I love using “National Days” as an excuse for decadence. November 5th is a good one as we celebrate National Doughnut Day. But wait a second. Wasn’t National Donut Day back in June? I seem to remember Ellen making some super-cool cactus doughnuts to celebrate. It’s true. National Donut Day is the first Friday in June to commemorate Salvation Army workers feeding the popular baked good to World War I soldiers (which spawned the nickname “doughboys” for infantrymen.) November 5th is National Doughnut Day, which is a celebration of the tasty treat itself. Jelly donuts have a day of their own (June 8) and cream-filled are celebrated September 14. It’s possible I’m not the only one looking for an excuse to make doughnuts.
November is a pretty great time to celebrate the doughnut. Cool weather means I’m happy to spend time in a hot kitchen and warm, fresh doughnuts lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg are perfect for the season.
This recipe for buttermilk doughnuts takes less than 45 minutes to prepare. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and delicious through and through, it’s a surprisingly-easy recipe you’d be tempted to make more often if it wasn’t, you know, deep-fried dough rolled in sugar. Did I mention an excuse for decadence? Besides, National Pizza Day With Everything Except Anchovies isn’t until next week. I’m not even kidding about that.
Yield: About 18 doughnuts (plus holes)
- Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
Pour peanut or vegetable oil into a deep, heavy skillet to a depth of about an inch and heat on medium-high to a temperature of 370 degrees while preparing dough.
Whisk buttermilk, egg, sugar and butter together in a mixer.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt and mix until a soft, sticky dough comes together.
Place dough on a floured work surface, flip over and roll to a thickness of about 1/2″.
Use a doughnut cutter or a 3-inch biscuit cutter and 1-inch biscuit cutter to stamp doughnuts (save the holes).
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Fry doughnuts a few at a time for 60-90 seconds, use tongs to flip and fry for another minute until golden brown (doughnuts will expand while cooking, so take care to avoid overcrowding).
Using tongs, remove doughnuts from oil, roll in sugar/cinnamon to coat and place on top of paper towels on wire racks to cool.
Bonus: Fry doughnuts holes for about a minute on each side, toss in sugar/cinnamon and cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature.