Grandma's Dougnuts

Monday 7 February 2011

My grandmother always made fabulous doughnuts. They were not yeast doughnuts, but the cake type of doughnuts . . .

with a tender crumb and flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg. I remember them being so fat that the hole in the middle was always almost swollen shut, just like a big fat belly button . . .

Oh my but they were so very good. Served up warm with a nice tall glass of cold milk.

I can remember her standing there in her kitchen,in front of the old white enameled wood stove, wearing her flowered calico pinnie and cooking them in an old black iron kettle . . . . dropping them in and then turning them with a long handled fork.

She always shook the warm doughnuts afterwards in cinnamon sugar, in a brown paper bag . . . carefully saved and repurposed from a trip to the local grocery shop.

The paper would absorb any grease and the gentle shaking helped to coat them just perfectly in the sugar . . . I can still remember that beautiful smell . . . woodsmoke, hot brown paper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and . . . my gran.

We'd sit there afterwards, our mouths dusted with sweet cinnamon sugar, lips smacking with pleasure . . . each of us enjoying the soft and delicously, tenderly tasty results of her loving ministrations . . .

There would not be a lot of talk . . . but then . . . the happily satisfied smiles on our faces and the contented little mmmm's said it all. We did not need words . . .

Grandma's, doughnuts and Sunday afternoons . . . they are like the holy trinity of the heavenly home of a happy childhood . . .

*Grandma's Doughnuts*
Makes about 18
Printable Recipe

Easier to make and more cakelike than yeast doughnuts, these are great served fresh and warm with a nice tall glass of cold milk!

4 ounces milk (1/2 cup)
2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 large free range egg, beaten
1 TBS butter, melted
7 1/2 ounces flour (1 3/4 cup)
Vegetable shortening or oil for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar to dust when done

Whisk together the milk, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, egg and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour gradually, using just enough to make a dough that is soft, yet firm enough to handle. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a couple of turns. Roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut into 3 inch rounds, removing the centres. (You can also fry these!) Let rest for about 5 minutes while you heat the oil or shortening.

Using a heavy skillet, heat the oil or shortening (about 4 inches deep) to 182*C/360*F. Carefully drop in doughnuts a few at a time, frying until nicely browned on one side before turning to brown the other side. (Turn carefully using a long handled fork or a pair of tongs) Once they are brown all over drain well on paper towels and then dust with sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Yum, those doughnuts look so sweet and fluffy. Sounds like a treasured recipe with some great memories.

  2. They look gorgeous and so light and fluffy. I wouldn't know they weren't made with yeast

  3. Oh my! These definitely look worth standing over the stove and frying. So fluffy! My family would love me forever if I made these.
    What am I saying...I would love myself : )

  4. Oooo... do I dare show these to hubby?! He's such a huge fan of donuts! I do like the more cake-y kind too. You know I've not actually made donuts before--always thought they'd be extremely time consuming & fiddly--you've de-myth'ed them for me! ;o) Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Look delicious Marie, my kids adore doughnuts!! thanks you huggs and blessings, xoxoxo gloria

  6. Those look just like my husband's mom used to make:)

  7. Mom and I used to make these when I was a young thang and we had pigs ... lots of lard ... to fry them up in. Sooooo good. I like them better than yeast donuts. Thanks for the memory

  8. Just wanted to say that I recently joined your blog and I LOVE it. Your posts warm my soul!

  9. Wow those look amazing Marie! I wish we were neighbors!!

  10. What a nice memory to have - I remeber my Granny's perfume 'smell' too ;0)
    She never made me doughnuts though, instead it was piklets ;0)
    Love this recipe.


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