Few baked goods are more synonymous with Amish cooks and bakers than homemade doughnuts (okay, and cinnamon rolls!). Amish doughnuts (or is it Amish donuts? I guess both spellings are OK.....whatever, these are the best donuts!) are made using the baking basics of butter, flour, sugar, milk, and sometimes yeast. The Amish do basic baking very, very well and that's why doughnuts are so ubiquitous in Plain kitchens.
Some of the best Amish glazed donuts I've had were at a tiny bakery in an Amish settlement in western New York. The Conewango Valley of western New York is home to a beautiful, sprawling Amish settlement that is pretty conservative. One of the nicest people I met on that journey was Barbara Miller who runs a bakery on Route 62 outside of Cherry Creek. The Miller bakery is known locally for its spare-tire-sized maple-dipped doughnuts, coffeecakes, whoopie pies and other confections. Like many of the Amish businesses in the area, the bakery doesn’t have a name. You can find homemade doughnuts at most Amish bakeries.
“Oh, we’re just called the `bakery on Route 62’,” Barbara Miller says, matter-of-factly when asked the bakery's name.
🍩 Quick and Easy Amish Doughnuts
The spring and summer seasons bring plenty of tourists into the Cherry Creek area, many stopping by the bakery for one of Barbara’s doughnuts. But a second busy season occurs at the bakery in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving when her pies are the prize.
The Amish doughnut recipe that Barbara uses is your pretty standard doughnut recipe. Below is a recipe from Emma Raber, an Amish woman in Pennsylvania. Barbara’s maple glaze recipe is below so you can make your own at home! Some of you may notice that Barbara uses maple extract in her doughnut glaze as opposed to pure maple syrup. Does anyone have any guesses as to why? If you suggested expense, you are right. Pure maple syrup as an ingredient would probably make the doughnuts too cost-prohibitive, but you can use it at home.
I've made homemade doughnuts before and there really is nothing like them. I remember making them about 30 years or so ago. I don't think I actually used a doughnut cutter, so my doughnuts were kind of funky-shaped, but when it comes to doughnuts, who really cares what they look like (a local bakery to me makes a doughnut called an "Ugly" and, true to its name, it's nothing to look at, but tastes amazing!)
📜 The History of Amish Doughnuts
Doughnuts and the Amish are a logical match. An Amish doughnut recipe is simple, but can be adjusted in so many ways: yeast, cake, caramel, cinnamon, oatmeal, and on and on. The varieties of Amish doughnuts are literally endless and some have passed into legend.
In 2001, Orvin and Viola Bontrager started selling cinnamon caramel crunch doughnuts, using one of Orvin's old family recipes. They sold the doughnuts from their cedar chest shop and the doughnuts quickly became the star attraction, which eventually gave rise to the Rise N Roll Bakery chain.
And Peachy's is known for their Amish doughnut truck which goes from place to place selling amazing confections.
The history of Amish doughnuts is a long and storied one, as evidenced by Orvin and Viola's success. The Amish have been making doughnuts for centuries, and their recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. Amish doughnuts are made with simple ingredients, such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and yeast. They are then fried in oil until they are golden brown. Amish doughnuts can be glazed, frosted, or topped with a variety of toppings, such as sprinkles, nuts, or chocolate chips.
The first Amish doughnuts were likely made in Europe, where the Amish originated. When the Amish immigrated to America in the 1700s, they brought their doughnut-making traditions with them. Amish doughnuts quickly became popular in America, and they are now enjoyed by people of all cultures.
Amish doughnuts are a popular treat at Amish markets and fairs. They are also often made at home for special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. Amish doughnuts are a delicious and traditional treat. I've even seen heart-shaped doughnuts on Valentine's Day's in an Amish kitchen and they are popular to sell at Amish benefit auctions.
Here are some of the most popular types of Amish doughnuts:
- Glazed doughnuts: These doughnuts are coated in a simple glaze made with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Frosted doughnuts: These doughnuts are coated in a thick frosting made with powdered sugar, butter, and milk.
- Cinnamon doughnuts: These doughnuts are coated in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Chocolate doughnuts: These doughnuts are coated in a chocolate glaze.
- Sprinkled doughnuts: These doughnuts are topped with a variety of sprinkles, such as rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, or sugar sprinkles.
✅ Tips To Making Amish Doughnuts
Here are some tips for making Amish doughnuts:
- Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure that the oil is at the correct temperature (350 degrees Fahrenheit) before frying the doughnuts. If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will brown too quickly on the outside and be doughy on the inside. If the oil is too cold, the doughnuts will absorb too much oil and be greasy.
- Fry the doughnuts in batches of 2-3 at a time to prevent the temperature of the oil from dropping too much.
- Once the doughnuts are golden brown, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- While the doughnuts are still warm, glaze them with your favorite glaze recipe.
- Let the doughnuts cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Here are some additional tips:
- For a richer flavor, use buttermilk instead of regular milk in the dough.
- Add ½ cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips to the dough for a fun twist.
- Serve the doughnuts with a side of your favorite coffee or tea for a delicious breakfast or snack.
📋 Step-By-Step Guide to Making Amish Doughnuts
Start with the basics and build from there. This recipe is so simple but you can add flavors. I love to add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract, for instance.
Get your ingredients in order first for a project like doughnuts. Always helps. Above is the doughnut ingredients, below are the glaze ingredients.
What I like about glazed doughnuts is you can add any sort of flavoring you want to it and not go wrong: maple, caramel, I've even added a splash of orange juice. Gives it a nice flavor meld.
A good doughnut cutter or biscuit cutter will allow for a great-shaped doughnut, look at these batter beauties! After the initial kneading, let the doughnuts rise for an hour, then punch down the dough and knead again. Let rise an hour and then punch down, roll out and cut into doughnuts like below.
When I have fried doughnuts before, it's always just been in a deep oil-filled large pot, so a little messy and takes a lot of oil, so make sure you have plenty on hand! (safety tip: wear gloves, an apron, and even goggles to protect yourself from any splattering hot oil...keep a roll of paper towels nearby). I just use vegetable oil, but you can use canola, corn, or coconut oil.
If you have a deep fryer, have at it. Deep frying in a fryer isn't something found in most Amish kitchens, but you definitely can do it that way. Either way, you get wonderful warm donuts that are golden brown.
Once you have your warm doughnut, time to roll it in the glaze, that is my favorite part! Often I'll double and triple-dip it so that it has a nice thick glaze.
Now, the above is where you can REALLY get into trouble, while the glaze is hot, you could roll it into crushed Oreos, Lucky Charms, brown sugar, or basically anything sweet to make it even sweeter.
So, let's get started with this and move onto the recipe for these delicious homemade donuts.
🙋 Amish Doughtnut FAQ
Vegetable oil works great, but so does corn, coconut, or canola!
Yes, these actually make the best doughuts if you have access to lard!
Yes, you'll get a better, fuller doughnut. Buttermilk is the absolute best or a buttermilk whole milk blend!
The legendary doughnut chain was started by an Amish husband and wife in 2001. Their doughnuts became so popular that they sold their bakery, which is now a chain run and owned by non-Amish using the original reicpes.
🍩 More Tasty Amish Doughnut Recipes
🖨️ Full Recipe
- 1 1 /2 cups whole milk scalded
- 1 /2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 /2 cup margarine
- 1 1 /2 cup warm water
- 1 /2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 packages of yeast
- 2 eggs
- 8 – 10 cups bread flour
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- ½ cup milk
- Add sugar, salt, and margarine to hot milk.
- Cool to lukewarm.
- Add yeast and sugar to warm water.
- Let rise for 5 minutes.
- Pour both liquids together plus eggs and add flour,
- After last flour has been added knead for 10 minutes.
- Let rise 1 hour and knead again.
- Let rise 1 hour and punch down and roll to 1 /2 inch and cut.
- Put on floured pan, let rise and deep fat fry at 350. Glaze while still warm
- In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, maple extract and milk; stir well.
- Add additional milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
- Drizzle over donuts.