Breads, Rolls + Donuts Winter

Blood Orange Old-Fashioned Donuts

blood orange donuts
old fashioned doughnuts
old fashioned doughnuts

blood orange doughnuts6A
Yossy Arefi’s (from Apt 2B Baking Co.) new cookbook is out today, and I’d just like to begin by saying it’s so gorgeous. I’ve been a fan of Yossy’s work for quite some time and have been eagerly awaiting this release. The book focuses on all things fruit, and is filled with stunning photographs, unique flavor combinations, and recipes that work. 

‘The recipes in this book range from simple, five-ingredient affairs to more complex and involved baking endeavors like laminated pastry dough and composed tarts. My hope is that you’ll find something that’s just your speed, and that these recipes show the wide range of desserts you can make that highlight fresh, season fruit all year.’

I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many baking books, and highly recommend adding this gem to your collection. Also, you can check out the beautiful book trailer here.

Blood Orange Old Fashioned Donuts

Old-fashioned donuts are humble and unassuming, craggy and cracked. But the addition of a blanket of pink blood orange glaze turns these old-fashioneds into beauty queens. If you’ve never made fried donuts before, this style is a great place to start because the dough comes together a lot like cookie dough.

The dough can also be prepared the day before frying if you want to surprise your friends with donuts for breakfast next time you host brunch at your place.

sweeter off the vine

blood orange donuts

More Donut Recipes:

blood orange doughnuts in a tin

Blood Orange Old-Fashioned Donuts

Servings: 12 donuts
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
These tender old-fashioned donuts have blood orange juice and zest in the batter, and in the glaze! Made with cake flour to keep their texture light. A great recipe for homemade donuts.
Sarah Kieffer
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  • 2 1/2 cups (285g) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (170g) full-fat yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Canola oil for frying


  • 2 blood oranges
  • 3 cups (300g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch salt


To make the donuts:

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a handheld electric mixer, mix the butter, sugar, and orange zest together until sandy. Add the egg yolks and mix for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. The mixture should lighten in color and be very thick. Add the yogurt and stir until evenly combined, then add the blood orange juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until just combined; use a spatula to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. The dough will be thick and sticky like cookie dough. Wrap the dough in a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Just before frying, make the glaze:

  • Zest of one of the oranges and measure out 1/2 teaspoon of zest. Juice both of the oranges and measure 1/4 cup of juice. Whisk the juice, zest, and salt into the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. You want the glaze to be thick but pourable. If the glaze seems thin, add a bit more confectioners’ sugar; if it seems too thick, add a bit more orange juice. Set aside while you fry the donuts.

To fry the donuts:

  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set a cooling rack on top. Add enough oil to a Dutch oven or deep-sided skillet to measure a depth of at least 3-inches. Heat the oil over medium high heat until it reaches 350ºF (170ºC) on a candy thermometer.
  • While the oil is heating, cut the donuts. Lightly flour a baking sheet. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a well-floured donut cutter to cut as many donuts and holes as possible; the dough will be soft and sticky, so do your best to handle it gently. Flour the cutter in between each cut to prevent sticking. Gently reroll the scraps and cut again. Transfer the cut donuts and holes to the floured baking sheet. Refrigerate while the oil heats.
  • When the oil has come up to temperature, dust the excess flour off the donuts and holes and carefully place each one in the hot oil, working in batches and making sure to not crowd the pan; the donuts will expand a bit in the oil. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil; you may have to raise or lower the heat under the pan to keep the oil at a consistent temperature. Refrigerate the baking sheet with the uncooked donuts in between batches.
  • Fry each batch of donuts and holes until they are deep golden brown, about 90 seconds, then use a spatula or spider strainer to carefully flip the donuts. Cook the other side for about 90 seconds, or until deep golden brown and cooked through. Remove to the rack until to cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes.
  • Dip each warm donut in the glaze and let the excess drip off. Return the glazed donuts to the rack, glaze side up, and let them sit until the glaze is no longer sticky. Serve warm or at room temperature. These donuts are best the day they are made.


Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
  • Reply
    Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 11:35 am

    can these be “fried” in an air fryer? i know the results won’t be quite as crispy, but wondered if you had tried it.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Hi Jennifer! This recipe does not work in an air fryer.

  • Reply
    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 3:35 am

    A very cool recipe for delicious donuts! I want to do it today. Only I don’t like to knead the dough myself. And so I read on the Internet that you can knead the dough in the KitchenAid desktop mixer, it turns out!

  • Reply
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 5:56 am

    This is one of the best blogs I have read on this topic.

  • Reply
    Julia Palfrey
    Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Hello! Thank you for sharing this recipe – old fashioned doughnuts are my absolute faourite.
    Can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    These look absolutely scrumptious and I love your blog! Your bakes are so inspiring ? If you get a chance, check out my blog as well! It’s called! I’d love to hear your feedback or advice!

  • Reply
    Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Oh my god! I love donuts and yes they are beauty queen.

  • Reply
    Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I prefer the crispiness of fried donuts and I love citrus flavors. Thumbs up a winning combo for me. Just that this require more time than baking.

    I should pass this on to my sister.

  • Reply
    Janelle | Sucrose & Spice
    Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Old fashioned donuts are my favorite. I love this! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Sina @ Vegan Heaven
    Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

    What a great combo! I love blood oranges but I’ve never thought of using them for baking. They look absolutely delicious! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Just gorgeous! I love that pink color.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I’d love to make my own donuts!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    These are so beautiful– I love how the frosting is so naturally pink and vibrant! And the yogurt in donuts always make them spot on. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    These look fantastic! I’ll have to start cracking on a dairy-free version 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Drooling over these donuts and their pretty color! Can’t wait to get a copy of this book.

  • Reply
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Simply gorgeous. I cannot wait to get my hands on that book!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Ohhhh I love that glaze!! These sound lovely!

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 7:02 am

    These look incredible! I can’t wait to get ahold of this book! Drooling already 😉

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 6:49 am

    So yes! These doughnuts sound incredible and look even better!

  • Reply
    Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Hope to see fried cake donuts trending more and more amongts food bloggers in 2016, that’s for sure.

  • Reply
    heather (delicious not gorgeous)
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 3:22 am

    for some reason i’m really surprised to see fried cake donuts- i feel like most bloggers do baked cake donuts, with some fried yeast donuts sprinkled in here and there. and love the sound of 3/4 cup yogurt in there; tender donut insurance is something i could get behind (; so excited to get my hands on a copy so i can check out everything else in there!!

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