the dough

Step 5: Fry the donuts. Place 2 to 3 donuts into the heated oil. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. Place on a cooling rack to remove any excess oil and cool.

Step 6: Make the glaze. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until combined.

Step 7: Glaze the donuts. Dip the donuts into the glaze while they’re still warm, then return to the wire cooling rack.

Overhead view of old fashioned donuts on a cooling rack, half glazed and half not

What If I Don’t Have a Donut Cutter?

The donut cutter I used is 3 1/2 inches and you can find them on Amazon. However, if you don’t have one, you can also make donuts with a biscuit cutter and a second smaller cutter to remove the centers.

Tips for Success

For the best fried donuts, keep the following tips in mind!

  • Do not overmix the dough. Once the flour mixture has been added to the recipe be careful not to overmix. Overmixing can cause the gluten to overdevelop, resulting in a crumbly donut.
  • How to easily remove the donuts. Use a slotted spoon to carefully place the donuts into the oil and to remove them, allow the excess oil to drain into the pot before placing a wire rack to cool.
  • Don’t wait too long to add the glaze. The donuts should still be warm when you add the glaze. It will harden/set on the donut as it cools.
  • How to easily flip and glaze the donuts.To flip the donuts, I like to use two large chopsticks, it makes it really easy to handle the donuts in the oil, and they’re also helpful to dip the donuts and lift them out of the glaze.
  • Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. Heat it slowly and you may need to adjust the stove up or down depending on how the oil temperature changes. If it gets too hot, the donuts can burn before they’re done on the inside.
  • Set up for easy clean-up. For easy clean-up, line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top.
A donut on a plate with a bite missing

Can I Bake These Instead?

While many donut recipes can be baked, I do not recommend baking these sour cream donuts. This recipe is designed for frying and you won’t get great results if you attempt to bake them instead. If you want to make baked donuts, try my Apple Cider Donuts recipe.

Can I Make The Dough in Advance?

Yes, the sour cream donut dough can be made in advance. They will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. If needed, these can be frozen for up to two months. Glaze the cool the donuts, wrap individually in plastic and then place in a freezer-safe air-tight container. If freezing, be sure to allow it to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before freezing.

A pile of old fashioned donuts

How to Store Leftovers

Old-fashioned glazed donuts are best enjoyed the day they’re made but leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container or baggie for up to 2 days at room temperature.

More Donut Recipes:

Close-up of glazed donuts

Glazed Old Fashioned Donuts

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Yield: 9 to 12 donuts


Soft and cakey on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside, these Old Fashioned Donuts are just like the ones from the bakery. With just 30 minutes of chill time and no yeast in the recipe, these sour cream donuts can make it to the table in just over an hour!


For the Donuts:

  • 2 ¾ cups (308g) cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (6g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup (125g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (180g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) distilled white vinegar

For the Glaze:

  • 3 cups (390g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup +1 tablespoon (94ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) corn syrup
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (12ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

48 ounces vegetable oil for frying


For the Donuts:

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cake flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine sugar, butter and shortening. Beat on a medium-high speed until smooth. Add in egg yolks and mix until just incorporated.
  3. Add sour cream and vinegar and mix to combine. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just until combined. Transfer the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. In the meantime, in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 375°F.
  5. Turn the chilled dough out onto a clean, well-floured surface. Press the dough out into a ¾” thick. Use a donut cutter to cut out as many donuts as you can. Form the remaining dough back together and repeat the process until all the dough has been used.
  6. To fry the donuts, carefully place 2-3 donuts at a time into the preheated oil and fry for 2 minutes per side. Flip and fry the other side for 2 minutes. Once fried, carefully remove the donut from the pot and place into a cooling rack.

For the Glaze

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Whisk
    together until smooth.
  2. Dip the warm donuts into the glaze, then place into a wire cooling rack to let the excess drip off.


Nutrition Information:
1 donut
56.6 g
383.1 mg
8.6 g
92.1 g
0.7 g
6 g
75.2 mg
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American
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