15-Minute Homemade Donuts
Easily transform everyday canned biscuits into irresistible jelly-filled donuts for an impressive "homemade" treat that satisfies even on your most jam-packed days.
Sometimes it's OK to cheat.
I am one of those cooks who likes to do everything the hard way.
No mixes, no short-cuts--I'd milk my own cows if my pesky apartment complex didn't maintain a no-pet policy.
But every now and then even the staunchest proponents of all-natural and all-from-scratch cooking have a corner to cut.
Mine just happens to be round....
- 1 can refrigerated canned buttermilk-biscuit dough
- 1/2 cup jelly, jam, or preserves (I like strawberry or fig)
- peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Prep: Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with oil until the oil is 2-3 inches deep. Place the pot over a burner set to medium-high heat. Place the jelly in a pastry bag or zip-top plastic bag with one of its corners snipped off and set aside. Place the powdered sugar in a small-to-medium-sized brown-paper bag and set aside.
- Open the can of biscuits and test the oil by pinching off a tiny bit of dough from one of the rounds and dropping it into the pot. If the oil is ready, the dough will sizzle gently and rise up to the top; if it is not hot enough, the dough will sink to the bottom and remain there. If the dough burns right away, reduce the heat.
- When the oil is ready, drop as many of the rounds of dough into the oil as you can fit WITHOUT crowding the pan. Work in batches as necessary. Carefully fry the donuts for 30 seconds to one minute on each side or until the rounds are golden and puffed, using a heat-proof slotted spoon, spider, or tongs to turn.
- As each donut is done, use the slotted spoon, spider, or tongs to carefully transfer it to the bag with the powdered sugar. Gather the top of the bag in your hand to close it and shake to coat the donuts in powdered sugar. Transfer coated donuts to a platter or cooling rack.
- Use a paring knife to make a small but deep incision into the edge of each round. Insert the bag of jelly into the hole and squeeze to fill the donuts. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day.
Standard Donuts: Before frying, use your thumb to poke a hole in the center of each round, gently stretching the dough as necessary to make the standard donut shape.
Donut "Holes": Divide each round into quarters and gently roll each piece into a ball before frying.
Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts: Whisk 1 T cinnamon into the powdered sugar before placing in the brown-paper bag or omit the powdered sugar and mix the cinnamon with 1 cup granulated sugar.
Quick Fillings: Replace the jam with prepared butterscotch pudding (or your favorite pudding flavor); softened and whipped cream cheese (plain or sweetened); your favorite nut-butter or chocolate-hazelnut spread; or pureed pie filling.
Glazed: Melt 2 T butter and whisk with 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 T vanilla until smooth. Transfer fried donuts to a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over donuts and allow to cool just enough for glaze to start to set. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Chocolate Glazed: Follow instructions for Glazed, but swap out 1/4 cup powdered sugar for an equal amount of cocoa powder.
Chocolate-Cream Filled: Place 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Whisk in 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips until smooth. Place in the refrigerator to cool at least one hour. Right before you wish to fill and serve your donuts, transfer the cooled mixture to a mixing bowl and beat until light, fluffy, and voluminous. Substitute this mixture for the jelly in the original recipe.
Selecting Your Biscuit Dough...
The type of biscuit you begin with will impact your final result.
I prefer to work with some of the all-natural or at least "more-natural" products on the market, like Immaculate Baking Co. Flaky Biscuits or Pillsbury Simply...Buttermilk Biscuits.
Be aware that flakier biscuits yield flakier donuts, meaning they are often pleasantly light and airy, but they sometimes flake apart.
Standard buttermilk biscuits tend to produce donuts with a texture between a yeast donut and a cake donut.
Jumbo biscuits will produce larger donuts and are an especially good choice for making filled donuts or donut holes, but they will take slightly longer to cook through.
Even butter-flavored biscuit dough will work and may even be preferable to some.
For the absolute airiest donuts, look for a yeasted dough. Just avoid lean doughs such as a French-bread style, which will yield somewhat tougher, chewier donuts.
Did you know...?
- The first Friday of June is National Donut Day in the United States.
- While "doughnut" is the traditionally accepted spelling, the simplified "donut" is now Webster's-approved.