Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

Saturday 9 May 2020

One of the places I missed from back home when I moved over here to the UK was Tim Hortons.  I actually used to work at Timmie's before I moved over here.  

I understand that it has changed a lot over the past 20 years and not always for the better.

When I worked there they had bakers right in shop and they would work basically all night making the doughnuts, cakes, etc. 

 From what I understand everything is made in a central place now, brought in frozen and then thawed.  Not quite the same I don't think.

One of the doughnuts that they had which was my favourite was their Sour Cream Doughnuts.  

A type of cake doughnut as opposed to a yeast raised doughnut.  I have always preferred cake doughnuts to yeast raised.

A favourite treat when I was a child was when my mom would bring a bag of cake doughnuts home for us from the bakery.  

She would reheat them in a low oven in a paper bag.  They were quite simply lovely.  I always enjoyed them with a slice of good cheese.

Seriously, if you have never tried it, you really need to do  . . .  unbeatable.  

There is something about the nutmeg in a plain cake doughnut that goes very well with cheese.  You can find my recipe for Grandma's Doughnuts, here.

Of course if you are frying doughnuts, you have to fry the holes also.  Our grandmother's would have used a thimble to cut the hole out from the centre.  

Today I used a metal lid from a bottle of vinegar.  It had a lovely sharp edge.

One way which sour cream doughnuts differ from other cake doughnuts is, first of all the tang.

Secondly and most importantly they have a quality which lends themselves to splitting slightly when they hit the hot oil . . .  creating cracks, nooks and crannies that are perfect for hanging onto their sweet sugar glaze . . .

I love craggy things, don't you?  Just look at those little nooks and crannies  . . .

Perfectly cupping and creating little puddles of sweet and stick glaze . . .

Mmmm . . . so good.  Doughnuts are not something I make very frequently actually.

They are a once in a bluemoon treat.  My mother used to tell the story of her Aunt Orabelle frying the tips of her fingers in the hot oil when she made doughnuts. 

Orabelle was my maternal grandmother's youngest sister.  She and her husband Robie McGill lived on a farm up on the South Mountain.  

They had an old blind white horse that lived in the field next to their house.

When we were children my mother would take us with her to go and visit Aunt Orabelle and my great Aunt would give us apples and carrots to feed the horse.  

Good times.  I don't even know if that house is still standing  . . .  things change.

And what does any of that have to do with doughnuts?  Not a lot really, but I do love thinking back on the memories I have associated with the foods that I love. 

 You will want to try these doughnuts.  They are quick and easy and oh so delicious!

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

Yield: Makes 6 to 10 doughnuts
Apparenty the difference between these and a regular cake donut is that as these fry the sides split open a bit and form interesting crags and crannies, which help to hug onto and hold the glaze.


For the dougnuts
  • 175g plain flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g fine sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 30g sour cream (1/4 cup)
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 TBS butter melted
  • oil for frying
Basic sugar glaze:
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 TBS milk or water
  • few drops vanilla


  1. Sift together the flour, soda and cinnamon.  Stir in the salt and set aside.
  2. Whisk the sour cream, sugar, egg and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl until smooth.  Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time until you get a smooth dough.  Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick.  Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter cut into rounds. Cut the centres out with a thimble.  Reroll any scraps and cut as required.
  4. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pan until a thermometer registers 180*C/350*F.  Carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan and lower the temperature of oil.  Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side until golden brown.  Remove to a rack lined with paper towels and drain. Repeat until all of the doughnuts and holes have been cooked.
  5. Allow to cool.
  6. When you are ready to glaze, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and you have a thick drizzle icing. (you may not need all the liquid)  Dip the doughnuts in the glaze on one side and return to the wire rack to allow to set.

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Apparently they have Tim Hortons here in the UK now.  I have not been to one as there isn't one in Chester and to be honest nobody is going anywhere at the present time.  I can't help thinking however that something would have been lost in translation however, but I do hope to check them out one day and find out for sure!  


  1. Looks delicious Marie I’m going to make some today thank you

    1. I really hope you enjoy them Shirley! Yay! xoxo

  2. They look absolutely delicious!

  3. Oh those look incredible....praying for will power as I do not wish to make a batch and eat them all myself as I am here alone. I love a doughnut of any kind, but I, too, have always been partial to cake type. And yes, many, many, foods conjure memories for me. Doughnuts remind me of walking home from the school bus drop...about 1/2 mile from our house...and as I rounded the corner, if the windows were all steamed up, I knew my mom was making doughnuts! But even then, they were a "once in a blue moon" kind of treat..... ~Robin~

    1. Yeh, I know what you mean Robin. Thank goodness I have a husband with a hearty appetite, and he is skinny as a rail! Its not fair! Love your sweet memory of your mom and doughnuts! xoxo PS - Yes, once in a blue moon treat!

  4. hi. i just wanted to ask if this is a timmies copycat recipe? ive been craving their sour cream glazed donuts ever since we moved away 😭. Also, u talked about nutmeg in the post but the recipe doesnt call for any? Could u clear that up please?

    1. It’s not. Timmies copycat recipe, but they do taste just the same. There is nutmeg in traditional cake donuts, but these sour cream donuts are flavored with a touch of cinnamon, no nutmeg in these. I was talking about traditional cake donuts when I mentioned the nutmeg. Sorry for any confusion! -Marie

  5. Could they be baked in the oven.?

    1. Not at all. These are meant to be fried. ~ Marie


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