Raised Doughnuts with Orange Cognac Glaze

AFTER LAST WEEK’S recipe for healthy, Vegetarian Bean Burgers, I thought it was time to have a little fun. Fun, as in  “let’s make doughnuts!”  Fresh, homemade, so-delicious-you-could-scream doughnuts. Doughnuts you can top with frosting, cinnamon and sugar, or, for an adults-only crowd, a glaze enriched with orange cognac:

You wouldn’t believe how many doughnuts I made this week. Frankly, I can’t believe how many I ate, purely for the sake of research (uh-huh). But I learned three interesting facts: 1) doughnuts can be made well in advance, and then frozen; 2) a frozen doughnut, if wrapped in a paper towel and then microwaved for 10 seconds, will taste as good as fresh; 3) I need to enter a 12-step program for doughnut-addicts.

Doughnuts begin their careers as a Sweet Roll Dough. Well, mine do, anyway. Using a standing mixer, you can make this dough in about 5 minutes. You can also make the dough by hand, if you are willing to knead it for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Of course you’ll need a doughnut-cutter. Any kitchen-supply store worth its salt will carry this common gadget. If you don’t have a decent shop in your area, you can always order a doughnut-cutter from Amazon.

If you have children in your household, you might let them cut the doughnut shapes for you. The activity will keep them off the streets. And from leading a life of crime.
Children should not, however, be allowed to fry the doughnuts. I fry mine in vegetable oil which has been heated to 375F. There’s no guessing on the temperature here, folks. So if you have a candy thermometer hidden in one of your drawers, now would be a good time to find it. You won’t need a deep-fryer; any heavy-bottomed, 2-quart sauce pot or Dutch oven will do.

Fry the donuts until they turn golden brown — about 30 seconds per side.

Be sure to fry the doughnut centers, too. You can treat yourself to these, and no one will be the wiser.

Aren’t these babies beautiful?

I dipped some of the doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

Others I dipped in a standard vanilla glaze. Double yum!

But the best doughnuts of all — those reserved for adults-only — were dipped in a vanilla glaze which I enhanced with orange cognac. These were Bam! Zing! Over-the-top yummy!

Think you’ll try these doughnuts rings of joy? You can let me know by leaving a comment.

Here’s the recipe, which you can cut and paste into your file:

Raised Doughnuts with Orange Cognac Glaze
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House  (www.agardenforthehouse.com)
Ingredients for 24 2 1/2-inch doughnut rings (and 24 centers, or “holes”)
The Sweet Roll Dough:
1 package active dry yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup warm (about 110F) water
1/2 cup warm (about 110F) milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting

Special Equipment: A standing mixer, outfitted with a dough hook; a donut-cutter, 2 1/2-inches diameter; a heavy-bottomed 2-qt or larger sauce-pot, or a Dutch oven

Making the dough – Pour all ingredients into the bowl of your standing mixer. Blend at low speed for about 30 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium (number 4 on my model) for about 2 minutes, or until the dough masses on the hook attachment. Let rest for 2 minutes; blend at medium speed for another 2 minutes, or until the dough feels smooth and elastic.

Rising the dough – Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (I use my marble slab), and roughly form it into a ball. Set the dough in a large bowl that you’ve greased with butter or sprayed with vegetable spray. Flip the dough so the greased side is up. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double — about 1 1/2 hours.

Rolling the dough, cutting the forms, and rising the doughnuts – Roll the dough about 3/8-inch thick on a well-floured board. Cut with the floured doughnut cutter. Separate the doughnut rings from their centers, and cover all with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until double – about one hour.

Frying the doughnuts – Pour three inches of vegetable oil into your sauce-pan or Dutch oven; insert candy thermometer and heat, over a medium flame, until the oil just reaches 375F. With a wide spatula, fry the doughnuts until golden brown – about 30 seconds per side. Drain on a cotton towel or several thicknesses of paper towels.

The Orange Cognac Glaze
Ingredients for glazing the tops of 24 doughnuts
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup water or milk (use water if you want a clear, not white glaze)
1 tsp (or slightly more, to taste) orange cognac

The procedure – Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Dip each doughnut into the glaze, and set aside for a few minutes while the glaze sets.

Glazed doughnuts can be frozen in zip-lock-type bags indefinitely. When ready to serve, let the doughnuts come to room temperature (about 30 minutes), or wrap them loosely in a paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds.

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Related Posts:
Luscious Cinnamon Rolls
Apples in Jack Daniels Custard
Rhubarb Crisp


  1. Brenda Johnson says:

    Oh how sweet it is! Doughnuts…tasty, tasty doughnuts!!!! So light, so flavorful- wonderful bite to the outside, soft yeasty goodness on the inside and not too sweet glaze (on the ones I had- yes I said “ones”- I ate many!) Well they had me licking my fingers and going back for more!!! Delicious!!! Thanks for the treat Kevin!!!

  2. Oh, my! Those sound dangerously delicious!!!

  3. Brenda – So glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for taste-testing, and delivering some poetry to these rings of joy!

    Cyndi – Dangerously delicious, indeed.

  4. I’d like to reach through my computer screen and grab one of those donuts RIGHT NOW!

  5. Darlene says:

    Oooh, the orange cognac glaze sounds good! Did you use Grand Marnier?

  6. My husband is making these right now… and I can not wait to eat them.. 🙂 On this recipe Kevin you forgot how much water to dissolve the yeast in but we fig it out by the sweet roll recipe. Our are almost ready to fry…YUM YUM>>>>

  7. Darlene – Grand Marnier will work. I used an orange cognac called “La Belle Orange.”

    Susa – Glad you caught that! It’s a 1/2 cup warm (110F) water. Will make correction above.
    And..let me know how the doughnuts turn out for you!

  8. Oh my gosh they are sooooooooooooooooooooo good….. He made a dozen donuts and a dozen sweet rolls. Thanks for sharing this recipe… I need the 12 step program also for donuts.
    Not saying how many I ate but……… good good good.
    thanks Kevin this recipe is a keeper for sure…

  9. Susa – Well! That is music to my ears. Thanks so much for trying them.

  10. Kevin – could I use my bread machine to make the dough as i do not have a stand up mixer

  11. Jed Swift says:

    I want those doughnuts right now Kevin! I am coming for a long stay at your home in which I hope to eat several of them in one sitting. This website is amazing and a big part of my Sunday every week. Jed

  12. A doughnut cutter????? We don’t even have a doughnut shop to buy doughnuts…..unless you call leftovers from a town three towns away…..haha….these look so yummy….but of course, I would have to start one of those 12 step programs too….I LOVE doughnuts…..and fresh made are the best….glazed …. the orange ones sound scrumpious…..maybe try to make some one day…..but they sure look yummily….delicious…..thx…

  13. Hi Kevin, what a great post, and fab idea – I’ll have to make those very soon!
    thanks for letting me partake, I can already smell them…

  14. Kay – I’ve made these doughnuts entirely by hand, and also (as above) with my standing mixer. A bread machine should be able to do a fine job of kneading this dough, too.

  15. Oh my! Our family makes Finnish doughnuts every year on New Year’s Day with our kids. Next year our 1st grand-daughter will be old enough to partake in the fun <3 <3 We are going to have to give your recipe a trial run, as my daughter has pointed out to me on FB that today is NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY today!! Thanks for sharing what looks in every way to be a great recipe, Kevin. Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying your site!

  16. P.S. the doughnuts we make look JUST like yours only dipped in plain, granulated cane sugar, and served with coffee…. served black… thick as mud. haha ;-D

  17. Annette says:

    can you bake this dough – or is it fry only?

  18. Bonjour Kevin,

    I can see serving these little gems (orange cognac glazed) for desert with a nice bottle of Sauternes and berries on the side.
    Isn’t research wonderful : )
    Can’t wait for your next creation.

  19. Meeri – Thanks for the heads-up on National Doughnut Day! Will have to remember this next year.

    Annette – I have only fried these doughnuts. Not sure they would have the same lightness if baked.

    Oriane – Bonjour! Doughnuts with orange cognac glaze…Sauternes…berries…yes, yes, and yes!

  20. Michele Layne says:

    Kevin can you use whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour to make donuts?

  21. Hi Michele – I suspect these doughnuts could be made with equal parts whole wheat and all-purpose flour. In any event, if you try them, I hope you’ll let me know how they work out for you.

  22. Linda McGrath says:

    Kevin, could these donuts be cut into a 2″ circle, fried and filled with lemon curd or other filling?
    Would the texture of the donut taste good filled?

    When you hopefully write that cookbook, would you ever consider printing some in large print?

    Your e-mails are the highlight of my Sunday afternoon!

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