Top Pot Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

Top pot sour cream doughnuts recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 12 doughnuts (serves 12)

This recipe is adapted from one in Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker. Old-fashioned doughnuts are fried at a lower temperature than other doughnuts and turned twice while frying, which gives them their characteristic crunchy petals and grooves—perfect for holding onto a sweet glaze (recipe included below). The sour cream in the dough keeps these doughnuts wonderfully moist.

Ingredients

  • For the Doughnuts
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (plus more for rolling and cutting)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lard (or shortening or butter)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (or crème fraîche)
  • Oil (canola, vegetable, or lard; for frying)
  • For the Glaze
  • 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup water (hot)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these doughnuts are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and frying.

Make the Doughnuts

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for doughnuts
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

    Flour in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Mix sugar and shortening in a standing mixer or with a hand-held mixer until sandy - about 1 minute.

    Mix sugar and shortening
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix until lighter and thicker - about 1 minute.

    Add egg yolks
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Mix in sour cream.

    Mix in sour cream
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Stir in flour mixture, being sure to combine dough thoroughly.

    Stir in flour mixture
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Cover dough and chill for at least 45 minutes and up to overnight.

    Cover dough
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Heat a large, heavy pot with at least 2 inches of oil in it to 325 F.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. While oil heats, roll out dough on a well-floured work surface. Roll out to an even 1/2-inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter or a 3-inch circle and a 1/2-inch circle cutter and cut out as many doughnuts (and doughnut holes) as fit.

    Roll out dough
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  10. Gently knead the remaining dough back into a mass.

    Gently knead dough
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  11. Re-roll to 1/2-inch thick and cut remaining doughnuts.

    Re roll
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  12. Dust off any excess flour from the doughnuts and gently slide a few into the oil. Fry only as many as will fit in the pot without touching.

    Fry
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  13. Once the doughnuts float to the top of the oil, fry for 15 seconds.

    Doughnuts float
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  14. Gently flip them over and fry until golden brown and cracked - about 90 seconds.

    Gently flip
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  15. Flip back over and finish frying until golden and cracked on the second side - about 75 more seconds.

    Flip again
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 
  16. Transfer cooked doughnuts to a cooling rack (you can set it over a tray or layers of paper towels to catch the grease).

    Transfer to rack
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  17. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Glaze the Doughnuts

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for glaze
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Whisk the powdered sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, and 1/2 cup hot water in a medium bowl until smooth.

    Whisk
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Dip doughnuts in the warm glaze while they are also still warm.

    Dip doughnuts in glaze
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Let sit to cool and set up for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • Old-fashioned doughnuts keep better than other types of doughnuts, but they are still by far at their best when eaten the same day they are cooked, and they're really extraordinary while still warm.
  • For super extra tender doughnuts, use cake flour. But they really are plenty tender and delicious with regular old all-purpose flour, too.
  • If you liked these doughnuts, you might want to try our delicious homemade raised doughnuts or whole wheat doughnuts.