Tips for Perfect Cake Donuts

By Todd Coleman

Published on March 18, 2019

Cake dough sticks to the bowl. It sticks to your hands. It can be exasperating. The truth is that cake donuts should have a sticky dough—it's a cake dough, not a bread dough, after all. So what can you do? Inexperienced cooks tend to roll or pat the dough out on a well-floured surface, then dust it with more flour. This does make the dough easier to handle. Unfortunately, it also tips the balance of ingredients into the realm of a bread dough, yielding a dense, chewy donut. Professional donut makers understand this; that's why they use a machine, an extruder, that forces dough through a hole-centered die, dropping delicate rings, unfettered by excess flour, straight into the oil. The result is a tender, moist confection. Since most extruders won't fit in a home kitchen, we came up with a few manual methods for working with the sticky dough. First, lightly oil or wet your hands. Roll about a quarter cup dough into a ball, pat it into a disk, and poke a hole in it with your thumb. Then slide it carefully into the frying oil. Another good method: Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough onto a plastic-wrapped cookie sheet, then chill. The dough won't stick to the plastic wrap, and chilling firms it, removing tackiness. Or dispense the dough from an oiled antique-style donut press (pictured) or an Indian medu vada maker. These tools—essentially handheld manual extruders—can be found online.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.