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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts Recipe will bring the heavenly sugary-sweet, richly-yeasty scent of freshly made donuts to your kitchen, and a glorious pile of warm, glazed, perfectly fried treats to your table!
Fluffy donuts hot from the fryer are far superior to the supermarket type, and with this easy recipe, you’ll be a donut master in no time! Even without your own “Hot Now” donut sign like Krispy Kreme, don’t be surprised if the delicious aroma brings hungry neighbors to your door!
Table of Contents
- What are Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts?
- Tools You Need for Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Can I Make Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts in Advance?
- How to Store Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Donut Recipes
What are Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts?
- Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts are yeast-leavened donuts featuring a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. These donuts are fluffier than hearty cake-style donuts which are made with baking soda or baking powder.
- The secret ingredient, mashed potato, gives the donuts moistness and tenderness. It’s rumored potato is in the secret Krispy Kreme recipe too!
- The first Krispy Kreme shop was opened in 1937 in North Carolina by Vernon Rudolph, who used his uncle’s yeast-raised donut recipe. The brand is well-known for its “Hot Donuts Now” sign that flashes when a fresh batch is ready.
- Krispy Kreme is credited with inventing the glazed donut, and adding that delectable thin, silky, vanilla icing changed the donut game forever.
Tools You Need for Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Stand mixer with a dough hook
- Rolling pin
- Donut cutter or a 3-inch cookie cutter and 1-inch cookie cutter
- 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- Large, heavy-bottomed, high-sided pan
- Candy thermometer (optional)
- Wire cooling rack
Key Ingredients and Why
- The starch in potato gives Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts moistness and lightness.
- Use a floury, starchy type of potato here–I like russets. You will NOT get good results with waxy potatoes.
- Whole milk has about a 3-5% fat content.
- It can enrich the flavor and tenderize the texture of the dough.
- Butter gives Homemade Krispy Kreme donuts unbeatable flavor, and contributes to the delectable texture and soft crumb.
- The fat in butter also helps develop a donut’s lovely crusty exterior.
- Beaten eggs retain air to make waffles rise light and airy. Eggs also work with the yeast to enhance the rising process.
- Egg enriches the donuts’ flavor, and retain moisture to keep the donuts from being dry.
- Cake flour has a lower protein content, 6-8%, than all-purpose flour. This means the dough forms less gluten, so you get a lighter, fluffier, more tender result.
- If you don’t have any in the pantry, use our easy DIY Cake Flour Substitute.
- Sugar sweetens the donuts.
- In addition, sugar also activates the yeast to make the donut rise better and more easily. It also caramelizes to yield a golden-brown color and crispy exterior and helps retain moisture, resulting in a tender interior.
- Vanilla gives the donuts their signature sweet and warm flavor.
- You get a delicious double dose of vanilla here, in both the dough and the glaze.
- How to Make Homemade Extracts tells you how to whip up your own vanilla. It’s easy and cost-effective!
- Instant yeast does not require sponging and gives a quicker, more efficient rise than active dry yeast. Mix yeast with flour first to avoid direct contact with salt so instant yeast won’t get deactivated.
- If you use active dry yeast: for every teaspoon of instant yeast, use 1 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast. Bring the liquid in your recipe to blood temperature and mix in active dry yeast. Let it sit at room temperature for roughly 5 minutes until foam forms on top. Stir it back in and use the mixture in recipes.
- Besides sweetening donuts, powdered sugar is finer than granulated sugar, which contributes to a smoother glaze.
- In addition, powdered sugar thickens the glaze to the right consistency, helps the glaze adhere to the donut, and contributes to the glossy finish that makes these donuts so appealing.
- Use my How to Make Powdered Sugar recipe to make your own.
Vegetable oil is the best oil to use for frying donuts because it has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point.
How to Make Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Cook a russet potato, and rice it or push it through a sieve to get a fine puree. Be sure to do this while the potato is still hot or it will get gluey!
- Melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
- Measure out 3/4 cup of milk and bring it to lukewarm.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour.
Make the Dough and Glaze
- Mix the wet ingredients: mashed potato, egg, milk, butter, and vanilla.
- Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Proof the dough in a covered bowl until doubled in size (this will take about 1 1/2 hours).
- Shape the donuts: Pat the dough out and cut into 12 donuts.
- Final proofing: Place the donuts on the prepared baking sheet, and cover with another sheet. Allow the donuts to rise for 40 minutes (they should double in size).
- To make the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. The glaze should be smooth and thin—add more milk a little at a time if necessary.
Fry and Glaze the Donuts
- Place a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet and position it next to the stove.
- On medium heat, carefully heat the oil in a high-sided, heavy pot until it reaches 325°F (165°C).
- Fry the donuts a few at a time. Flip after one minute (the cooked side will look golden brown) and cook the other side for a minute. Place on the rack to drain.
- Glaze the donuts while they’re hot, and return them to the rack.
- Enjoy while hot!
Can I Make Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts in Advance?
- Yes, you can make the donuts in advance. After shaping into donuts, place them on the parchment paper-covered baking tray, cover with cling film, and refrigerate for up to 18 hours. Let them sit out for 15-20 minutes to come to room temperature before frying.
- Note that the finished result could vary slightly in texture and taste from the donuts you cook right after preparing them. Donuts that have been refrigerated or frozen also might take slightly longer to cook.
- You can also freeze the shaped donuts for up to three weeks. Freeze them on a tray for a couple of hours until firm, and then store in plastic bags, with parchment paper separating the donuts. When you’re ready to cook them, put them in the fridge overnight first to thaw.
How to Store Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Donuts always taste best the day they are made, so I advise eating them when they are as fresh as possible!
- If you do have some leftovers and want to keep them overnight, I suggest wrapping them in a napkin and placing them in a paper bag.
Can I make these donuts without a stand mixer?
- Yes, you can make these donuts without a stand mixer.
- Knead the dough by hand, but be sure not to over-knead the dough. That will knock out the air and harden the dough.
- After you mix all ingredients and a dough forms, you can FLAP it on the work surface (dusted with a very little bit of flour), then STRETCH one part of the dough and FOLD it over itself. TURN the dough 90 degrees and repeat.
- Not much elbow grease is required. The dough should build up strands of gluten in roughly 10 minutes and have lots of air in it.
Can I substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour?
- No, you should not substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour. All-purpose flour has a 9-11% protein content, more than the 6-8% in cake flour. So all-purpose flour will give you a tougher donut.
- Use my recipe for DIY Cake Flour Substitute to make your own at home.
Can I make these donuts gluten-free?
- If you’d like to make gluten-free donuts, I suggest you can use this recipe: No-Yeast Homemade Donuts.
- Substitute GF all-purpose blend flour at a 1:1 ratio for all-purpose (white) flour.
- Use only up to three-quarters of the amount of liquid called for, and then add more if needed to get the same consistency as what’s called for in the recipe.
Can I bake these donuts instead of frying them?
- Yes you can bake your donuts. They won’t be an exact Krispy Kreme copycat recipe, but they’ll still be delicious!
- Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes. Check out more details here: No-Knead Donuts (Baked not Fried).
Why didn’t my donuts rise?
- If your dough didn’t rise: check whether your yeast is in date; how you store it will also affect it. Storing it in the fridge or freezer will keep it fresh for a longer time.
- Make sure INSTANT YEAST does not directly touch salt (I always suggest keeping salt and yeast apart or mixing each with flour first and then going from there).
- Do not over-proof or under-proof the dough: When it comes to bread fermenting/proofing, there is no restricted timeline. The telltale sign you use is how your dough looks: if the dough has doubled in size, almost feels lighter but is still strong, and a finger indent doesn’t spring back right away, then it’s ready.
- The more you shape your dough, the more tension it’s receiving, which means the longer time the dough needs to rest enough for a better rise.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- You can quickly cook a potato in the microwave: pierce the skin all over with the tip of a knife, then microwave for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.
- Use as little flour as possible when kneading the dough to achieve Krispy Kreme’s signature softness.
- The frying oil is very hot. If you are a child, please get a grown-up’s help when frying.
- Oil can burst into flame if it gets too hot. Never walk away from oil that is heating up, and watch the temperature carefully.
- Keep watching the oil temperature and adjusting the flame to try to keep it at 325°F (165°C). If the oil is too cool, the doughnuts will be greasy. If it’s too hot, the outside of the donuts will over-brown before the inside gets cooked.
- Krispy Kremes have a light, mostly clear glaze. To replicate that look, be sure that your glaze is fairly thin.
More Donut Recipes
- Make Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donuts at Home
- Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Sufganiyah
- Churro Donuts (Baked Not Fried)
- Chocolate Cake Donuts & DIY Donut Tin
- 5 Donut Glaze Recipes for Perfect Glazed Donuts
Watch The Recipe Video!
Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts Recipe
- 1 large starchy potato (about 8 oz/225 g)
- ¾ cup (6 fl oz/170 ml) whole milk, lukewarm
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz/85 g) butter, melted
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (15 oz/426 g) cake flour
- ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 recipe Vanilla Doughnut Glaze
Make the Dough
- Steam or bake the potato with the skin on until fully tender, about 30 minutes. Peel the potato while hot and push it through a sieve to finely mash it. Measure out ¾ cup (6 oz/170g) and place in a large bowl. This is the amount you will need for the recipe.
- To the bowl of potatoes, add the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt, then pour in the wet ingredients.
- Mix on medium-low speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The dough should be very soft but still be able to mostly clear the sides of the bowl and just hold its shape.
- Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on top.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat out the dough to ½ inch (12 mm) thick and using a 3-inch (7 ½ cm) and 1-inch (2 ½ cm) cookie cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and gather and reroll scraps to get 12 doughnuts.
- Cover the doughnuts with a second baking sheet and let the doughnuts rise a second time until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Make the Glaze
- Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together to make a smooth, thin glaze that should go on fairly clearly. Add more milk if needed. Set aside.
Fry the Doughnuts
- In a large, heavy-bottomed high-sided pan, pour oil 2 to 3 inches deep and heat on Medium to Medium-Low for 5 minutes. (You can also use a candy thermometer and heat to 325°F (165°C).
- While the oil is heating, place a wire rack on a baking sheet next to the heating oil to drain the doughnuts after frying.
- Once the oil has reached temperature, fry the doughnuts, 2 to 3 at a time. After about a minute, when the doughnut is golden on one side, flip and fry the other side.
- Rest on the wire rack to cool and drain while you fry the remaining doughnuts.
- While the doughnuts are still hot, dip in the glaze, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Return to the wire rack to let them set.
- Serve right away while still warm. These doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made.