Not Martha

to make: tiny donuts

I made some little donuts, and they were yummy. I used the recipe for dainty donuts from Martha Stewart, however since this calls for an overnight chill in a fridge I wonder if the recipe from something like Baking Illustrated would have worked just fine. The dainty donuts are the creation of Callahan Catering and they have scans of thier Martha Stewart Weddings Summer 2003 mini food spread here – note, click on those and you’ll get PDFs.

I used these Wilton circle fondant cutters to make the donuts. They weren’t quite the right proportions but, you know, donuts! Nobody was complaining. The recipe calls for a 2-inch circle cutter and a 3/4-inch cutter. Before I found the fondant cutters I asked the good people at Home Cake Decorating Supply about 3/4″ cutters (they have that set of like 12 nested cutters but the smallest was 1 inch) and was told that cutters don’t usually come that small and to substitute a wide round pastry decorating tip. So know you know.

the donut holes were about the size of marbles and puffed into nearly perfect spheres, it was almost a shame to eat them. amost.

I didn’t add enough flour to the recipe to begin with and ended up with a too-sticky dough, as a result I added more flour to roll it out and probably made the donuts a bit tougher than they should have been. I found they were lighter the longer I let the cut out donuts rise before getting them into the oil (which I took a ridiculous amount of time getting set up).

This was the first time I’d ever deep fried anything and found these very satisfying to do. The dough puffed up immediately and bobbed merrily until it was time to turn over. I used two bbq skewers to lower, flip and raise the donuts. I let the donuts cool a moment and dunked them into the sugar while still very warm. I took some advice from Baking Illustrated and used (trans-fat free) vegetable shortening, three cups in a tall pot. I did about three donuts at a time and had a lot of trouble keeping the oil to 350 degrees on my (miserable) electric stove. I used regular sugar instead of superfine sugar because that’s what I had in the house.

The chocolate glaze is from Baking Illustrated. In your mouth it has the texture of chocolate glazes from donut shops, but it tasted all wrong (that being, like actual chocolate). I used a semi sweet Valhrona chocolate. I bet something a lot cheaper and possibly even milk chocolate would have tasted more authentic. You know, not like chocolate but like chocolate-flavored? Anyhow, it could have used a few seconds in the microwave to warm it up enough to get it to slide around a bit more before setting.

I highly recommend trying to make little donuts sometime.


36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 chachi murano // Dec 18, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    give me some

  • 2 crazedparent // Jan 8, 2007 at 11:43 am

    yum. this is going to be a project for me and my son this week!

  • 3 Deborah // Jan 8, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    You really are amazing! The not-Martha that watches South Park. I am officially a fan……

  • 4 nikki // Jan 9, 2007 at 6:56 am

    aaaag! im so excited to try this! i tried to make doughnuts once and failed miseribly. and now i know why. they were too big. and i like the granulated sugar look.

  • 5 Angie // Jan 29, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    These look adorable! I’m quite impressed, but after reading this I’m not sure I’m quite so ambitious! Great job though.

  • 6 Joe Randazzo // Feb 21, 2007 at 11:20 am

    These look amazing. I just bought a deep fryer and was wanting to make donuts.
    Glad to see everything turned out!

  • 7 Tessa // Feb 25, 2007 at 10:25 am


  • 8 Kerry // Mar 20, 2007 at 6:25 am

    use the cheap biscuits from the grocery store next time and see how you they compare to your. my kids love em made that way.

  • 9 Lucy // Mar 24, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I don’t find the recipe. I write everything right. But don’t come on. Please I want it.

  • 10 megan // Mar 25, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Lucy – The link above is fixed, and here is the recipe for dainty donuts.

  • 11 Angelia // May 14, 2007 at 8:07 am

    We make regular donuts from cheap canned biscuits. The children make the holes with a lid from a water bottle pressed in the center. Drop the freshly fried biscuits in a paper lunch sack with granulated sugar, powdered sugar or drizzle canned chocolate frosting (melt it in the microwave). A fun project my children adore!

  • 12 susann // Jul 3, 2007 at 2:48 am

    I need to bake, but I dont know what… NOW I KNOW!

  • 13 Carolyn Boling // Jul 19, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Wonder how rolls from the refrig. section, rolled out would work. Anyone?

  • 14 JulieMom // Jul 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Ok, so I have been lurking for a while now, and have just linked to your posts about tiny food on my site. Keep the cool ideas comin’!!

  • 15 Redclix // Nov 15, 2007 at 10:52 am

    We also use the grands biscuits from the fridge section. They work great and they’re SOOOOOO yummy.

  • 16 McAuliflower // Nov 17, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    These beautiful gems still make me giggle when I spy on them!

  • 17 Brownie Points » Happiness is Shared Donuts // Nov 17, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    […] Not Martha, To Make: Tiny Donuts: The cutest tiniest donuts you’ve ever seen! This was the first time I’d ever deep fried anything and found these very satisfying to do. The dough puffed up immediately and bobbed merrily until it was time to turn over… I highly recommend trying to make little donuts sometime. […]

  • 18 Nicole // Mar 7, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I want the chocolate ones soooooooo bad.I think I will try this recipe.

  • 19 joe // Apr 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    the recipe seems to have been removed from martha stuart, does anyone have another spot for me to find it?


  • 20 laurie // Apr 24, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    another idea for mini doughnuts is to get a tube of the refrigerator biscuits. take a soda cap to stamp out the holes and fry in hot oil. i make these for my daughter halloween party and then shook in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar and mixed some powdered sugar with cocoa for the chocolate glazed ones. much faster and the kids loved them and all thought it was the coolest!

  • 21 laurie // Apr 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    just read the other posts for biscuit doughnuts sorry for the repeat ;)

  • 22 pureybaby // Jun 4, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Splendid! Awesome job!I’m so excited to try them myself!!!

  • 23 Julie VR // Jul 2, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I use a shot glass to cut mini donuts, and my finger for hole – poking. These look fantastic!

  • 24 Minerva // Jan 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Hello there! I remembered you had this recipe on your site so I came to get it to make some for the Superbowl tomorrow. Unfortunately Martha’s page that you linked to has taken the recipe offline . You don’t happen to have it written down anywhere, do you? As I recall from making them before, they are awfully tasty, and I want to see how my new stove handles deep frying. Thanks!

  • 25 megan // Feb 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Minerva – I’m sorry, I don’t know where to find it if it’s gone from the Martha Stewart site. It was a basic yeast donut dough recipe, you let it rise in the fridge overnight. I’m sure anything similar would work as well.

  • 26 Sara // Feb 4, 2009 at 2:53 am

    The recipe link for dainty donuts from Martha Stewart is broken. I think I found the new home for the recipe here:

    P.S. The stuff on your site is AWESOME!

  • 27 The Purple Foodie // Jul 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    OMG these donuts look so perfect. I never thought they’d turn out so nicely at home. I’m inspired now!

  • 28 Jermaine Mintuck // Aug 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    omg yummmm.

    Now you have done it! Now I am craving donuts . Thanks!

  • 29 Jill // Oct 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

    These are so cute!

  • 30 Tiffany @ my petite purse // Nov 3, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    thanks for the great idea. I’ll be linking.

  • 31 Sarah // Jan 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    You can actually make superfine sugar by putting regular sugar in a food processor or blender.

  • 32 Sarah // Jan 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Also, my mom and I used to make donuts using canned biscuit dough (the kind the pops and scares the hell out of me). Just cut holes in the middle using anything round – we used water bottle caps. Yours probably taste better, but you don’t have to wait a day to make them with biscuit dough.

  • 33 Avis // Apr 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    The correct link for these is here:

    They certainly look good!

  • 34 Shelley // Jul 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    You’ve inspired me to finally use my mini doughnut pan that I bought back in February.

  • 35 Shelley // Jul 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    OK, now I feel silly, unlike the wilton ones, these are deep friend, I guess I’ll be getting some circle cutters after all. heh

  • 36 Kristen // Feb 11, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I love you. LOL

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