Recipe: Old-fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Oct 04, 2022 11:58 AM

By Andrea Maunder

I LOVE unglazed, old-fashioned, fried sour-cream doughnuts. I’ve been working on perfecting a recipe - and these are so simple and so good, you won’t be able to resist whipping up a batch whenever the craving strikes.



Old-fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts
Makes 12-15
100 g (1/2 cup) white sugar
30 g (2 tbsp) cool (not cold) butter, cut into little cubes
2 egg yolks
Half a fresh nutmeg, grated into the bowl
2 tbsp plain applesauce
1 tsp good vanilla
255 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) cake/pastry flour (extra for texture if needed, and more for dusting the cutting board)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
113 g (1/2 cup) full fat sour cream

In a stand mixer bowl with beater blade (or hand-held electric mixer with beater blades, or by hand with fork), cut the butter into the sugar until it looks crumbly. Grate in nutmeg and add egg yolks. Beat until light, fluffy and thickened. Add applesauce and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour with baking powder, soda and salt. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, on very low speed, to the mixing bowl. Then mix in half the sour cream, another 1/3 of the flour, remaining sour cream and remaining flour. Mix just until combined. It should be a little sticky and somewhat soft, but not like batter. Add a little flour if necessary. Gather mixture together and transfer to a small, lightly floured bowl, sprinkle a little flour on the top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, or up to an hour.
Remove dough from the fridge and start heating shortening/vegetable oil. You are going for a temperature of 335°F. (Over 350°F browns the outside too quickly, and 325°F allows too much oil absorption and doesn’t promote fluffiness.) Sprinkle a little flour on a board and roll out (or pat out) dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured cutter (or glass), cut as many doughnuts as you can, transferring them to a parchment-lined pan or plate. Cut the doughnut hole using a smaller cutter or sharp knife. Either keep the holes for frying, or return them to the dough as you pull it together and pat/roll it out again to cut more doughnuts. Continue until all dough is used.
Brush off excess flour and check oil temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat over medium heat and test with a doughnut hole or scrap of dough. Fry 1 or 2 at a time or as many as will fit in your pot/fryer without touching. Let them fry a minute on one side, then use a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to flip them and cook the other side. The characteristic cracks will appear as they puff and fry. Colour should be dark golden. Remove and drain on paper towel. Let them cool a little before eating.
Glaze is optional. To make a glaze, whisk together 3½ cups icing sugar, 1½ tbsp corn syrup or liquid honey, pinch of salt, and 3-4 tbsp hot water until smooth and flows slowly. While doughnuts are still warm, dip them into the glaze to coat, let excess drip off into the bowl, and set on a rack for 15-20 minutes, until glaze sets.