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We hope you have room for dessert because today, June 2nd is National Donut Day (well, it's one of them). Whether you prefer your pastries with cream filling, sprinkles, chunks of chocolate or fruit, there's a donut out there for everyone and perhaps that's why they are so beloved in America.
Many donut chains and stores around the country even offer tasty deals and freebies to celebrate the occasion. If you’re looking to make delicious donuts right at home, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to walk you through all the tools and gadgets you need to bake the best donuts.
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When is National Donut Day 2023?
Believe it or not, there are two National Donut Days (or ‘National Doughnut Day,’ if you’re so inclined). The first is observed on the first Friday of June, which falls on June 2nd this year. The second is observed on November 5th. Whichever day it is, you can expect plenty of donut freebies and deals.
National Donut Day 2023 deals: Get free donuts at Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' and more Friday
How to make donuts at home
There are a variety of ways to make donuts at home—if you have the right tools. One can try deep frying, air frying or baking, to name a few methods. Whichever way you decide, here are all the gadgets you'll need to make the tastiest homemade donuts.
1. A stand mixer
Considering that elsewhere the "donut" is commonly spelled "doughnut," it should be obvious that this pastry is nothing without its signature dough. Many mix the dough by hand, but if you're looking to speed up the process, we recommend using a stand mixer. We love the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer and found it to be the best stand mixer out of all the ones we tested. It's durable, quiet and is compatible with many attachments that cover a variety of kitchen needs like a meat grinder and a pasta press. Conveniently, it even comes with a dough hook.
2. Cookie cutters
The classic "ring" donut is one of the most popular shapes. If you're a fan of donut holes, you can fry the leftover dough for even more treats. If you don’t have a dedicated donut hole cutter, you can use a circular cookie cutter to make the holes. Based on our research, we found the cookie cutters sold by YXCLIFE to be the best ones you can buy online. Reviewers love that they're easy to clean and they enjoy the year-round usability owing to the basic geometric shapes in the set.
3. A Dutch oven
Donuts are typically made with fried batter and there are several ways to achieve this. One way is to cook them over the stove. While you can fry a donut in pretty much anything that holds oil, a Dutch oven is one of the safer options due to its tall sides. It’s easy to use a tong to grab a donut out of the oil while not putting yourself at risk for oil burns. The best Dutch oven we've tested is the Made In Dutch Oven. It has comfortable handles boasts consistently great cooking results and, most importantly, it’s affordable.
4. A thermometer
If you're frying your donut on the stove, bakers recommend using a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature of your oil. This ensures that your dessert doesn't end up overcooked. Taylor Precision Products sells a highly rated, programmable thermometer that comes with a clip, ensuring it stays affixed to the pot you're frying your donuts in. Reviewers love it for its ease of use. For smaller pans, we recommend using the Easy-Read Candy Thermometer from Williams-Sonoma as its smaller size works better with smaller containers.
5. A deep fryer
Probably the most popular way to fry your donuts is with a deep fryer. It's safer than deep frying on a stovetop and it's easy to regulate oil temperatures without the use of an external thermometer. After extensive testing of various deep fryers, we found that Breville's smart fryer is the best. Its LCD screen and automatic settings make it the most convenient fryer bar none. It also displays accurate temperatures and fries excellently.
6. An air fryer
Looking for a healthier alternative to deep frying? Thanks to the power of convection, an air fryer can help with that. With an air fryer, you can still make crispy, delicious donuts without the oils that fuel other frying methods. We found the Ninja Speedi to the best air fryer thanks to its huge cooking capacity and ease-of-use. It quickly will fry your donuts to crispy perfection.
7. A donut pan
Cake donuts, as their name implies, are a type of donut with a texture more akin to cake. This results in them being denser and less airy than traditional donuts. You can easily make this type of donut by baking them in the oven using a pan. Wilton's Non-Stick 6-Cavity Donut Baking Pans will get the job done. The donut cavities are large and the pans themselves are dishwasher safe, making for an easy cleanup when you're done.
8. A mini donut maker
The only thing better than a donut is a miniature donut. Fortunately, they can be made from the comfort of your kitchen in as little as five minutes. We tested several of Dash's mini appliances, including their Mini Donut Maker, which makes seven adorable mini donuts. Both recipes that were tried came out "simple and delicious."
9. Measuring tools
To make the perfect donut, you'll need to make sure you have precise measurements for your ingredients. For small measurements (up to a tablespoon), you'll want to use measuring spoons and it doesn't get any better than the Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set, the best set we've tested. This set is sturdy, sleek and sports etched-on measurements, meaning they won't weather away over time like many plastic spoons. For larger measurements, we recommend our favorite measuring cup set, the Bellemain Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set. It’s sturdy, has etchings in both milliliters and cups, and what’s more, they fit easily inside containers. Kitchen scales offer even more accurate measurements. The Escali P115 Primo Digital Scale is our favorite digital scale because it's easy to use and store thanks to its small size. Plus, it won’t break the bank.
10. A whisk
For making toppings such as a glaze or chocolate sauce, you'll want a whisk to quickly stir the ingredients together. We recommend picking up the GIR 11-inch Ultimate Whisk, which we found to be the best whisk that you can buy. This whisk is easy and comfortable to use, and has a stylish design in various colors.
11. Mason jars
Donuts can be filled with a variety of fillings to make them even more delicious. Some filling options include using fruit jellies and jams. It can be stored in mason jars until it’s ready to be piped into the donut. The 32-ounce mason jars by Ball have thousands of positive ratings on Amazon. Buyers love them for their airtight seals that will keep your food fresh for extended periods of time.
12. A pastry piping kit
Whether you’re going for cream or jam, if you're looking to stuff your donut with filling, using a pastry piper will make your job a lot easier. A piping kit, such as the one sold by Plateau Elk, allows you to fill a bag with your filling and squeeze it into a small hole in your donut. With this method, you don't have to worry about messes. Reviewers of the Plateau Elk piping kit love it for its ease-of-use and sturdiness.
13. A cooling rack
A cooling rack is an important donut-making tool to have. It’s helpful to make sure greasy oil doesn't pool around your donut as it dries or if you just need a place to set your donuts while they're piping hot. OXO Store offers a cooling rack that buyers love for its durability and large size.
14. A spatula
A spatula can be used to apply delicious frostings and glazes to your donuts. After testing several spatulas, we found the Ateco 1385 4.5” Offset Spatula to be the best spatula for frosting. This spatula is great at spreading frosting due to its narrow blade that feels like an extension of your fingers.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: National Donut Day 2023: How to make donuts at home