Doughnuts (donuts) are popular and tasty Nigerian deep-fried snacks and affordable party and wedding small chops idea that guests love. Even if you cannot afford to serve a full-on mix of assorted finger foods at your reception or any party, you can save costs by making 100 or more doughnuts yourself in advance. It requires a few cheap ingredients and the process of making it is easy and not time-consuming.
If you’d like to learn how to make doughnuts from scratch, scroll down and let’s get right into it. There’s a video tutorial, ingredients list, and also a written list of steps with explanation, PLUS recipes for making a large number of donuts (with yeast and also without yeast). Also covered in this post are list of common doughnut mistakes and how you can avoid them; and answers to common doughnut questions people ask. Read on.
The Ingredients List: Quick and Easy Doughnut Recipe
The ingredients for making doughnuts are few and pretty basic, and the preparation process is simple. It’s so easy to learn how to make donuts, if you have never made them before. Here is a list of ingredients you will need:
- Flour – 500g (4 cups)
- Yeast – 4 teaspoons (15g/ 2 sachets)
- Eggs – 2
- Butter – 3 tablespoons (40g)
- Granulated sugar – 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup / 50g )
- Warm milk – 2/3 cup (140ml)
- Warm water – 1/2 cup (100ml)
- 1 teaspoon of Grated nutmeg and/ or vanilla extract (for extra flavour)
- Pinch of Salt
- Groundnut oil or any vegetable oil (for frying)
You’ll also need:
- A deep pot for frying
- A bowl for mixing the ingredients
- Small chopping board
- Rolling pin (or improvise with a wine or beer bottle)
- Spatula or wooden spoon to mix the ingredients
- Doughnut cutter (or improvise with two small round objects you can find in your kitchen you can convert to cut the doughnut and doughnut holes. For example, use the open end of a cup to cut the doughnut rings shapes, and use the cover of a soft drink bottle to cut out the doughnut holes).
SIDE NOTE: The above recipe will make about 20 doughnuts (or more or less, depending on the size of your cutter). Before the end of this post, I also included a recipe and ingredients list for making 100 doughnuts, for a quick reference if you’re planning a party or Nigerian wedding reception.
The Steps: Making Homemade Doughnuts from Scratch
- Combine the ingredients: Pour the milk into a mixing bowl. Then add the yeast, sugar, salt, egg, melted butter, nutmeg
- Blend together: Using the spatula or wooden spoon, stir or whisk to blend the ingredients together.
- Make the Doughnut Dough: Now, add in the flour and stir to mix everything together until all the flour have combined and it forms a sticky dough.
- Knead until smooth: Switch from the spatula to using your hands and continue kneading to mix the dough.
- The goal is to make all the powdered flour to completely mix up and you can no longer see powder.
- Keep kneading until the dough is no longer sticky, and your hand and the mixing bowl is clean. The doughnut dough should gradually look like a neat ball of pounded yam. Lol. Kneading is technically about using your hand to punch or pound the dough together, aiming to achieve a smooth and elastic pounded-yam appearance, if that makes sense.
- Oil the bowl: Lightly rub some vegetable oil around the mixing bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Then thinly rub some oil on the dough.
- Leave it to rise: Next, cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/ nylon or foil paper and leave it for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Take out the dough: After one hour, open the bowl of dough. It should have doubled in size and become lighter and fluffy.
- Flour the cutting board or table: Next, dust on some flour on a table, flat surface or cutting board and place the dough on top.
- Roll and cut to shapes: Now, dust some flour on the rolling pin and press it down on the dough, roll to 1/2 or 1/4 thickness.
- Cut into Shapes: Now, cut into doughnut shapes using a doughnut cutter. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, you can use any round/ circular object such as a plastic or metal cup to cut out the doughnut ring shapes, and use a small bottle cover to cut out the doughnut holes.
- Proof the dough: Cover the already-cut doughnut shapes and leave them to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Fry the doughnuts in small batches: Fill the pan with oil and fry on medium heat. Be sure to test the oil temperature with one doughnut hole. Fry the doughnuts on both sides, to a golden brown. Repeat the frying process until you fry the entire doughnuts.
- Drain: Transfer the cooked donuts from the frying pot to a bowl lined with paper towels (kitchen serviettes) or to a rack, to drain the excess oil.
- Optional Steps:
- To make jelly-filled donuts: Fill the fried doughnuts with jam or your desired filling.
- To make sugar-coated doughnuts: Sprinkle some granulated sugar or dip them into a bowl of granulated sugar while they’re still warm. Turn them over to sugar the second side. If glazing, wait until they have cooled.
What to do with the doughnut holes: They’re doughnuts, only different in shape. You can choose to fry them as they are or reroll them and cut into doughnut pieces.
What to do with the scrap doughnut dough: When cutting out the doughnut shapes, the pieces of dough that are not part of the shapes are called scraps. You should reroll and cut the scraps of dough into doughnut holes or additional doughnut rings and fry.
Ingredients for Making 100 Pieces of Doughnuts
For a small Nigerian wedding or party with 100 guests lists, here are the measurement for each ingredients, a complete recipe for making 100 pieces of doughnuts:
- 2.5 kg (20 cups) of flour
- 75 g yeast (10 sachets/ 20 teaspoons)
- 10 eggs
- 200 g butter (15 tablespoons)
- 250 g (4 1/4 cups) granulated sugar = 20 tablespoons
- 2 1/3 cup = 700 ml warm milk
- 500 ml warm water (2 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons of grated nutmeg and/ or vanilla extract (for extra flavour)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Groundnut oil or any Vegetable oil (for frying)
Want a recipe for making 200 pieces of doughnut? Simply double each ingredients’ quantities in the above 100 doughnuts recipe.
Ingredients for Making Doughnuts with 1 Kilogram of Flour
Want to how many pieces of doughnut you can get from 1 kg of flour, the ingredients’ measurements and recipe is below. That should give you about 40 pieces of doughnuts (or more, or less, depending on the size of cutter you’re using). Here’s a recipe for making doughnuts with 1kg flour:
- 1 kg (8 cups) of flour
- 30g yeast (4 sachets/ 8 teaspoons
- 4 eggs
- 80g butter (6 tableSpoons)
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar = 8tbsp
- 1 1/3 cup = 280ml warm milk
- 200ml warm water (1 cups)
- 5 teaspoons of grated nutmeg and/ or vanilla extract (for extra flavour)
- 1 tsp of Salt
- Groundnut oil or any Vegetable oil (for frying)
How to Make Doughnuts with Baking Powder (No-Yeast Doughnuts)
If you want to make doughnuts with baking powder (also known as no-yeast doughnuts), simply follow a recipe specifically indicated as no-yeast donut recipe in order to get the right amount of baking powder to use. If you use a yeast-doughnut recipe (like the ones above) and just use baking powder where they specified yeast, the resulting doughnuts will not come out okay. So, you have to use a recipe specifically made for this type of doughnuts.
Below is a no-yeast doughnut recipe using baking powder, if you’re looking for how to make doughnuts without yeast.
- 500g (4 cups) of all-purpose flour
- 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar = 4tbsp
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup = 140ml warm milk
- 40g butter (3 tableSpoons)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder or 1 sachet
- 100ml warm water (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg and/ or vanilla extract (for extra flavour)
FAQs: Questions and Answers on Variations of Doughnut Recipes
Can you make fried doughnuts with baking powder instead of yeast? Yes, you can use baking powder (instead of yeast) to leaven your doughnut dough. However, you should not blindly substitute the quantity of yeast in a doughnut recipe to baking powder, as they don’t work on flour in the same proportion. For example, if you find a recipe that calls for 1 tablespoon of yeast, you can’t just substitute it with one tablespoon of baking powder. I have already placed the recipe and complete list of ingredients for baking powder doughnuts right above this section (awipe/ scroll up).
Can you make and freeze doughnut dough ahead of time and fry them another day? Yes, you can. Especially when making a large number of doughnuts for home-use or for a wedding/ party, it can be more convenient to prepare the doughnut dough and cut to shapes a day in advance and pack them in the fridge (in air-tight zip-loc/ freezer bags, aluminum foil) to be fried the next day. You may also want to prepare the dough and put in the fridge and do the cutting and frying the next day. When ready to fry them, just be sure to leave them out for up to 30 minutes, so they can come to room temperature.
- I know some people freeze their already-cut doughnut dough for as long as 2 months and fry some as at when needed. Also, many Nigerian supermarkets and pastry outlets do sell frozen dough for doughnuts, samosa, and spring rolls. The fact is that when doughnuts not fried the same day are not as soft as when fried on the same day and may taste yeasty. There’s a bunch of health and safety questions about keeping raw, unfried doughnut dough in the fridge or freezer for too long and how that affects the ‘freshness’ taste. You can go here to learn more about how to store doughnut doughs in the fridge and how to prepare them for frying.
Donuts with Yeast vs No-Yeast Donuts – what’s the difference? — The differences between yeast and no-yeast doughnuts include:
- Preparation Time: Making donuts without yeast takes less time to make because unlike yeast, baking-powder as a raising agent starts its action of raising the dough as soon as it combines with the wet ingredients. On the other hand, yeast takes up to one hour to fully activate and raise the doughnut dough – that waiting time extends the duration it takes to make donuts with yeast.
- Texture: No-yeast doughnuts are also different in texture and taste (compared to those containing yeast).
Can you bake donuts in the oven instead of frying? Yes, you can also bake doughnuts. Donuts made in the oven are called ‘cake donuts’ or simply, ‘baked donuts’. Usually, baking powder is used when making donuts in the oven. FUN FACT: A long time ago, the only way doughnuts were made was by frying. That was before the invention of baking powder when yeast was the only available raising agent for dough/ flour. Today, there are 2 types – it’s either the baked donut or the fried doughnut (also referred to as yeast or raised donuts).
Fried donut vs baked donut – what’s the difference? Both types of doughnuts are basically made from similar ingredients, but they’re slightly different in terms of appearance, taste, and texture. Think of how Nigerian puff-puff (containing yeast) and buns (no-yeast) are similar but also different in taste and texture, and both are tasty in their own ways; that’s how I look at baked vs fried donuts.
- Fried donuts are chewy in the mouth, appear more puffed-up or raised and are smoother on the outside. Their insides are lighter, foamy or squishy.
- On the other hand, baked donuts are crunchy, appear more compact/ dense (not puffed up) due to the fact that baking powder does not rise as much as yeast. Their insides are tighter (not light/ fluffy) with a moist, cake-like softness. Their outsides have a crumbly, crispier texture (not smooth).
- By their nature, cake or baked donuts can take more assorted types of flavour on the inside, whereas yeast-based donuts’ primary way of getting more interesting flavours is by glazing, besides fillings.
- Which one is the best between baked and fried donuts? Huffpost once did a poll on baked vs fried donuts and there was no winner. Some people prefer fried, yeast donuts and some prefer baked donuts, but if you’re a fit-fam enthusiast, you may gravitate towards the baked donuts. If you’ve tasted both types of donuts, comment below to tell me which one you think is sweeter.
Mistakes to Avoid and 5 Extra Tips to Guarantee Making the Perfect Doughnuts
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself making doughnuts that are hard, oily or tastes yeasty, I’ll share with you a few tips and tricks to making doughnuts at home that might be better than the big-name pastry shop doughnuts.
We’ve all eaten some of those Nigerian doughnuts that taste like bread or puff-puff and are oily on the outside, or donuts that are as hard as buns. Everyone loves to eat perfect doughnut. The perfect doughnut should not be greasy and should be golden brown on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. To ensure that you make the best doughnuts every time, here are tips based on common mistakes people make when making donuts:
- ‘Proof your yeast to confirm that your yeast is still good (active) before adding it to the entire recipe: Check the expiry date on the container, but that’s not a sure way to test.
- Activate or ‘Proof’ your yeast before adding it to the dough IF you are not sure whether it is fresh, has not expired or good. But if you are really sure it’s in good condition, add it directly to the dough. Here’s how to proof yeast: add one teaspoon of granulated sugar to some warm water (not cold, not hot) and then add the yeast to this solution. Stir the mixture and wait for 10 minutes. If the mixture foams or bubbles, that means the yeast is active (aka good) and is okay to be added to the recipe. If not, the yeast is bad and needs to be thrown away. Bad yeast will not make your dough to rise and have the desired fluffy and airy doughnut texture everyone loves. Also, using bad yeast makes doughnuts come out with obviously yeasty taste.
- What’s the Right Frying Pan and the Right Volume of Oil for frying doughnuts? The type of pan good for frying doughnuts are deep, large frying pans/ pots or deep fryers. Avoid using a small or shallow frying pan. Even if you are going to fry only one doughnut, use a frying pan or pot that is deep enough to contain at least two liters of oil, and that can also allow the doughnuts to float during frying. When you add doughnuts into the pot, the oil level will rise and a deep pot will mean that there’s enough space above the oil to avoid hot oil splashing all over your pot and cooker. Generally, the volume of oil you will need depends on the size of the pot you’re going to be frying with.
- The right oil temperature: The oil should be at medium heat all through the frying period. If it’s too hot, the doughnuts will quickly burn on the outside without fully cooking the insides. Improperly cooked donuts have an unpleasant yeasty smell. If the oil is not hot enough, your doughnuts will suck up a lot of oil and become oily, doughy on the inside and hard on the outside.
- Do not crowd the pot. Fry in batches of a few donuts at a time. Adding too many doughnuts at once will make the doughnuts to absorb too much oil. Also, fry both sides until golden brown.
- Drain fried doughnuts of oil, after frying. No one likes oily donuts. Place freshly fried doughnuts on kitchen serviettes/ paper towels to prevent them from soaking up oil they are draining..
- If your doughnuts taste yeasty, it could be that you added too much yeast or the yeast was bad.
- If most of your doughnuts are not ‘done’ (well-cooked) in the middle but fully cooked on the outside, consider making them in slightly smaller sizes. A noteworthy fact is that doughnuts with holes cook more evenly inside and outside – the shape
- Why do some doughnuts have holes, or why should you consider removing the middle of your doughnuts? Personally, I love hot, squishy-soft, jam-filled fluffy doughnuts without holes (and Mr. Bigg’s doughnut is one), but then there’s an advantage that comes from removing the middle part of your doughnut when cutting them to shape. That hole area enables all corners of the doughnut to get fully ‘done’ (cooked) quicker and evenly from outside to the inside.
Homemade Doughnuts are Cheaper for Wedding or Party Snacks
Spruce up the menu list with sweet doughnuts! They are cheap to make at home. The idea of serving assorted small chops and finger foods at Nigerian weddings and parties is one that we see with more and more couples. It’s as if it’s no longer enough to simply serve party jollof rice and a few swallow-foods, today’s couples just have to have small chops at their wedding reception. We’re all here for sweet treats,
With a big budget, it’s easy to add any mix of small chops into your wedding or party menu. But if you’re planning your wedding on a tight budget or simply want to save extra money, why not consider making doughnuts yourself at home. In Nigeria, brides are surrounded by family and friends ready to give a helping hand – all you need to do is ask for help.
If you’re a budget bride or (someone planning a party) looking for ways to stretch her catering budget in order to serve more menu options besides rice and swallows, why not do what most budget brides do – make a few of your wedding snacks yourself, in advance (chin-chin, puff puff, doughnut). Oh, you can send this post to a few close relatives to learn and practice in advance (before your wedding or party). You’ll be proud of yourself when your guests tell you how they loved your homemade doughnuts.
Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please help share it on social media and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe so I can notify you whenever I make a new post. This post is part of our DIY small chops and finger foods for Nigerian weddings. Be sure to see our other DIY wedding ideas and tips that will help you save money without looking cheap.
Finally, I’d like to hear from you. If you try any of the party-size doughnut recipes above, comment below to tell me. What’s your favourite type of doughnut and why – tell me in the comment section. Let’s get the discussion going.