If you happened to run into me at a doughnut shop... it is one hundred percent probable that I will be in the midst of eating a number of old fashioned sour cream donuts. They're my absolute favorite - the dense, creamy texture of the doughnut that is then covered in glaze. Magic!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Indulge in the timeless allure of Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts, a nostalgic treat that will captivate your taste buds and transport you back to a classic visit to your local donut store. With their delightfully tender crumb and subtle tanginess from the sour cream, these donuts boast a heavenly flavor profile that's both comforting and irresistible!
Whether you're a seasoned baker looking to create a classic favorite or a culinary enthusiast seeking a delightful challenge, this recipe promises to deliver the perfect balance of sweetness and richness that will leave you longing for more.
Most of the ingredients for these Old Fashioned Sour Cream Glazed Donuts are pretty self-explanatory. Here are a few notes to keep in mind, though:
- Cake Flour - With a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, cake flour donuts have a tender-crumbed consistency that mimics bakery versions. If you don’t have any on hand, make your own using AP flour and cornstarch. For 1 cup of cake flour, measure out a cup of AP flour, remove 2 tablespoons worth, then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch before sifting.
- Crisco or Shortening - Shortening provides the best texture in donuts, while butter yields more of a chewy result. I don’t recommend swapping them.
- Sour Cream - There’s no two ways about it - good donuts have a lot of fat. Be sure to use real, full-fat sour cream for the best results.
- Corn Syrup - Corn syrup helps to prevent sugar crystals from forming, which is important in something like this glaze for donuts. In a pinch, try swapping in honey.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Making these homemade old fashioned sour cream donuts might seem a little intimidating at first, but with a bit of time and a little practice, you’re sure to succeed! Here’s how it’s done:
Mix Dough: Place the sugar and Crisco in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for about 2 minutes. Then add the wet ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients until mixed.
Rest Dough: Place the dough in an air-tight container in the fridge for an hour – I like to make my dough in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge overnight before continuing on.
Roll Doughnuts: Dust the top of the dough with flour, and roll out your dough to be ½ inch thick. Cut as many doughnuts and holes as possible using a doughnut cutter or circular cookie cutters of various sizes.
Fry Donuts: Fry for 15 seconds on the first side, then flip to cook for 75 seconds. Then, finally, flip the doughnut to cook for an additional 75 seconds until golden brown before removing it from the oil and set on your prepared paper towels.
Glaze Donuts: Dip the tops of the freshly fried doughnuts straight into the glaze before setting them on a cooling rack to let the excess glaze drip off and the remaining glaze set on the donuts.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Storage and Freshness: Leftover donuts are best consumed within a day or two. If you need to store them longer, keep in a dry place to maintain their soft texture and avoid them becoming too stale.
- Choosing the Right Oil: While many love using vegetable oil for deep frying, canola oil can also be a great choice for old-fashioned doughnuts, offering a neutral taste that doesn't overpower the sweet glaze.
- Perfecting the Donut Shape: Using a donut cutter or biscuit cutters can help achieve uniform and professional-looking donuts and donut holes. Remember, evenly shaped donuts will cook more uniformly in the hot oil.
- Enhancing Flavor: A hint of nutmeg or dipping doughnuts in cinnamon sugar or a sweet vanilla glaze can elevate the flavor profile of your homemade donuts, making them reminiscent of your favorite donut shop's offerings.
- Serving Suggestions: Old-fashioned glazed donuts are delicious on their own, but consider pairing them with a chocolate glaze or apple fritter on the side for a delightful variety that'll impress loyal customers and family members alike.
- Deep Frying Precision: To ensure your old-fashioned donuts have a consistently golden-brown and crispy exterior, use a deep-fry thermometer or candy thermometer and fry in small batches in a few inches of oil. Maintaining the correct oil temperature, especially between medium heat and medium-high heat, is crucial for optimal results when using a deep saucepan or an electric skillet.
💭 Recipe FAQs
The distinguished craggy top, the sour cream tang, the dense crumb structure, and the light coating of glaze are some of the defining characteristics of a quality old-fashioned doughnut! This particular style of making sour cream doughnuts and frying them has been around since about 1830 - so the “old fashioned” moniker makes sense!
When it comes to donuts of any sort, they are best eaten super fresh. In fact, I find that they are at their tastiest as soon as the glaze just *barely* sets! All that said, feel free to make the dough up to a day in advance of frying. Any leftover glazed donuts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Head on over to my guide for choosing the right oil to fry donuts for more information!
Other doughnut recipes to try
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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts
- Air Tight Container
- Doughnut Cutter or Cookie Cutters
- Slotted Spoon
Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts
- 2 ¼ Cups (255 g) Cake Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ Cup (100 g) Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Crisco or Shortening
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- ⅔ Cup (165 g) Sour Cream
- Palm Oil for Frying, or Canola, read notes before using canola
Vanilla Doughnut Glaze
- 3 Cups (360 g) Powdered Sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon Corn Syrup
- ¾ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ Cup (80 g) Hot Water plus more if needed
Mixing & Frying Doughnuts
- Whisk together the dry ingredients – cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a medium bowl.2 ¼ Cups Cake Flour, 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- Place the Sugar and Crisco in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for about 2 minutes. Then add the egg yolks and mix for an additional two minutes before adding the sour cream.½ Cup Sugar, 2 tablespoon Crisco or Shortening, 2 Large Egg Yolks, ⅔ Cup Sour Cream
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two separate parts, mixing until just combined.
- Place the dough in an air-tight container in the fridge for an hour – I like to make my dough in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge overnight before continuing on.
- Place enough oil in a cast-iron pot so that you have at least 3 inches of oil in height from the base of the pot. Heat the oil to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.Palm Oil for Frying
- Meanwhile, dust your work surface with flour and place the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and roll out your dough to be ½ inch thick. Cut as many doughnuts and holes as possible using a doughnut cutter or circular cookie cutters of various sizes. Make sure to dip the cutter in flour before each cut otherwise it will stick!
- Feel free to re-roll your dough and continue to cut more doughnuts and doughnut holes until you have barely any scraps left.
- Before you start the process of frying, I like to prepare my space by setting a cooling rack or a large plate near my cast iron pot and line with paper towels.
- To test that your oil is ready to go, I like to use a doughnut hole and drop it into our preheated oil. To fry your doughnuts, you’ll fry for 15 seconds on the first side, then flip to cook for 75 seconds. Then, finally flip the doughnut to cook for an additional 75 seconds until golden brown before removing from oil and set them on your prepared paper towels.
- Continue cooking doughnuts and doughnut holes in this fashion until there are none left! Make sure to continually monitor the temperature of your oil and only add doughnuts when the oil reads approximately 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk everything until properly combined. Add more hot water to the glaze if you prefer a thinner glaze.3 Cups Powdered Sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon Corn Syrup, ¾ teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ½ teaspoon Salt, ⅓ Cup Hot Water plus more if needed
- Dip the tops of the freshly fried doughnuts straight into the glaze before setting them on a cooling rack to set.