Old-fashioned doughnuts
Old-fashioned doughnuts – cinnamon sugar (left), chocolate glazed (centre top) and maple glazed (right)
TypeCake doughnut
Main ingredientsFlour, sugar, eggs, butter, sour cream or buttermilk and chemical leavener

The old-fashioned doughnut is a term used for a variety of cake doughnut prepared in the shape of a ring with a cracked surface and tapered edges around it.[1] Nineteenth century recipes for "old-fashioned donuts" are made with yeast, but in modern doughnut shops an "old-fashioned doughnut" is usually a cake doughnut.[2] Cake doughnuts made with chemical leavener originated in the United States circa 1829. Primary ingredients in the old-fashioned doughnut include flour, sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream or buttermilk, and chemical leavener. It is typically deep fried, may have a crunchier or crisper texture compared to other styles of cake doughnuts, and typically has cracks and pores on its surface. After being fried, it is glazed, dusted with sugar, or served plain.

Commercially prepared old-fashioned doughnuts may be prepared using a batter mix that is made with the addition of water. Such mixes are used by some doughnut shops. Some variations are prepared by various companies using unique ingredients, and some old-fashioned doughnuts are produced as doughnut holes.


Nineteenth century recipes for "old-fashioned donuts" are made with yeast, but in modern doughnut shops an "old-fashioned doughnut" is usually a cake doughnut.[2] Historically, the terms are used imprecisely, and some controversy has arisen over the meaning of the terms doughnut, cruller and fry cake. Old-fashioned cake doughnuts were called sometimes called "fry cakes" back then:[3][4]

Doughnuts are made of pieces of raised dough, cut into circular pieces and set to rise. After rising they are dropped into a kettle of hot fat, where they puff up into balls and become brown on the surface. Crullers and fried cakes, on the other hand, are made of dough leavened with baking powder—in colonial times soda served instead. For fried cakes, frequently misnamed as doughnuts and crullers, the dough is rolled out and cut into circles, and then a smaller circle is cut out of the center of each cake. It is the fried cake that has the hole.

In the present day, the old-fashioned doughnut is most commonly a type of cake doughnut, and has been described as a "subset" of the cake doughnut.[5][6] The cake doughnut itself originated in the United States circa 1829, when the increased availability of pearlash in the U.S., a type of leavener that preceded baking powder, led to the increase of cake doughnut consumption.[6] It is unclear when the old-fashioned doughnut itself was invented, but this very likely occurred after the cake doughnut was invented. Prior to circa 1829, doughnuts were typically the yeast-risen variety in the U.S.[6] Circa the 1830s, the leaveners baking soda and baking powder began to be available to U.S. consumers, which is around the same time that cake doughnut recipes first appeared in U.S. cookbooks.[5]


A plain old-fashioned doughnut
A plain old-fashioned doughnut

Primary ingredients in an old-fashioned doughnut include flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream or buttermilk, and leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda.[7][8][9] Additional ingredients may include milk, butter, vanilla extract and salt.[7][8] Some recipes use vegetable shortening.[8] The use of buttermilk or sour cream may impart a rich flavor to the doughnut.[10] It is typically deep-fried, and may be deep fried at a lower temperature compared to other doughnut styles,[11][6] having a crunchier texture compared to other cake doughnut styles.[12] Frying at a lower temperature contributes to its rough, cracked texture.[6] Being turned several times while cooking in the oil also contributes to its texture.[8]

It may be prepared with toppings such as sugar, chocolate or maple glazes, dusted with granulated sugar or cinnamon-sugar, or served plain without any topping. The shape of the doughnut can lend to the retention of a greater amount of glaze or other toppings[8] compared to other doughnut styles. The old-fashioned doughnut may have a similar texture to that of a buttermilk doughnut,[13] may be crisp in texture, and typically has cracks and pores on its surface.[5][7][14][15][unreliable source?]

Commercial preparation

Commercially prepared old-fashioned doughnut batter mixes are mass-produced in the United States,[14] which may be prepared by simply adding cold water to the mix.[11] Prepared mixes are used by some doughnut shops.[11] Doughnut shops may prepare old-fashioned doughnuts by loading the batter into the hopper of a doughnut maker, which upon turning a hand crank, drops a formed doughnut into a deep fryer.[11] Doughnut makers are also used for other doughnut varieties, such as cake doughnuts, yeast doughnuts, cream filled, and jelly filled doughnuts.[6][16]

Nutrition information

Glazed old-fashioned doughnut
A glazed old-fashioned doughnut
A glazed old-fashioned doughnut
Nutritional value per 1 doughnut
Energy420 kcal (1,800 kJ)
Dietary fiber<1
260 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: [17]

One glazed old-fashioned doughnut contains approximately 420 calories, 21 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 260 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrate, 34 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein and less than one gram of dietary fiber.[17]


Several companies produce old-fashioned doughnuts that differ from standard preparations.[citation needed] Starbucks Corporation, based in Seattle, Washington, purveys an old-fashioned doughnut that is prepared using batter infused with chocolate.[18][19] The U.S. company Trader Joe's purveys a mass-produced product named "Old-Fashioned Doughnut O's", which are miniature-sized old-fashioned doughnuts.[20] In September 2015, Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago, Illinois, created limited-edition custom doughnuts in collaboration with various celebrities, which included an old-fashioned doughnut with maple glaze garnished with candied Fresno chili peppers.[21] The company Glazed and Infused in Chicago, Illinois, serves customers the traditional glazed old-fashioned as well as a unique twist on the doughnut they call the lemon poppy seed old-fashioned doughnut.[22] The doughnut at Glazed and Infused is covered with lemon-flavored glaze, and topped with poppy seeds and lemon zest.[22][unreliable source?]

Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle, Washington, prepares both vanilla- and chocolate-based old-fashioned doughnuts. Each flavor can be dipped in glaze, raspberry glaze, chocolate icing, maple icing, or sugared pumpkin (in season).[6] The restaurant Nopa in San Francisco, California, has prepared a dessert using old-fashioned doughnut holes along with Asian pears, crème anglaise, pear butter and cardamaro liqueur.[23] The doughnuts at Nopa are prepared using a sour cream base.[23]


See also


  1. ^ Preston, Marguerite (2016). "You're Either a Cake Doughnut Person or a Yeast One". Bon appétit.
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Heather Arndt (2013). Breakfast: A History. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 54.
  3. ^ Krondl, Michael (2014). The Donut: history, recipes, and lore from Boston to Berlin. Chicago Review Press. p. 43.
  4. ^ Gillette, Fanny Lemira (1887). The White House Cookbook: A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home.
  5. ^ a b c Preston, Marguerite (April 26, 2016). "You're Either a Cake Doughnut Person or a Yeast One". Bon Appetit. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Galarza, Daniela (May 28, 2015). "Everything You Need to Know About the Great American Doughnut". Eater. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Bilderback, L. (2010). The Everything Bread Cookbook. Adams Media. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-4405-0032-9. OCLC 548651124.
  8. ^ a b c d e Klebeck, Mark; Klebeck, Michael; Pitts, S. & Thomson, J. (2011). Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker. Chronicle Books. pp. 95–97. ISBN 978-1-4521-0212-2. OCLC 706025459.
  9. ^ Wolf-Cohen, Elizabeth; Somerscales, Jillian, eds. (2001). The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook: America's Bestselling Step-By-Step Cookbook, With More Than 1,400 Recipes. Hearst Books. p. 425. ISBN 978-1-58816-070-6. OCLC 126845843.
  10. ^ Moore, J.O. & Barboza, C. (2013). The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts. Sasquatch Books. p. PT 73–74. ISBN 978-1-57061-854-3. OCLC 842972341.
  11. ^ a b c d Leinberger, Lisa (August 7, 2014). "BEST JOB FOR EARLY RISER Mike's Old Fashioned Donuts Has a Following So Get There by Noon". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  12. ^ Jones, Carey (February 2, 2012). "The Serious Eats Doughnut Style Guide". Serious Eats. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  13. ^ Bilderback, L. & Fraioli, J.O. (2008). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Snack Cakes. Complete idiot's guide. Alpha Books. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-59257-737-8. OCLC 443273415.
  14. ^ a b Management's Food Processing/marketing. Putnam Publishing Company. 1966. p. 75. Old fashioned doughnuts Mix makes a ring type doughnut with a slight crack like the old fashioned doughnut. Product has a crusty, ...
  15. ^ Old-Fashioned Donuts. YouTube (video). ChefSteps. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  16. ^ Bakery Production and Marketing. Gorman Publishing Company. 1988. p. 112. Q Donut-maker's "Often, it's the small details that can get out of whack and cause problems in getting perfect donuts," says ... For consistent cake donuts, the depositor hopper must be a constant distance from the frying shortening, so batter will ...
  17. ^ a b Raffetto, M. (2009). The Calorie Counter For Dummies. For Dummies. Wiley. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-470-60009-2. OCLC 759515809.
  18. ^ Heiman, Amir & Oded, Lowengart (2011). "The Calorie Dilemma: Leaner and Larger, or Tastier yet Smaller Meals? Calorie Consumption and Willingness to Trade Food Quantity for Food Taste" (PDF). The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 4. Discussion Paper No. 15.10. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  19. ^ Mullins, Jenna (May 20, 2014). "This Is the World's Most Expensive Doughnut, but It Doesn't Even Look That Appealing". E!. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Petronis, Lexi (November 5, 2013). "Healthy-ish Donuts? Sure! Here Are Some of the Country's Best Options". Glamour. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  21. ^ Freeman, Sarah (September 15, 2015). "Do-Rite Collaborates With Celebs for New Custom Flavors". Zagat. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Lemon Poppy Seed Old Fashioned". Glazed and Infused. Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  23. ^ a b Felch, Trevor (October 6, 2015). "The Best Donuts in San Francisco". Thrillist. Retrieved March 7, 2016.