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Sourdough Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

This donut recipe is a fun and tasty new challenge for anyone experimenting with sourdough at home. Enjoy warm or within an hour or two of frying for best results!

Sourdough Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar
1 cup (235ml) milk
1 large egg
4 Tbsp (60g) salted butter
224g sourdough starter
1/2 cup (112g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Cinnamon Sugar 
1/2 cup (112g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon 

Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture reads 120°F. Transfer to a standing mixer. Add the egg, starter, flour, granulated sugar, spices, and salt in the standing mixer and mix on medium low with a dough hook until smooth and elastic. This may take up to 15 minutes, you want the dough to pull away from the bowl and be in a ball.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and fold the dough over itself from all sides, this is called a fold. Cover with cling wrap and let sit for one hour. Repeat twice more with hour rests in-between folds.

After the last fold and 1 hour rest, the dough should be nice and airy. If the dough isn't, give it more time at room temperature before transferring to the fridge overnight. You will know it's ready when you poke it gently it doesn't quickly spring back. 

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Without kneading, transfer to a floured work surface and roll to 1/2" thick. Cut the donuts either with a donut cutter, or with one larger round cutter (about 4") and one smaller one (1.5") to create the hole in the middle. Transfer both the donuts and the donut holes to a floured sheet tray, leaving space in-between for the donuts to proof. Re-roll the scraps of dough and cut until no more remains. For no waste, once we cut as many donuts as we could, we cut the remaining dough into small pieces and fried those as a snack!

Brush the tops lightly with oil and cover the trays with cling wrap. Set aside to rise for 1 1/2 hours. 

Combine the  1/2 cup (112g) granulated sugar and 2 Tbsp cinnamon in a bowl.
Once the donuts are proofed, heat 2 quarts of oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven. Fry the donuts a few at a time for about 2 minutes per side until they are golden brown and puffy. 

Remove from the oil and immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Transfer to a cooling tray.

Enjoy warm or within an hour or two of frying for best results!


Corinne F.

I have never given it a second thought on making donuts. It has always been something I would never make because of all the oil you have to use to make them and then the wasted leftover oil. I decided to try this recipe but adapted it to use my airfryer. I thought it worked really well. If you do try using your airfryer don’t expect these donuts to be like the deep fryer version or you will be disappointed. They are baked with a light coating of oil. I made these at 190 C for 6 minutes. Use melted butter to dip them in and then into the cinnamon/sugar coating.

Paul N.

Everyone I make these for loves them. I usually make three dozen at a time and share with co-workers. Great way to make friends!
I heat the oil to 350 and keep a temp probe in the oil at all time to keep the temp close to 350. At this temp you can lower the time in the oil to 1 1/2 min per side.
This allows the donut to be in the oil less and it makes them a little more fluffy.

Janna Bishop

We’ve never tried these in an air fryer, but if you have successfully made other doughnuts in one, I would say it would probably work! We will add a baked doughnut to the list of upcoming blog posts, thanks for your feedback everyone!

Janna Bishop

Hi Kristy,
The egg is added to the mixture along with the flour and starter, etc.

Thank you!


There’s an egg in the ingredients list but it’s not mentioned in the directions. When is the egg added?

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