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Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

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First of all… there are doughnuts, and then there are DOUGHNUTS!!! I mean seriously, most doughnut recipes don’t stand a chance in comparison to Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe. These doughnuts are light, fluffy and absolutely delicious (hence the name)!! I’ll give you fair warning in advance, it’s hard to eat just one!

Grandma's Favorite Recipes

Along with Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe, we are delighted to share 5 other amazing recipes that feature beloved recipes from grandma. (Scroll to the very end to find them.)

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Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

When I was growing up, it wasn’t unusual to find mom either in the garden or in the kitchen busy whipping up a batch of her yummy doughnuts on a Saturday morning. And, as time went on, she also treated her grandchildren to her scrumptious doughnuts. To tell you just how impressive these doughnuts are, my adult children still remember doughnut-making-day in Grandma King’s kitchen!

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

You can see the majority of steps involved in making Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe in the picture collage above, however, I will also highlight them for you below.

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe:

Dissolve a packet of yeast in warm water until it doubles in size.

Warm milk + sugar + salt + butter in a saucepan over low heat until butter is melted; cool to room temperature.

Add activated yeast to milk mixture; gently stir together.

Next, add liquid mixture to a slightly beaten egg and stir together. Add flour; mix together until well combined (dough will be slightly sticky). (I used my KitchenAid mixer with a KitchenAid dough hook attachment to mix my dough, although you can use a regular mixing bowl and mix the ingredients together by hand.)

  • Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe


On a well-floured working surface, knead dough until it is soft and smooth (like a baby’s bottom).

  • Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl. To the dough from drying out, give the top a light coating of melted butter and to help the dough rise quicker, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place in a sunny warm spot in your home.

  • Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Allow the dough to doubled in size. This process usually takes at least one hour, depending on how warm (and humid) its environment is.

When the dough has risen, use your fist to gently punch the center of the dough. This step helps remove some of the gas bubbles formed by the yeast during the rising process. It also helps the fermenting process the second time the dough rises.

Now flip the dough out onto a well-floured working surface and knead again until it’s soft and smooth.

  • Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness (see the picture at the beginning of this post). You may need to add a light dusting of flour from time to time to keep dough from sticking to your rolling pin and/or working surface.

  • Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Cut the dough into doughnut shapes using a doughnut cutter or two different sized (3-inch and 1 1/2-inch) biscuit cutters. Place doughnuts and holes onto two large baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Again, cover with the dough with tea towels and allow it to rise until doubled in size.

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Fill half of a small stockpot with melted shortening or canola oil. Heat oil to approximately 375 degrees F. (I suggest you use a deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature.)


Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Carefully drop doughnuts into the hot oil (I fry 3 at a time). When golden brown on the bottom, flip the doughnuts over. The frying process only takes approximately 45 – 55 seconds on each side. Be careful not to over fry them!

Using a slotted metal spoon, remove the doughnuts from the hot oil. In order to drain any excess oil, immediately place the doughnuts onto a stack of folded paper towels.

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Repeat the process for frying the doughnut holes (the holes fry even faster so be careful to not over fry them!)

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Place all of the ingredients for the glaze into a wide-mouth mixing bowl. Dip each doughnut into the glaze until it is submerged. Run an extra long handled stainless steel spoon or long-handled silicone serving spoon through the center of the doughnut. Hold it up and allow any excess glaze to drain off for a few seconds. (If you’d like, go ahead and dip both sides of the doughnut into the glaze, although I personally only dip one side. To obtain thicker glaze, simply double-dip the doughnuts or drizzle any remaining glaze over the top of each doughnut.)

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Place the doughnuts on a cooling rack (now is the time to add candy sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, etc…), until the glaze hardens.

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnuts are always best when served fresh, although they do freeze well up to 2 weeks. When ready to serve, thaw the doughnuts, then warm them in a microwave, toaster oven or on the grill. Serve with a glass of milk or hot beverage.



3519 cal


12 g


817 g


51 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

Yields 8 Large doughnuts + 8 doughnut holes

Grandma's homemade doughnuts that are delicious and truly, light-as-a-feather.

25 minPrep Time

5 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package yeast (1/4-ounce OR 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Glaze
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Knox gelatin (To prevent clumping, stir gelatin into the powdered sugar before adding the wet ingredients. The Knox gelatin helps solidify the glaze and resembles the glaze on Krispy Kreme doughnuts.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk (or enough to make the glaze thin enough to drizzle)


  1. Place water into a glass measuring cup and warm until it reaches the temperature of a baby's bottle. Add yeast and allow it to activate until it doubles in size. (You can add a pinch of sugar to help "kick start" and speed-up the activation process if you'd like.)
  2. In a medium saucepan heat milk, sugar, salt and butter over low heat just until butter is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Gently stir yeast into cooled milk mixture. Add slightly beaten egg.
  4. Add flour (one cup at a time); incorporate well.
  5. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour onto dry, flat work surface. Knead dough until it resembles a soft baby's bottom.
  6. Place ball of dough into a large, lightly buttered mixing bowl and add a light coating of butter to the top of the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and set in a sunny warm spot in your home.
  7. When dough has doubled in size, gently punch it in the center with your fist; roll it onto your floured working surface.
  8. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/2" thickness. (You may need to add additional sprinkles of flour to prevent sticking.) Cut doughnut shapes out using a doughnut cutter or two different sized biscuit cutters (3-inch and a 1 1/2-inch).
  9. Place doughnut on baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Cover again with tea towel and place back in sunny warm spot.
  10. When doughnuts have doubled in size, remove tea towel.
  11. Fry in oil that has been preheated to 375 degrees F. approximately 45 - 55 seconds per side, or until golden brown. Remove doughnuts from oil and immediately place them onto folded paper towels.
  12. Repeat the frying process for the doughnut holes but shortening the frying time to approx. 30 - 40 seconds.
  13. In a separarte mixing bowl, combine all glaze ingredients; mix well. Dip each doughnut into the glaze, coating as evenly as possible (dip one, or both sides). Run a long handled spoon through the center of each doughnut, hold it up and allow excess glaze to drip for a couple seconds. Place doughnuts onto cooling rack. (Now is the time to add candy sprinkle, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, etc...)
  14. When the glaze has harden, the doughnuts are ready to serve.


Doughnuts are best served fresh, however, they also freeze well up to 2 weeks. When ready to serve, thaw and warm in microwave, toaster oven or on the grill.

Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe

In the end, I believe that you’ll also love and cherish Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe as much as we do.

Grandma's Favorite Recipes

Check out all the delicious recipes from our Grandmas:

More great ideas:

Thanks for sharing!

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Asil Ahmed June 13, 2019, 2:50 am
    I was fearing that the recipe might turn out to be bad or incorrect but after making the donuts I'm speechless. Totally amazing 🙌
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy June 13, 2019, 9:18 am
      Hi Asil, Thank you for trying Grandma's Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe! We are so happy that you enjoyed them! Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a nice message. Have a wonderful day! Linda
  • Blessed Beyond Crazy March 20, 2018, 9:50 am
    Hi Tadej, That would be wonderful! I think your mother in law will enjoy this recipe and thank you for sharing it with her! Enjoy! Linda
  • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 25, 2018, 1:43 pm
    Hi Lori, Yep, this recipe really is a keeper! Thanks for stopping by! Linda
  • Lovefoodies February 25, 2018, 3:41 am
    These look fabulous and I know I could eat at least 10 in one go!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 25, 2018, 1:44 pm
      Us too! We love this recipe! :) Thanks for stopping by! Linda
  • debi at Life Currents February 23, 2018, 2:49 pm
    Like Krispy Kreme donuts without having to go out! These look amazing! My family will love them! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 25, 2018, 1:44 pm
      Hi Debi, Thanks for stopping by and I do believe that your family will love these yummy homemade doughnuts. Enjoy! Linda
  • Jessica February 22, 2018, 9:56 pm
    I can't wait to try these. They look so light, fluffy and tasty!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 25, 2018, 1:45 pm
      Hi Jessica, Yes, these doughnuts really are light, fluffy and delicious. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy! Linda

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