How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

Donuts are my eternal weakness. There is absolutely nothing in this world that I love better than a donut. No, not even my beloved chocolate chip cookies. Donuts always win with me.

My family and I make this recipe for old fashioned pioneer donuts twice a year on General Conference weekend, and it's a tradition we all look forward to. They are super soft and fluffy on the inside, golden crisp on the outside (we're frying today, people!), and coated in sugar. Sometimes with cinnamon, sometimes without.


Just like biscuit-making, the key to making these donuts is NOT OVERMIXING! See how lumpy and clumpy that is? It's exactly how you want your dough to look. Don't aim for smooth, elastic, yeast-y perfection here. This dough doesn't work that way. And if you try to knead it into submission, you'll end up with donuts that work better as hockey pucks than as actual food.

But there's no need to stress! These are EASY, I promise. Lumpy dough = less work for you. to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

Same rules apply here. We don't need to roll the dough out into a long, thin strip of dough. Since there's no yeast in these donuts, it's all about keeping the dough THICK even before they go into the frying oil. The best way to do this is to simply press out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick with your hands.

Again, easy. Simple. No problem!

How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

I feel like there is always so much trepidation when it comes to frying food at home. It's really no big deal! You don't need a deep fryer or any other fancy equipment. And it doesn't have to be messy. All you need are a few simple tools you probably already have on hand.

  • a deep soup pot (although I've even fried food in a small saucepan using just a cup of oil! It doesn't have to be big, just work with what you've got)
  • tongs
  • a cooling rack
  • paper towels

The key to deep frying at home over the stove is to WATCH THE HEAT. You should never take the temp above medium. Let it heat up at medium, stay at medium, and never leave medium!!!

Got it? Good! You'll be fine. Frying donuts is fun ????, I promise.

How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

Once the donuts are fried and beautiful, dunk 'em in some sugar. Cinnamon sugar is really good too.

This is one of our favorite family recipes, and now I hope it will be one of yours too. Enjoy!!


How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Donuts

Yield: 12 donuts

How to make old fashioned buttermilk donuts at home!


  • 2 cups buttermilk (no substitutions)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup sugar or cinnamon sugar for coating


Combine the buttermilk, eggs, and sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the dry ingredients.

Pour the buttermilk mixture and the melted butter into the well and gently stir until a lumpy dough forms.

Gently press the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a donut cutter.

Heat oil (you need 2-3 inches) on medium heat. You can test the oil by dripping water into it. If the oil bubbles when the water hits it, you're ready. If the oil splatters, it's too hot. And if the oil does nothing, wait a little longer for the oil to continue to heat up (do NOT turn up the heat).

Fry each donut for about a minute on each side until golden brown. Remove with tongs and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels. After donuts have cooled for about 1-2 minutes, dip them in the sugar to coat.