Who can resist fresh, warm doughnuts? The answer is no one. No child, no adult - the whole family enjoys a good, homemade doughnut.

I always feel a bit sad when I see those pre-packaged doughnuts in shops. You know the ones I’m talking about; pink icing, sprinkles. No offense, I’m sure they taste OK, but they have nothing on a freshly made version, smothered in powdered sugar and filled with tangy raspberry jam. Or, if you don’t fancy the filled variety, cut into rings and dipped, while warm, in a soft, buttery vanilla glaze.

I grew up on doughnuts and coffee. In Canada, you can’t drive five minutes down the road without coming to a ubiquitous Tim Horton’s – Tim was a professional ice hockey player. When he retired, he started a coffee and doughnut shop. It took off from there and became an iconic Canadian experience.

They are mass-produced (and the coffee is bad), but that doesn’t stop anyone – myself included – from indulging if there’s a Tim Horton’s doughnut on offer. Then there are the smaller shops that specialise in doughnuts – you can get them fresh and they are a dream. This recipe is one of those.

\Janine Kennedy

There are a few different types of doughnut – there is a quick-bread type, which uses baking powder as the rising agent, or there is a yeast-based type, which (you guessed it) uses yeast. This takes a bit longer than the other version, but there is nothing like a freshly-made yeast-risen doughnut. And they suit this time of year, with Easter just around the corner.

A few tips - the dough should be sticky, but not wet. You shouldn’t be able to pour it into a bowl. If you feel the dough is just a bit too sticky, add a bit more flour. I use a stand mixer to knead this dough, as it is too sticky to knead by hand. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use the extra flour for handling.

When the doughnut comes out of the hot oil, it will feel firm on the outside. Once it rests on some kitchen towel, it will soften. Once that happens, it’s ready to be filled with jam and covered in sugar.

You can use either caster sugar or icing sugar to cover the doughnuts, once fried. I prefer powdered sugar, as it covers the doughnut more evenly.

It’s important to let the doughnuts have a second rise, for about 30 minutes, once they are cut. Then, I promise, you will have light, fluffy and delicious doughnuts at home.

Jam-filled doughnuts

\Janine Kennedy

Makes 12-15


1 package dry active yeast (about 10g).

2 tsp sugar.

2 tbsp warm water.

125g caster sugar.

2 large eggs, room temperature.

60g butter.

250ml full fat milk.

1 tsp vanilla.

500g plain flour.

1 tsp salt.

500ml mild vegetable oil (like sunflower) for frying.

1 jar raspberry jam (or jam of your choice).

200g icing sugar, for coating.


  • 1 In a large bowl, add the yeast, 2 tsp of sugar and warm water. Let it sit for five to eight minutes for the yeast to activate (it will be bubbly).
  • 2 In a large, microwave safe measuring cup or bowl, add the butter, milk and vanilla. Microwave in 30 second intervals, until the butter starts to melt and the milk is warm. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 3 When the yeast is activated, add the two eggs and sugar. Mix well to combine, then slowly drizzle in the warmed milk, butter and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • 4 Add the flour and salt and mix well with your hands. It will be sticky, but it shouldn’t be like a cake batter. Add this into a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Mix on medium high for five to eight minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  • 5 Add the dough back into a clean bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for around an hour. It should double in size.
  • 6 Line a baking tray with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto the surface. Flatten lightly with your hands or a rolling pin to about 1 inch thickness. Cut into rounds and place each round on the lined baking sheet.
  • 7 Cover the doughnuts and let rise for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • 8 Heat the vegetable oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pan (or set your deep fat fryer to 190°C). Test a piece of discarded dough to see if it fries up nicely, or if it gets too dark too quickly. For the doughnuts to be cooked through, you need about 50 seconds of cooking per side without it burning or getting too dark. Medium high is usually a safe temperature to heat the oil.
  • 9 Fry the doughnuts on both sides (for 45-50 seconds per side). Adjust the heat if they are browning too quickly. When cooked, remove carefully from the hot oil and drain on kitchen towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • 10 Place the icing sugar in a bowl and fill a piping bag (with a sharp tip) with the jam. Using a small knife, make a small incision in the side of the doughnut. Place the tip of the piping bag inside and fill with a small amount of jam.
  • 11 Roll the filled doughnuts in icing sugar and eat within two hours to get the most enjoyment out of them!