You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients to make amazing homemade donuts! These old-fashioned sour cream donuts are slightly crisp on the outside and tender in the middle with a simple and delicious donut glaze.

Three homemade sour cream donuts stacked on top of each other with more donuts in the background.

Sour Cream Donuts

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t drool over a box full of colorful donuts. At my old job I had a boss that was a serious donut lover. He’d bring in a huge box of donuts at least monthly for the office–probably part of what made him so popular!  It was always fun to see how particular everyone in the office was about their donuts—everyone seems to have their favorite.

When I go to a bakery I absolutely love seeing all of the fun donut flavors, glazes and fillings, but ultimately I get one of my two favorites every single time; a maple bar, or an old fashioned cake/sour cream donut. Out of all the choices in the world, I can never seem to steer away from those two!

This Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts recipe is a total classic. They are soft and cake-y, and who can resist that glaze they’re dipped in? Delicious! The best thing about these homemade donuts (besides how easy they are to make), is that you don’t have to wait hours for them to rise, and you don’t need a special donut pan to make them! They can be whipped together fairly quickly for your snarfing pleasure 😉

How to make sour cream donuts:

The ingredients for homemade donuts are flour, baking powder , salt, nutmeg, sugar, butter, egg yolks, sour cream, and oil.  Making old fashioned donuts at home is fairly simple!

First, sift the dry ingredients together.  Next, combine the butter and sugar.  Then add the egg yolks, and mix it really well.  Finally, you add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with the sour cream and ending with the dry mixture.

Rolled out homemade donut dough cut into circles using metal round cookie cutters.

After letting the dough chill in the refrigerator, you roll it into ½ inch thickness and use a round cookie cutter to cut about 12 donuts from the dough.  Save the donut holes to fry them too! Fry them in oil, just until golden on both sides, flipping once.

Drizzle a simple glaze on top, and enjoy!

Homemade sour cream donuts with glaze resting on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.

Are donuts healthy?

Unfortunately, these old fashioned sour cream donuts are not the healthiest snack or breakfast option.  While donuts come in a variety of flavors and styles,  most tend to be very high in sugar and very low in nutrients.  So it’s best to save these old fashioned donuts for an occasional treat!

Consider trying these popular desserts:

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Three homemade sour cream donuts stacked on top of each other with more donuts in the background.
Prep 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 1 hour 55 minutes
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For the donuts

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter , room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • oil , for frying

For the glaze


  • In a small bowl sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together until well combined (the texture will be sandy). 
  • Add the egg yolks and mix well. 
  • Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the sour cream, and ending with flour. 
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  • When the dough is almost finished chilling, make the glaze by whisking together all ingredients in a large shallow bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface to about ½ inch thickness. 
  • Use a donut cutter (or two round biscuit cutters) to cut as many donuts out as possible. You should get around 12.
  • Pour about 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Heat the oil to 325° F. Fry the donuts 2-3 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot.
  •  Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, being careful not to let them burn. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the grease.
  • Place a wire cooling rack above a sheet pan. Dip donuts in the glaze, covering on each side, and place on the wire rack. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until glaze is set.
  • Donuts are best served immediately, but you may store them in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.


Use different sized cutters for larger/smaller donuts
Adapted from Handle the Heat


Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 270mgPotassium: 90mgSugar: 43gVitamin A: 160IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 0.4mg

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*I originally shared this recipe July 2014. Updated July 2018.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Didn’t work out for us. Dough wasn’t dough (still very “sandy”), needed to add a little milk, but…
    After an hour in the fridge, as instructed, it wouldn’t roll out either. Ended up with just donut holes.
    Anyway, tried our best, didn’t work out. Still love this Foodie tho.

  2. 1 star
    These were terrible, too dense, dry. Followed instructions and fried them at 325 with a thermometer. I tried a couple and ended up tossing the bunch. Disappointing.

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