Aunt Em’s Doughnuts – The Wizard of Oz


This recipe is from an old family cookbook, but I’m not sure who “Aunt Em” is in the great family tree. So naturally, I’ve decided to also use it for the Wizard of Oz. Hey, a girl can dream! The original recipe was actually just a list of ingredients, without any instruction. I tried baking  a few, but quickly determined that frying is definitely the way to go.

 I made mini ones, about 4″ across, and at just the right temperature of oil (tricky!), they puff up and are great. The insides are soft and fluffy, while the outside just barely crisps. There’s a nice hint of the spices, but not so much that they overpower the lightness of the doughnuts themselves. I simply sprinkled a little powdered sugar over top, but they would also be great glazed!

Aunt Em’s Doughnuts Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes       Frying: 20 minutes       

Makes: around 20 small doughnuts


  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • Canola Oil for frying

Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan, and place over low heat until the milk is warm, and the butter melted. Add the sugar and stir until that, too, is incorporated. Pour the contents of the pan into a heatproof bow, and allow to come back down to room temperature.

 Whisk in the eggs (if the liquid isn’t cool, the eggs will cook!), followed by the remaining ingredients. If you find that the dough is still sticky, continue adding flour until it becomes a cohesive mass of dough that can be picked up out of the bowl.

Flour a work surface, and roll out the dough to about 1/3″ thickness. Using a 4″ round cutter or glass, cut out rounds from the dough, saving the scraps to reroll. For the center cutout, the large end of a pastry tip works very well.

In a frying pan, heat your canola oil. If you have a thermometer, it should be about 375F. Drop the dough discs into the hot oil, taking care to not splash. The doughnuts should puff up almost immediately; when the first side is a nice golden brown, flip them. Remove from the oil when both sides are golden, and let drain on a plate with paper towels. 

Top with your choice of powdered sugar, glaze, or even jam, and enjoy!


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