Sometimes, all you need is a donut. Sweet and delicious, my recipe creates fluffy donuts topped with the iconic bright pink glaze and rainbow sprinkles of Homer Simpson’s donuts, and are easily recognised anywhere!
There are some iconic foods in television and movies. There are also some foods in cartoons which look irresistible, but unfortunately, are impossible to eat! This includes Sponge Bob Square Pants’ crabby patties, the namesake from Disney’s Ratatouille, Garfield’s lasagna, and, probably the most famous of them all, Homer Simpson’s Donuts. For 32 seasons and over 700 episodes, Homer Simpson has been delighting in his favorite food, the humble donut.
I decided I needed to try them myself – Homer does love them after all so they must be good – and I came up with this amazing recipe for Homer’s donuts, covered in a sticky raspberry icing and decorated with sprinkles. If you are intrigued to try one of the most famous foods on TV, read on to find my donut recipe!
How do you make donuts?
Donuts from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, and all the bakeries around the world are so light, fluffy and addictive, so why make our own? Surely it must be difficult?
Absolutely not! My recipe for homemade donuts makes it easy, requiring only a few ingredients and a little bit of patience, and they are also delicious, covered in a crisp shell of icing hiding a soft fluffy center. And afterwards, the sense of accomplishment is so satisfying!
So what do you need to do to make these eye-catching Homer Simpson Donuts?
First, gather your ingredients. You will need:
Active dry yeast – this yeast needs to be stirred into warm milk to be activated, but it gives you a head start on the baking as the yeast will be ready for action!
Flour – use bread flour as it has added gluten which strengthens as you knead the dough. All purpose flour will not give you the same fluffy results.
Sugar – granulated sugar just to give the dough some extra sweetness, and to fuel the yeast.
Eggs – for the donuts’ rich flavor and a lovely fluffy rise.
Butter – you may already think donuts are fattening enough, especially as they are cooked in simmering oil, however, butter adds a wonderful full-bodied flavor to the dough and keeps them moist as they cook.
Milk – yeast needs warmth and moisture to develop, and gently warmed milk is the perfect solution especially as it brings extra fat to the dough.
Vanilla extract – the dough just needs a touch of flavor and vanilla is perfect!
As you can see, the list of ingredients is not particularly long so don’t feel intimidated! First thing’s first is activating the yeast.
How do I bake with yeast?
If you have made bread, beignets, cinnamon rolls, or any other kind of dough you will have worked with yeast before. My Homer Simpson donut recipe only requires a teaspoon of dried yeast, or the contents of one sachet.
You will need to activate your yeast by mixing it into warm milk. The milk should not be too hot otherwise it will kill the yeast, so if you can dip your finger in and it feels pleasantly warm, then that is a good gauge.
After 15 minutes, you will recognise that the yeast has developed because the milk will become frothy, and smell yeasty, like the inside of a bakery. Add melted butter, egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry (the flour, salt and sugar) and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft, messy dough.
Now, tip it into a clean, floured surface and knead it!
How do I knead dough?
Kneading dough is a good workout, and justifies eating all the donuts afterwards! However, you may have a food mixer which can do all the work for you, and if that's the case then excellent! Sit back with a cup of coffee!
If you are kneading by hand, the best way to knead dough is to use the heel of your hand – basically, the bottom of your hand where it meets your wrist. This gives you enough force to push the dough backwards and forwards.
Alternate between each hand and push across your body – once to the top-right, once to the top-left, then repeat, and you’ll find you’re kneading a heat-shape on the table!
Knead the donut dough for 10 minutes, until it is soft and stretchy, then put it in clean bowl, lightly greased with oil, and leave the dough to rise until doubled in size.
When it is light and puffy, you can cut out rings of donut dough and let them rise again.
Should I fry or bake donuts?
While baked donuts are delicious, and of course, healthier, you cannot beat a deep-fried donut.
A baked donut is much more like a cake, while a fried donut emerges with an incredible crispy crust, yet the center stays perfectly fluffy, tender and soft.
Plus, it’s unlikely Homer Simpson ate baked donuts!
Take a bite of the unknown food of the cartoon-world and try my Homer Simpson donut recipe which are all covered in sticky raspberry glaze, and finally you’ll see what the fuss was about!
Homer Simpson's Donuts
Desserts / Donuts
These donuts are actually really simple to make and taste incredible. They come out picture-perfect too so you, your friends and family will be drooling over them just as Homer does. It is a really fun process making Homer Simpson's donuts and is great for getting your kids involved with making some tasty treats from their favorite cartoon.
1 tablespoon (1 sachet/7g) active dry yeast
1 cup + 2 tbsp (260ml) milk
⅓ cup (80g) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (100g) butter
3 cups (500g) bread flour
1 tsp salt
4-6 cups vegetable oil
1 cup (170g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1-2 tbsp water
Warm the milk gently until lukewarm – you can place your finger in it and it should feel pleasant. Pour the yeast and sugar into a jug, add the milk and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.
Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.
Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Add the melted butter, egg and vanilla to the yeast mixture, stir together, then pour into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix to combine until you have a soft sticky dough.
If you are using a food mixer with a dough hook, follow the same instructions, however turn on the machine at a slow speed to combine the ingredients.
Tip onto a floured work surface and knead, covering your hands in flour to stop the dough from sticking. Knead until soft and stretchy – approximately 10-20 minutes.
If you are using a food mixer with a dough hook, this can do the job for you. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on medium speed.
Place the dough in a clean greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for an hour to 2 hours, depending how warm an environment it is.
Once the dough is doubled in size, roll it out to 1 inch thick and cut out circles using a 4 inch round cookie cutter. Place the circles on a greased sheet tray and then cut a 1 inch circle out of the center of each donut.
Cover the tray loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for another 45 minutes, allowing the dough to rise again.
Towards the end of the dough's prove, pour the oil into a large pot and heat over medium heat until it has reached a temperature of 375°F/190°C.
Once the dough has puffed, gently lower the donuts one or two at a time into the hot oil.
Fry the donuts for 1-2 minutes then flip and fry the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the cooked donuts from the hot oil and place them on a cooling rack.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, jam and water until you have an icing of a thick dropping consistency.
Dip the top of each donut into the icing mix then place it back on the cooling rack and sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles. Enjoy while nice and warm!
The Homer Simpson donuts are best to be eaten on the same day or the next day. But if you have too many donuts, freeze them but without the glaze. When you want to eat them later, just thaw them out with the glaze and enjoy!