How to make jam doughnuts

Doughnuts are back – and with good reason.

A simple, sweet dough of flour, butter, eggs and yeast is sugary goodness, perfect for dousing in cinnamon sugar, dipping in chocolate or filling with sticky jam.

I’ve adored them since my first bite at the age of four. And although guaranteed to impress, they’re super-easy to make. Homer Simpson couldn’t have put it better: ‘Mmmmm, donuts!’

How to make jam doughnuts


Master recipe
Serves 12
Takes 25 minutes to make, 1 minute to cook (per batch) to cook, plus proving

You will need:

200g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g chilled unsalted butter, diced
7g sachet dried fast action yeast (we used McDougalls)
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
100ml whole milk, heated to lukewarm
Sunflower oil for deep-frying, plus extra for greasing the bowl 4 tbsp raspberry jam

plus a disposable piping bag or some baking paper rolled into a cone.

  1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir through the yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar, then make a well in the centre. Mix the egg with the lukewarm milk and pour into the well. Mix quickly and bring together to make a soft dough.
  2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until silky smooth. Put in a very lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces and shape these into smooth balls. Do this by pinching the dough on top, rolling the bottom on a smooth surface, then turning them over so the pinch is on the bottom. Place them, spaced well apart, on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then loosely cover with a sheet of greased cling film. Leave for 45 minutes in a warm place or until doubled in size again.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil in a large deep pan to a temperature of 190°C (a cube of bread will brown in about 30 seconds). Carefully lower the doughnuts into the hot oil using a slotted spoon, in batches of 2 or 3. Fry for 30 seconds on each side until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. While the doughnuts are still warm, spoon the jam into a disposable piping bag or a sheet of baking paper rolled into a cone. Make a little slit in the side of each doughnut with the tip of a small sharp knife, then squeeze a little jam into the centre.
  6. Roll the jam-filled doughnuts gently in the remaining caster sugar to coat them completely, or dust well using a dredger. Serve warm or allow to cool.

Nutritional information per serving:
10.1g fat (3.3g saturated)
2.8g protein
21.1g carbs (8.9g sugars)
no salt
0.7g fibre

Try something different

Make mini doughnuts
They make the cutest party pud. Roll the dough into 24 mini dough balls and deep fry (in batches of 5) for 20 seconds each side. Serve warm, dredged in sugar, along with a bowl of melted chocolate for dipping.

Swap the jam
Spruce up your doughnuts with these fun fillings: ready-made vanilla custard, lemon curd, Nutella, whipped cream, dulce de leche or softly whipped cream spiked with rum.

Make ring doughnuts
At step 3, roll the dough into 12 sausage shapes, then pinch the ends together firmly to form rings. Leave to rise again, then deep fry.

Give your doughnuts a glaze
Mix sifted icing sugar with just enough lemon juice (adding a little at a time) to make a drizzly paste. Add a drop of food colouring to make a baby pink or soft yellow glaze, then spoon over the doughnuts. Or, dip in melted dark chocolate. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, desiccated coconut, chopped hazelnuts or chocolate shavings and leave to set.

Make a flavoured sugar to coat your doughnuts… 

100g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)

Put the caster sugar in a bowl and mix in the spices, citrus zest and vanilla seeds. Dust the sugar over the still-warm doughnuts and enjoy!

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