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Put your black shirt away and get out your favorite apron for this one. If you do this right, you should be covered in a dusting of powdered sugar when all is said and done. It’s time for homemade powdered donuts! The combination of fried dough and powdered sugar works for funnel cake, zeppole, beignets, fry bread, and of course…powdered donuts. To create this sweet treat, we decided to keep it classic with a twist, adding yeast to a cake donut to give these fluffy rings the best of both worlds.
Cake donut or yeast donut?
No need to argue about which type of donut reigns supreme. (At least not right now.) While yeast donuts are usually the golden child of the fried dough family, cake donuts are delicious in their own right, and they have a few distinct advantages. Like layered cake batter, cake donut dough is versatile and lends itself well to adding flavor directly to the dough rather than just layering them on top. Cake donuts are surrounded by an irresistibly crispy, thin crust, especially when they’re fried instead of baked, making them the perfect vehicle for soft, powdery sugar. For all of their benefits, cake donuts are usually in the shadows of the pastry case. We bolstered their flavor with a not-so-secret ingredient to give cake donuts their day in the sun. These are fluffy, tender, and crispy like any other cake donut, but with the addition of yeast (minus the rising time) so that we don’t miss the yeasty fermented flavor we love from the cake donut’s slow-rising cousin, the yeast donut.
What type of oil should I use (and what should I avoid)?
Two major factors come into consideration for picking the right donut-frying oil. First is taste: Go for a neutral oil that won't leave behind its flavor in your donut. Oils like olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil will all leave behind a strong, noticeable scent and taste. The second factor is the smoke point. Choose an oil with a smoke point above 400° to ensure that it doesn't smoke in the middle of your frying process. Refined sunflower, peanut, or canola oils are all great choices.
What temperature should I fry these at?
Maintaining the proper frying temperature is crucial. Too high = burnt donuts; too low = oily donuts. Since these are hybrid donuts, the frying temperature is a bit hybrid as well, splitting the difference between the higher frying temperature of yeasted donuts and the lower frying temperature of cake donuts. We found that the sweet spot is right between 335° to 350°. Get accustomed to adjusting the oil temperature as you fry; if the temperature climbs too high, drop some leftover dough scraps in the oil to help regulate the temperature.
What tools do I need to fry donuts?
Having the right tools for any kitchen job is always a good idea, but it’s an excellent idea when hot oil and quick cooking are involved. So we’ve got the tools of the trade all lined up (in the order that you’ll need them) and ready for you here:
How should I store these?
To be honest, you should just eat them or share the leftovers with your neighbors. Fried dough doesn’t have a great shelf life, and powdered donuts are no exception. However, if you absolutely must store the leftovers, they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
fresh lemon juice, plus finely grated zest of 1 lemon
all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling