Thursday, April 22, 2021

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts

The perfect recipe for real, old-fashioned sour cream cake doughnuts! The inside is moist and tender, the outside crispy and sweet. Options included to make gluten or dairy free!

I finally present you with the recipe I have been taunting you with on Instagram for months now: The perfect deep fried cake doughnuts. And please, don't be too intimidated by the idea of deep frying to try them. It's really so much easier than you think.
As long as you have a heavy bottomed pot and an empty gallon ice cream container to store the oil in when you're done, you are prepared. No special equipment necessary. No resting, no rolling, no cutting. Plus now you have an excuse to eat a gallon of ice cream. You're welcome.
Now you may be surprised to know that the very doughnuts before your eyes are gluten free. I had to make them gluten free because I needed to eat them. It's my duty. Oh the trials of being a food blogger.
But I have also made them with normal all-purpose flour and they turned out great both ways. You can also make them dairy free if you like. They really are not quite as awesome without the sour cream in the dough, but they are still very good. 

Now, what is the distinction between YEAST doughnuts and CAKE doughnuts??

Both doughnuts are delicious in their own right. A yeast doughnut is actually deep fried bread. You will recognize the soft, fluffy, bready texture. This is the type of dough you will use to make filled doughnuts like my Cherry Filled Paczkis or my Vanilla Custard Filled Long Johns. They can also, of course, be shaped into a regular doughnut shape like the doughnuts here or twisted into the classic twisted stick shape.
Cake doughnuts, on the other hand, are raised using baking powder and no yeast. The method is more similar to making muffins or pancakes only make the batter thicker so that it is a dough. This is usually the type of dough used to make doughnut holes as well. These doughnuts are perfect for dipping in your coffee and are my personal favorite.



Did I mention that I have also included a recipe for the perfect chocolate doughnut glaze? It's so thick and shiny and would be the perfect bed for a ton of rainbow sprinkles. I'm typically a regular glazed sour cream doughnut girl, but I can't say no to this chocolate frosting. It's safest to have a taste of each.

Of course, I would not say no to a powdered doughnut either. For the powdered, you just roll the mostly cooled doughnuts in powdered sugar. You can also make a cinnamon sugar by rolling them in white sugar mixed with cinnamon, like these pumpkin cream cheese filled doughnut holes I made a while back. (Oh, and did I mention, yes, of course you can make this recipe into a bunch of doughnut holes!)

But don't stop there, make some white frosting and sprinkle on some coconut. Or sprinkle some marshmallows and graham crackers on top of a chocolate glaze for a s'more doughnut. How about maple frosting with bacon crumbled on top. The possibilities are endless. 

But first things first. Let's talk about making the actual doughnuts. This is a super simple dough. Think of it like a thicker version of my blueberry muffin batter. There is no need to roll them or cut them. Just shape them with your hands right out of the mixing bowl. If you have every played with play-doh, you can shape a doughnut. 

I like to just quickly shape each one right out of the bowl and put it immediately in the hot oil. I can fit about 3 doughnuts in my deep fryer at a time.

One of my main goals in creating the perfect recipe for these old-fashioned doughnuts is making sure that I got those beautiful cracked tops. The cracked tops are really what make a plain cake doughnut into an old-fashioned cake doughnut. The texture is not just for looks, but it also gives the doughnuts a crispier texture and also becomes a little cradle to hold your glaze. Plus, can't you just TELL that the inside must be super tender and moist when you see those cracks??
 If you aren't getting those nice deep cracks, just make sure you're not shaping your doughnut to be too smooth on the top. Leave a little messy (or "rustic" as I always say)
 See, look at this dough. Embrace the imperfection! I'm telling you, it's the best way. 
Now tell me, what flavors are you going to make? Glazed? Powdered? Chocolate? Some of each? 

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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts
Yield: About 10 Doughnuts
Author: Yammie's Noshery
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 20 Min
The perfect recipe for real, old-fashioned sour cream cake doughnuts! The inside is moist and tender, the outside crispy and sweet. Options included to make gluten or dairy free!


Doughnut Ingredients
Chocolate Glaze
Powdered Sugar Glaze


How to Make Doughnuts
  1. Fill a large heavy bottomed pot or deep fryer with a gallon of peanut oil or canola oil.  A cast iron dutch oven like this one works perfectly. If the bottom is too thin, the temperature of the oil will be too difficult to control. Heat the oil over medium heat. If you have a deep fryer, set the temperature to 375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and mix together with your fingers or a fork until it is a sandy consistency. Pour the egg, sour cream, and milk together in the middle of the dry ingredients and mix the wet ingredients together a bit before stirring all the ingredients together. Mix just until combined.
  3. To check if the oil is ready, you can place a thermometer into the pot and check that the temperature is 375ºF. I like this one that clips on the edge of the pot. If you don't have a thermometer, throw a tiny piece of your dough into the oil. If it sinks and does not rise up and bubble, the oil is not hot enough. If it sinks for a moment and then rises up and bubbles, the oil is ready. If it immediately rises and begins bubbling vigorously, it is too hot.
  4. Once your oil is ready, place a few layers of paper towel on a large plate or tray. Then get your hands wet to prevent the dough from sticking to yourself. Grab a lump of dough and shape it into a loose flattened ball shape. Then stick your finger into the middle to make a hole, moving your finger in a circular motion to widen it until you have a doughnut shape. Once it's shaped like a doughnut, carefully drop it into the hot oil. Continue to shape doughnuts and drop them into the oil. You can probably fit about 3 doughnuts in the pot at a time. Cook each doughnut for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through with metal tongs.
  5. After 5 minutes, remove the doughnuts from the oil with metal tongs and place them immediately on the tray of paper towels. This is the best way to remove excess grease and prevent you from having an overly greasy doughnut. Repeat this process of shaping and frying doughnuts until you have used all your dough.
  6. Allow them to cool before frosting. Ingredients for a regular powdered sugar glaze and chocolate glaze are below. You can also simply roll them in a large bowl of powdered sugar for a powdered doughnut or a large bowl of about 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon mixed together to make cinnamon sugar doughnuts.
  7. When the oil is completely cool, pour it through a fine strainer into an empty ice cream gallon container to use again next time. You can reuse it up to 8 times.
How to Make the Chocolate Glaze
  1. In a sauce pan on the stove or a large microwaveable bowl, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla. Cook on the stove or in the microwave until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and whisk until they are melted and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Dip the tops of the doughnuts into the bowl of frosting and set on a cooling rack or tray until the frosting hardens.
How to Make the Powdered Sugar Glaze
  1. Combine the powdered sugar and milk and whisk until smooth. The glaze should be thick, similar to the consistency of ketchup. Add more powdered sugar if it's too thin and more milk if it's too thick. Dunk the cooled doughnuts into the glaze, covering all surfaces. Place on a cooling rack until the glaze hardens (the glaze will drip down so you might want to place something underneath if you don't want the mess on your counter.


To make dairy free, don't add the sour cream or milk to the dough and instead add 1/3 cup of your favorite dairy free milk. Replace the butter with coconut oil or your favorite dairy free alternative.

The milk in the powdered sugar glaze can be replaced by dairy free milk OR lemon juice for a little lemon flavor. The chocolate frosting can also use dairy free chocolate chips, dairy free milk, and coconut oil in place of butter.

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