Fried Donuts Recipe: Super Easy 4-Ingredient No-Yeast Fried Dough

Talia Cortez (@taliacor)

Meya Cortez (@meyarrr),
Jerome Jocson (@emowredge)

Jolo Marcelo (@jolomarcelo)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

Annika Hernandez (@anneequa_)

When someone says “donuts,” the first thing that comes to mind is the classic Simpsons donut—an airy, fried dough ring with colored glaze and sprinkles. But the term “donuts” encompasses almost any type of fried dough. So those fried twists, long johns, munchkins (aka donut holes)—those are all donuts. This fried donuts recipe is no exception.

Super Easy Fried Donut Final
Does anyone remember those BeaverTails sold before?

Inspired by Canadian BeaverTails, this super easy recipe makes long, rectangular, puffy pieces of fried dough. It only needs four ingredients and comes together in just 20-30 minutes tops (plus resting). Unlike traditional donuts, these don’t use yeast, which explains why it finishes in half the time. Instead, it gets its rise from a large amount of baking powder.

Making the Dough

Super Easy Fried Donut Ingredients
Four ingredients, plus your choice of toppings.

Start by combining the flour, baking powder, and white sugar in a bowl. Whisk your dry ingredients well; this makes sure that your baking powder doesn’t clump up, and is evenly distributed in the flour.

Dry Ingredients

Whisking Dry Ingredients
Whisking helps distribute all your dry ingredients evenly.

Add the water and mix everything with a wooden spoon or a spatula. The recipe calls for two to three cups of water, so start with just two cups then gradually add the last cup by the tablespoon if your dough is too dry. Different kinds and brands of flour absorb water differently, so you’ll need to adjust based on that.

Mixing Dough
Add water by the tablespoon until you get the right dough texture.

Once your dough is mostly combined, turn it out onto a flat surface and knead. You won’t be kneading in the same way as you would regular yeasted dough (i.e. until smooth)—just enough for it to form a cohesive ball. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes; meanwhile, prepare your frying oil.

Kneading Dough
It should only take about two minutes to knead.

Shaping and Frying

Kimmie Rolling BeaverTalils

After resting your dough, divide it for shaping. You can split it into four equal pieces for giant fried donuts (a la BeaverTails); or you can slice it into eight up to 16 smaller squares or rectangles, kind of like beignets. Roll it out into a long, thin piece of dough, no thicker than 1/4 inch. If your dough resists while rolling, let it rest for a few more minutes before continuing. You can also stretch it out with the help of gravity. Hold the dough vertically and carefully let it fall or pull it lightly with your hands.

Dividing Dough
These make giant fried donuts.

Rolling Dough
You don’t want it too thick or too thin.

Slowly lower your dough into the hot oil and it will puff almost immediately. Fry it for three minutes on each side until golden brown, then transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate or a cooling rack to drain and cool. It will deflate a little bit, that’s normal. It will still keep the majority of its puffiness, though, so don’t worry!

Super Easy Fried Donut Frying Donut
Puff dog.

Super Easy Fried Donut After Frying
The steam will come out and that’s okay.

Topping the Fried Donuts

Homemade Coco Jam
Make this coco jam from scratch!

One of the best things about these fried donuts is that it can be topped with practically anything. It doesn’t conform to the glaze and sprinkles universe of typical donuts. It sort of functions more like toast in that it can be topped with spreads and jams. The simplest way to finish these is with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. But you can douse it with whipped cream, choco hazelnut spread, or even go a more savory route. We suggest slathering on some of our homemade coco jam to give it a local twist—still topping it with powdered sugar after, of course.

Super Easy Fried Donut Topping
A final dusting of powdered sugar and you’re done!

Super Easy Fried Donuts Recipe



Serving Size

4-8 people

Active Time

20 mins

Total Time

1 hr

Instructions for Super Easy Fried Donuts

  1. Add flour, white sugar, and baking powder to a bowl.
  2. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add water and mix in with a wooden spoon. Start with 2 cups of water, then gradually add the remaining 1 cup if needed.
  4. Turn out onto a table and knead just until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes.
  5. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide pot to 350F.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  8. Take one piece and roll and stretch into a large, thin oval, no thicker than 1/4 inch.
  9. Carefully lower the dough into the hot oil and fry until puffed and lightly golden, flipping halfway through, about 3 minutes on each side.
  10. Remove from oil and place on paper towels or a cooling rack to drain.
  11. Repeat the steps with the rest of the dough until all pieces are fried.
  12. Serve with desired toppings, like a generous smear of homemade coco jam and powdered sugar. Alternatively, cover heavily in powdered sugar.
  13. Serve per piece or cut into slices.

Adjustments & Substitutions

  • Use any toppings you’d like: chocolate spread, peanut butter, fruit jams, etc.
  • You can divide the dough into eight to 16 pieces before shaping or cut them into smaller slices after frying if you want tinier pieces.

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