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Canned Biscuit Dough for Cake Donuts?

Today's Parade magazine (i know, i know) has a recipe for donuts where you cut holes out of 'canned' biscuit dough, and fry it and glaze the donuts. I'm guessing these result in non-yeast, cake donuts, and i'm wondering if anyone has tried this idea? And/or does anyone have an old recipe for moist dense cake donuts? (I say 'old' because the only superb cake donuts i have had are from a wicked old funky diner in Bennington VT- the Blue Benn.) Thx much!

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  1. Frying canned biscuit dough will give you . . . . . fried canned biscuit dough. It will not give you cake doughnuts, or anything resembling cake doughnuts. Here are a couple of links to recipes for real doughnuts, all are pretty similar to one another. What sets doughnuts apart from, say fried biscuit dough, is that the batter/dough is sweet, tender like a cake, and scented with nutmeg and sometimes other spices. I grew up making doughnuts from an old Betty Crocker cookbook, but these recipes are similar:


    1 Reply
    1. re: janniecooks

      ha! you funny! I figured as much but knew youall would know. thx again!

    2. What janniecooks said. And even though I secretly like those canned biscuits as a bread product, they make really, really crappy donuts. Same for frozen bread dough. There are a ton of recipes out there for jelly donuts make from biscuit or frozen bread dough, and they all taste like fried bread with jelly. Must avoid.

      1. They sound really awful. For one thing, those "biscuits" are quite salty.

        1. It doesn't make a cakey donut. It makes a yeasty donut. My mom fried those when we were growing up and we loved them but I'm not sure how I'd feel now.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            "Yeasty" dount? Canned biscuit dough contains no yeast.

            1. re: janniecooks

              Yeah, but the donuts still have more of a yeasty taste/texture than cake. It's a lighter donut. Biscuits have a lighter texture than cake donuts so it would make sense that fried, it would still be lighter.

              1. re: chowser

                I guess if you mean that fried biscuit dough has a texture that resembles in some way a yeasted bread dough, then yeah, but "yeasty" isn't a word that describes texture, only taste. If a product has no yeast it cannot be yeasty, and it cannot have a yeasty taste.

                1. re: janniecooks

                  Probably chowser means raised doughnuts. As in yeast raised.

                  1. re: janniecooks

                    I've read that most of the 'yeasty taste' is from the alcohol produced by the yeast.

                    That taste is more evident in slow raised, lightly seasoned breads. I suspect it is largely masked in sweet doughs like donuts (not that I've made a study of such).

                2. re: janniecooks

                  We too loved Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits, with the center hole (or nucleus as we called it) popped out, then deep fried. They were delicious. My friends would come over and beg for them. But they probably aren't made the same anymore; I last had them maybe late 60s or early 70s, so I will say no more.

                  1. re: coll

                    That's a good point. The ones I had were a long time ago, too. Who knows how much those biscuits have changed.

                    1. re: chowser

                      They were really good though (even though I said I'd say no more!) Light and airy.

                      One time my friend and I made a batch with some canned Crisco we found in the cabinet, and were surprised to find they tasted like chicken. Then we realized it must have been leftover shortening Mom had put aside, but we liked it well enough, for a change of pace. Never were able to recreate our masterpiece though!

              2. Two issues -
                do they resemble donuts?
                are they good?

                PD 'fried biscuits'

                Johnny cakes

                Indian fry bread is a similar baking powder dough that is deep fried.

                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj

                  actually. they are more like French market doughnuts. roll in powdered sugar. good.

                2. I remember my mom making those to give away one year at Hallowe'en, and our house was very popular that year. My recollection was that they were very tasty, but what do I know? I was only about eight.

                  1. we use to make these at girlscout camp... they taste like fake benigiets...or realllly fat funnel cake

                    1. Worked with another teacher who treated students to "home-made doughnuts" from canned biscuits. Not at all like cake doughnuts. She brought in an electric frying pan, oil, rolls of biscuits, cinnamon, and sugar (granulated and powdered. The kids shook their donuts in brown paper bags and had a great time.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kseiverd

                        I tried them once, too. Tastes like a cinnamon-sugar biscuit, not a donut, which shouldn't be a big surprise!

                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                            Good move. We loved them as kids, about 45 years ago, but I wouldn't do it now.

                      2. A few years ago there was a small appliance called a Donut Baker---this is the recipe that came with it. I imagine you could improvise something to bake doughnuts in in the oven, using the same recipe, which isn't bad. BAKED CAKE DOUGHNUTS. In a bowl put 1/4 cup oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat this then beat in 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp nutmeg, and 1 cup milk. Bake (4 minutes if using the Donut Baker, otherwise figure it out). Remove to rack. Ice or roll in sugar and cinnamon. Makes 14 or 14 medium doughnuts. I have made this recipe using Egg Beaters and since it's baked it is a low-guilt doughnut.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Querencia

                          I've had decent donuts from one of those donut machines:


                          My friend said she used this King Arthur recipe.


                          Oh, she said she used a KA recipe but they more than one. Not sure which one it was.


                        2. Back in the early 80s, I worked as a waitress at a Mom-and-Pop ice cream stand and "Widgets" were on the menu. We couldn't keep up with the demand for them! They bought tubes of dough from their restaurant supplier, but whenever we ran out the cook ran across the street to the grocery store and scooped up all the Pillsbury biscuits. The key was to poke your finger through the middle of the biscuit before frying. The hole seals up as the middle cooks. As soon as they are golden brown, scoop them up out of the oil and plunk down immediately in sugar (or sugar with cinnamon) and roll around. The other key is you MUST EAT THEM HOT. Texture and taste is very similar to a yeast donut. Yum, that was good times.

                          1. Canned biscuit dough was used over fresh or any yeasty dough for Monkey bread or some version like it to great popularity but cake donuts I've haven't seen done successfully.

                            1. I still make these all the time for my grandkids. They love them. With Cinnamon and Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Maple Glaze and sometimes Chocolate Glaze. The boys love to help and sometimes decorate them with sprinkles.

                              1. Serious Eats just ran a version of this using the canned biscuit dough:


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  j ,thanks so much for that; never would have seen it without you!

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    My pleasure opin! The video answered all my questions! Live & learn!

                                2. Too funny. Wnen I was little, there was a canned dough for donuts that my mom used ALL the time...she dropped them in the deep fryer and then topped them with the glaze. They were amazing (but not a "cake" type of donut). She said it tasted pretty much exactly like biscuit dough did...just packaged differently.