Introduction: Easy Doughnuts

Picture of Easy Doughnuts

Our intern Dana Walcott and her college roommates used to make these for late-night study breaks. She topped them with cinnamon. I've tried them with a pinch of cayenne pepper, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar -- they were a hit. -- Kate Merker, Associate Food Editor, Real Simple

Warm doughnuts on a Saturday morning are right up there with bubble baths and midday naps on the list of life's greatest pleasures. But unless you live next door to a Krispy Kreme, chances are the closest you can get to the classic breakfast snack (while still in your pajamas) is a box of two-day-old pastries from the supermarket. This recipe saves you the hassle of mixing up fresh batter by using refrigerated biscuit dough instead. It also eliminates the need for lengthy rising times. Your only job is cutting holes -- a cinch to do with a small cookie cutter or a shot glass, which leaves you plenty of time for a long soak in the tub.

1 8-count package large refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Step 1: Cut

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Place the biscuits on a cutting board. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or shot glass, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit, reserving the extra dough for "holes."

Step 2: Test

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Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Test the heat of the oil by dipping the edge of a doughnut in the pan. When the oil is hot enough, the edge will bubble.

Step 3: Cook

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Place 4 of the doughnuts and holes in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Step 4: Drain

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Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Step 5: Combine, Toss, Serve

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In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss the warm doughnuts in the mixture a few at a time. Serve warm or at room temperature.


ecsaul23 (author)2014-03-30

My mother has been making these since we were kids. We always loved to roll them in the sugars. We did cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar.

Demonmilkman (author)2011-06-28

I'm soooo happy Krispy kreme is now in England, and they have a shop near my house :D :P

onemoroni1 (author)2011-06-04

I did this with a Fry Daddy. The problems I ran into is the dough doesn't cook through before the outside is quite brown and is somewhat raw in the middle, yuck! And the taste degrades as the donuts cool. I used to do this years ago for my children with the small biscuits with the same results. The only way to overcome the problems was lots of sugar coating. For the grands I cut larger holes than you have for less dough to cook and it generally works. However this is a cool quick treat saving the expense and a trip to the do-nut shop.

fbandong (author)2011-05-13

or by sprinkling very little amounts of water

tigerbomb8 (author)2011-02-03

you can also test with a piece of bread

jupeter5 (author)2010-11-15

Ok, if you use biscuit dough to make a batch of donuts, then it is not a donut, it is a biscuit covered with sugar.

khalilullah_kuk (author)2010-08-22

I am from a country that doesn't have these refrigerated biscuits (Pillsbury Grands, etc), what substitute can I use?

canida (author)khalilullah_kuk2010-10-06

Any kind of plain, leavened dough will do - it can use yeast or baking powder. You can find another recipe for dough here.

FlaScubaMan (author)2010-08-07

Sounds great, I will try this. Also I want to try them glazed my mixing some powdered sugar with water and coat each side after cooking.

SammyFM (author)2009-05-26

Funny Americans. Could you please show that recipie without your package large refrigerated biscuits? You know, in some countries we don`t get this stuff. Would be much more interesting seeing it made without junk stuff...

ishabobisha (author)SammyFM2009-06-15

It is meant to be a quick and easy recipe. If you had to make the dough it would defeat the purpose!

LilLaTLuv (author)ishabobisha2009-07-21

Then maybe it would be nice to make another instructable about how to make the biscuits for the donuts, than telling us to go there for more instructions if we want the longer way. That way this recipe would work for everyone.

Just a suggestion! I'd really like to know how to do doughnuts from scratch myself, so I sympathize with SammyFM. But this recipe is awesome, can't wait to try it, maybe with some homemade chocolate sauce drizzled on top...

( for the chocolate sauce I have in mind...

Luv ya,
Tashi :)

canida (author)LilLaTLuv2010-05-21

Here's a good Instructable for apple cider donuts.

There's a time and a place for both the long version and the super-speedy easy shortcut version!

LilLaTLuv (author)canida2010-06-10

Hey! Thanks!!!! That helps me in my quest to at least KNOW how to make all the things I stick in my mouth, even if I don't actually make them. Although, I really want to make those donuts!!! Thanks again for the link! I'll have to try that! And I agree. There's a time and a place for everything. I just need the knowledge of both to help me out. Have a great day! Luv ya, Tashi :)

imnickjames13 (author)2009-11-14

Back at home we have a deep fryer so everytime we change the oil we make doughnut holes using the same method with the biscuits.  Its just easier to cut up the dough and roll it into balls and you can fit more into the fryer.  But they aren't as good after anything else has been made in the fryer (especially onion rings) so this would be good for in between oil changes.

Fenris The bbw (author)2009-01-11

My stepdad works at Krispy Kreme, so I get free doughnuts every day. Whoooo... It actually gets old after a while.


volquete (author)Fenris The bbw2009-01-11

lucky. im sure it does get old though...doughnuts are so good.

Fenris The bbw (author)volquete2009-01-18

For me, it's been old. But you can trade doughnuts for food at some other places and my friends are always happy to get free doughnuts.

volquete (author)Fenris The bbw2009-01-19


Lance Mt. (author)volquete2009-05-26


Fenris The bbw (author)Lance Mt.2009-05-29


Lance Mt. (author)Fenris The bbw2009-06-02

Or do you? -Hehehe, Chris

Had a friend that worked there over a summer. Said that by the third day, not only could she not look at donuts with out feeling ill, but anything sweet went out the window. She lost like 20 lbs that summer.

apricots (author)Fenris The bbw2009-05-25

i haven't had krispy kreme doughnuts for 9 years now

Iman446 (author)2009-01-22

I....LOVE.....DOUGHNUTS! Doughnuts!DoughnutsDoughnutsDoughnutsDoughnutsDoughnutsDoughnutsDoughnuts... Watermelonhead, HI

Xial (author)2009-01-19

Thanks for the 'ible! Ended up using the idea last night. There're a few left over for this morning, so I've already pounded one down. I've probably got to go back and buy more biscuit dough, if only to make a boatload of holes. :)

Ke11iente (author)2007-09-02

What's the best tool to use to turn the donuts??

canida (author)Ke11iente2009-01-15

I use metal tongs when frying, but one of those chinese wok tools (shown in step 4) would work nicely too.

GLOPRO (author)2008-10-16

metal tongs or a metal skewer!

kmcniece (author)2008-06-15

I am unhappily delighted in the discovery of these grand gems. I tested the oil with the donut holes. 4 donut holes and two donuts later, I am in need of serious exercise. Thanks for posting this from Simple. My 10 year old helped and it was a nice time. Hopefully she will remember this for a while. I will.

Deadpunk (author)2008-06-01

I love making these I learned how to make them on a camp out when I was in boy scouts. We where on a camp out with another troop that made them the last night in a propane deep fryer like the ones people cook turkeys for Thanks Giving.

Starbrite (author)2008-05-25

This is very simple. i actually made these when i was in third grade(can't remember what age) at a friends house. we actually cut as many holes from the peices of dough so that we could to have a bunch of donut holes. Oil, dough,cook. Just be careful of oil splatter.

YummyPancakes (author)2008-03-15

*mouth waters*
Sorry, hope you weren't offended...

sterlingsilver (author)2008-02-10

I just made these with smaller diameter biscuits, and eyeballed the amount of oil. I ended up with the sides of the doughnuts not really cooking, though the dough wasn't raw either. Try using cake icing and sprinkles, worked well for me. Great idea, but the actual instructions are pretty obvious.

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)2007-11-21

These look so good! Could you please add this to the Sweet Treat group? That would be awsome. :)

blckthng (author)2007-11-09

mmmm doughnuts

tcrouch (author)2007-09-28

a shot glass is perfect to make the holes and i have one of those oriential metal/bamboo strainers w/ handle that works perfectly...

miloftonime (author)2007-08-25


Ayce (author)2007-08-18

I couldn't find anything to put a hole in the middle of the busicuit so I just pulled it appart. I suggest not doing this it makes the center of the doughnuts doughy. I did leave some in the oil too long and the out side got very dark but they tasted good since they weren't doughy.

canida (author)Ayce2007-08-21

Try bottle lids- the hard plastic screw-on type from 2L soda or the like.

Ayce (author)canida2007-08-22

Ha... that's funny. That is exactly what I did the next time.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-08-20

These look good.

schlammbad (author)2007-08-19

I made these tonight. For those who are wondering, using the Grands Homestyle shown in the instructable, the texture is somewhere between a Krispy Kreme Original and a cake doughnut. It's not heavy like a cake doughnut, but it's not as light as the Krispy Kreme either. The instructable didn't state oil temperature, so I settled on 350F, which was mentioned in other doughnut recipes I found. That worked well with the stated 1 to 1.5 minute fry time per side. Unfortunately, I have limited self-control, so I ate three of them. I'm sorry that I did. They are quite rich and you might be sorry over indulging in these. They also left a filmy or over oily sensation in the mouth. It might be the hydrogenated oil in the biscuits doing this... not sure. Also, watch out for sodium levels. These are 500mg each. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's a doughnut. What did I expect? :-)

Granzeier (author)2007-08-19

That looked fantastic, so yesterday when we went to the store, I bought the stuff. This morning I made breakfast for the family. Everyone loved them! Everyone liked the cinnamon/sugar about the same as the chocolate donuts. Next time, I'll try powdered sugar as well. In regards to the Jiffy frosting, I couldn't find any at the store, so I just got a plastic can of frosting and spooned it into a bowl and microwaved it for about 30 seconds. Worked great. Thanks for a great breakfast.

MoMoMan (author)2007-08-17

great tutorial. i wounder if this could work with star shaped cookie cutters.

wikityler (author)MoMoMan2007-08-18

Yes, It does, but as the dough expands the star shape becomes more subtle.

dsi1 (author)2007-08-17

You can also use the smaller "regular" sized canned biscuits and fry them without using cutting a hole in them - those are tasty too! david

dsi1 (author)2007-08-17

Strangely enough, you might have put too much detail here. "Cut hole in biscuit and deep-fry" would have been fine for me. OTOH, I have no idea if your method would have been detailed enough for a non-cook. That's the way the doughnut rolls! Otherwise, a great simple idea and great pictures! david

damntourists (author)2007-08-17

i just made these, and it was really simple, no horror stories to report, just the fact that i spilled a little bit of sugar on the floor. great idea :D

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