Donuts Flowchart

 The following flowchart shows the process diagram of producing cake doughnuts, yeast-raised doughnuts and frozen doughnuts.

Frozen doughnuts go through the same processes as yeast-raised doughnuts, up to the frying stage. From there, the donuts are packed and frozen, for delivery to stores, cafes, caterers, clubs and institutions.

Frozen doughnuts offer the convenience of a supply of cooked donuts that only needed to be thawed (using the Thermolizer) and heated and glazed (using the Thermoglaze system).

For more information about donut machines (fryers, donut production systems, Thermoglaze system, accessories) contact RVO Enterprises at 02 9740 5122, send an email to, or enquire through RVO Info Central by sending your comment at the bottom of this article.


Sample Doughnut Formulations

Formulations for baked products will vary from country to country and from company to company. Many companies guard their formulations assiduously. The following recipes can be used as reference formulations or as starting point for developing products. [1]

These recipes are given in baker’s percent (see Different Methods of Expressing Baked-Products Formulations, at the end of this article).


The recipes above are expressed in baker’s percent.

Baker’s percent is the term used by the baking industry to describe the amount of each ingredient  by weight for a “recipe” or formula compared with the weight of flour at 100%. [2]

Note that other baked product formulations may be expressed in another method besides baker’s percent. The table below shows the difference between the different methods.

Different Methods of Expressing Baked-Product Formulations

There are different methods of expressing baked-product formulations that have evolved over time: three of the most commonly used are baker’s percent (baker’s %), total weight percent (also known as true formula or true percent) and ingredient weight. [1]

Commercially, bakeries rely on premix suppliers for high quality standard donut formulations, with a variety of formulations to select from, in 10, 15, 20 or 25 kg packages. These most commonly contain all of the ingredients, except water and yeast, although some will provide for the baker adding other materials. There are many suppliers for these mixes, each of them having their own proprietary formulas.

For a list of premix suppliers, click here.


1. Cauvain, S. and L. Young, Baked products: science, technology and practice. 2006: Blackwell Publishing.

2. Yui, Y.H., ed. Handbook of Food Products Manufacturing. ed. R.C. Chandan, et al. 2007, John Wiley & Sons.

Doughnut Formulations & Premix – Pros and Cons

Most doughnuts produced today are made from prepared doughnut mixes. Some of the more important advantages of using prepared mixes (or premix) are:

  1. A greater degree of uniformity of production, especially with less-skilled employees.
  2. A lesser chance of making an error. Errors are more likely when scaling a greater number of ingredients.
  3. A certain amount of time savings in production.

Some of the major disadvantages of using doughnut mixes are as follows:

  1. The finished doughnut quality is similar to the doughnut of others who use the same prepared mix or mixes of the same quality.
  2. The ability to innovate and be creative is limited to such things as doughnut sizes and shapes and innovative recipes for fillings and toppings.[1]

As explained by a program participant during the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Bakery Engineers,

“…scratch formulations versus prepared mix products…Each has its good points and its bad points…Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each.

First, we have scratch formulations. These require an operator to purchase, inventory, precheck, scale out and completely make the formula. One could state, ‘I have complete control over my product, what goes into it and what I am paying for each item.’ Another thought is that one must be skilled in ingredient evaluation, formula composition and basic problem solving, if and when one arises.

A formula which has approximately 10 to 12 ingredients that have to be scaled for each batch has 10 to 12 chances of error. When slight fluctuations in components arise, the problems could be multi-fold if the skill to combat these is not present. Also, if production volume is high, time factors could become quite critical. Needless to say, the space required for ingredient storage, cost of ingredients in small or moderate quantities, and a steady supply line of ingredients must also be considered.

Let’s move on to the prepared mix field. The prepared yeast-raised doughnut mix can be broken down into different categories, depending upon individual requirements. One shop might require a complete mix – where only yeast and water need be added. A second shop might have neeed for a prepared product that could be used with the shop’s bulk flour system from the bread department. Here, a base could be considered. A base could also be one in which  the bakery prefers to add its own sugar, or shortening, or egg, or various other ingredients – alone or in combination.

My shop is a unique one when compared to a typical wholesale bakery. We produce one product line, on which we concentrate with almost ferocious single-mindedness. Doughnuts are our only business. We don’t debate scratch formula versus prepared mix, because we are concerned solely with the end product of our production system – the best possible doughnut we can make…

We look at raw materials for their functional value…We want to maintain a standard of uniformity and quality that will always identify our products to the consumer in favourable light!!”[2]

Ultimately, the decision to use premix or scratch formulations depends on the individual needs and capabilities of each bakery.

Additional information are available on the following articles:

Doughnut Premix

Sample Doughnut Formulations


  1. Lawson, H., Food Oils and Fats, Technology, Utilization and Nutrition. 1995: Chapman & Hall.
  2. Roth, R.L. Fried Yeast-Raised Production. in 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Bakery Engineers. 1975. Chicago, Illinois. ASBE.



Principles of Good Doughnut Production

Cake doughnuts are unique among all bakery products since they are produced by depositing a fluid batter directly into a very hot, fluid frying medium. The final shape of the doughnut is in no way controlled by any external influence but determined by the formula, precise scaling of ingredients, consistent ingredient quality, frying fat quality, and effective process controls. Adequate control of all these parameters is probably more critical for cake doughnuts than for any other product produced in the bakery.[1]  

Controls are equally important with yeast-raised doughnuts where factors such as yeast quantity, dough temperature, mixing time, floor time and proving time affect final doughnut quality.  

Important factors in making good doughnuts

In the book “Food Oils and Fats: Technology, Utilization and Nutrition by H Lawson”, Lawson listed the following factors in making good doughnuts:

(Please note that the temperatures in this article were different from the book’s recommendations; the temperatures indicated below have been adjusted to suit Australian conditions. Ingredient amount, time and temperature will vary depending on formulation. Consult your ingredients supplier and equipment manufacturer for exact instructions.)  

1. Good prepared mixes   

Select a mix from a reputable manufacturer and select one of good quality.[2] 

2. Correct water levels   

It is important to observe the correct quantity of water added to the mix to get the proper dough consistency. If the dough has too much water, the doughnuts appear distorted, produce large holes, and absorb more oil. If the dough is too stiff, it results in thick crust, rough, broken surface on one side and excessive absorption of oil in cracks.[2] 

3. Proper dough handling and mixing   

Mixing times depend on the richness of the dough, type of flour, and temperature of the dough. An undermixed dough will result in excessive absorption, coarse texture and irregular shape. An overmixed dough will produce doughnuts with large holes, tight grain and texture, excessive absorption, and a knobby irregular surface.[2] 

4. Proper makeup before frying   

Cake doughnuts   

After adding the right amount of water and correct mixing, the batter (recommended dough temperature 24 °C) should be given a rest period (floor time) of 10-15 min before cutting out into fryer.[3]  The rest period allows the batter to continue to hydrate and the leavening to continue aerating the batter.[1]  

Yeast-raised doughnuts   

Dissolve the yeast in the water, combine all dry ingredients together (including the shortening), gradually add water while mixing at medium speed.[2] 

It is important to observe the optimum dough temperature (28 °C). Give the dough 10 mins floor time.[3] 

Knock back dough and portion and cut dough into approximately 2 kg pieces. Shape into round balls until soft and a smooth surface is achieved, to eliminate air pockets and develop a uniform tension in the dough. Cover with a dry cloth for intermediate proofing (ambient conditions, 15-20 mins). This particular step varies with the type of mix used, for example, when using “no-time” (fermentation eliminated) yeast-raised donut mix. Refer to your supplier for directions.     

       Rolling/sheeting and cutting yeast-raised doughnuts  

Dough is rolled out by hand or fed into a series of sheeters to reduce thickness. The doughnuts can be extruded by air pressure or by a vacuum-extrusion system and then deposited onto automatic proofer trays (eliminating manual handling, common for automated donut production systems), cut out by cutters over the sheet of dough, or cut out by hand.[2] 

      Proofing yeast-raised doughnuts   

The doughnuts should be proofed a little on the “young” side. Twenty minutes is usually sufficient proofing time. Overproofed doughnuts are poor in appearance, lack full flavour, and show increased fat absorption during frying.[2] 

Proof box should be 35 °C to 37.8 °C, with sufficient humidity to prevent crusting. When touched, a properly proofed donut will hold an indentation without collapsing. If the indentation returns to the surface, the donut is underproofed. If the donut collapses when touched, it is overproofed.[4] 

5. Proper frying   

Cake doughnuts   

Doughnut batter in depositor

Cake doughnut batter is pushed through a handheld or a mechanical depositor, where the doughnut shape is produced by the type of plunger or attachment used. Plunger shapes can be plain, star, french cruller, krinkle, old-fashioned, ball, stick, or if using attachments, crescent or dunkerrete. 

Set the fryer to 190°C with clean frying oil and a frying depth of 5 to 8cm. Fill the depositor with batter and check the drop weight. An average weight is 40g per drop. Transfer batter to machine or hand dropper and drop from 2.5 to 4cm into frying oil at 190°C. Allow donuts to rise to the surface of the oil for 30 – 40 seconds and flip over for another 30 – 40 seconds. [3] 

Frying at lower temperatures does not seal the surface rapidly enough, and excessive absorption results. Temperatures above those levels prevent proper expansion and may produce soggy interiors.[2] 

Yeast-raised doughnuts   

Yeast-raised donuts in fryer

Yeast raised doughnuts should be fried at 180°C [3]. The basic principles of correctly frying yeast-raised doughnuts are similar to the principles applied to cake doughnuts, except that yeast doughnuts are generally fried at at a lower temperature for a somewhat longer time.[2]   

6. Proper care of shortening   

Particles that accumulate in the fryer should be removed otherwise the oil will smoke, and can also result in excessive colour darkening, oxidation and development of free fatty acids.[2] 

7. Proper finishing   

Cake doughnuts   

Transfer the cooked donuts to a draining tray and allow to drain for a minute or two before rolling in cinnamon sugar. Allow to cool further if applying icing or other decoration [3].  

Yeast-raised doughnuts should be glazed hot, immediately out of the fryer. The doughnuts are conveyed through the glaze at about 38°C. Using wire screens, the doughnuts go through the glaze and held on the screens until the glaze drains and sets up.[2]   

Yeast-raised doughnuts going through the glaze

Related Article:

Donuts Flowchart


For more information about donut machines (fryers, donut production systems, Thermoglaze system, accessories) contact RVO Enterprises at 02 9740 5122, send an email to, or enquire through RVO Info Central by sending your comment at the bottom of this article.


1. Whillyard, M., Formulation of Cake Doughnuts (An Update). AIB Research Department Technical Bulletin, 2002. XXIV(9).  

2. Lawson, H., Food Oils and Fats, Technology, Utilization and Nutrition. 1995: Chapman & Hall.   

3. Laucke Flour Mills premix recommendations  

4. How do I produce yeast-raised donuts? (Copyright © 1993 Dawn Food Products, Inc.) 


Recommended further reading:  

Donuts Hints and Tips (Goodman Fielder Food Services)
Recommendations and troubleshooting donut production problems   

Cake Donut Premix (Laucke Flour Mills)
Method of using cake donut premix and troubleshooting problems  

Yeast-raised Donut Premix (Laucke Flour Mills)
Method of using yeast-raised donut premix  

Frequently Asked Questions – Doughnuts (AIB Online)   

Troubleshooting Cake Donuts (Belshaw)
Cake Donut Basics, How do I produce yeast-raised donuts? and Troubleshooting Cake Donuts   

Troubleshooting Guides (Dawn Food Products)
Something not working quite right? Troubleshooting cake donuts, yeast-raised donuts, donut glaze, donut icing presented in table form (problems/possible causes) by Dawn Food Products.   

Technical Bulletins at American Institute of Baking website
(requires subscription to technical bulletins online to access full text of documents)   

Stay abreast of all aspects of baking and allied industries with bulletins published by AIB’s Research Department staff and guest contributors. Technical bulletins on doughnuts include cake doughnuts formulation, processing, frying fat, coating sugar, and technology of yeast-raised doughnuts.

What is the difference between a cake donut and a yeast-raised donut?

Type of Doughnuts
Doughnuts are fried sweet dough that are either yeast leavened (yeast-raised doughnuts) or chemically leavened (cake doughnuts).

Cake Doughnuts
Cake doughnuts (or cake donuts) are made from sweetened dough that is leavened with baking powder [1], and generally dense and cake-like. A popular type is the traditional doughnut dusted with sugar and cinnamon. Cake doughnuts are versatile that it can be made with different shapes and flavours, and can be filled, iced or glazed.

Yeast-raised doughnuts

Yeast-raised doughnuts are generally made from sweet dough fermented with yeast to obtain its leavening action or expansion. After being fermented, the doughs are sheeted or rolled to the desired thickness and cut out by an automatic cutter. The pieces are made into typical doughnut shapes or rolled into a variety of shapes. Then they go through a proof box and are allowed to rise before frying.[1]

Yeast-raised doughnuts are lighter in texture than cake doughnuts, but because of the proofing time, they take longer to produce.

Comparison of cake donut and yeast-raised donut

1. Weight

In this particular sample of two equal sized donuts, the cake donut weighs heavier than the yeast-raised donut.

2. Texture

The different leavening action produce different textures. The yeast provides more expansion resulting in a more lighter texture.

3. Method and length of cooking

More steps are involved in preparing yeast-raised donuts. Because of time required for fermentation and proofing, it also takes longer to make yeast-raised donuts.

A cake donut, generally, involves a simpler method of preparation. Once mixing and a short rest time (10-15 mins), the batter is ready to use on a donut fryer.

Please click here to view the flowchart of donut production.

4. Shape possibilities

However, cake donuts can only derive its form from the type of plunger or attachment connected to the depositor. The selection is still wide: cake donuts in shapes such as old-fashioned, star, French cruller, krinkle, ball, stick or Long Johns, crescent or dunkerette, in addition to the regular ring and the mini donuts.

While yeast-raised donuts take longer preparation time than cake donuts, it makes it up for the wider variety of shapes it can be formed into, as more elaborate shapes can be cut out from the dough.


1. Lawson, H., Food Oils and Fats, Technology, Utilization and Nutrition. 1995: Chapman & Hall.