How to Make Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts

Award-winning pastry chef and cookbook author Hedy Goldsmith creates a classic cinnamon-sugar doughnut that's better than anything you've ever waited in line for.

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Comforting Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

Treat yourself to a warm batch of Hedy Goldsmith's comforting old-fashioned doughnuts. Crisp on the outside and airy on the inside, this classic recipe starts with a simple dough and finishes with a generous dose of cinnamon and sugar. If you'd like, you can skip the doughnut holes and use a filling instead, such as a jam, jelly, pudding or curd.

Get the Recipe: Doughnuts

Prepare and Refrigerate the Dough

Prepare a simple dough using sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Once the dry and wet ingredients are incorporated in your stand mixer, change to a dough hook and mix on medium-high speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 15 to 18 minutes. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Roll Out the Dough

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest the dough. Then, cut out thirty 4-by-4-inch squares of parchment paper. Lightly oil each one or spray with pan spray. Have several baking sheets ready.

Cut Out the Doughnuts

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a work surface. Cut out doughnuts with a round cutter (or cut squares for a different look).  

Cut Out the Center

If you're going for the traditional doughnut shape, use a smaller cutter to make a hole in the center of each round. (Do not cut out holes if you are going to fill the doughnuts. You may decide to cut the doughnuts really large; that's also fine.)

Begin Frying

Heat 3 to 4 inches of oil in a straight-sided heavy saucepan, until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Place the cinnamon sugar in a bowl to dredge the warm doughnuts. Lift a doughnut on the oiled square of parchment paper and place it just over the oil; this will allow the doughnut to slip right into the oil without deforming. Use tongs to nudge it off the paper and into the oil if necessary. You can fry two or more doughnuts at a time; just don't overcrowd the pan.

Help the Doughnuts Keep Their Shape

"I like flipping the doughnuts quickly and often to help them keep their shape," says Hedy. "I use two chopsticks, placing them on the edge of the doughnut and using a quick motion to flip them." It will take about 1 minute on each side until they're golden brown. When browned, carefully lift the doughnuts out of the oil, drain briefly, and toss in the cinnamon sugar. Place on a rack to cool, and repeat until all the doughnuts are cooked.

Enjoy Them Hot

These are best eaten within a few hours of frying. They can be reheated in a low-temperature oven to give them that just-fried texture.


Hedy Goldsmith is an award-winning pastry chef and author of Baking Out Loud

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