From the Kitchen

Semi-Homemade Donuts

This recipe for semi-homemade donuts starts from a can, but comes out baked hot and fresh. Using ready-to-use biscuit dough, these donuts are easy and fast to make!

Making Semi Homemade Donuts

Recipe for Semi-Homemade Donuts

Ingredients for Donuts:

  • biscuit dough – ready to use or from scratch
  • small circle cutter – I used a medicine cup
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • tongs
  • paper towels
  • cinnamon & sugar mix


Ready your biscuits and spread them out on a cutting board. If using biscuits from a can, they are already the perfect size for these donuts. If making from scratch, get the dough ball to a 1/2 thick and 3 inches across.

Using a small circle cutter, press out a donut hole right in the middle of your biscuit. I used a medicine cup to make the perfect size for a donut hole!

Prepping Semi Homemade Donuts for Cooking

Heat your pan to medium heat with your oil. Place 5-6  doughy donuts into the pan and leave until the bottom is golden brown. Don’t do anything else but watch these, as they cook fast and don’t want them to burn.

Cooking Semi Homemade Donuts from a Biscuit Can

Turn them over and cook another minute or so.

Cooking Up Semi Homemade Donuts

Using tongs, place the cooked donut on paper towels to drain and cool slightly.

How-to Make Semi Homemade Doughnuts

Now place the donuts on a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You could also top your donuts with a powdered sugar and milk glaze. Even a chocolate frosting with sprinkles would be yummy.

Cinnamon and Sugar Topping for Semi Homemade Donuts

Now you’re ready to eat. The donut holes are my favorite, but I don’t realize how many I end up eating – they’re deliciously bite-sized.

Want more ideas? Yummy Doughnut Recipes:


  1. This is an old recipe I made these when I was a kid, I’m 36 years old. I still make them to this day. These donuts are very delicious.

  2. I grew up eating these and so did my son. We’ve never bothered with the donut holes, though. And we mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder and just enough water to mix to dip them in. Still one of my favorite things! I was reminded of them when we had beignets in New Orleans several years ago.

  3. These are fantastic! My son has an egg allergy and NEVER gets to eat donuts. This makes it possible! Thanks so much! :)

  4. My mother in law does this for my kids when we go visit, I haven’t tried it yet, but dh wants to do donuts as a reward for the kids so this would be a much more frugal way to reward them!

  5. My kids love these. Try mixing up powered sugar, a tiny bit of milk and a tsp of vanilla. I drizzle it over the donuts, my daughter loves it. :0)

  6. I have been making these for years, make a few today, they are great, powdered sugar sprinkled on top is tasty.

  7. my mom makes them in a similar way. she uses hot roll mix that comes in a box, deep frys and then after they set on paper towels, she tosses them in powder sugar. they are the best donuts i’ve ever had… and she used to work at dunkin donuts!

  8. These look much lower fat than commercial donuts, plus I won’t have to make a special trip for them. Looking forward to trying, one I get some can biscuits.

    BTW, just stumbled upon your site.

  9. hi’thank u for such a easy recipe.i want to find out about buisuit dough.s i live in jeddah where can i find it any other name for that or can u tell me any other subsitute for that.YHANKS ALOT ONCE AGAIN FOR SUCH A GREAT RECIPE.

  10. My Dad used to make these for us when I was a kid 30+ years ago! Makes me love this site even more if that’s possible. :)

  11. I just tried this recipe out. Very simple and easy. The cinnamon sugar mixture is delicious. I melted some butter and poured it over the donuts before the cinnamon sugar topping and it added a lot of flavor. Thank you for sharing!

  12. We made these last night and my husband nearly wet his pants he was so excited. (I’m exaggerating of course!) When I started making them he was like ‘ok, whatever, if you want to try it go for it…’ But when they were finished and I handed him a DONUT he was so surprised that it actually tasted like a donut! He ate 7 of them… We’ll definitely be making more. :)

  13. Definitely have to try this one… when my Mom makes homemade donuts, we shake them in a paper lunch sack (unused, of course!). The donuts are still fairly hot when we do it, which makes me pretty nervous about putting them in a plastic (Ziploc) baggie.

  14. I’m making donuts this morning and ran across your blog while searching for recipes and how-to. Thanks for posting this! Youngest loves donut holes, so I will make some of those as well.

  15. I made some this morning for breakfast, but i had not seen this site beforehand so I had to improvise on the glaze….

    I used some cake icing and I heated it for 30 seconds in the mircowave until it became runny. I then dipped the donuts in the icing and topped with sprinkles. The kids loved it!! Tomorrow I am going to try the milk and powdered sugar glaze

  16. these look great! i was wondering if you could get chocolate chips annd melt them. put the donuts in annd then put them in the fridge if that would work? because boy does my family LOVE chocolate! =]]

  17. Thanks for this easy recipe, granddaughter coming over this afternoon for play and sleep over so will make this tomorrow am.
    Sooo excited….also I love your blog site here :)

  18. These were great and so easy to make! We might need to make this a weekly tradition!

  19. These look delicious, but i wonder how many calories are in them?!?! Fun activity for the kids, but maybe this is why America is so obese. They look tasty, but might leave a sluggish feel, and a not so cute appearance.

  20. We LOVE these — we made them a lot as a kid from just the cheap biscuits. You’re pretty smart about the hold as we usually just stick a finger in the center and spread the hole just a bit so it opens the center. Not as pretty but fast. Thanks for sharing!


  22. Thank you for this recipe! We’re all sticky from sugar but they were delicious. My oldest is allergic to milk so can never eat donuts but I found milk-free biscuits at the supermarket so that we could make these today.

  23. I’ve made these since the 1960’s! I used to place sugar or sugar and cinnamon in a small bag and then drop in donuts (one at a time). My kids would then shake the bag to cover the donuts. Even toddlers can help Mom in this way – they love it!
    This is a classic donut recipe that stands the test of time.

  24. This is not just a winter idea! We always do this while camping. First you take a bisquit and twist it around your used hot dog stick, put it carefully over the fire, keep it turning or it may burn. When it is golden brown you rub it over a cube of butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mix. I put mine in a zip lock bag to have easier packing.

  25. Sasha – For a Doughnut glaze, mix powdered sugar with water and a little lemon juice. I’m not sure of the exact measurements, I usually just start pouring. But start with about 1-2 T water and 1/4 tsp lemon juice. Then add powdered sugar until you have a smooth glaze.

  26. I ran across this same recipe elsewhere, and the doughnuts are wonderful.

    Since my son (age 5) was diagonsed with a nut allergy a year ago, he has had to stay away from store/bakery items. So, he was absolutely thrilled that there is now a doughnut he can make and eat!

  27. Aaaa, your babygirl is so cute! I see like me you’re a lover of fried dough. I’ve heard about making donuts this way but have yet to try it! Need to give this a try, asap, especially as my babies are usually asking for something tasty to snack on right about 9.

  28. I just finished making these for my daughter’s preschool multicultural luncheon. Although I found the recipe elsewhere, and made approx. 40 of them, I just wanted to add that they are fantastic! Also, I am sending them with a shaker of powdered sugar as suggested in the other recipe and that is delicious too. I was curious to see who knows of a good way to preserve them over night, I am just taking a risk on a rubbermaid container. Thanks!

  29. A COMMENT…

    Yum these look so good. (:

    Are they really that easy to do!?


    That was nice of you Marie to kind of reply to everyone!

    Hope everyone has a great feast on these doughnuts.

    They are great snacks for the kids, well done and thanks for putting the recipe on the internet!

  30. We just made these to go along with “brown day” and they were definately the hit of the day. Better than tree climbing or making a fort.

  31. I forgot about these! My mom used to make these from time to time when we were kids. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. We made these on Saturday mornings when I was growing up. My mom made sprinkled with granulated sugar. My grandma made them with powdered sugar glaze. Both are yummy. Now I need to make these!!

  33. These donuts look delicious. My mouth is watering just looking at the pics!

    We make something similar called monkey bread, with canned biscuits, butter, and cinnamon sugar! Yum!

  34. Too bad we’re moving across the country in a couple days. Everything is packed up. We will definately make these when we get to Utah. Are you thinking of having another craft play day? We’ll be there in a week and I’d love to meet you and your cute kids. :)

  35. My Mom used to make these for me when I was a little girl. I’ve been thinking about making them lately. Now I’ve gotta do it! I have a feeling my daughter will love them as much as I did.

  36. I love hearing how Homemade Donuts have been a tradition with so many of you. I’m going to have to pick an occasion or holiday to serve these at each year!

  37. When my mom was a young girl her mom made homemade doughnuts for them for a treat when they could. They were so poor growing up and so this was a very special tradition for them. When I was a girl my mom started making them with the bisquits and now I make them with my kids. This is a great memory and tradition now for three generations in my family! Thanks for the reminder!

  38. So glad you shared this. I have been doing the donut hole recipe from food network (saw it on Guy’s Big Bite) and it used canned biscuits too. This will be fun to actually make a real donut.

  39. We used to do this all the time growing up too. We did the poke a hole with our finger thing, I think next time I will try your doughnut hole way. They look delicious. We usually used a powder sugar & milk glaze.

  40. This brings back memories of my childhood. We used to make these all the time! Thanks for refreshing my memory and now I can’t wait to try these with MY kids.

  41. Mmmm we made these when we did the letter D :) So so yummy :) They are way easy! But the sick thing is how many I can eat!!

  42. Thank you for a great idea for today’s after nap activity. I am only worried that as easy as those look, they may become somewhat of a regular treat… But they’re a lot cheaper than driving to Krispy Kreme’s!

  43. This is much easier than the donuts we made from scratch as a youth. Thanks! There a simple recipe for making Cinnamon Biscuits that I posted on my blog back in the spring. My 12 yr. old daughter made them. Here’s the link:

    Cinammon Rolls

    I should clarify something about the recipe, we usually only use about 2 Tablespoons of margarine and melt it in the microwave in a bowl, then just put some cinnamon sugar in another bowl. These biscuits really do turn out to task like cinnamon rolls and they go fast.

  44. You’ve got the luckiest kids! My kids would be thrilled if I’d clear my laundry project off the counter so they have room to pour a bowl of cereal. What a mom!

  45. This will save me from being dragged out of the house to the donut shop on weekend mornings. Those look exactly like donut shop donuts.

  46. okay, yep, gotta love a child bouncing on your lap as you are typing so you accidentally send a comment before it’s finished ha ha.

    What I was trying to say is I absolutely must make these. I have a serious donut fetish but have never made them. I just frequent donut shops.

  47. These are the best! We used to make these all the time when I was growing up. I will be sure to grab some biscuits at the store today.

  48. Oh YUM!! I am definitely going to be trying these out soon!! They are making my mouth water right now!

  49. KJ – Good luck making these in Korea. I hope you find your biscuits too.

    Kim – They are just that easy! I know!

    Bridget – Yes, Yum!

    Emily – That is a great after church snack. And poking the hole is a good idea too. Although, I do love to eat the holes!

    Rebecca – These semi donuts make it easy to have the real thing. And they taste great.

    Amy – It’s almost too quick and easy. I made them for all the neighbor kids and they loved them.

  50. We make these every Sunday after church. I can vouch for their yummy-ness and ease. We skip the cutter and just poke a hole in the center w/ our finger and stretch the hole out a bit. We also shake them in a big ziplock bag to coat w/ sugar & cinnamon.

    1. I never cut out the inner circle, I do it with poking WHOLE WITH MY FINGERS AND WIDENING IT BY HAND…WORKS AS WELL AND IST EASIER
      sa said by Emily.
      I do them for ages now and they are still a favourite, even in my oldies group :)

  51. YUM!! These look delicious. I also love the last pic of you little one licking her lips as she tastes it. A picture truly says a thousand words. I gotta try these since donuts are not as easy to find in Korea. I hope the commisary has biscuits tomorrow.

Make and Takes more recent posts