Perfect Doughnuts



3 eggs (¾ cup)

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoon soft butter or margarine

3 ¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon nutmeg or mace

⅔ cup buttermilk

Salad oil or shortening for deep-frying




1.                  In large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat eggs with sugar and butter until very light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.  Scrape side of bowl occasionally.

2.                  Meanwhile, sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

3.                  At low speed gradually beat buttermilk into egg sugar mixture.

4.                  Add flour mixture gradually; beat, at low speed, just until combined and smooth.  Dough will be soft.

5.                  Cover bowl with saran or waxed paper; refrigerate until well chilled about 1 hour.

6.                  Now remove half the chilled dough to a very-well-floured pastry cloth (keep rest in refrigerator until ready to use).  Turn over dough, to coat with flour.

7.                  Roll out 1/3 inch thick.  Cut with floured 3 inch doughnut cutter, dipping cutter into flour between each cutting.

8.                  With wide spatula, transfer cut doughnuts to top edge of pastry cloth.

9.                  Press trimmings together; reroll, and cut.  Lest rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

10.              Meanwhile, in electric skillet or heavy saucepan, slowly heat salad oil (from 1 ½ to 2 inches deep) to 375F on deep-frying thermometer.

11.              Gently drop doughnuts and “holes” 3 or 4 a time into hot oil.  (Adding too many doughnuts at one time would cool oil; doughnuts would absorb it and be greasy.)

12.              As they rise to surface, turn with slotted utensil.  Continue frying doughnuts and holes until golden-brown on both sides – about 3 minutes in all.

13.              With slotted utensil, lift doughnuts from hot oil, hold over skillet a few seconds, to drain slightly.

14.              Drain well on paper towels.  Frost warm doughnuts, or sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.





2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 ½ tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract




1.                  Combine all ingredients, stirring with fork until smooth and well combined.

2.                  Spread each warm doughnut with 2 tablespoons frosting.  If desired, garnish tops with chopped nuts, plain or toasted coconut, or non-pereils.


Doughnuts were made and prepared by Shirley-Ann Pearman  

Photography by Shirley-Ann Pearman  

Recipe was taken from McCall CookBook, the chapter on “Quick Breads - Doughnuts”, page 67 an edition of between 1950 – 1960s. 


PDF Version of Perfect Doughnuts


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