These airy, chewy, and tender Yeast Doughnuts are reminiscent of what you’d grab at your typical American doughnut spot. Finished with a dreamy coating of Hibiscus Glaze & candied hibiscus leaves to give these doughnuts an all-natural, gorgeous color and lightly tart, sweet taste. So delicious and easy to make!

yeast doughnuts with hibiscus glaze on white platter

Gahhh, the images of these doughnuts (the bb ones, too! 😩) just send me!

These doughnuts are inspired by a trip that I took to New York last year. I visited this spot called Dough that makes the most delicious handmade artisanal doughnuts. After grabbing two of their offerings (a hibiscus and a nutella-stuffed doughnut), I walked the streets of Brooklyn with pure joy. I’d be lying if I told you that I liked the hibiscus doughnut only a little, ha! Here we are…

Yeast Doughnuts with Hibiscus Glaze 🌺

Y’all, if you’ve never made homemade yeasted doughnuts before, please let this recipe be your first! These doughnuts are so flavorful, gloriously fluffy & chewy, and glazed with tart, bright hibiscus glaze. Seriously one of the best treats to make at home. Don’t overthink or allow homemade/fried doughnuts to stress you out. They are wildly easy to make from start to finish, no lies!

Hibiscus (or sorrel in the Caribbean), has a lovely tart, sweet, earthy floral taste that’s reminiscent of cranberry or pomegranate flavor. Its deep, magenta-colored calyces (sepals) give these doughnuts an all-natural color and taste that is a real delight. I love working with hibiscus and so hype to share this recipe.

More BBR bakes to make: lemon sweet rolls, this sweet potato pound cake, these festive funfetti pudding cookies, small-batch chocolate cake, cozy peach cobbler, my fave apple crisp, and bright + zippy lemon poppyseed bread!

yeast doughnut with hibiscus glaze dripping on gold wire rack

Ingredients Needed To Make These Doughnuts

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the yeasted doughnuts: Milk, granulated sugar, active dry yeast (instant/quick rise is fine!), all-purpose flour, salt, butter, an egg, vanilla bean paste, and any neutral oil (flavorless oil) for frying the doughnuts.
  • For the hibiscus glaze: dried hibiscus leaves/flowers, water, powdered sugar, salt, almond/vanilla extract, and granulated sugar (for candied hibiscus).

You will be surprised at how every stage of this recipe comes together so easily! The process of making homemade yeast doughnuts is like the process of making homemade cinnamon rolls (with a little less work involved). Yay!

⇢ For the hibiscus leaves/flowers, feel free to use any kind of dried hibiscus or sorrel that you can get your hands on. I grab mine at my local Caribbean market and I also use these online (love them!) in a pinch. You can use dried hibiscus for other things like cocktails/drinks, tea, and other baking adventures.

Understanding Types of Doughnuts

>> For starters, let’s break down the 3 types of doughnuts:

  • Yeasted doughnuts: These ones contain, you guessed it, yeast! It results in a tender, light, chewy, and airy type of doughnut because of the leavening. Much like cinnamon rolls, yeast doughnuts need to proof before frying.
  • Cake doughnuts: These types of doughnuts are leavened using baking soda and baking powder. They have a denser texture which is similar to that of a slice of…cake. Many American doughnut spots sell these and the above.
  • Baked doughnuts: Much more commonly made at home is the baked doughnut. The batter is looser and then piped/poured into a doughnut mold. They are a lot lighter, springy, and oftentimes healthier since there is no frying involved. Be sure to check out my baked pumpkin ones!

How To Make Yeasted Doughnuts

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Prep the dough: Bring the milk, sugar, and yeast together to activate. Then add in the flour, salt, butter, egg, and vanilla bean paste. Knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment until smooth and elastic.
  2. Let the dough rise overnight: Transfer the dough into a greased bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight (this is known as the first rise).
  3. Roll out/stamp out doughnuts: Take the dough out the fridge and roll it out. Then use a doughnut cutter to stamp out the doughnuts. I have this cutter set and I love it so much (I even use the doughnut holes, too)!
  4. Let the doughnuts rise: Now that they’re stamped out, let them sit out in a warm environment until the doughnuts are puffy (this is the second rise).
  5. Gon’ head and fry them: Put them in the oil and fry until they’re golden on both sides. Then set aside on a wire rack to cool before glazing.
  6. Glaze and set: Make the hibiscus glaze and then glaze the cooled doughnuts. Garnish with candied hibiscus leaves, if desired. Let the doughnuts hang out for the glaze to set and then enjoy!

Deep Frying Essentials For The Home

  • Deep fry thermometer: A handy tool to monitor precise temperatures.
  • Dutch oven: These enameled cast-iron pots are perfect for conducting and evenly distributing heat. They are the most used types of vessels in the BBR kitchen and what I consider to be my holy grail pieces of cookware!
  • Kitchen spider: This tool allows for getting things easily out of the hot pot.
  • Baking sheet with cooling rack: Another handy item to have in the kitchen. Used for nearly anything and great for saucy/dripping things!

⇢ For doughnut work, I also use parchment paper (little squares). They’re perfect to rest the cut doughnuts on and for releasing them into the oil. Handling them too much with bare hands may cause denting and misshapen doughnuts (especially after the 2nd rise when they’re super soft).

Hibiscus Glaze: So Beautiful, So Good!! 😍

The hibiscus glaze on these yeast doughnuts is one of my favorite things about this recipe. I mean, that all-natural color is everything- no food coloring/dye at all! It makes these doughnuts look and feel even more festive and fun.

The glaze whips up quickly…// ⇢ Steep hibiscus leaves for a few minutes, then combine with powdered sugar, salt, and almond or vanilla extract (for a touch of flavoring). Stir away and then you have swoon-worthy hibiscus glaze!

yeast doughnut with hibiscus glaze on white platter

Tips + Tricks For The Best Yeast Doughnuts, Additional Recipe Notes, & More

  • Fresh yeast! Check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it’s fresh.
  • Prep ahead! This entire recipe is a breeze once you prep ahead. I highly recommend making the dough the night before you plan to serve these doughnuts. That way, the next day is just a roll out and stamp, rise, and fry type of situation. Which makes the process as smooth as can be!
  • Can I make these all-in-one day? Sure thing! I will say that working with *chilled dough* is a lot easier than room temperature dough. I would still pop in the fridge for a few hours before rolling/stamping out the doughnuts.
  • Second rise is crucial. This is the rise right before they go into the oil. Check and make sure the doughnuts are nice and puffy, nearly doubled in size.
  • Use parchment paper. Like I mentioned earlier, yeast doughnuts are delicate and over-handling them can cause imperfections, just an fyi. Make little squares from parchment paper, I use these already cut squares.
  • How much oil do I need? Just enough for the oil to come halfway up the pot, enough for the doughnuts to float…any more and splattering may occur.
  • How do I get rid of oil? After frying, let the oil cool all the way back down to room temperature. Afterwards, use a funnel to strain the oil back into the same container it came from. Then discard like normal. Boom.
  • Can I reuse the oil? Yup! Fried doughnut oil is relatively clean and nearly odorless. Follow the steps above to cool and then reuse instead of discarding.
black hand grabbing yeast doughnut with hibiscus glaze on white oval platter with purple linen on the side

Bake up these Yeast Doughnuts with Hibiscus Glaze, y’all! They’re so good, hella festive, and the perfect treat ♡… Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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yeast doughnuts with hibiscus glaze on white platter

Yeast Doughnuts with Hibiscus Glaze

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 1 hr 30m
  • Cook Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 1 hr 40m
  • Yield: 8 doughnuts 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Doughnuts
  • Method: Deep Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These airy, chewy, and tender Yeast Doughnuts are reminiscent of what you’d grab at your typical American doughnut spot. Finished with a dreamy coating of Hibiscus Glaze & candied hibiscus leaves to give these doughnuts an all-natural, gorgeous color and lightly tart, sweet taste. So delicious and easy to make!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (110-120°F)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • vegetable oil, or any neutral oil for frying

For the hibiscus glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus leaves
  • 1/2 cup boiled water
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons granulated sugar, for candied hibiscus

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar together. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. To activate the yeast, let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine. Then add the melted butter, egg, vanilla bean paste, and the foamy yeast mixture into the stand mixer.
  3. Mix on low speed for a few minutes, about 2-3 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes more. The dough will begin to come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, look for a smooth and elastic texture.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, then place the dough into a lightly greased large bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough into the refrigerator to rest overnight, 8-10 hours.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with small pieces of parchment paper, about 4 inches. Then empty the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a doughnut or biscuit cutter (at least 3-4 inches in size) to cut out circles in the dough. If your cutter doesn’t have a smaller inner hole, simply use a knife to cut out.
  6. Place the doughnut circles onto their pieces of parchment paper. Note: I like to place the small holes anywhere on the same baking sheet (I use them as scrap pieces or the testing pieces when frying). You can also discard if you’d like. Any remaining dough can be pressed back together and then re-rolled. Repeat the process until you’ve stamped out all doughnut circles.
  7. Cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen linen. Allow the doughnuts to rise in a warm environment for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until they’re puffy and nearly doubled in size.
  8. During the end of the doughnuts proofing, heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. And then set aside a large baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. 
  9. When the oil has reached the temperature; carefully lower/tilt the doughnuts with their parchment paper into the hot oil, peeling away the parchment once the doughnut is in the oil. I recommend frying 3-4 doughnuts at a time. Let fry for 1-2 minutes per side (holes will take less time) until golden brown. Then use a slotted spoon or kitchen spider to transfer the fried doughnuts to the wire rack.
  10. Allow the doughnuts to cool down for 10-15 minutes before glazing.
  11. To make the hibiscus glaze: Add the dried hibiscus leaves into a medium bowl and then cover with the boiled water. Let the mixture steep together for at least 10 minutes. Then strain the mixture, reserving the hibiscus leaves (for the garnish, if desired). In a large bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and salt. Pour in 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the hibiscus liquid along with the extract. Whisk the mixture together until well combined and super smooth. Carefully dip the doughnuts into the glaze and then place them on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack to allow excess glaze to drip.
  12. To make the candied hibiscus: Crush/chop your hibiscus flowers, if needed. Toss the reserved, moist hibiscus leaves with 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and stir to combine. Garnish the doughnuts with the candied hibiscus, right away while the glaze is still wet.
  13. Once the glaze is set, serve doughnuts immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: yeast doughnuts, yeasted doughnuts, yeast donuts, hibiscus glaze, hibiscus donuts, fried donuts, homemade doughnuts