Recipe: Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

4 doughnuts

19 Oct Recipe: Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts -

May I drop another name this week? How about Jess Thomson? She’s an award-winning food writer, a photographer and a recipe developer who once completed a marathon recipe-writing stint by producing a recipe a day — for a whole year. I wouldn’t be surprised if she flew helicopters or designed subway systems in her spare time. Her talents seem endless.

Among her many accomplishments, she also helped write  Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts. So, when she asked me to participate in National Doughnut month, I had to say yes. After all, I couldn’t look like a wimp in front of Super Jess.

When the book arrived, I was a bit surprised to see the word “doughnuts” spelled out in full. American spelling slashes letters from British English with alarming frequency. “Colour,” “flavour,” “neighbour,” and “savoury” all lose a vowel the second they cross the border. Having made a batch from scratch, I now know why they stuck to the traditional spelling. “Donuts” describe fast food. “Doughnuts” are not merely homemade, they’re hand-forged.

Reading over the instructions, I realized this easily-distracted Gemini needed reinforcements. So I asked my level-headed Libra of a best friend to help me. She generously agreed. Good thing, too. She solved the issue of the doughnut holes. Without a proper doughnut cutter (and yes, there is such a thing) we had to improvise. A  juice glass cut the outer edge, but finding something to cut the hole wasn’t so easy. The apple corer was too small, the shot glasses too wide. In the end, Joanne’s eagle-eye settled on an object that was just right — the cap from an over-sized bottle of mouthwash.

These two common household items did the trick, but as you can see, my centring abilities leave a bit to be desired. I like to think they make the results look truly hand-forged. Or in this case, hand-fudged.

In Which Charmian and Joanne Follow the Doughnut Recipe

Cutting Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts -

While the dough and glaze are easy to make, the frying required undivided attention. So Joanne was in charge of that.

Frying Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts -

If you attempt doughnuts, let me warn you, there must be no wandering off to check email. Let your voicemail system answer the phone. And if the cat knocks a china vase off the mantel, leave it lay where the feline flang it. Unless the house is burning down, do not leave the stove. Or else your house could burn down.

Working in tandem, Joanne and I made Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts with Simplest Vanilla Glaze. I rolled, cut, glazed and ran the timer. Joanne fried, turning the floating dough with great expertise. She didn’t break a single doughnut. The timing is fairly precise, so we found assigning one person to do the frying and the other person to do the less precise/timed tasks worked best.

The results? Tim Hortons, eat your heart out!

Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts -

Even the holes turned out just fine. For some fun I put them on a stick. Bet they won’t serve them to you that way at the drive-thru!

Doughnut Hole from Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts -

I’m proud to report our friendship survived the baking. In fact, we had so much fun we’ve decided to tackle an otherwise challenging recipe again soon.

The only complaint? The doughnuts didn’t last long at all. They were that good. And I gotta say, Top Pot was right in their spelling choice. These doughnuts deserve every extra letter.

Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 dozen doughnuts and holes
Don't call these beauties "donuts". These hand-forged, old-fashioned doughnuts are so good they earn every hyphen and extra letter.
Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts
  • 2¼ cups cake / soft-wheat flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon iodized salt
  • ¾ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening / vegetable lard, trans-fat-free preferred
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cups sour cream
  • canola oil for frying
Simplest Vanilla Glaze
  • 3½ cups confectioner's / icing sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon light corn syrup / golden syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon iodized salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water, (plus more if needed)
Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the sugar and shortening/vegetable lard for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy. Add the egg yolks, then mix for 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is light coloured and thick.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with sour cream, mixing until just combined on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. The dough will be sticky, like cookie/biscuit dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap/cling film, for 45 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
  5. Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 in/5 mm deep) in a deep fryer, large pot or high-sided frying pan to 325°F/165°C. Roll out the chilled dough on a generously floured counter or cutting board to ½ in/12 mm thick, or about 8 in/20 cm in diameter, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut into as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll the dough to make extra holes (working with floured hands makes the dough less sticky), and cut again.
  6. Shake any excess flour off the doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once the doughnuts float, fry for 15 seconds, then gently flip them. Fry for 75 to 90 seconds, until golden brown and cracked, then flip and fry the first side again for 60 to 75 seconds, until golden brown. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels/absorbent paper.
Simplest Vanilla Glaze
  1. Place the confectioner’s/icing sugar, corn /golden syrup, salt, vanilla and hot water in a large mixing bowl or in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Using a whisk, or with the machine on low, blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. If the glaze seems too thick, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.
  2. To glaze, dip one side of each hot doughnut into the warm glaze, and let dry for 10 to 15 seconds before serving.
Equipment: Doughnut cutter (or 2¾-inch | 7 cm and 1¼ inch | 3 cm round cutters).

This recipe is published with permission from Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson.


Hand-forged Doughnuts

Review in Brief

Will appeal to: Doughnut lovers and home bakers who want to branch into something new. Sure there are no-fry recipes in the book, but a baked doughnut is a little like kissing your cousin. My advice, read over the Doughnut History and Primer section a few times. It’s got tons of very practical information you’ll be glad to know when you’re timing by the quarter minute and working with hot oil. Did I mention the results are worth it?

Must try doughnut recipes:

  • French Toast Old-Fashioned Doughnuts: It’s French Toast. In doughnut form. Can you think of a more decadent breakfast? Except for maybe…
  • Dulce de Leche Cake Doughnuts: A chocolate-based version topped with chocolate caramel.
  •  Doughnut Bread Pudding: In the unlikely event of leftovers, this uses up raised doughnuts

Biggest delight: How delicious fresh-from-the-stove-top homemade doughuts can be. And I’d forgotten the joys of cooking elbow to elbow with a friend.




Related Post

  • Jess
    Posted at 10:04h, 19 October Reply

    Thanks, Charmian! Hand-fudged indeed. These look amazing!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:11h, 20 October Reply

      They turned out beautifully, Jess. We were both so proud. Thanks for the great book!

  • Andrea the Kitchen Witch
    Posted at 13:37h, 19 October Reply

    These doughnuts sound just like the ones my Grandfather used to enjoy with his am coffee. I’ve wanted to recreate them for years!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to make them for my family!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:12h, 20 October Reply

      I hope they taste as good as you remember. They were so much fun to make. Not an every-day affair, but it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours with a friend.

  • Ella
    Posted at 21:50h, 27 October Reply

    Yeah, when I was nine I caught our kitchen on fire making doughnuts unsupervised.

    Sour cream are my absolute favorite… this might actually tempt me into trying again.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:58h, 27 October Reply

      Oh no! Hope no one was hurt. I nearly started a fire making popcorn once and have been respectful of hot oil ever since.

      There are absolutely scrumptious. Try making them with a friend who can keep an eye on the oil for you. I don’t trust myself to do these unsupervised.

      I’d love to know what you think of the doughnuts if you do make them.

  • Christine
    Posted at 15:50h, 02 November Reply

    Hi Charmian, Your Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: Congrats again!! :)

  • Ciara Barsotti
    Posted at 11:01h, 22 December Reply

    I featured these on my blog with some other ideas for Christmas Morning Breakfast!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:58h, 04 January Reply

      Oh, these would make an amazing Christmas morning breakfast. A lot of work, but quite special. No matter what was on the menu, I hope your Christmas breakfast was divine!

  • Sheena
    Posted at 21:01h, 18 January Reply

    These look sooo good! I just mixed the dough to fry up tomorrow. I think I did everything right, but the dough was really dry, like not even sticking together. I added some milk (just eyeballed it) and that made it nice and sticky. Is there supposed to be more liquid that maybe accidentally got left out of your recipe? I am excited to have these tomorrow, hopefully the extra milk doesnt mess them up too much… :) Thanks for sharing this!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:47h, 19 January Reply

      NOTE: This comment has be updated. To be clear, the recipe calls for 2/3 cup [165 mL] sour cream.

      Thanks for the note. I double checked the recipe and there is no milk. I did, however, put down 1/2 cup of sour cream when there should be 2/3 cup. This small difference might have caused your trouble. I’ve fixed the recipe and apologize for the inconvenience. Given my mistake, I think your added milk solution will work just fine.

      You’re smart to eye-ball the recipe. Even if the recipe is written down correctly and you measure perfectly, minor differences in flour brand and humidity can affect the way a batter comes together. This is one reason a lot of cookbooks authors and chefs are beginning to measure flour by weight, not volume.

      I hope your doughnuts turned out well despite my typo.

      • Robin Abbott
        Posted at 19:53h, 30 September Reply

        Charmain: I just printed the recipe 9/30/13 and it is saying to put in 2/3 cups sour cream yet in your post you said it should be 1/3 cup. Can you please clarify is it 2/3 or 1/3. Thanks.

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 19:57h, 30 September Reply

          It is 2/3 cup sour cream (165 mL). I’ll edit the comment above. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for asking for clarification.

        • Robin Abbott
          Posted at 19:57h, 30 September Reply

          Never mind. I see now a later post that clear the issue .. IT IS 2/3 Cup Sour Cream! Yeah!

  • Jonathan
    Posted at 21:12h, 25 January Reply

    I just tried making these from the book, and even though I let the dough chill overnight, I found it too soft and maleable to be able to cut and maintain the donut shape as I tried to get them to the oil.

    Any tips?

    • Jess
      Posted at 00:10h, 26 January Reply

      This is indeed strange, Jonathan–so sorry to hear they weren’t an instant success. Can I ask you to compare the texture to something else? We haven’t heard of trouble with this yet…

  • Jonathan
    Posted at 07:26h, 26 January Reply

    Hard to pick what would be the closest match in texture. It was a sticky and tasty dough, but it seemed that no matter how much flour I put on the surface beneath, they would stick. And I was dipping my ateco cutter into the flour, and it would stick stick. I think tried using a super thin wide metal spatula to remove them from the cutting board, which I floured, and they would deform as I tried to get them to the oil.

    The flavor was good, but I ended up with bits of fried sour cream dough. They look so mishappen compared to your photos and the photos in Handforged.

    • Jess
      Posted at 18:06h, 26 January Reply

      Uh, Jonathan, I’m not sure what happened, besides possibly a mismeasurement. I’ve had such good luck with this recipe. Did you use weights or measures for the flour?

  • Jonathan
    Posted at 23:33h, 26 January Reply

    Is it possible that there was too much liquid. I used extra large eggs instead of large for the yolks. And I did measures, not weight for the flour. I was thinking that I might have somehow put too much liquid into the dough.

    • Jess
      Posted at 19:02h, 27 January Reply

      Extra large eggs will definitely make a difference, but it seems like perhaps not as much difference as you’re reporting… Shoot! My best advice is to try again, using large eggs and measuring carefully!

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 08:45h, 07 February Reply

        Thanks so much to Jess for taking charge of this thread. I *told* you she was super!

        Jonathon, I hope you give the recipe another go. They were the best, most tender doughnuts I’ve ever had.

  • Shelle
    Posted at 01:28h, 07 February Reply

    2 1/4 cups | 255 g cake/soft-wheat flour plus more for rolling and cutting ?
    This may sound like a silly question but exactly what kind of flour do you use? Cake soft-wheat flour? Or just cake flour? Or wheat flour? I am so sorry if its a silly question. Thanks ahead of time!!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:34h, 07 February Reply

      I am Canadian so our wheat is labeled a bit differently. I used a form of soft-wheat flour called “cake & pastry” flour. It’s a soft-wheat flour with a high starch content used a lot for tender baked goods, especially cakes and pastries. Hence the name. It worked just fine in the doughnuts. If you can get cake flour, use that. If you can’t find cake flour, pastry flour will do. Do not use all-purpose.

      All-purpose flour is a mix of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. Your doughnuts won’t be tender. And don’t use bread flour either. It’s almost all high-gluten hard wheat. There are many more flours. Each is formulated with a specific outcome in mind.

      See, not such a dumb question after all. Happy baking!

    • Jess
      Posted at 11:44h, 07 February Reply

      Charmian is right – this is not silly. It’s actually the most common question I get about this book! If you’re in the US, the Swan’s Down brand is often readily available.

  • Ashlee
    Posted at 18:26h, 11 February Reply

    I’m making these right now, and followed the directions exactly and the dough is dry. Like I’m making a pie crust and haven’t added the liquid. I added just a touch of milk like someone else said they did, so we’ll see how it goes…

  • Jess
    Posted at 18:37h, 11 February Reply

    Okay, folks, once and for all, let’s solve this dryness issue! Charmian, I believe you changed the recipe from 1/2 cup sour cream to 1/3 cup sour cream. THE RECIPE SHOULD READ 2/3 CUP SOUR CREAM, as it does in the book. So sorry this has caused confusion, frustration, and perhaps bad doughnuts. Sheena and Ashlee, this should answer your questions!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:58h, 11 February Reply

      Hanging my head in shame. My initial “fix” of the recipe made things worse, rather than better. It’s now fixed properly. 2/3 cup sour cream. Lick it. Stick it. Stamp it.

      Sorry, Jess. Sorry Sheena and Ashely and whoever else had trouble with the recipe. It really works well—when I’m not botching the quantities of sour cream.

  • Ashlee
    Posted at 18:53h, 11 February Reply

    Thanks for letting me know! I added more sour cream & milk just to get it right, so we’ll see how it turns out…it’s chilling now

  • Karen
    Posted at 00:18h, 10 April Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you for this recipe! We lived in Toronto for a few years and one of the things we miss most is sour cream glazed donuts, Tim Horton style :) Can’t wait to try this! :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:02h, 18 April Reply

      Sour cream glazed are my favourite, too — although I won’t say no to a honey creuller if the timing is right. I hope you enjoy the results and the donuts bring back happy memories.

  • katie
    Posted at 08:18h, 10 April Reply

    oh my… I’m drooling over these right now. They looks and sound amazing!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:03h, 18 April Reply

      They’re very tender and delicious. I cannot make them without a group of family or friends standing by to help eat them. I cannot trust myself to eat just one — or two. Or three…

  • Heather @ Curly Girl Kitchen
    Posted at 21:52h, 16 June Reply

    These have been my absolute favorite doughnut since I’ve been a kid and I’ve been looking for a recipe that looks just right. I cannot wait to make these! Maybe for my birthday next month. :)

  • Heather @ Curly Girl Kitchen
    Posted at 21:53h, 16 June Reply

    Oh, btw, I generally don’t use shortening – do you think substituting butter for the shortening would have any adverse effect on the recipe?

    • Jess
      Posted at 10:13h, 18 June Reply

      Hi Heather! Butter will work, but the shape of the doughnuts may change… the water in the butter tends to boil/explode when the dough fries, leaving bumps in the doughnuts. If you *really* want to use butter, use slightly softened clarified butter, such as the Indian ghee sold in the cold section of many supermarkets.

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 15:56h, 18 June Reply

        Thanks for answering this, Jess. I just learned something!

  • Heather @ Curly Girl Kitchen
    Posted at 10:27h, 18 June Reply

    Jess, thanks, that’s very helpful to know! I think I’ll follow the recipe exactly the first time. They look so perfect as they are!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:56h, 18 June Reply

      Please let us know how your doughnuts turn out! Mine were amazingly good. Almost illegally so.

  • casi
    Posted at 13:29h, 25 June Reply

    could you bake these and not fry them?

    • Jess
      Posted at 17:29h, 26 June Reply

      Casi: This recipe has been formulated specially for frying. Although it is possible to bake doughnuts in general, I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe.

  • Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen
    Posted at 12:08h, 16 July Reply

    Mmmm…my favorite kind of doughnuts! :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 23:59h, 16 July Reply

      Mine, too. That’s why I picked it! Although every recipe in the book was mighty tempting.

  • Don O
    Posted at 10:50h, 26 July Reply

    These are the most disgusting things I have ever seen. I followed the recipe exactly (only using all purpose flour) and when I put them in the oil. They foamed and expanded to twice their size and basically foamed themselves apart. All that was recoverable from the oil was small parts. And they tasted like oil is all. Are you sure you have enough sugar? and why so much baking soda.?? OOppps Never mind!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:03h, 26 July Reply

      Oh no! The dreaded baking powder/soda mix up. Who knew the results would be so dramatic – and awful. While you can’t save the doughnuts maybe you can pull a good story from the wreckage.

      Thanks for sharing you take of woe. Good luck on the next batch (if there is one.)

    • Terri
      Posted at 13:27h, 29 March Reply

      I didnt think you could use all purpose flour. Maybe that’s why they tasted like they didnt have enough sugar because isnt cake flour a sweeter flour?

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 14:39h, 29 March Reply

        Interchanging flours can be tricky in baking. Cake flour isn’t sweeter than all-purpose. It’s softer. The two kinds of flour cannot be used interchangeably without adjusting measurements. They have different protein content which will affect texture and rise. Cake and pastry flours are considered “soft” since their protein content is between 6% and 10% (most are in the 8-9% range). All purpose flour is 10-11% protein (compared to bread flour with at least 12%, which is considered “hard”). This recipe calls for soft flour, so if you want to use all-purpose flour, you need to reduce the flour by 2 tablespoons per cup and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. This affects texture not sweetness.

        As for the taste, these doughnuts are designed to be glazed so the doughnut itself isn’t too sweet. I found them sweet enough, but everyone’s palate is different. Double dip with glaze if you want them sweeter. I wouldn’t adjust the sugar in the doughnut batter since that can affect the texture as well.

  • Erin Hess
    Posted at 20:14h, 06 November Reply

    These were fantastic! I am making donuts for an office party and wanted to test them out before making them for a crowd. The flavor and texture was awesome! Thank you for these. I will definitely put them on my blog!

  • Cameron Busby
    Posted at 15:06h, 08 November Reply

    I’m usually not one to comment on recipe blogs, but I had to this time. These turned out perfectly! I followed the recipe exactly. I made the dough the night before, chilled it overnight, cut out the doughnuts a couple of hours before I had guests over, and returned them to the fridge until each dilicious doughnut did its time in the fryer. Even though the process took a while from start to finish, do not let that deter you from making these for certain special occasions (new Halloween tradition at my house).

    Just a note to any that are going to make these… just know that the dough is VERY sticky. It will seem like there is no way that it will roll out, but with a generously cake-floured surface and roller, they actually rolled out cleanly.

    And one last thing, in case you are wondering, these actually taste like doughnuts! Really! I was worried that they would turn out like “oh, that’s cute that you tried something so hard… and they kinda look like doughnuts, but you probably would have been better off going down the street for a couple dozen.” This was not the case at all; they had perfect doughnut texture and flavor, only needing a tall glass of 2% or a steamy cup of cocoa to wash it down.

  • Erin @ Making Memories
    Posted at 13:48h, 11 November Reply

    We made these this morning and they were AWESOME!!!! I don’t have a donut cutter either so it was tough finding the center cutter. But we figured it out (kind of). LOVED them. Thanks so much for this recipe! I will definitely link back to you when I post about it!

  • MrsPetey
    Posted at 16:42h, 16 November Reply

    First of all, thank you so much for making this recipe available. Its so nice to be able to just go online and get free recipes.
    We tried these this morning. My family didn’t really care for them. They seemed kinda dry, a little bland, and not sweet enough. Maybe I’ll tweak them and try it again. I think a little lemon juice, a little milk, and cinnamon instead of nutmeg would make a big difference.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:43h, 16 November Reply

      I would love to take the credit for making this recipe available, but the credit must go to Chronicle Books for allowing me to excerpt the recipe.

      I’m sorry the doughnuts didn’t turn out as you had hoped. It’s always disappointing when you put a lot of work into a dish and it isn’t what you expected. Although the doughnuts themselves aren’t very sweet, the glaze sweetens them up quite a bit. Did you glaze them? If not, I wouldn’t skip this step.

      If you found them dry, I wonder if you used a previous version of the recipe. It didn’t call for enough sour cream and the results were a bit dry. The current recipe is correct. If you attempt the doughnuts again using the current recipe, they should be fine.

  • Matthew
    Posted at 00:39h, 30 November Reply

    Will the dough stick to wax paper if I roll it out between two sheets? I plan on preparing the dough tomorrow & making the doughnuts Saturday morning. Because of the described stickiness of the dough I’m a bit concerned that a well floured surface might not work too well for a novice like myself so I’m hoping using wax paper will be an equally good alternative. If not I’ll stick to the script & try my hand with the floured board!

    Also I’ve read some responses stating that the doughnut itself wasn’t all that sweet. I’m not looking for an extremely sweet doughnut but I don’t want it to be bland either. Would slightly altering the amount of sugar affect the end result dramatically? If so I’ll just keep things as they are.

    Huge thanks for sharing this recipe btw!

    • Jess
      Posted at 00:44h, 30 November Reply

      Use the flour! It’s sticky, but just don’t be shy with that flour…. it will stick to the waxed paper worse. Try spreading flour out on a wooden board and putting the dough on that if you’re concerned…

  • Rizak the Really Horrible
    Posted at 13:22h, 01 March Reply

    Thanks Charmian and Jess. I made these the other day, but cut into small squares. Little dough … balls? I suppose. Anyway, they were easier to cut out that way with a pizza cutter, no re-rolling, and they were delicious. As expected.

    They sure don’t last long though.

    I had to watch them a bit more carefully when frying because they were rolled out a bit thinner than you described. I wanted tiny bites so started with a thinner dough. I turned them quite quickly with a set of chopsticks and then almost immediately again. The first dozen were a bit over done, but as with pancakes, the first batch is always sacrificial. I had to eat them myself. It was a hardship I’m willing to endure.

    This is a great recipe and I plan to use it for giveaways at craft shows to show off my homemade vanillas. The vanilla flavour doesn’t come through too strongly, but who can say no to a doughnut?

    • admin
      Posted at 13:58h, 01 March Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share how you made these. I’m thrilled the recipe was so flexible and am impressed with your ingenuity.

      I can’t say no to a homemade doughnut and one made with homemade vanilla would put me over the moon. Can’t wait to give your product a try!

      Oh yes, and thanks for giving a nod to Jess. It’s her recipe, not mine, so it’s nice to see her getting some credit.

  • randy
    Posted at 19:14h, 19 March Reply

    the recipe is great what isnt great is that when printing off recipe it prints all the comments and the rest of the bs! I have to work for a living and dont appreciate having to print off 15 pages to get a recipe.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:27h, 19 March Reply

      This recipe is specially formatted for printing. If you look at the recipe title, to the far right of it you will see a little printer icon and the words “Print recipe”. If you click those words you have the option to “Print with main photo” or “Print text only.” I just tested it. Either way, it printed 2 pages.

      If you are attempting to print the entire blogpost, you will get the comments. Clicking the printer icon on your browser menu (or File/Print) will print the entire post. I’m assuming you went this route? Or did you try the print recipe command and it ignored you?

  • janice
    Posted at 04:04h, 12 May Reply

    Which beaters to use the regular one or the dough hooks? Please

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:03h, 12 May Reply

      The recipe calls for a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. No dough hook required. Hope you like the doughnuts.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 19:10h, 15 August Reply

    I used all purpose flour and substitutes the nutmeg for Indian spices and fried them in coconut oil. They were delicious although I did have to add 4T milk to the dough.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 00:54h, 17 August Reply

      What a clever substitution. Thanks so much for sharing your Indian variation. I bet it was delciious.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 22:55h, 25 August Reply


    I made the recipe for the second time but, again, after frying, the doughnuts were very greasy inside, what I might me doing wrong?
    I used lard instead of vegetable softening, do you think this might be the problem?

    Thank you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 00:27h, 26 August Reply

      I’m not sure why your doughnuts were greasy inside. The recipe calls for canol oil for frying, not lard or shortening, which may well be the issue. Lard has a smoke point 50°F lower than canola, but the 325°F temperature recommended is well below the smoke points of both fats. My guess is that the oil you’re using isn’t hot enough and/or isn’t coming back up to temperature between batches.

      I hope this helps!

  • Carol
    Posted at 19:58h, 17 October Reply

    Made exactly as written. The dough was sticky but with a liberally floured rolling mat, they were no problem at all. The cooking times were spot on. I only made half the glaze and had plenty left at the end. They were light as air on the inside and crispy on the outside. And they were not cloyingly sweet. Thank you for this recipe!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:15h, 20 October Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how you’re doughnuts turned out. I’m thrilled you like them. I also like that they’re not too sweet. I haven’t made these in ages and now have a craving!

  • Charlene
    Posted at 20:30h, 26 October Reply

    My granddaughter wanted to make doughnuts with her Grandpa this morning … they did not have a good plan for delicious doughnuts. So late last night I went into the kitchen and whipped up a batch of these Sour Cream Heavenly Delights. They turned out perfectly in spite of my way of putting them together. I just dumped the dry ingredients together, cut in the shortening, added the egg yolks and sour cream. Uh, the dough was so crumbly I thought I had a disaster on my hands. NOT SO… I just stirred in the egg whites plus 2 teaspoons of water (this was a batch and half). Covered it with plastic wrap, let it sit in the fridge until the morning. We had HEAVENLY doughnuts. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:01h, 28 October Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I never had the pleasure of making doughnuts with my grandmother (we did make lots of cookies). I’m so glad the recipe turned out for you! Your granddaughter is very lucky to have a grandmother who’s willing to make doughnuts with her!

  • Jayne Adler
    Posted at 08:52h, 29 October Reply

    my daughter loves this type of doughnut and I had been looking for a recipe for a long time. I made these last week in my tiny, miniature kitchen, it took longer to clean up the mess I made than it did to make these. I used my electric frying pan to fry them in and they turned out exactly like your picture of them. and, taste delicious. I will make them again but a double batch next time. thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:19h, 30 October Reply

      Oh, I hear you about the mess of baking. It seems the smaller the kitchen the longer the clean up. I would never have thought to fry these in an electic frying pan, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. I admire the ingenuity! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love that you didn’t let a small space stand in the way!

  • Amber
    Posted at 10:46h, 08 November Reply

    Just wondering if you or anyone else has substituted anything else for the yucky corn syrup?? I don’t have any in my house, and don’t plan on buying any- maybe regular maple syrup will work? Thanks for your help!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:50h, 08 November Reply

      I understand your hesitation with corn syrup. I know this won’t persuade you to buy or like it, but the corn syrup sold in stores is not the evil high-fructose corn syrup used in the commercial baking world.

      You can substitue golden syrup (it’s a bit more sweet and slightly thicker) or honey, which is also a bit sweeter. I wouldn’t use maple syrup since it’s too runny and would change the taste. All substitutions change the final results slightly. I’m not sure how these two alternatives will work. I’d be very intersted in hearing if you do try it. Happy baking!

      • Amber
        Posted at 17:52h, 08 November Reply

        Thanks! I think I’ll go with the honey, will let you know how it turns out!

  • Kim
    Posted at 23:02h, 08 November Reply

    I do not have a stand mixer with a paddle. What should I use?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:02h, 10 November Reply

      You should be able to make this recipe without a stand mixer. I’d use the hand-held mixer to combine the sugar and shortening/lard, Then I’d switch to a sturdy wooden spoon once combining the wet and dry ingredients. You might be able to use a hand-held mixer for this sstep as well, but mine is very wimpy and I don’t trust it.

      Hope this helps. Good luck with your doughnuts!

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  • Stefan
    Posted at 08:30h, 21 January Reply

    Hi I made these doughnuts last night and the nutmeg taste was just to strong . I happen to own a copy of the Top Pot doughnut book and nothing I’ve made from it has been that great . I like the the taste of nutmeg but it seems that’s all you can taste .

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:12h, 21 January Reply

      I’m sorry you’re disappointed with the results. I didn’t find the nutmeg too strong, but everyone’s palate is different. You can always cut back to 1/2 tsp, a 1/4 tsp, or skip the nutmeg all together and substitute an equal portion of powdered vanilla. Hope your next batch of doughnuts hits the right notes.

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  • Mariah
    Posted at 10:13h, 30 March Reply

    I used this recipe yesterday, but veganized it, and they turned out great! Exactly like what I remember eating as a child.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:28h, 05 April Reply

      That’s wonderful to hear. I’m sure others will be thrilled to know this recipe can be adapted to vegan ingredients. Thanks for sharing your experience with this recipe. It’s a favourite of mine.

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  • Cynthia
    Posted at 14:21h, 13 February Reply

    What do I miss about Canada?(moved to UK 13 years ago)
    Tim Horton ‘s.
    When we go back for a visit, where can we be found
    Tim Horton ‘s.
    What do we always get when at Tim Horton ‘s?
    Sour Cream Glazed!
    Amongst many others-one is not enough!
    Made this recipe today and they were better than Tim’s.
    Warm and fresh. Absolutely gorgeous.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:45h, 16 February Reply

      Thank YOU. I’m so glad you like the recipe and that it brought back good memories.

      I lived in Australia for a year and friends sent me “Roll Up the Rim” cups so I could play along. You just never know what you’re going to miss. Glad this recipe filled the gap!

  • joe Switajewski
    Posted at 08:23h, 02 April Reply

    alright, had a couple of problems with this recipe. my first problem was that there is no way that i could fry these at 325. I tried to fry them at 375 and they still absorbed grease like a sponge. they turned out and looked like there were supposed to, but they took anywhere from 6 to 8 min to fry even at 375. wondering if anyone else had any problems as i did. I made raised doughnuts last week and i had close to the same amount of grease left as i started with. after i made these, i didnt have much grease left

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:46h, 04 April Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m not sure why these didn’t cooperate for you. I had no issue frying them at 325F and they didn’t soak up much oil. I strained the leftover oil for a future batch and was surprised by how much oil remained. When cooking, my doughnuts rose to the surface quickly and fried in the time stated. Skipping the step of refrigerating the dough could have interfered with gluten development and hydration, but not to that great an extent. I’m assuming you used soft wheat, not all-purpose flour? Even if you did, it should not have taken 8 minutes to cook at a higher temperature.

      I’m not sure if the “grease” you mention is a generic term or if you mean something specific. The recipe calls for frying in canola oil. If you fried in lard, the temperature should be between 350F and 375F (which is the temperature you used). At this temperature, little fat should be absorbed, and the doughnuts would have cooked within the time set out in the recipe.

      Sorry I don’t have a solid answer for you. I know how frustrating it is to put time, effort and ingredients into something and not have it work out. Assuming you didn’t make any major substitutions, I’m stumped. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.

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  • Kim
    Posted at 12:28h, 31 January Reply

    Followed recipe to the t. Oil right temp. Fried the right amount of time on recipe, they fell apart and to brown , and raw on the n side. Sorry will not try this again!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:54h, 04 February Reply

      I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you. I’ve no idea why since you followed the recipe. I understand your frustration as it’s disappointing to put time and effort into a recipe and not get the results you want. I hope this doesn’t deter you from homebaking.

  • Cathy
    Posted at 19:37h, 21 February Reply

    Yippee!!! Just heard that my dear DIL ‘s favourite Tim Horton doughnut is your sour cream glazed. Can’t wait to try this out and surpise her.
    Thanks to all who shared their experiences with the recipe. It helps a lot.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:31h, 23 February Reply

      What a lovely surprise for your DIL. Have fun making your doughnuts. I hope you enjoy the baking as much as she enjoys the eating. I’d love to hear how they turn out.

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