Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts

Fresh from the fryer buttermilk donuts coated in a warm cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts | The Little Epicurean

You must be wondering… what’s with all these donuts lately?  Don’t worry, I’ve been asking myself the same question.

Ever since I started my DONUT make me crazy board on Pinterest, I’ve been a donut hound constantly on the lookout for pretty donuts to pin.  However, it seems like most of the donut photos and recipes I find on the internet are baked donuts.  

I like baked donuts; I’ve made plenty in the past- however it still doesn’t live up to warm, freshly fried doughnuts.  

Instead of scouring the web in search of photos to pin to my board, I’ve taken it upon myself to make as many donuts as possible.  Sounds like a good compromise, I’d say.

I buy buttermilk with the intention of making buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk waffles, and fluffy buttermilk biscuits.  

But even after I’ve made all that food, I still end up with some extra buttermilk leftover.  

Solution to this excess: buttermilk donuts, of course!

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts | The Little Epicurean

Homemade Buttermilk Cake Donuts

Best part about making traditional round donuts (instead of the square strawberry shortcake doughnuts I made last week) are the doughnut holes!  It’s like making two desserts in one.  

The round ring donuts are great for breakfast and mid-morning eats at the dining table with a cup of coffee.  

And the doughnut holes are perfect to take to work for all-day snacking at your desk.  

Did I just admit that I ate ALL the doughnut holes while working?  Okay, fine.  I did.  But hey, at least I shared.

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts | The Little Epicurean

While I chose to coat the donuts in cinnamon sugar, these donuts are also great for dipping in glaze or melted chocolate, and topping with sprinkles!

Have a favorite donut you’d like me to recreate?  Let me know in the comments section and I’ll try to make it for you!

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts

These cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts are similar to old-fashioned cake donuts from the donut shop. Be sure to eat them when they are fresh and warm! It makes a world of a difference!

Yield: 1 dozen donuts + 1 dozen doughnut holes

Servings 12 donuts
Author Maryanne Cabrera


Buttermilk Donuts:

  • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • vegetable oil, as needed for frying

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


Buttermilk Donuts:

  1. Sift together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together egg and sugar. Add buttermilk and shortening. Mix on medium speed until well combined.

  3. Add dry flour mixture. Mix on low speed until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Batter will be thick and a little sticky. Transfer batter to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 1 hour (up to overnight).

  4. Fill a large pot with 3 inches of vegetable oil. Using a candy thermometer, bring oil to 360°F over medium heat.

  5. Remove chilled dough from the fridge. Place on a floured work surface. Dough will be sticky! Lightly sprinkle top of dough with flour. Roll or pat dough to a thickness of about ½-inch. Flour a 3-inch round cutter. Punch out rounds. Fold and press together dough scrapes to punch out additional rounds. Use a 1-inch or smaller round cutter to punch out doughnut holes.

    *Flour cutters as needed to prevent dough from sticking.

  6. Brush off any excess flour from donuts before adding them to the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pot, add 3-5 donuts to the pot at a time. Do not overcrowd the donuts, as it will decrease the oil temperature too much.

  7. Set a timer for 75 seconds. By this time, the donuts should have floated to the top. Turn donuts over and cook other side for another 75 seconds. Once golden brown all over, remove donuts from oil. Let drain on paper towels or over wire rack.

  8. Repeat for doughnut holes, reducing time to 50-60 seconds per side.

  9. Allow donuts to cool for 5 minutes. Coat in cinnamon sugar mixture until donuts are still warm.

Cinnamon Sugar:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon.

Recipe Notes

Tips on Dough:

  • Work quickly! It is easier to work with cold dough than room temperature dough. 
  • If the dough becomes too sticky or difficult to work with, place it back in the fridge to cool down. 

Cinnamon Sugar Buttermilk Donuts | The Little Epicurean

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amanda @ fake ginger

I totally have half a carton of buttermilk in my fridge right now. They really should sell that stuff in smaller sizes. But then, you probably wouldn’t have made these doughnuts. And I’m happy you did because now I want to make them!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Seriously? Buttermilk should be sold in smaller quantities! I’ve tried buttermilk powder a couple times but I still like real buttermilk. Happy doughnut making!

Ace (@toastedsprinkle)

I am so glad I found your blog. It’s like I found my foodie soul mate. These donuts…divine. I always find that recipes that call for buttermilk never use as much as I think they will. Also, the fact that is makes a dozen donuts is just so perfect! I hate when I make a billion of something and forget to take the extras to work and then guilt eat them for days because I can’t bare to throw them out and “waste” them.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Ace! I’m so glad you found me. Haha, I feel the same way. Looking through your blog, I’m like…we would totally be friends in real life. Sometimes it’s really hard scaling down recipes, especially those that have eggs. I’ve tried to use half an egg, and it didn’t turn out so well.

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These donuts look heavenly! Now the problem is how could you walk away just eating one or two?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Angie! It’s difficult just eating one…hence doughnut holes!


i’m a big doughnut fan. they look great!

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