Donuts, or doughnuts, are a fried dough confectionery often eaten for breakfast or as a dessert. This sweet comfort food first appeared in cookbooks in 1803, and was officially termed “dough nut” in 1809. By 1900, doughnuts were being referred to as the more common “donut” in the United States, because donut is an easier spelling and ease of pronunciation for immigrants.
There are hundreds of varieties of donuts throughout the world. However, the two major distinctions are yeasted donuts and cake donuts. Yeasted donuts are more traditional and result in a fluffier type of fried dough. They are typically 25% oil by weight and take longer to cook than cake donuts. Cake donuts are more dense and are often times referred to as “old-fashioned donuts.” This is actually not the case though, because cake donut recipes are actually more recent than those of yeasted donuts.
Regardless of the type, donuts are typically ring shaped with a hole in the middle. Bakers also make oval shaped donuts, which are often filled with custards or fruit preserves. The most popular type of doughnut is a circle doughnut covered in a plain glaze, but there are numerous variations including powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, frosting, sprinkles, crumbled cookies, and many more.
Today donut sales are steadily rising for a multitude of manufacturers. Donuts are a beloved treat the world continues to enjoy on a regular basis!