How to make Cinnamon Sugar Donuts?

As long as donuts have existed, they have come in different varieties and flavors. There are doughnuts glazed with sugar icing or chocolate, topped with sprinkles, or stuffed with jam or custard. In this article, we are focusing on cinnamon sugar donuts. Have you tasted them?

We have sourced some wonderful cinnamon donut recipes for you to try, including our favorites with step-by-step instructions on how to make them. But before we get to the recipes, where did donuts originate from?

A history of donuts

Sometimes you hear people referring to the donut, or doughnut, as an American invention. However, this is far from the truth. Long before donuts became an American favorite, there were different variants of this sweet treat in many European countries.

Different international takes on the donut

Many countries in the world have their version of the donut. In Greece, you will find loukoumades. They are deep-fried honey balls that are served with hot honey syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with chopped walnuts or toasted sesame seeds.

In Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, there are churros and rosquillas. Churros use similar ingredients to donuts but are stick-shaped rather than round. Rosquillas are donuts with a hole in the middle, but they are smaller and more delicate than their American counterparts.

Beignets from France are small, puffy, and dusted with icing sugar. The Italian bomboloni is a filled donut, perfect to dip into an espresso. In Israelm they have sufganiyah, jam-filled donuts that are eaten around the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah.

However, the origins of American-style donuts can be traced back to the olykoeks made by the Dutch settlers.

How did donuts get a hole in the middle?

When people used to cook donuts, the outside would cook faster than the inside, resulting in donuts that had raw dough in the middle. To avoid the problem, they would stuff the donuts with fruit or nuts.

The story goes that a mother from New England, Elizabeth Gregory who was known for her donuts locally, gave her son, Captain Hanson Gregory, her recipe to take with him on a voyage.

Because he did not like the nutty filling, he instructed the cook to remove the centers and make donuts with a hole in the middle. Whether this story has any truth in it, is uncertain, but donuts with holes certainly proved popular and have spawned many new variations since then, such as the cinnamon donut.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts 1
Image Credit: glutenfreepalate

Ingredients to make deep-fried cinnamon donuts

The first recipe is from and it is for deep-fried donuts. It takes thirty minutes to prepare and an hour and a half to prove. The cooking time is only ten minutes and it makes eighteen donuts.

To make the donuts you will need:

  • 55g of caster sugar
  • 490g of plain flour
  • 250ml of warmed milk
  • 100g of Devondale Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons of dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 egg yolks

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 215g of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

You will also need oil to deep fry the donuts. Canola oil works well because it has a high smoking point and a mild taste. However, you can use other oils as well.

Step-by-step instructions for deep-fried donuts from Taste

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Make a well in the mixture for the wet ingredients.
  2. Add milk, butter, and egg and whisk until the dough comes together. It may be sticky, but don’t worry about that.
  3. Take the dough out of the mixing blow and place it on a well-floured kitchen worktop. Knead the dough until smooth and not sticky anymore. You can add more flour if you need to.
  4. Once smooth, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Leave it to prove for 1½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl. This time, you only need a lightly floured surface for kneading the dough. Knead for about two minutes or until smooth. Using a rolling pin (or a substitute, such as a wine bottle, if you don’t have a rolling pin) roll out the dough until it is 1cm thick. Let it rest for two minutes.
  6. Use a donut mold or a round cutter with an 8cm diameter to cut out discs. To make the donut cavities use a smaller round cutter with a 3.5cm diameter. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover again with a towel and leave for fifteen minutes until they have risen slightly.
  7. In the meantime, combine the cinnamon and caster sugar on a shallow plate. Heat the oil to 180°C. Use a thermometer to check the oil is at the right temperature.
  8. When the oil is hot enough and the donuts have risen a little, place 4-5 donuts in the hot oil for about 40 seconds on each side. They will be puffy and golden when they are ready.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, take the donuts out and transfer them straight into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Repeat in similar size batches until all donuts are cooked.
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts 2
Image Credit: imperialsugar

Ingredients for recipe number two

This recipe from Spend With Pennies is a bit of a shortcut recipe and makes donut holes. But it is a great recipe if you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to let the donut dough prove for an hour and a half.

The donut holes are cooked in an air fryer. However, you can also cook them in oil or even in the oven if you don’t own an air fryer. There are only three ingredients in this recipe unless you want to deep-fry the holes. Then the oil will make it four ingredients.

The three ingredients you need are:

  • 1 roll of canned biscuits
  • ½ cup of melted butter
  • ½ cup of cinnamon sugar

Step-by-step instructions for cinnamon sugar donut holes

  1. Start by preheating the air fryer to 180°C.
  2. Separate the biscuits and, using a small cutter cut out 2.5cm circles. If you do not have the right size cutter, you can cut the biscuits into six pieces and roll them in your hands.
  3. Place them in the air fryer in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes. They are ready when they are golden and cooked through. When cooking them for the first time, you can take one out and test it with a toothpick. If the dough doesn’t stick, the donut is ready.
  4. Melt the butter. Place the cooked donut holes in a bowl, drizzle the butter over them and shake to coat them fully with the melted butter.
  5. Put the cinnamon sugar in another bowl with a lid. Add the warm buttered donut holes. Shake to cover the donuts in the cinnamon sugar. Serve while still warm.

If you want to deep fry or bake them instead

To bake: follow the instructions, but instead of air frying, bake in an oven heated to 190°C. They will need about 10-13 minutes until they are golden and cooked through.

To deep fry: heat the oil to 180°C. Drop each donut hole into the oil and turn them until all sides are golden brown. This will take about 60-90 seconds.


Now that we have shared with you two easy recipes for cinnamon sugar donuts, which one will you try first? They both make delicious donuts that taste great with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or a glass of milk.

If you have anything you would like to ask about cinnamon sugar donuts, you can check out the frequently asked questions. Or you can use the comments section if you cannot find an answer there.


Can you bake donuts instead of frying them?

Absolutely. Baked cinnamon sugar donuts taste just as good as deep-fried. You can use the donut hole recipe we shared earlier. Alternatively, you can try this recipe from Sally’s Baking Recipes. When baking your donuts, you can use a donut pan to save cutting out the holes.

Is cinnamon powder the same as cinnamon sugar?

Cinnamon powder and cinnamon sugar are not the same. However, you can use cinnamon powder for your donuts. They won’t be as sweet as when you mix sugar with cinnamon, but they’ll still taste good and have fewer calories.

I have never deep-fried donuts. How does it work?

Deep frying is not complicated. The key is to use good oil, such as canola oil mentioned earlier. It is also important to get it to the right temperature. If you have never deep-fried donuts before, we recommend this video from Neurotic Mom Bakes.

Why is my donut soggy?

The oil temperature is likely too low if your donut is soggy. When the oil is not hot enough, the outside doesn’t cook fast enough and ends up soaking up too much oil.

Why is my donut raw in the middle?

This is the opposite of the soggy donut problem, because the oil is too hot. If the oil is too hot, the outside will cook before the inside.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 49

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Leave a Comment