Sourdough Discard Donuts

prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 40 MINUTES
chilling time: 1 HOUR
total time: 2 HOURS

Make the softest glazed donuts and use your sourdough discard with this delicious sourdough discard donuts recipe! Make the same day, or rest the donuts overnight to prepare in the morning. Either way, you’ll love the results!


  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard (6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (6 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting (15 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze Recipe:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  1. Place the milk in a microwave-safe measuring glass and warm for 20 seconds so that it’s fairly warm but not very hot. You don’t want to burn the yeast!
  2. Pour the milk into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, then sprinkle the yeast over top. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until it looks a little foamy. While this is happening, melt your butter and set it aside to cool a little.
  3. Stir in the sourdough discard, eggs, butter (which shouldn’t be hot by now), and salt.
  4. Add the flour in 3 batches and stir until combined. If you are using the stand mixer, knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes until smooth. Otherwise, knead as best you can by hand. Try not to add too much flour. The dough is on the soft and slightly wet side, but shouldn’t be sticky.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Refrigerate for an hour or two, until cold, or overnight (about 8-10ish hours).
  6. Once the dough is cold, remove from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts out with a 3-inch doughnut cutter (see notes).
  7. Set the cut donuts on lightly floured parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Give them enough room to expand. Spray with a little nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 45-60 minutes at room temperature until they look puffy.
  8. Toward the end of the rising time, heat your oil to 350 F over medium heat. A thermometer is really helpful here to monitor temperature.
  9. Line 2 baking sheets. One will have parchment paper and the other should have a double layer of paper towels for draining the fried donuts.
  10. Prepare the glaze by sifting the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. It should be a smooth glaze that’s neither too thin or too thick. You can make it thicker by adding more sugar, and thinner by adding more cream.
  11. Add doughnuts in batches to the hot oil and cook for about one minute per side until the doughnuts are a golden brown. Donut holes will take a little less time.
  12. Remove the cooked donuts from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towels briefly to drain. Add a new batch of donuts to the oil.
  13. While those donuts are cooking, dip the still-warm donuts on the paper towels into the glaze, turning once to fully coat. Remove and place on the parchment paper-lined sheet to set.
  14. Repeat this process until all the donuts and doughnut holes have been cooked and glazed. Enjoy immediately!
  15. If you happen to have extra doughnuts, you can store them at room temperature in a box, or lightly covered. They tend to sweat in airtight containers. As with all donuts, these are their very best the day they are made. Enjoy!



  • I don’t own a donut cutter. I have a set of circle cookie cutters. I use a 3-inch circle cutter for the outer circle and one of the smaller cutters for the donut “hole”. A wide-mouth jar or glass can also work just as well.
  • If you’d like to make filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the center hole. The cook time will be slightly longer.
  • The glaze may look a little thick when you mix it, but since you are dipping a hot donut in there, you need this to be on the slightly thicker side so enough sticks. The donuts in the photos were only dipped once. Feel free to adjust glaze consistency to fit your preference.

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