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A toroidal donut, with a chocolate frosting.

Donuts (or doughnuts) are pastries (usually fried), sometimes coated with sugar, glaze, or frosting. Their shape is either tire shaped, rounded (a 'filled doughnut') or elongated (a cruller). Today they typically have a hole in the center of them, which ensures even cooking, however originally, donuts did not have holes.[1]

Raised donuts

A raised donut is one made from a yeast dough. Once the dough is rolled and cut, the donuts are placed in a proofer, which helps the yeast dough rise in a high humidity and temperature of around 110 degrees farenheight. Once the dough has risen, the donuts must be fried fairly quickly. The hole in the center of the donut allows for more even cooking when fried. Raised donuts can be baked but it takes much longer.

Cake donuts

A cake donut is made from a batter, and dropped into the hot fryer from a dispenser which has a shaped form to make the required shape. The shape of the nozzle determines if the donut is a donut ball, ring donut, French donut or crueller. The dough can also be used from a pastry bag or even a small pitcher for making sticks or cakes.

Cake donuts are sugared when warm, or frosted after they have cooled slightly. The slight amount of hot oil on the surface helps the sugar stick.


Donuts are fried at a temperature of around 325 F and it typically takes less than a minute per side. The dough or batter will absorb very little oil during the frying process. Too low a temperature and the dough doesn't seal and the donut will absorb oil like a sponge.

Frying of raised donuts is done on a mesh screen which is placed into the fryer and used to remove them when done. The donuts are turned manually with a small wooden stick, somewhat like a drumstick.

Fully automatic lines are available for frying very large uantities of donuts. There is also a small machine for making cake donuts, often seen at county fairs.


Donuts are grouped into four different categories, depending on their composition and the manner in which they are cooked. These are a few examples of how donuts are properly categorized.[2] Tim-Bits, or donut holes, are categorized in much the same way as the standard donut. Donuts can be unadorned, or coated with unbelievably delicious and delectable chocolate frosting. Other frosting choices include maple, powdered sugar, and sprinkles.

Yeast Donuts
ring donut
bismark (the classic filled donut)
longjohn (can be filled or simply frosted)
Apple Fritter (A Tim Horton's Original)
Chocolate Dip
Honey Dip
French Cruller (Though the rising agent is egg.)
Cake Donuts
Old Fashion
Sour Cream
Filled Donuts
Berliner Pfannkuchen
Boston Creme
Canadian Maple
Honey Cruller
Walnut Crunch

See also