“You say Pa-tay-toe, I say Pa-tah-toe…  You say Ta-may-toe I say Ta-mah-toe…  Pa-tay-toe, Pa-tah-toe, Ta-may-toe, Ta-mah-toe.  Let’s call the whole thing off.”  Sorry Ella, and the Gershwin brothers, and just be thankful you didn’t have to listen to me sing it.  If you are more of a traditionalist, doughnut is the way you should spell it.  Whereas donut is more casual.  But no matter how you spell it, doughnuts are delicious.  After all they are lumps of sweet dough fried in oil—and what’s not to like about that?

And since people use both spellings, so will I.  There are doughnuts that use yeast to get a rise and donuts that use baking powder and baking soda to get a rise.  These are just different recipes for making doughnuts.  My Grandma Peterson made donuts using yeast and my Aunt Gloria’s doughnuts using the same recipe always have been awesome.

In my Parent-Child cooking classes I use this same yeast donut recipe, because it always works.  But if you don’t have yeast, you can still make great doughnuts.  I’m including my favorite non-yeast donut recipe here, too.  It originated in the Deep South, but people everywhere love these donuts.  I made them a couple of years ago, and our friend from Prague said that they reminded her of the doughnuts her Grandma used to make there when she was a little girl.  So I give you both donut recipes.  Try dipping them in your coffee, lift them up and give a “doughnut toast” to Grandmothers everywhere.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon oil
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

Method:  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and nutmeg.  Stir to combine.  Form a dough, then flatten the dough into a disk.  Cut as desired and fry in 365F oil, turning as needed.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


(Tastes like Grandma Peterson’s and Aunt Gloria’s.)

¾ cup lukewarm milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 egg
¼ cup shortening
3 ½ -4 cups flour

Method:  Preheat oil to 375 degrees.  Mix together the milk, sugar, salt, yeast and water in a bowl.  Let sit until the yeast begins to foam a bit.  Stir in the eggs and shortening.  Mix in the flour in two additions, starting with a wooden spoon and then finishing by hand.  Let rise, punch down.  Let rise again.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a floured cutter.  Let rise until very light.  Fry until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.