How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts

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Here you get my recipe for the most delicious homemade doughnuts full of flavor, soft, and have a juicy and airy crumb.

Soft, airy, and irresistibly delicious Berliner doughnuts 🍩❤ Berliner doughnuts are one of my favorite food to eat in the world. I made donuts for the blog for the first time when I made these Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar a while back. I went through a few versions before I arrived at this recipe and have loved making homemade doughnuts since then.

How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts

Making homemade doughnuts are actually easier than you think. The hardest thing about making doughnuts is the long raise time. Making Berliner requires a little patience, as they would like to raise to become delicious and airy. This recipe uses yeast and calls for about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours of total rising time for the doughnut dough, depending on your kitchen temperature (preferably overnight – cold raised in the fridge). On the other hand, it is worth waiting for when you can put your teeth in an airy and fluffy Berliner.

How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts
After raising

You need to really create a warm environment so the doughnuts will rise adequately. How much the doughnuts rise over the next hour is directly related to how light and fluffy they will be—images above showing the difference between the before and after dough raising. Always keep them covered with plastic film, so the tops don’t dry out.


  • Window test: If you pull a small piece of the dough apart thinly and can read a newspaper through the ‘dough window,’ the dough is sufficiently kneaded and perfect for further processing.
  • I used instant dry yeast for this recipe. If you’re using fresh or active dry yeast, you need to activate them. Place the lukewarm milk in a bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar, and sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until it’s frothy and bubbly. Add this to the flour and proceed with the process.
  • Let the doughnuts rise on individual squares of parchment paper. Once it is time to fry, you can slide both the doughnut and its parchment paper into the hot oil and then remove the paper with tongs. That way, the doughnut will hold its shape; otherwise, trying to move it with a spatula might deflate it before it hits the oil.
  • You can also change the filling and glaze of your choice.
  • Use warm/room temperature water instead of hot water.
  • Whenever possible, it is always recommended to use weight measurements instead of measuring cups when weighing ingredients. 
How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts

Doughnuts are best eaten on the same day they are made. But you can also store fired doughnuts in the freezer, which helps keep them fresh longer.

Please refer to my page – Common Baking and Cooking Conversions if you’re using other baking measurements.

If you try this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube to see what I am getting up to.

You will need:

Watch this video tutorial for Berliner Doughnuts

  • 525 grams all-purpose flour
  • 180 grams milk, lukewarm (I use whole milk)
  • 7 grams instant dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast or 21 grams fresh yeast)
  • 60 grams light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature (size medium to large)
  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (optional)

Other ingredients

  • oil, for frying
  • Vanilla cream filling (click the link for the recipe)
  • jam or Nutella, for filling
  • granulated white sugar for coating
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Nutella coating: 3-4 tbsp heavy cream, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp Nutella, 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Chocolate coating: 3-4 tbsp heavy cream, 4 tbsp cocoa powder, 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Procedure (video):

Preparing the dough

  1. In a small saucepan, warm the milk until it is lukewarm. Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature.
  2. Place flour, sugar, salt, and instant dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir and make a well, then add warm milk and knead the dough on a low level. Add 1 egg at a time. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until you have a smooth and firm dough. Add 1 tbsp butter at a time as you knead. Continue kneading until everything is added (approx. 15 minutes) and knead until the dough becomes elastic and is no longer sticky and no longer torn. Take the windowpane test. Watch my video tutorial here.
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl, shape it into a ball and place it in a large bowl (greased it a little). Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic film and allow to rise for approx—30 minutes at room temperature.

Forming the dough

  1. Put 16 wax papers on baking trays. I used 3 baking trays.
  2. Punch the dough down and weigh the whole dough and divide it into 16 portions. Shape the dough pieces into small balls and place them with the closure downwards, with a sufficient distance between them, on the prepared baking trays. Cover the dough pieces with plastic film for 3 to 4 hours on a countertop, or 45 minutes to 1 hour in a warm place, until they are doubled in size. But still, check your dough from time to time because many factors will determine the length of time. Which yeast was used (regular or quick rise), if the yeast was fresh or old (older yeast doesn’t work as well, or sometimes not at all), and your kitchen’s temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, you can place the jam or Nutella in a piping bag with a long and thin spout or prepare your coating. Prepare the sugar on a plate.


  1. Put enough oil in a large pan or deep fryer and bring a maximum of heat 170 degrees Celcius. Slide the doughnuts on their papers into the hot oil, use tongs to pluck out the papers, which should float free within seconds. Fry 2 to 3 minutes per side, or fry until slightly golden. Wooden sticks are ideal for turning. Watch the video tutorial to see how I fry my doughnuts.
  2. After frying, use a slotted spoon and remove the Berliner Doughnuts from the oil and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat the same frying method until you have fried all your doughnuts.
  3. Pipe the filling into the Berliner’s edge and turn them in the prepared sugar, and dust with a little powdered sugar. Berliner should be a little warm when rolled in sugar so that the sugar sticks better.
How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts

If filling the doughnuts with pastry cream, Nutella, or fruit jam, let cool completely before filling. Scoop filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Use two toothpicks or a chopstick to make a hole on the bottom of the doughnuts’ side and squeeze some filling into the doughnuts’ center.

How to Make Soft Homemade Doughnuts

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  1. Hi Paula!
    Just wondering if you have used bread flour for this recipe and if it worked out the same??
    thank you kindly!

    • Hello Sil Thanks for your comment and no, I haven’t tried making doughnuts using bread flour. I always use all-purpose flour

  2. thank you so much for taking the time to reply 🙂 I made your recipe and it was absolute perfection! everyone that tried it loved it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hello Sil
      Thank you for your lovely comment and I feel so great to read you gave my doughnut recipe a try.

      Happy baking and sharing! ❤

  3. I made this recipe, and thats amazing!
    I am from Brazil and here people dont know how fluffy doughnuts looks. My client love this dough, this perfect! I’m só thakful dor you recipe.

    • Hi Aline
      So great to read your comment and your story. Thank you also for liking the recipe and so glad that now you can show to your Brazilian clients, friends, and family how fluffy doughnuts look like.

      Happy doughnuts baking!

      Greetings from Denmark.
      Paula ❤

  4. Hi Paula, just a quick note to say thank you very much for sharing your recipe, I made these doughnuts using bread flour and they turned out Devine.

  5. Hi Paula, can’t wait to make these they look amazing!
    Do you have any recommendations on what milk to use? (Skimmed/full fat?)
    And what are the size eggs you used? In the uk we have small, medium and large.
    All the best!

    • Hi Natalie thank you for your comment
      I always use whole milk with 3 to 3.5% milkfat in baking and for the eggs, I used medium to large size.

      Thanks, and please let me know how my doughnut recipe turns out to you. Paula ❤

  6. Hi Paula,

    I made these doughnuts last night and my dough was too sticky. I could not handle the dough without oiling my hands and even then it was really runny. I managed to form balls out of the dough and after I left them to rest they almost looked like flat breads. I kneaded the dough quite a bit but I could not achieve the same consistency as yours. What did I do wrong? I used the exact same measurements.


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