20 Best Doughnut Recipes

Satisify Your Homer Simpson-Sized Cravings at Home

Glazed air fryer doughnuts.
Diana Rattray

When you've got a Homer Simpson-sized craving for doughnuts, but can't hit up your local bakery, don't just sit there salivating—try making your own at home. They aren't as difficult to make as you might think. Many of these easy recipes don't require any special equipment or you can make them using your favorite tools in a whole new way. Best of all, making doughnuts at home means you can customize them any way you want, for a treat that's just for you.

  • 01 of 20

    Maple Bacon Doughnut Bars

    maple bacon bars
    Leah Maroney

    When you can't decide whether you're in the mood for sweet or savory, one of these doughnut bars topped with a maple glaze and crumbled bacon will hit the spot. While they do require some time to rise and fry, the end result makes it all worth it.

  • 02 of 20

    German Fastnacht Doughnuts

    Fastnacht Deep-Fried Doughnuts

     The Spruce

    Fastnacht is Pennsylvania Dutch for fasting night, or the last night of revelry before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, these pillowy deep-fried doughnuts appear on the table that day to use up the last of the sugar and lard before Lent, but you can enjoy them any time. Try one split in half and spread with molasses for a sweetly traditional treat.

  • 03 of 20

    Malasadas

    Hawaiian Malasada

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

    If you've ever visited Hawaii, you've probably had malasadas, a deep-fried doughnut tossed in granulated sugar. Leonard's Bakery makes the most famous ones, but you can give them a run for their money at home with this recipe. Don't skip out on the potato starch—it makes the dough easier to work.

  • 04 of 20

    Apple Cider Doughnuts

    apple cider doughnuts
    Diana Rattray

    Enjoy the taste of autumn any time by whipping up a batch of these light, crispy apple cider doughnuts. You probably have a lot of the ingredients on hand already. A cinnamon-sugar coating complements the apple notes perfectly.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Deep-Fried Apple Fritters

    apple fritters with powdered sugar
    The Spruce

    Technically, apple fritters live in a category all their own. But because they often appear in the case along with doughnuts, we consider them one of that family, too. These deep-fried fritters have a delicious apple flavor and taste great as a special treat for breakfast or a snack.

  • 06 of 20

    Plain Cake Doughnuts

    Homemade Plain Cake Doughnut Recipe

    The Spruce

    Despite their name, these simple cake doughnuts taste anything, but boring. Before you get started, spread out some brown paper covered in paper towels to drain the doughnuts. They'll make less of a mess that way and keep their crisp exterior.

  • 07 of 20

    Homemade Raised Doughnuts

    Homemade Raised Doughnuts

    The Spruce

    Because the dough does need to rise, these homemade doughnuts take some time. But their slightly sweet dough, sugar-crusted coating, and tender interior make it a worthy project to impress a special someone or pull out all the stops for a holiday brunch.

  • 08 of 20

    Sour Cream Doughnuts

    Top pot sour cream doughnuts recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Frying these old-fashioned doughnuts at a lower temperature and turning them twice gives them plenty of nooks and crannies for holding a sweet, sticky glaze. Sour cream keeps the dough tender and gives it the slightest tang.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Homemade Pączki

    Polish Paczki doughnuts

    The Spruce

     

    Traditionally, deep-fried pączki appear on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. These pillowy Polish doughnuts come filled with rosehip, prune, apricot, strawberry, or sweet cheese filling, or sometimes not filled at all and rolled in sugar instead. Try filling yours with your favorite fruit jam.

  • 10 of 20

    S'Mores Doughnuts

    Smores Doughnuts
    Diana Rattray

    Made with a sweet marshmallow filling, chocolate glaze, and graham cracker crumbs, these delicious doughnuts taste just like everyone's favorite campfire treat. Fry up a batch for a campout-themed gathering or a tasty treat, anytime.

  • 11 of 20

    Air Fryer Sufganiyot

    air-fryer-sufganiyot-4776497-16

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    These sufganiyot doughnuts generally come out during Hanukah, since the deep fryer oil symbolizes the oil that miraculously kept the lamps burning in the temple. But if you want to cut down on fat, this recipe uses the air fryer for all of the decadent taste with less oil.

  • 12 of 20

    Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

    Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

    Baking doughnuts requires a special pan, but this simple doughnut recipe alone will make picking one up worth the effort. Their sweet pumpkin flavor just screams "fall favorite," and it can help you use up extra pumpkin puree after pie-making, too.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Eggnog Baked Doughnuts

    Baked Glazed Eggnog Doughnuts

    Diana Rattray

    These simple baked doughnuts take hardly any time at all to mix up, so they make a great quick breakfast for busy mornings when you still want something special. And using eggnog in both the batter and the glaze adds a little holiday flare without becoming too overpoweringly sweet.

  • 14 of 20

    Unicorn Doughnuts

    cake donuts iced with brightly colored unicorn themed icing and drizzled with a little white chocolate and coated with sprinkles

    Pete Scherer 

    Kids and kids at heart will love these bright and cheerful unicorn doughnuts. The dough starts out simple, with nutmeg and buttermilk to give them a slightly warm flavor and tender texture, the perfect base for colorful glaze and flashy sprinkles. Get the kids in on the fun of decorating them as an afternoon project.

  • 15 of 20

    Baked Cranberry Doughnuts with Orange Glaze

    Cranberry Donuts with orange glaze
    Diana Rattray

    Cranberry and orange complement each other perfectly, so make the most of that pairing with these delightful baked doughnuts. Either fresh or frozen cranberries work well. They come out lighter than some fried versions, and work great for breakfast, brunch, or a simple dessert.

  • 16 of 20

    Red Velvet Doughnuts

    red velvet dougnuts
    Diana Rattray

    With their beautiful ruby color and sweet flavor, these red velvet doughnuts make a perfect treat for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or really any time you want to treat yourself. A cream cheese glaze will remind you of the classic cake, but you can leave it off or use your favorite glaze, too.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Hot Chocolate Mini Doughnuts

    hot chocolate doughnuts
    Hot Chocolate Doughnuts.

     Leah Maroney

    Cozy up on a warm winter's day with these adorable mini hot chocolate doughnuts. They taste just like a steaming mug of cocoa, in a sweet little package. Go ahead, have two or even three and don't forget to pair them with a cup of you-know-what.

  • 18 of 20

    Keto Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts

    Keto Donuts

     Kristina Vanni

    Even if you follow a keto or another low-carb diet, you can still enjoy these doughnuts. They use almond flour instead of all-purpose and xylitol to replace the sugar, because it doesn't raise your blood sugar the same way. Try them warm from the oven with a cuppa Joe, for a sweet breakfast treat.

  • 19 of 20

    Vanilla Glazed Crullers

    vanilla-glazed crullers on wire cooling rack

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

    These light and airy crullers are made with choux pastry, which gets cooked on the stove before frying and then steam slightly, which makes them rise with no leavening agent. They taste great with the included vanilla glaze, or all by themselves if you like them a little less sugary.

  • 20 of 20

    Air Fryer Doughnuts

    Glazed air fryer doughnuts.
    Diana Rattray

    Using your air fryer to make these doughnuts means less mess and less fat than the deep-fried kind, without sacrificing any of the flavor. The vanilla glaze makes an excellent complement, or try them with a chocolate version or simply brushed with butter and coated in cinnamon sugar for a nice twist.