How to Make Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

July  8, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit has birthed a biscuit-donut hybrid, and it's delicious. 

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

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I’m not even sure I should be telling you about this. Please understand that I do this in the spirit of love and deliciousness, and not in the spirit of helping you button your jeans. Are you familiar with Angel Biscuits? They’re the quirky cousin of a traditional biscuit. They’re buttery, flaky, and tender, just like regular biscuits, but they have the added magic of yeast

More: Before you start baking, ogle these donuts. 

Yeast works wonders for a biscuit. It helps them to rise beautifully, lends a delicious flavor, and changes their texture ever-so-slightly, giving the interior a downier, softer feel. The yeast also manages to do what I thought was impossible: It creates a biscuit that is still completely delicious the next day. 

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

As if all this wasn’t enough, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to fry that dough. If canned biscuit dough can produce a donut of passable quality, can you imagine what honest-to-goodness homemade biscuit dough would do? And what if that dough had the best qualities of both a good, buttery biscuit and a yeasted donut? I couldn’t help myself. I had to find out.

More: Find everything you need to make fresh donuts and ice-cold coffee.

I was not disappointed. As soon as the first round hit the oil, I knew I was in for a treat. I could see the layers of dough puffing up into a crispy, tender, yeasty donut. I could smell the butter in the dough sizzling and taking on nutty, caramelized notes. When I cut into one, still warm, I could see every flaky layer. It looked like a poor-man’s cronut. And it tasted even better. 

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

I had some spare blackberry purée in my kitchen when these came out of the frying pan, so I made a quick glaze and used it to top them. Honestly, though, I think a simple dusting of powdered or cinnamon sugar might be better. The texture and taste of these is so good, you won’t want anything to get in its way. 

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

Makes 10

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
Oil, for frying

Mix the yeast into the room-temperature milk, and set it aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Mix briefly to combine.

Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the butter is mostly incorporated into the flour, with some larger flakes of butter still visible.

Take the mixture further than you would for traditional biscuits or a pie dough: Most of the butter should be incorporated into the flour. Add the milk and yeast to the mixer, and mix on a medium speed, just until the mixture starts to cohere and there is no dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface, and pat and knead it together until it forms a smooth ball.

Fried Angel Biscuit Donut

Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness, and use a donut cutter (or a biscuit cutter and a piping nozzle) to cut out as many donuts as you can. With a 3-inch cutter, you should end up with 10 biscuits after you have re-rolled the dough scraps twice.

Set aside your donuts and donut holes in a cool place for 30 minutes so that the yeast can activate. Unlike traditional yeast baking, you do not want to put this dough in a warm spot, as that would cause the butter in the biscuit dough to melt, which would make it very tough to work with.

Fried Angel Biscuit Donut  Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts 

When the donuts have had their 30-minute rest, heat about 2 inches of oil in a wide, deep pan, and bring it up to 350° F (170° C). Alternatively, you can place one of the donut holes into the cold oil. When the donut hole turns golden brown, the oil will be hot enough to fry in.

Place the donuts, a few at a time, into the hot oil (fewer is better -- you don't want the oil to bubble over). They need about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

When they have turned a dark golden brown and puffed up to about twice their size, they are ready. Carefully remove the donuts from the oil, and place them on a cooling rack or some paper towel to drain. Once they're all cooked, you can either toss the donuts in cinnamon or powdered sugar, or glaze them. I used a mixture of puréed blackberries and powered sugar to top mine.

Fried Angel Biscuit Donuts

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Sarah Coates

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • yoursjulie
  • Maddie and Cady (Hungry Curious)
    Maddie and Cady (Hungry Curious)
  • petalpusher
  • Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
    Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
  • Cusegirl
Sarah is the author and photographer behind The Sugar Hit, a blog solely devoted to the joys of eating. She is a typical 21st century creative type, totally obsessed with food, writing, design, photography and styling. She lives in Brisbane, Australia and regularly eats mountains of crudités in a misguided attempt to offset the staggering amounts of butter she consumes daily.


yoursjulie December 9, 2014
Could you make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight? I'm a yeast-using amateur!
Sarah C. December 9, 2014
Hi Julie! Not with this recipe - there's no first rise, only a second rise once the dough is rolled out, so that the butter in the dough is left in tact.
Maddie A. July 23, 2014
I've made cronuts before and these look just as good but way easier! Can't wait to try!
Sarah C. July 23, 2014
They're WAAAAY easier - but also they have a much shorter texture than cronuts. Less like a croissant and more like a biscuit. Both delicious!
petalpusher July 14, 2014
What kind of oil do you use? I have never made donuts and I want mine to look as good as yours please.
Sarah C. July 14, 2014
Hi Petal! I used Canola oil - but alternatively grapeseed oil or vegetable oil would work.
Joy H. July 10, 2014
Huh, these look really similar to the "cronuts" I made with 20-minute croissant dough! I grated the butter for those, but I'll have to try the stand mixer approach next time. It seems a lot less work (although I probably should be trying to burn as many calories as I can if I'm making these).
Sarah C. July 10, 2014
They are a lot like a super quick and easy poor-man's cronut! The same delicious flakiness, but way less work, and with a more flaky, biscuitty texture.
Cusegirl July 9, 2014
What if I don't have a stand mixer/dough hook? Should I hand mix or use use electric beaters? Thanks! These sound delicious!
Sarah C. July 9, 2014
Hi Cusegirl! If you don't have a stand mixer, I'd suggest using your hands to rub the butter into the flour mixture, and then a wooden spoon to bring everything together.
Sherry T. July 9, 2014
Grating the butter is quicker and gives you small pieces .
Sarah C. July 9, 2014
Hey Sherry - that's a good tip! I like using the stand mixer, because I feel like it gives you a nice variation of large and small pieces of butter. If you do try it with grated butter, I'd love to hear about your results!
Sherry T. December 9, 2014
Finally made these and grated instead of cubing the butter. I was also lazy and cut them into strips like "dunkin sticks". They were yummy but I'm not supposed to eat fried sweet deliciousness so it will be awhile before I make them again.
Lizziemac69 July 9, 2014
Yes...but what about buttoning our jeans!? ;)
Sarah C. July 9, 2014
I like an elasticated waist, myself. :P
Nazima, F. July 9, 2014
so delicious. And I love the colour of the topping. And blackberries surely balance a little for the indulgence of the donut.. ;)
Sarah C. July 9, 2014
You read my mind, Nazima!
Melissa July 9, 2014
I would love to make these! I have a question about the butter. Should it be softened, or cold? Will you end up with lumps of butter in the dough, as you do with biscuit dough, or should the dough be smooth?
Sarah C. July 9, 2014
Hi Melissa! Good question! The butter should be cold - exactly the same as when making regular biscuit dough. The only difference is that you don't want quite such large flakes of butter here - they should still be there, just not quite as large.
Cynthia C. July 8, 2014
You. are. a. genius.
Sarah C. July 8, 2014
When it comes to fried foods...maybe I am.
HalfPint July 8, 2014
Lord have mercy!
Sarah C. July 8, 2014
These are the biscuits of the Angels after all!
RENEE July 8, 2014
I'm not at all surprised that Sarah has created something this awesome.
Sarah C. July 8, 2014
You are too kind! I did it for love.