December 19, 2020| By

Buttermilk Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
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Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts are these fluffy and soft cake donuts that are so good you'll be making them over and over again! Not only are they delicious and easy to make, but they’re also even more fun to eat!

Love Donuts?! Try my Blood Orange Sour Cream Donuts with Citrus Glaze!

buttermilk donuts with cinnamon sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk donuts is a cake donut recipe that is surprisingly so easy to make. Admittedly, I prefer cake donuts over yeasted donuts. Why? They're very straightforward to make and they stay fresh and light a lot longer than the yeasted donuts. 

With this recipe, you'll be happy to know that it doesn't require anything fancy. You don't need a stand mixer, no dutch oven, you don't need to use yeast, and most importantly, it doesn't require any ingredient that's difficult to find! It’s just an old-fashioned donut recipe that is lightly floured with cinnamon.

I wanted to add a glaze to these donuts. But they didn't need it. I realized that they were delicious by themselves. However, if you want to sprinkle some powdered sugar or cinnamon (in my case), then feel free to do so.

These old-fashioned buttermilk donuts have a whole vibe and I want to share this recipe with you so that you can experience the goodness of these buttermilk doughnuts too!

cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk fried Donuts

They're fluffy but still dense. Soft, but still have a slightly crunchy outer shell. These donuts are everything you'd want in a cake donut. Or any donut for that matter.

In addition, they're sweet, but not too sweet. I mean, honestly, just give these a try.  You won't regret it. 

What I love about these cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts is that they are so easy to make. Is this the fastest recipe? No, but it isn't too long either. 

Plus, the wait is well worth the result. These little beauties are so delicious!

cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts

low temp is king when deep-frying

So, another admission of mine. I suck at deep-frying (but I'm getting better). I made donuts (recipe here) for my blog last year around this time (foreshadowing, haha) and it took quite a few tries to get the oil to the correct temperature.

SO many recipes state that you should have your oil around 350 degrees F to 380 degrees F. That simply doesn't work for me. I don't know what I'm doing incorrectly, but I've found that low and slow is KING when deep frying. These sugar donuts are no exception.

I fried my first donut at 380 degrees F. and it burnt it to a crisp. It was torched on the outside and then undercooked on the inside. So, I tossed it. I lowered my oil temperature to 350 degrees F. It wasn't burnt, but still a little on the crispier side. 

The third time, I lowered my temperature to around 320 degrees and cooked it longer. The results were utter perfection. That crispy outer shell, fluffy center, beautifully buttermilk flavor! I was so happy.

cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts

how do you make cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts?

It's pretty simple but there are a couple of things I want to break down so that you don't make the same mistakes I made when developing this recipe. If you're anything like me and hate wasting ingredients, keep reading so that you don't have to make multiple trips to the supermarket. LOL.

So, you start by mixing wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in the other. Just like a cake. 

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon. Be sure not to overmix. As soon as the flour is fully incorporated, stop mixing.

cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts

Once all ingredients are combined and the dough is smooth with no dry spots of flour, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to an hour and 30 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface on your kitchen counter or table.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it's about ½ inch thick. Use a cookie, donut cutter, or a biscuit dough cutter (you can choose whatever size you like, I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter). 

Then I cut a hole in the center of the cut dough. I used the bottom of a piping tip to do it. I find that these are a perfect size. 

However, again, you can use whatever you like! If you have a donut pan, that’s even better.

fried donuts

dunk them in cinnamon sugar

Once the dough is cut, add them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Begin heating oil to 320 degrees F in a deep pot. Oil should be around 2 inches deep in the pot. When the dough is finished in the fridge, take them out then place the donuts in the pot and fry until golden, about 2-3 at a time depending on the size of your saucepan. 

Make sure to not overcrowd your pot. Fry dough for about 6-8 minutes per side, flipping every 2 minutes. Once the donuts are a beautiful golden brown color, set them on a cooling rack. Let them cool for a few minutes and then dunk them in cinnamon sugar (or sprinkle on top). 

Then you're done! The donuts are still cooking when you remove them from the oil so be sure to let them cool on a plate with paper towels to complete the process!

While you're enjoying this recipe, make these Vanilla Chai Donuts next! Also try these Baked Mimosa Donuts too!

fried donuts

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fried donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts

u003cstrongu003eu003cemu003eCinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts are fluffy and soft cake donuts that are so good you'll be making them over and over again! They're delicious, easy to make, and even more fun to eat!u003c/emu003eu003c/strongu003e
Serving: 14 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Calories: 190kcal


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, sugar, melted butter, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Whisk together until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk together.
  • Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated (about 30 seconds). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour-1 ½ hours.
  • Add flour to a work surface and roll out dough. Use a rolling pin to roll dough until about ½ inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut into donuts. Use a smaller circle cookie cutter (or the bottom of a piping tip, that's what I use) to cut the hole in the donut. Place donuts onto parchment paper and refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil to 320 degrees F. Fry donuts 2-3 donuts at a time for 6-8 minutes, flipping donuts every two minutes. Remove donuts once golden brown and put on a cooling rack.
  • Allow donuts to cool for about 1-2 minutes. Mix together ¾ cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Dunk donuts into cinnamon sugar.


Calories: 190kcal
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Is there a way to make this gluten free? Looks like an incredible recipe so if you have any suggestions let me know!

    • Hi Sydelle! I haven't tried making this recipe with gluten free flour so I can't say. I'm sorry about that!

  2. 5 stars
    nothing hits the spot more then freshly made donuts. While I usually make yeast raised donuts wanted to try something new. These were so good and will definitely be adding these to my donut repertoire.

  3. 5 stars
    These were amazing! They reminded me of my favorite buttermilk old-fashioned donuts from a a great donut shop here in Chicago, except these were even better!

  4. 5 stars
    I adore doughnuts but need to avoid yeast as I recently found out I'm allergic to it. These are the perfect solution for me!

  5. 5 stars
    These donuts have the perfect amount of sweetness and I just love the cinnamon sugar combo that goes on top! My favorite part is that it doesn’t require a stand mixer and really is easy to make! Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I love how informative and helpful the post is. My buttermilk donuts were a success and that hint of nutmeg in the batter really made it.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this recipe allergen-free by making vegan buttermilk and substituting GF Flour. They were so tasty and the sweet dusting of cinnamon and sugar hit the spot!

    • I'm so glad that you were able to tailor this recipe to fit your dietary needs!! Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

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