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It’s National Donut Day—Here’s what you need to make tasty homemade donuts

November 5, 2022
5 mins read

We hope you have a sweet tooth because today is National Donut Day! If you’re an astute observer of obscure holidays, you might have sworn that you already celebrated National Donut Day in June.

That’s right, we have not one, but two special days dedicated to donuts. Hey, we’re not complaining. There are plenty of ways to make America’s favorite sweet treat right at home to celebrate.

When is National Donut Day 2022?

National Donut Day (also known as ‘National Doughnut Day’) falls annually on November 5. The first Friday in June is the other National Donut Day. Both days spotlight the tasty baked goods and often feature plenty of donut freebies and deals.

How to make donuts at home

There are a variety of ways to make donuts at home. One can try deep frying, air frying or baking, to name a few methods. Whichever way you decide, here are the tools you need to make the tastiest homemade donuts.

1. A stand mixer

No more hand-mixing dough when you have the coveted KitchenAid Stand Mixer. - National Donut Day

Considering that elsewhere the “donut” is commonly spelled “doughnut,” it should be obvious that this pastry is nothing without its signature dough. Many mix the dough by hand, but if you’re looking to speed up the process, we recommend using a stand mixer. We love the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer and found it to be the best stand mixer out of all the ones we tested. It’s durable, quiet and is compatible with many attachments that cover a variety of kitchen needs like a meat grinder and a pasta press. Conveniently, it even comes with a dough hook.

$449 from Amazon

2. Cookie cutters

Using cookie cutters is a fool-proof method to get that classic ring shape.

The classic “ring” donut is one of the most popular shapes. If you’re a fan of donut holes, you can fry the leftover dough for even more treats. If you don’t have a dedicated donut hole cutter, you can use a circular cookie cutter to make the holes. Based on our research, we found the cookie cutters sold by YXCLIFE to be the best ones you can buy online. Reviewers love that they’re easy to clean and they enjoy the year-round usability owing to the basic geometric shapes in the set.

$11 from Amazon

3. A Dutch oven

You can even make donuts in a Dutch oven.

Donuts are typically made with fried batter and there are several ways to achieve this. One way is to cook them over the stove. While you can fry a donut in pretty much anything that holds oil, a Dutch oven is one of the safer options due to its tall sides. It’s easy to use a tong to grab a donut out of the oil while not putting yourself at risk for oil burns. The best Dutch oven we’ve tested is the Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte. It cleans easily, is well-built and cooks evenly without taking up a lot of space on your stove.

$360 from Amazon

4. A thermometer

Ensure you don't overcook your donuts with handy thermometers.

If you’re frying your donut on the stove, bakers recommend using a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature of your oil. This ensures that your dessert doesn’t end up overcooked. Taylor Precision Products sells a highly rated, programmable thermometer that comes with a clip, ensuring it stays affixed to the pot you’re frying your donuts in. Reviewers love it for its ease of use. For smaller pans, we recommend using the Easy-Read Candy Thermometer from Williams-Sonoma as its smaller size works better with smaller containers.

$20 from Amazon

5. A deep fryer

The most popular way to make donuts? The deep fryer.

Probably the most popular way to fry your donuts is with a deep fryer. It’s safer than deep frying on a stovetop and it’s easy to regulate oil temperatures without the use of an external thermometer. After extensive testing of various deep fryers, we found that Breville’s smart fryer is the best. Its LCD screen and automatic settings makes it the most convenient fryer bar none. It also displays accurate temperatures and fries excellently.

$180 from Amazon

6. An air fryer

Skip the saturated oils with an air fryer.

Looking for a healthier alternative to deep frying? Thanks to the power of convection, an air fryer can help with that. With an air fryer, you can still make crispy, delicious donuts without the oils that fuel other frying methods. We found the Ninja Speedi to the best air fryer thanks to its huge cooking capacity and ease-of-use. It quickly will fry your donuts to crispy perfection.

$180 from Amazon

7. A donut pan

A donut pan can help you to make cake-like donuts.

Cake donuts, as their name implies, are a type of donut with a texture more akin to cake. This results in them being denser and less airy than traditional donuts. You can easily make this type of donut by baking them in the oven using a pan. Wilton’s Non-Stick 6-Cavity Donut Baking Pans will get the job done. The donut cavities are large and the pans themselves are dishwasher safe, making for an easy cleanup when you’re done.

$14 from Amazon

8. A mini donut maker

Make adorable mini donuts with Dash.

The only thing better than a donut is a miniature donut. Fortunately, they can be made from the comfort of your kitchen in as little as five minutes. Reviewed contributor Madison Trapkin tested, including their Mini Donut Maker, which makes seven adorable mini donuts. She remarked that both recipes she tried came out “simple and delicious.”

$20 from Amazon

9. Measuring tools

Bake with perfect measurements for the perfect donut.

To make the perfect donut, you’ll need to make sure you have precise measurements for your ingredients. For small measurements (up to a tablespoon), you’ll want to use measuring spoons and it doesn’t get any better than the Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set, the best set we’ve tested. This set is sturdy, sleek and sports etched-on measurements, meaning they won’t weather away over time like many plastic spoons. For larger measurements, we recommend our favorite measuring cup set, the Bellemain Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set. It’s sturdy, has etchings in both millileters and cups and what’s more, they fit easily inside containers. Kitchen scales offer even more accurate measurements. The Escali P115 Primo Digital Scale is our favorite digital scale. It’s easy to use and store thanks to its small size. Plus, it won’t break the bank.

$27 from Amazon

10. A whisk

A whisk has never been so easy to use—and stylish.

For making toppings such as a glaze or chocolate sauce, you’ll want a whisk to quickly stir the ingredients together. We recommend picking up the GIR 11-inch Ultimate Whisk, which we found to be the best whisk that you can buy. This whisk is easy and comfortable to use, and has a stylish design in various colors.

$13 from Amazon

11. Mason jars

Store tasty jams and jellies to fill your donuts with.

Donuts can be filled with a variety of fillings to make them even more delicious. Some filling options include using fruit jellies and jams. It can be stored in mason jars until it’s ready to be piped into the donut. The 32-ounce mason jars by Ball have thousands of positive ratings on Amazon. Buyers love them for their airtight seals that will keep your food fresh for extended periods of time.

$12 from Amazon

12. A pastry piping kit

Filling your donuts doesn't have to be a messy task with a piping kit.

Whether you’re going for cream or jam, if you’re looking to stuff your donut with filling, using a pastry piper will make your job a lot easier. A piping kit, such as the one sold by Plateau Elk, allows you to fill a bag with your filling and squeeze it into a small hole in your donut. With this method, you don’t have to worry about messes. Reviewers of the Plateau Elk piping kit love it for its ease-of-use and sturdiness.

$11 from Amazon

13. A cooling rack

A cooling rack is perfect for resting your hot-out-of-the-oven donuts.

A cooling rack is an important donut-making tool to have. It’s helpful to make sure greasy oil doesn’t pool around your donut as it dries or if you just need a place to set your donuts while they’re piping hot. OXO Store offers a cooling rack that buyers love for its durability and large size.

$17 from Amazon

14. A spatula

Frost your donuts with ease.

A spatula can be used to whip up and apply delicious frostings and glazes to your donuts. After testing several spatulas, we found the Ateco 1385 4.5” Offset Spatula to be the best spatula for frosting. This spatula is great at spreading frosting due to its narrow blade that feels like an extension of your fingers.

$7 from Amazon

The Washington Inquirer Editor

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