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 hr 45 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 1 hr 55 mins


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

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar , sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water


  • 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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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    I made this donuts today and they turned out just as the pictures show. Hubby is happy with them. Will be making again.

  2. This is the worst doughnut recipe I have ever used. The end result was flat, flavourless and dense. I followed the instructions precisely but it was a waste of ingredients and time.

  3. Trying this recipe this weekend because these are my favorite donuts and can’t find them anywhere near me. I don’t have cake flour, so will be subbing with all-purpose. Do you foresee any issues? Maybe just a bit more dense? Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Turned out fantastic! I let the dough cool in the fridge overnight because I made it at 11pm and wanted to fry first thing in the morning. Impressed my in-laws who are visiting.

  5. Great recipe!! I tried your sour cream donut recipe because it’s my father favorite donuts… he LOVED it!! Lets just say he didn’t want to share. lol. HUGE hit! 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Mine turned out decent. A little different than what we expected and found the oil in the end product to be overwhelming. There was a bit of breakage when removing them from the oil. Not bad and would try again. Any suggestions for tweaking this would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I absolutely loved the donut, but went to the original recipe and saw the only adaptation you made to the recipe, is not telling the grams of flour in addition to the cup amount. It’s nice you refer to the other recipe. But personally, that doesn’t feel ethical to me, because your website is getting money for someone else’s recipe. I know lots of lots of people do it, and of course, it’s your judgement call.

    1. And you could notice that that person adapted the recipe from another website, who adapted it from a cookbook –see the reference notes at the bottom of their posts (and who knows where the trail ends). So I guess all three (or more) of us are guilty for testing the recipe, taking our own step-by-step photos, and writing up an entire post that walks readers through our experience so they can make it successfully too :-). Haha. (And for reference, I don’t often adapt my recipes–they’re typically originals that were created in my own kitchen. But baking recipes particularly that you see anywhere on the web have usually been adapted again and again. 🙂 ).

  8. 5 stars
    It worked perfectly. I added some food colouring to the glaze and added sprinkles on the top right away and it made some great birthday donuts!

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