6 ways to satisfy a doughnut craving

The doughnut has emerged as one of the latest, greatest food trends. Julie Van Rosendall shares her favourite recipes and favourite Calgary doughnut shop.

Doughnuts are not too hard to make from scratch with a good recipe, but easier to buy fresh

Julie Van Rosendall shares her favourite recipes and Calgary doughnut shop below. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Once a staple of truck stops, coffee shops and grandmothers’ kitchens (for the lucky ones), the doughnut has emerged as one of the latest, greatest food trends.

Cake and yeast-raised doughnuts have the same old-fashioned-meets-gourmet appeal as a cupcake — single serving carb-heavy sweets that can be customized and accessorized with any number of ingredients and glazes.

While mass-produced doughnuts were once the perfect pairing for a cup of 25 cent Joe, the latest upscale doughnuts are better suited to a well-crafted espresso.

And they’re not as tough to make from scratch as you might think. Whether or not you’re up for the task, here are a half dozen ways to satisfy a doughnut craving.

Maple-Glazed Sour Cream Doughnuts

Maple doughnuts are pure Canadiana. The dough for these rich sour cream cake doughnuts is quick to stir together, and requires no rising. If you like, skip the doughnuts altogether and drop the dough in small spoonfuls into the oil to make fritters or doughnut holes.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter
  • 1 tsp maple or vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp  baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp half and half or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • canola oil, for frying

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until pale and light. Beat in the oil and maple extract.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the sugar mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions. Mix just until combined after each.

In a heavy pot, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 375˚F. (Alternatively, heat oil in a deep fryer.) Pat the dough on a lightly floured surface to about ½-inch thick and cut into rounds with a doughnut cutter.

Gently fry a few at a time, without crowding the pot, flipping with tongs as necessary until deep golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the icing sugar, cream and maple syrup for the glaze. Drizzle over cooked doughnuts while they’re still warm.

Makes about 1½ dozen doughnuts, plus some doughnut holes.

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Pick some up from Jelly Modern

Canada’s original gourmet doughnut shop got its start right here in Calgary, mixing up raised yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts in now-iconic flavours like Nenshi’s salted caramel, red velvet, maple bacon and s’mores doughnuts with house-made marshmallows. They even have a community room you can reserve, and they do gorgeous custom doughnut wedding “cakes.”

Jelly Modern Doughnuts, 100 1414 Eighth Street S.W., 403-453-2053, jellymoderndoughnuts.com, @JellyModern

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

The recent winter Olympics in Sochi inspired these Russian ponchiki doughnuts, which are like rich, creamy doughnut holes, studded with raisins or currants, or not. There’s no need to roll and cut — simply drop the wet batter by the spoonful (carefully!) into hot oil.

Make sure the spoonfuls are small, so that they cook all the way through.

  • 1 cup farmers’ cheese or ricotta
  • 2-3 tbsp sour cream (if the cheese is very dry)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup raisins or currants (optional)
  • extra flour, for rolling
  • canola or other mild vegetable oil, for cooking
  • icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, stir together the cheese, sour cream, sugar and egg. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until you have a thick batter. If you like, stir in some raisins or currants.

Put some flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Scoop medium spoonfuls of batter and roll in flour to coat. Heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking — a crust of bread should sizzle if you dip it in. Gently lower a few ponchiki at a time into the oil — don’t crowd the pot — and cook until golden on the bottom. Flip and cook for a few minutes on the other side, until deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Dust with icing sugar or cinnamon sugar while still warm. Makes lots.

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Apple or Pear Fritter 'Doughnuts'

For doughnut-shaped apple fritters, cut thin slices of tart apple crosswise, cutting out the core with the tip of a sharp knife. Dip them in batter and cook in hot oil, then sprinkle in icing sugar for crispy “doughnuts” with soft apple insides.

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • A shake of cinnamon
  • enough milk or water to make a thin batter
  • 1-2 tart, firm apples, such as Ambrosias
  • canola oil, for frying
  • powdered sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon and enough milk or water to make a thin batter — it should have the consistency of thin cream. Slice the apples (don’t bother peeling them) crosswise about ¼-inch thick and cut out the cores with the tip of a knife, making a ring.

In a wide pot, heat an inch or two of canola oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (You’ll know it’s ready when a scrap of bread held into the oil bubbles around it.) Dip a few slices of apple at a time into the batter, coating them completely, then gently slip into the oil. Cook a couple at a time for a minute or two, flipping with tongs as necessary, until golden. (If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down — if it’s taking too long, the oil may need to be hotter. Don’t crowd the pot or it will bring the temperature of the oil down.)

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle and eat, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Makes lots.

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Glazed Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

This formula makes classic, light yeast-raised doughnuts — customize them with the glaze, which can be made with maple syrup or spiked with different flavoured extracts, or made chocolate with a big spoonful of cocoa powder. Adapted from Canadian Living.


  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or good vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Canola oil (or another mild vegetable oil) for cooking

In large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water; let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour until you have a smooth paste. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until bubbly and stretchy, about 30 minutes.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt, beat in sponge. Stir in flour until you have a sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place until tripled in bulk, about an hour and a half.

Punch the dough down and roll or pat it out about ½-inch thick. Using a three-inch doughnut cutter or a round cutter and a smaller one for the hole, cut out doughnuts. Transfer doughnuts and holes to a baking sheet, cover and let rise for another hour, until doubled in bulk.

In a wide, shallow pot, heat two inches of oil until hot but not smoking. Cook a few doughnuts at a time for a couple minutes per side, turning as they turn a rich golden. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a wire rack or paper towels.

To make the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients, adding a little extra icing sugar or milk if needed to desired consistency. Dip or drizzle over your doughnuts while they’re still warm.

Makes about 1½ dozen doughnuts.

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

Spiked beer doughnuts

At the Rhino Coffee House in Tofino, B.C., they serve homemade beer doughnuts made with Tofino Brewery ale in the dough and in the glaze.

To make your own Calgary version, use some local beer (try some from Village, Wild Rose or Big Rock Brewery) in place of some of the liquid in your doughnut dough (it will work in yeast or cake doughnuts), or in place of the milk in the glaze. (Reduce it slightly first for a more intense beer flavour.)

(Julie Van Rosendaal)

About the Author

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal shares recipes and cooking tips with the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. The cookbook author explores Calgary's culinary wonders in her column Food and the City.