A copycat recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts – they’re light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze.

A copycat recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts - they're light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze.

We are a house divided when it comes to doughnuts… I’ve never, ever gravitated towards them as a breakfast indulgence or a dessert, never quite being able to stomach the taste of fried dough (the same holds true for funnel cakes, as well – what’s wrong with me?!). My husband, however, loves doughnuts and although we really don’t have them often at all, he’ll sometimes say that he’s craving Krispy Kreme. The problem? The Krispy Kreme shop that was near where we live closed years ago and there are none nearby.

A couple of months ago, he saw that it was national doughnut day and the craving hit… he asked if I would be able to make a copycat version of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at home. I never turn down a challenge, so I started doing my research!

A copycat recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts - they're light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze.

As it turns out, there are approximately eleventy billion recipes for copycat Krispy Kreme doughnut recipes on the Internet. Shocking, right?

I sifted through a ton of them, and the majority had roughly the same ingredients with minor changes here and there. Then, I read the comments and reviews. Almost every single one was split 50/50 between “oh my gosh these taste JUST like Krispy Kreme!” and “oh my gosh these taste NOTHING like Krispy Kreme”. The pressure was on.

Not being a connoisseur myself, I read through tips and suggestions and came up with this recipe… of particular note is that I used instant yeast to keep the dough light and ensure a nice rise, and used water instead of milk to keep a lean dough.

A copycat recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts - they're light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze.

On a Sunday morning when the stars aligned and I woke up early and Joseph slept in, these were gracing our kitchen counter by 8:30am. I waited with bated breath for my husband’s verdict… he loved them! He said they were super, super, super close to Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and was thrilled. Score!

He said that in the past, he would reheat cooled Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the microwave for 8 seconds and it was just perfect, like they were hot from the conveyer belt, and he said the same held true for these. So those are the official reheating instructions :)

If you love doughnuts, this is a must baking project!

A copycat recipe for Krispy Kreme doughnuts - they're light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze.

Watch How to Make Krispy Kreme Doughnuts:

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

These doughnuts are light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze, reminiscent of the famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts!
4.44 (337 ratings)


For the Doughnuts:

  • teaspoons (2.25 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • ¾ cup (187.5 ml) warm water
  • cup (66.67 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
  • ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ to 3 cups (340 to 425 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups (552 to 736 g) vegetable shortening, for frying

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (62.5 ml) water
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract


  • Make the Doughnuts: Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and 2½ cups of the flour. Knead on low speed until a dough begins to form. If the dough is quite sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until a soft, tacky dough forms. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but not the bottom.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours.
  • Gently press to deflate the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  • On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to a ½-inch thickness. Using a doughnut cutter (if you don’t have one, use one larger and one smaller round cutters) dipped in flour, cut out the doughnuts and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (You can roll any leftover dough scraps into balls for more doughnut holes.) Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top.
  • When ready to fry, heat the vegetable shortening in a large cast iron skillet (or other wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pot) to a maintained temperature of 360 to 370 degrees. Gently lower the doughnuts into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (I cooked in three batches). Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the oil and place on the cooling rack. Repeat until all of the doughnuts have been fried.
  • Make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth. Working one at a time, dip each doughnut into the glaze, flip to coat the other side, and return to the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set for about 15 minutes, then serve.


Note: My husband said that reheating leftover doughnuts for 8 seconds in the microwave is perfect!
Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 323kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 106mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 160IU, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!