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Naughty and Nice Doughnut- Gourdough’s Copycat

Doughnuts. Doughnuts. Dough. Nuts. Who would’ve thought that they would be the thing everyone was talking about while I was in Austin? Although, I suppose if you have heard of Gourdough’s Doughnuts then you are not surprised that their doughnuts were such a favorite among BlogHer Food Attendees. They were such a favorite that here we are 3 weeks later and a few of us bloggers are still thinking about them and we decided to recreate some of our favorites and share them on our respective blogs. You’re going to want to go ahead and look at every. single. one. Trust me.

I mean seriously. Just look at all this deliciousness!

PB & J by Capturing Joy
Granny’s Pie by Crazy for Crust
Heavenly Hash by Something Swanky
The Carney (Apple Pie Doughnuts) by Shugary Sweets
Bring the Heath by Mom on Timeout
Son of a Peach by Chef-in-Training
Mama’s Cake by The Domestic Rebel
The Mother Clucker by Oh Sweet Basil
Cherry Bombs by My Life as a Mrs.
The Funky Monkey by The Little Kitchen
Black Out Cupcakes {inspired by Gourdoughs} by Cookies & Cups
ODB by Sweet Treats and More
The Puddin’ by Lauren’s Latest
Miss Shortcake by Kevin & Amanda

For my Gourdough’s Copycat recipe, you can see that I decided to recreate the Naughty and Nice Doughnut. AKA Cinnamon and Sugar.  Simple? Yes. Perfect? Very much so. But trust me, it took a while to get there.

This was my first time making doughnuts. Ever. And what was supposed to be my first time making doughnuts turned into making doughnuts 4 times. That’s right, FOUR times.

First attempt: The dough rose just fine and I rolled it out to 1/4 of an inch and let them rise, which they did a little. The big problem came with the cinnamon and sugar. I used cane sugar because it was all I had at the time and it just rolled right off the doughnuts. How can you have a cinnamon and sugar doughnut without the cinnamon and sugar? You can’t. So I was back and square one.

Second attempt: It was 10pm on Friday night, I was drinking a beer and I forgot to add the butter. Enough said.

Third attempt: It was also Friday night. Dough looked good. Smelled good. Put it in the fridge over night. Got up early Saturday morning to remove them and allow them to come to room temperature. Crossed my fingers, went back to bed and woke up to find that the dough didn’t rise. At all. I tried to roll it out anyway, cut the doughnuts and thought it might do something. It didn’t. They were flat.

Fourth attempt: By now I was starting to get a little discouraged. But not one to let a recipe get the better of me, I decided that I would try one more time. I made the dough. Let it rise on the counter for forty minutes instead of overnight in the refrigerator. Then I rolled the dough out to 1/2 inch, big I know but I wanted these babies fluffy! I then let them rise for another 2 hours. By then they were looking good. Light and fluffy. Next up was the fryer and then a quick shake in a bag filled with cinnamon and granulated sugar. The result, friends, was pure doughnut bliss.

You know what they say “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” And I firmly believe this because success is sweet. And in this case, also deep fried.

Naughty and Nice Doughnut- Gourdough's Copycat

Light and fluffy yeast raised doughnuts coated in cinnamon and sugar.
Prep Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 43 mins
Course Breakfast, Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings


Yeast Raised Doughnuts:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm milk 100 degrees
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 quarts canola oil for frying

Cinnamon and Sugar Coating:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Pour warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow to set for 5 minutes.
  • Once the yeast has proofed, sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  • In bowl combine salt, cinnamon and flour.
  • In another bowl whisk together cooled, melted butter and egg.
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed and pour in the egg and butter mixture. Next add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Allow the mixer to run, on medium speed for 8 - 10 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the sides and you hear it slapping against the bowl.
  • Turn off mixer and allow the dough to rest, untouched for 5 minutes.
  • Lightly oil a bowl, place dough in the bowl and toss dough to coat in the oil. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm dark place until doubled in size, about 45 - 60 minutes.
  • Once dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2 inch. Use a 3 inch doughnut cutter to cut dough into 10 doughnuts and 10 doughnut holes.
  • Place doughnuts and doughnut holes on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until they have doubled in size. You want them light and fluffy.
  • Make the coating by combining the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a paper bag.
  • Heat canola oil to 365 degrees in a large pan. Once hot, place 2 - 3 doughnuts in the oil and fry, turning often, until they are golden brown 2 - 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to pick up the doughnuts. Allow excess grease to drip and quickly add the hot doughnuts to the cinnamon and sugar in the bag and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes. Serve hot.


Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: austin, cinnamon and sugar, dessert, doughnuts, dougnugts, gourdough's doughnuts, raised doughnuts, sweet, treat, yeast doughnuts

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

  • Reply
    November 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    What sort of milk do you use? Whole, 2% ..?

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    June 30, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I bought a donut pan a few weeks ago, but didn’t have a chance to make donuts yet. I’m so excited to make homemade version!! Your donuts look perfect and look so goooooood… Hope I can succeed to make good ones!

  • Reply
    ashley - baker by nature
    June 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Naughty or nice… who cares when they look THIS amazing!!! Wonderful job!

  • Reply
    ashley - baker by nature
    June 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Naughty or nice… who cares when they look THIS amazing!!! Wonderful job!

  • Reply
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    June 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    #2, sounds like me!! :)

    LOVE the topping. I could eat that with a spoon.

  • Reply
    Noble Pig - Cathy Pollak
    June 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Those doughnuts! I’ve dreamnt about them twice since we’ve been back.

  • Reply
    Kristy @ Sweet Treats & More
    June 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Cinnamon & sugar might be my favorite kind of donut! Love these!! Miss ya girly!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I kinda like that you had to fight for this donut, it really is naughty and nice now and we now the recipe will be great since you perfected it

  • Reply
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
    June 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Doggone yeast!!! It always gives me trouble too! I am so glad you kept at it because they look amazing!!! You rocked it big time!!!

  • Reply
    Jessica - The Novice Chef
    June 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Yup. Yeast is a total biatch. But these look so amazing! So worth it in the end!!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Kevin & Amanda
    June 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

    It was worth the effort! These doughnuts look like absolute perfection. So great seeing you again in Austin!! :) xoxo

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    June 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

    First who ever names this doughnuts needs a big high five.
    And you guys are killing me with these, I want them all right now.

  • Reply
    Trish - Mom On Timeout
    June 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I’m so glad you stuck with it – these doughnuts look killer!

  • Reply
    Cookbook Queen
    June 26, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Yeast is my mortal enemy. True story. So glad you persevered because these are faboosh!!

  • Reply
    Christina Gathright
    June 26, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I’d say all those attempts paid off! I’m a sucker for cinnamon sugar donuts :)

  • Reply
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet
    June 26, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Second attempt, hilarious, but these turned out great!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Wow– these look incredible! I’m such a sucker for warm cinnamon sugar doughnuts!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I love a good cinnamon sugar doughnut, yours looks fantastic! So glad we met in Austin!!

  • Reply
    shelly (cookies and cups)
    June 26, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Man!.. 4 attempts? Dang yeast…it’s so tricky! Glad you pushed through, though.. these are simple and perfect!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

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