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How to make Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

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Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would take you to grab donuts on Saturday or Sunday mornings?

Those were some of my favorite times as a kid. Those trips were the first time I got to make a decision about what I wanted, and a chance to enjoy a sweet treat while having quality time with my parents.

Bryan and I don’t have kids yet, and we also don’t really go get donuts that often, but the first thought I had a few days ago when I noticed that I had all of the ingredients to make donuts I thought “I should really try this.”

Donut with cinnamon and sugar

This recipe is really neat because these don’t come out as pastries, or cakey, they’re kind of on the in between (but not like a cronut, so calm down!).

I loved the cinnamon-sugar flavor, especially since right now we’re just making the transition into fall. They’re also really great with a nice hot cup of black coffee. The rising process really matters for these.

Rising these takes more time than putting the dough together and cooking them combined. I tried two batches – one with a warm towel risen over 2 hours, and one with a warm towel risen over 24 hours.

The ones after 24 hours were so much more fluffy and light – the significant rising time is worth it. It sounds excessive, but I promise it’s worth it.

For the topping/dusting, I kept it simple. I didn’t want to do a true icing because the sugar content would have been out of this world, so I created a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon and dunked these in straight out of the oil I cooked them in.

The sugar stuck nicely and worked really well with each doughnut.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

I flash fried these, but I honestly think they could be baked and be just as wonderful. The dough doesn’t hold too much oil, and they don’t come out greasy by any means. While they’re not the most healthy thing, sometimes a little splurge is worth it.

I’d like to try these again eventually, but using Swerve sweeteners. Swerve is safe for people with diabetes but functions a lot like sugar. I’m hoping to try some out with my next recipes.

Check out the recipe below! I hope you make these to kick off your fall baking adventures.

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How to make Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

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  • Author: Mila Clarke Buckley
  • Total Time: 24 hours 2 minutes
  • Yield: 30 doughnut holes 1x
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A delicious cinnamon sugar donut recipe.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup warm whole or 2% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for your rolling surface
  • 1 1/4 ounces envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 4 cups Vegetable oil


  1. Combine yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer*; let stand until yeast starts to foam, about 8 minutes.
  2. Whisk in egg yolks, whole egg, milk, salt, vanilla, 2 cups flour, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Mix on low speed with dough hook until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add 6 tablespoons butter 1 piece at a time, mixing well between additions. (Any small lumps of butter will get worked into the dough when more flour is added.)
  4. Gradually add remaining 2 cups flour (you may not need all of it), mixing until mostly combined between additions, until dough is soft, smooth, and shiny—the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of bowl and climb up dough hook. That’s when you know it’s ready to go.
  5. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can get the same results by mixing the dough with a sturdy wooden spoon and kneading on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead and proof the dough:
  7. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, until no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
  8. As you knead, roll the dough into layers one over the other.
  9. Transfer to a buttered bowl, turn to coat, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  10. Cut the dough:
  11. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 3/4″ thick. Using a floured donut cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Re-roll any scraps and cut again until you’ve used all of the dough. Roll the small scraps into doughnut holes.
  12. Transfer rounds of dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with another kitchen towel. Let rise for 24 hours.
  13. If you are not ready to fry dough, refrigerate rounds up to 3 hours.
  14. Fry the dough:
  15. Fit a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, with a thermometer; pour in vegetable oil to measure 4″ and heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, fry dough until golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and let cool slightly before rolling in cinnamon sugar.
  16. Roll and finish
  17. Fill a plastic bag with sugar and cinnamon. add doughnuts to the bag and shake until each one is coated.
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American

About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m a journalist and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

How can I help with your diabetes management?

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23 Responses

    1. Best decision! I really can’t wait to try some baked donuts! If you want to save some room in your space, you can also buy a donut cutter. It does all the work for ya! Let me know how yours come out. I feel like I’ll be making donuts ALOT now!

    1. Thank you! I love donuts too! I can’t have them that often, but when they’re freshly cooked and warm, it’s the best thing in the world!

  1. OMG Yes two of my favourite things: cinnamon and donughts! I need to try this recipe 😀 Would you mind check out my page? We can follow each other and be internet friends, it’d mean the world to me 😀
    Love, Mimi


    1. Mimi, I love your blog! Cinnamon and donuts are some of my faves too. I’m thinking about making snickerdoodles in the fall :).

    1. It’s so worth it! A little extra work than driving to your local donut shop, but to have fresh ones at home (and a house that smells like a donut shop), it’s totally worth it!

    1. Thank you so much! I would really like to try to make vegan ones, AND with a sugar substitute. I think it could totally be done with some testing!

    1. I was a little bit afraid that I couldn’t do it, but it’s so, very easy. Much easier than I would have thought. The rising time for the dough takes a while but it’s absolutely worth it.

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