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How to Decorate Doughnuts Like a Pro

How to Decorate Doughnuts Like a Pro


Of course you need a good, fluffy dough, but let’s face it—a huge part of doughnuts is the decorating.

There’s good old powdered sugar, but there are also all kinds of glazes, sprinkles and other toppings.

There are two main ways to glaze doughnuts: dipping and pouring.

  1. Dip each doughnut into your preferred glaze. Then dip into the sprinkles or other topping of your choice.
  2. Spoon or drizzle the glaze over the doughnut. Allow the excess glaze to drip down the sides. Add the sprinkles of your choice. Leave the doughnut in one place until the glaze sets, then pick it up and leave the mess behind.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • To make colorful glazes, make a basic white glaze (recipe below), then divide into multiple small bowls and add a few drops of food coloring to each.

  • Sprinkles come in mixed containers, but you can also buy separate ones. Separate ones give you more control over your color combinations, and means you can leave out colors that might not complement your frosting color (for the slightly obsessive among us!).
  • Aside from colorful, chocolate and nonpareil sprinkles, you can use colored sugar, pearls or chopped candy (like chocolate lentils, or hard candies such as butterscotch or peppermint). Use your imagination—the possibilities are tremendous!
  • Decorating doughnuts can be a fun Chanukah party activity for kids, and also adults. Prepare assorted glazes and toppings, and let your family and friends knock themselves out.
  • Ice cube trays or cupcake pans are a good way to sort your toppings. Put one in the middle of the table (or several, if you have a long table with many people), and people can decorate to taste.

Here are some of my favorite glaze recipes:

Classic White Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk (dairy or non-dairy), or hot water

Sift confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Add the vanilla and the milk or hot water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spoon in one direction until frosting is smooth.

Optional: Divide the glaze into separate bowls and add a couple of drops of food coloring to each in the colors of the your choice.

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp. hot water
  • A generous squeeze of fresh lemon

Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Add the hot water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spoon in one direction until frosting is smooth. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3–4 tbsp. hot water

Sift cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Add salt. Whisk with a fork to combine. Add the hot water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spoon in one direction until frosting is smooth.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1–2 tbsp. cinnamon

Fry doughnuts and remove from oil. Dip doughnuts in the cinnamon-sugar mixture immediately, to coat. Note: If you’re using baked doughnuts, first dip the doughnuts in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar.

Need a good dough recipe? Try this one.

What’s your favorite type of doughnut?

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Miriam Szokovski December 4, 2015

kosher Yes, all the toppings can be bought kosher. Everything on this blog is kosher. Reply

Anonymous Connecticut December 3, 2015

doughnuts Question:are shots,sprinkles and food coloring kosher? Reply

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