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5 from 16 votes

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts

These old-fashioned sour cream donuts are fried cake donut perfection. A sour cream cake donut batter is fried, then dipped in a vanilla donut glaze. I have all the tips and tricks for you to fry up donuts at home!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 donuts
Calories: 414kcal


For the donuts

  • 5 cups (600 g) cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large Egg yolks room temperature (measure this first- should be 100 g)
  • 1 cup + 3 Tablespoons (240 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ⅔ cup (380 g) Sour cream, room temperature
  • 6 cups oil for frying

For the glaze

  • 3 cups (339g) confectioners sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the donuts

  • Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Combine the butter, yolks, sugar, and salt. Mix on medium speed for about 6 to 8 minutes or until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment.
  • Add the sour cream. Combine well on low speed.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Combine only to incorporate, but do not overmix. The dough will be quite sticky at this point and you won't be able to roll it out.
  • Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or until it's cold and firm.
  • On a floured surface, roll to about ½-in thick. The dough can be a little sticky (especially it's humid out) so be sure to keep the rolling pin, counter, and surface of dough lightly floured. If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate a little bit longer. Cut the dough using the 3-inch donut cutter. If you don't have a donut cutter, then use a round 3" cutter, and then a 1" round cutter to cut out the center (or the large end of a piping tip). Dip the cutters in flour before cutting if the dough is sticky. Combine the scraps. Roll out again (be careful to not add too much flour to do so or overwork the dough) and cut out more doughnuts. Place donuts onto a lightly greased parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Heat oil to 350°F (175°C) in a large pot or deep skillet (about 1/2 full). The oil should be at least 2 inches deep. Line a wire rack with paper towels.
  • Place the doughnuts carefully in the oil. Fry 2-3 donuts at a time. I use a fork to lower the donut into the oil, pointing the donut away from you so the oil doesn’t splash back at you. Fry for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then flip over to fry the other side for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes minute more until golden brown on both sides. If the oil is getting too hot, add a little room temperature oil to the pot to cool it down a bit.
  • Remove the doughnuts using a spider colander. Place on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Cool for about 1 minute.

To make the glaze

  • Place a wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet to catch the excess glaze.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. You can sift the confectioners sugar first to remove any lumps, or I just prefer to whisk it like crazy until it's smooth!
  • Dip each donut, on each side, letting excess drip off. Place onto the wire rack.



  • Storage: I think these are best the day they are made, however I've enjoyed 2-3 days after. I store them at room temperature, covered. The glaze might get a bit sticky over time. 
  • Freezing: I would freeze these without the glaze, and they should keep for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature and glaze as normal.
  • Flour: I made these both with all-purpose and cake flour and preferred the cake flour for a lighter donut, but AP flour also works if need be but the texture will be a bit denser. 
  • Oil: I like to use a neutral-tasting oil like canola. Canola oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point. Sunflower oil is another great option. Vegetable, peanut, or corn oil is another great option. Frying oil can usually be used twice before disposing of it. 
  • Chilling the donuts: The donuts are much easier to fry if they are cold. If your donuts are warming up too much sitting out as you fry each batch, pop them back in the fridge. 


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg