Simple Donuts

Simple Donuts

Simple Donuts excerpted from Cakeboi: A Collection of Classic Bakes by Reece Hignell. Photography by Luisa Brimble.

Cakeboi: A Collection of Classic Bakes by Reece Hignell

Reece Hignell, MasterChef Australia veteran and owner of the Cakeboi bakery, created this exceptional collection of classic Australian bakes so that anyone can become a baking pro.

Inspired by his nan’s traditional desserts, this book is full of iconic cakes like his Spiced Rum Baba that made Katy Perry exclaim, “You’re the tits, Reece!” and his long-coveted Signature Lemon Tart.

With chapters that lead you through everything from the basics of baking to creating your own sensational scones, sponge cakes and more, you’ll find all the inspiration and instruction you need to make a masterpiece in the kitchen.

Cakeboi: A Collection of Classic Bakes is available at, and  

Simple Donuts

Who can resist soft and fluffy donuts? These perfect yeast donuts are easy to make, and they’ll have you jumping for joy.

These homemade donuts are enticing. This recipe is best for sugared, cream- or jam-filled donuts. It will result in a truly great, hot, crisp donut. Once you’ve mastered this basic recipe for a fluffy, yeasted donut, you won’t need to visit a donut shop ever again.

Makes 12 donuts

⅔ cup (160 ml) water

4 tsp (14 g) yeast 

½ cup (100 g) sugar

7 oz (200 ml) milk, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

1cup (220 g) butter, at room temperature

2 eggs, at room temperature

5 ¾  cups (720 g) all-purpose flour, sifted

4 cups (960 ml) vegetable oil, for frying, plus more for brushing on the donuts

2 cups (440 g) caster sugar

1 cup (280 g) berry jam or pastry cream

To start the dough, mix the water, yeast and a pinch of your weighed-out sugar in a bowl, then leave the mixture for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. The yeast will become light and foamy.

Place the remaining sugar, milk, salt and butter in a small saucepan, and heat it over a low heat until the butter is melted. Remove it from the heat, then pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature before adding the eggs, the activated yeast and the sifted flour. Using a wooden spoon, bring all the ingredients together to form a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until it has a smooth surface and springs back when lightly poked. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, then cover it with a damp tea towel. Leave the dough to double in size, which will take about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured work surface, then roll it until it is a scant 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a ring cutter with a diameter of about 2½ inches (6 cm), cut your donuts out of the dough and place them on a lined baking tray. Brush the donuts with vegetable oil, then cover them with a damp tea towel and leave them until they become plump and fluffy. This should take about 40 minutes.

Place the caster sugar in a bowl. Heat the vegetable oil to 355°F (180°C), then carefully cook the donuts in the oil for 1 minute on each side. As they come out of the oil, toss the hot donuts in the sugar.

Once they are cooled and easier to handle, fill a piping bag with jam or pastry cream. Insert the tip of the bag into each donut and pipe in your chosen filling.

Reprinted with permission from Cakeboi by Reece Hignell. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. 

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.