Doughnuts – an old favourite ….mmmm



There is nothing infinitely satisfying into biting into a crisp golden doughnut that has just been freshly baked.




A doughnut is best described as a type of fried dough food popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet or occasionally savoury snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised speciality outlets. They are usually sweet, deep-fried from flour dough, and shaped in rings or flattened spheres that sometimes contain fillings.

Most common are the ‘ring’ doughnut and the ‘filled’ doughnuts – a flattened sphere injected with jam, cream, custard or any other sweet filling.

In general the retail or baking and confectionary industries make use of doughnut depositors to place a circle of liquid dough (batter) directly into a fryer.


Doughnuts can be made from yeast-based dough for raised doughnuts, or a special type of cake batter.

Yeast-raised doughnuts contain about 25% oil by weight, whereas cake doughnuts’ oil content is around 20%, but they have extra fat included in the batter before frying.

Cake doughnuts are fried for about 90 seconds at approximately 190 °C to 198 °C, turning once; whereas yeast-raised doughnuts absorb more oil because they take longer to fry, about 150 seconds, at 182 °C to 190 °C. Cake doughnuts typically weigh between 24 g and 28 g, whereas yeast-raised doughnuts average 38 g and are generally larger when finished.

After frying, ring doughnuts are often topped with a glaze (supplied in bulk) or powders such as cinnamon, hundreds-and-thousands, or sugar. Styles such as fritters and jam doughnuts may be glazed and/or injected with jam or custard.

The variety that is baked in an oven have a slightly different texture and taste from the fried variety due to the lack of absorbed oil—and so also have a lower fat content. The fried version may sometimes be referred to as ‘fried cakes’ or ‘vetkoek’ in our local lingo – a traditional Africaner pastry that may be used as a dessert or a meal.


Vetkoek comprises dough deep-fried in cooking oil and may either be filled and served with cooked mince or spread with syrup, honey or jam. It is similarly shaped to a doughnut (jam filled, no hole) and is made from flour, salt and yeast by rolling dough into ball and deep-frying it.

Another proudly South Africa variant is better known as the ‘koeksister’ and is basically a syrup-coated doughnut in a twisted or braided shape –plait – prepared by deep-frying in oil, then dipping the fried dough into cold sugar syrup. Best eaten cold, koeksisters are very sticky and sweet and taste like honey.

If you are going to make doughnuts or vetkoeks professionally or even for your own consumption, your minimum requirement is a deep fryer. For home use your local Game or Makro have a small selection on offer. However for larger volumes of product you should contact the likes of Caterweb, BCE, Catercommerical or Macadams to name but a few. They can advise you in making the right selection.

The oil you use is also of paramount importance. Heat the oil slowly, rapid heating causes the oil to burn around the element causing break down and flavour deterioration. It is also worth mentioning that Unitemp offer a deep frying oil tester, which measures both temperature and oil quality.

Just to help you on the way, please find below a nice recipe for Doughnuts, just like Mom used to bake.


1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 and 1/3 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoonful baking soda
Piece of butter the size of a walnut
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (or nutmeg)
Pinch of salt
Enough flour to roll soft


Beat the egg and sugar together and add the milk and butter. Stir the baking soda and cream of tartar into the flour. Mix all the ingredients together. Roll and cut into doughnut rings and deep fry in deep fat. Drain on either brown paper or a cooling tray and sprinkle with sugar.



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