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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts

These old-fashioned Sour Cream Donuts are tender and fluffy, with a layer of sweet, crunchy vanilla glaze. No yeast needed!

Stack of glazed sour cream donuts with bite taken out of top one

Sour cream donuts are a staple of hometown bakeries everywhere – the kinds of places that smell like sugar and dough, with glass cases housing stacks of glazed donuts, chocolate chip cookies, and thick slices of sheet cake. If you’ve never had one before, you’re in for a treat – the glaze that envelops the donut hardens for a delightful crunch when you bite into it, and the donut itself is soft, fluffy, and all-around dreamy.

While sour cream donuts from a bakery are good, they’re even better when they’re homemade because you always get to enjoy them at peak freshness. Making donuts isn’t hard – and this recipe is especially easy since it doesn’t involve yeast—but it does require deep frying. If you’ve never tried deep-frying before, I share some tips below.

(If you do want to try a bakery-style treat made with yeast, try my Pan Dulce recipe!)

Overhead view of sour cream donut ingredients

What You’ll Need

A well-stocked pantry should have most of these items already, so this is the kind of recipe you can whip up on a whim!

For the donuts:

  • All-purpose flour 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Sour cream – The fat in the sour cream is what gives these donuts their lovely texture, so go for the full-fat version.
  • Egg
  • Olive oil
  • Milk – Again, full-fat (i.e., whole milk) will yield the best results.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Canola oil – You’ll be using this for frying the donuts, so you’ll need a lot. How much? Well, it depends on the size and shape of the pot you’re using. A wider pan will require more oil to cover the donuts.

For the glaze: 

  • Powdered sugar – This is often labeled as confectioners’ sugar.
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Hot water 

How to Make Sour Cream Donuts

Making homemade donuts is the perfect project for a weekend morning. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Prepare. Heat the oil in a deep pot set over medium heat.

Overhead view of dry donut ingredients in glass mixing bowl with spoon

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients. In a second bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract until the eggs are beaten and the mixture is smooth. 

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.

Roll out the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. 

Cut the donuts. Use a donut cutter or two biscuit cutters (one for the outer circle and a second, smaller cutter for the inner circle) to cut out donut shapes. You should get about 12 donuts. 

Overhead view of fried, unglazed sour cream donuts

Fry the donuts. Place the donuts in the oil a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd them. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes, and keep a close watch on them so they don’t burn. 

Drain. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the donuts from the oil and set them on a few layers of paper towels to soak up the excess.

Make the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, hot water, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth, breaking up any lumps of sugar. (If you notice a lot of lumps in your sugar before making the glaze, you might want to sift it first.)

Glaze the donuts. Dip both sides of each donut in the glaze, then place them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan to catch any excess. Let the glaze harden for 20 to 30 minutes, then enjoy.

Overhead view of glazed donuts on parchment lined baking sheet

Tips for Deep Frying Donuts

A lot of people avoid recipes that involve deep frying because they’re under the impression that it’s difficult, but it’s actually easier than you might expect – and once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to do it all the time! Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • A high smoke point oil is key. I recommend canola oil for this recipe, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can’t substitute just any oil in your cupboard. Peanut oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil all work for deep frying because they have high smoke points.
  • Use a deep pot or pan. This helps prevent oil spatters.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Doing so drops the temperature of the oil, slowing the cooking time—and a slower cooking time means your donuts will absorb the oil and get greasy.
Stack of sour cream donuts on parchment lined baking sheet

How to Store

Homemade donuts are always best served fresh, the day they are made, but they may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Again, donuts are best enjoyed fresh, but you can freeze them if you have leftovers. Place them in a freezer bag and press out the air, then freeze them for up to 2 months. Let them thaw on the counter at room temperature overnight before serving.

Three glazed donuts on parchment lined baking sheet
Print

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts

These quick and easy sour cream donuts are soft and fluffy, just like the ones you buy in bakery! The vanilla glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness, with every bite leaving you asking for more!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 donuts
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 34 tbsp hot water

Instructions

To Make the Donuts

Heat the oil in a deep pot in medium heat.

Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients, then combine with dry. In a different bowl whisk together the sour cream, egg, olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a dough is formed.

Roll out dough. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut the donut shapes. Use a doughnut cutter or two differently sized biscuit cutters to cut out the donuts. You should get about 12 doughnuts.

Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper towel to soak up the excess grease

To Make the Glaze

Mix glaze ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, hot water, and vanilla extract until smooth, with no lumps of sugar remaining.

Cover both sides of each donut with the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Keywords: sour cream donuts, gourmet donuts, donuts no yeast

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