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Aunt Bert Frost’s homemade donut recipe: Easier to make than you think

Homemade Donuts
Homemade Donuts
Sherry Smith-Noble

If you are looking for a fun thing to make, here it is: homemade donuts. These are so easy to make and delicious to eat. Glaze them, frost them, or coat them in sugar – make them festive by decorating them for a holiday.

This recipe has been handed down in the family through generations. In the days before donuts were sold at drive-through windows, people made their own. There’s nothing more scrumptious than freshly made donuts.

Tips on making the best donuts:

  • Don’t use olive oil – vegetable, peanut oil or canola are the best oils to heat to the temperature needed.
  • Heat your oil to 370 degrees for the best results; heating it higher will brown the outside before it cooks the inside.
  • Roll the dough no more than 3/8 inch (less than ½ inch). The dough rises as it cooks. If it’s rolled too thickly, it won’t cook through.
  • If you don’t have a donut cutter, you can improvise. Use an empty, washed can that’s the right size and hand-cut the middle from each donut. Cutting a hole in the middle helps the donut to cook through.

Aunt Bert’s Homemade Donut Recipe (she called them “fried cakes”)

Ingredients for Aunt Bert’s Donuts:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour milk (make it yourself: 1 cup milk and 1 tsp. vinegar, let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 cups flour (plus a little extra for rolling out)
  • Oil enough for deep frying

Directions for making Aunt Bert’s Donuts:

In a large mixing bowl, whip together the eggs and sugar. Add the melted butter and soured milk, mix together. Add the vanilla, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together well.

Add 2 cups of the flour, mixing it only until incorporated – don’t over mix it. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour. Your dough should be soft.

Put the dough on a floured surface. Roll the dough to 3/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into donuts (4-inch round with a 1-inch circle cut out of the middle).

Heat the oil to 370 degrees. Put only 2 – 3 donuts in the oil at one time, they can’t be crowded in the oil or they won’t cook through.

The donut will rise to the surface as it cooks – let it cook for a couple minutes after they come to the surface, flip them over to brown on the other side. Donuts will be done when they are deep brown on both sides.

Placed the finished donuts on paper towel to cool.
(Recipe from Alberta Hoskins Frost, born 1875, died 1971. Married to Marcus Edwin Frost in October, 1896.)

How to finish your donuts:

  • Roll them in powdered sugar
  • Roll them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon)
  • Frost them (1 cup powdered sugar whipped together with 2 tablespoons butter and enough milk to make it spreadable – add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powdered for chocolate frosting)
  • Glaze them (1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 cups powdered sugar). Put them on parchment or wax paper after glazing.

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