Sugar and spice doughnuts

By Martha Collison

These are fairground doughnuts – the kind you queue for late at night at festivals and eat hot straight out of the paper bag. They sell them in bags of five, and you promise yourself you’ll share them with friends but you scoff the whole bag yourself instead. These doughnuts are made without yeast, so they are a lot faster to knock up and have a melt-in-the-mouth texture

Crave: brilliantly indulgent recipes by Martha Collison (HarperCollins) £16.99, is out now.




  • 75g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 125ml milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • You will also need a 6cm- round cutter and a 2cm cutter or the lid of a bottle.


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a wooden spoon or an electric hand-held whisk until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a small bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar, followed by half of the milk, beating well after each addition. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and milk until a rough dough forms and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Tip the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured worktop and knead it briefly until smooth. If the dough is too sticky to roll out, add a little more flour and knead to combine. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1.5cm then use the cutter to cut out 12 circles of dough. Dip the cutter in flour between each cut to stop it sticking. Use a 2cm cutter or the lid of a small bottle to punch out the centre of each round to create the classic ring shape.
  4. Fill a medium saucepan with oil, to a depth of around 5cm, and heat until it reaches 1900C on a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil by dropping in a small ball of the doughnut dough. If it sizzles when it makes contact with the oil and takes about 1 minute to brown, the oil is hot enough. Combine the sugar and spices for the coating on a plate, ready to dip the hot doughnuts into. Lay out a double layer of kitchen paper on a baking tray.
  5. Fry 2–3 doughnuts at a time, for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. Try not to overcrowd the pan or it will lower the temperature of the oil and the doughnuts won’t fry properly. Remove the doughnuts from the oil using tongs and drain off the excess oil on the kitchen paper. Fry the 2cm doughnut holes, too. Allow to cool for a minute, then toss the doughnuts and doughnut holes in the spiced sugar ready to eat immediately.

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