Whether you want something sweet or savory, this fried dough recipe will surely hit the right spot with its chewy dough and crispy exterior. They take 15 minutes to make from scratch, so they're perfect for a quick, tasty snack, and best of all, the recipe uses JUST 6 pantry ingredients!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Fried dough is simple to make, delicious, and can be made savory or sweet. This recipe uses a basic dough mixture made with flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, and milk.
The dough is then fried in hot oil until it is golden brown and crispy. Once it's cooked, the fried dough can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or topped with your favorite toppings.
Fried dough comes by many names in the US, from elephant ears to funnel cake and county fair fried dough. No matter what you call it, we can all agree that it's a delicious chewy fried treat coated in sugar that is just heavenly in the fall.
This yeast-less recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a classic country fair treat at home that is a delicious and easy-to-make snack. And if you're looking for delicious donuts or croissants, we have you covered with the homemade cronut recipe that is a mix between the two.
🍽 Key Ingredients
This homemade fried dough recipe is so easy to make using 6 everyday household ingredients.
Flour - All-purpose flour is the best flour to use for this recipe which gives the dough its chewy texture.
Baking powder - This helps the soft dough rise and gives it a lighter texture.
Salt - A pinch of salt is required to balance the sweetness of the sugar.
Sugar - This recipe uses granulated sugar to sweeten the dough.
Melted butter - The unsalted butter helps to bind the ingredients together and gives the dough a richer flavor.
Milk - Any type of milk can be used for this recipe.
Powdered sugar - This is used for sprinkling on top of the fried dough.
Oil - Any type of oil can be used for frying the dough. Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are
If you don't have baking powder, you can use ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
🔪 How to make
Fried dough tastes amazing fresh and hot and coated in powdered sugar. Just mix the ingredients together, form dough disks, and fry them. Simple and delicious to make in minutes. Very similar to my empanada dough for frying.
- Melt the cold butter in the microwave for 10 seconds in a small bowl.
Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the milk and melted butter into the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork.
Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until stretchy.
Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the soft dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a dough disk.
Heat a deep pan or skillet over medium heat with 1-inch of vegetable oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Carefully lower each dough disk into the hot oil. Cook in batches for best results.
Cook for 1 minute on either side until puffed and golden brown, then repeat with the remaining fried doughs.
Transfer the fried bread dough to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease.
Sprinkle each fried dough with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
💭 Cooking tips
Get a thermometer
Heating the oil to the right temperature is key for perfect fried dough. The dough fries nicely when the oil is 350 degrees F, so buy a thermometer to make temperature gaging easier.
Do not overcrowd
Don't try to cook all the dough disks at the same time, as the temperature of the oil will drop, and they will not cook evenly. Cook in small batches to create that perfectly light brown color and crispy exterior.
This fried dough recipe is delicious dusted with some powdered sugar, but if you want to try something different, there are a few variations you could try.
Fried dough with cinnamon sugar
Sprinkle the fried dough with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar while it is still hot. Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with ¼ cup of confectioners sugar.
County fair fried dough
This is a popular variation that is often sold at county fairs. Add teaspoons of active dry yeast to the dry ingredients and combine with the milk and butter in a pastry blender with a dough hook.
Mix for 5 minutes, form into a ball and allow to rise in a bowl covered with a towel. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it into 8 pieces and roll it out into disks.
Maple-flavored fried dough
Mix 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into the dough for a delicious maple-flavored twist.
🥗 What to serve with
Fried dough can be enjoyed on its own as a sweet treat or snack. Like my easy sweet empanada dough recipe. However, it also goes well with savory dishes such as:
Texas roadhouse chili
This delicious Texas roadhouse chili recipe is the perfect comfort food to enjoy on a cold winter day. The chili is hearty and flavorful and goes great with a piece of fried dough on the side.
Southern fried cabbage
This southern fried cabbage recipe is a great side dish to serve with fried dough. The cabbage is crispy and flavorful with bacon, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic and pairs perfectly with the fried dough. And as a dessert I highly recommend my Southern hummingbird cake recipe and why not my decadent tiramisu.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
What is the best oil to use for fried dough?
The best oil to use for fried dough is vegetable oil, as it has a high smoke point and can withstand the high heat required for frying.
Why does my fried dough taste greasy?
If your fried dough tastes greasy, it is likely because the oil was not hot enough when you added the dough. Be sure to heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) before adding the dough. Also, be sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this will also cause the fried dough to be greasy.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
This fried dough recipe is best eaten fresh when it's warm and crispy, but you can also store it for another day once it has cooled.
Room temperature - store leftover fried dough in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Fridge - the fried dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer - you can freeze the fried dough for up to 3 months in a freezer container.
Reheating - when you are ready to eat, reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warm and crispy.
🍳 Related Comforting Recipes
👪 Serving size
This fried dough recipe yields 8 servings, so there will be plenty to go around! The recipe is easily scalable to cater to more guests.
Whether you enjoy soft fried dough on its own as a sweet treat or paired with savory dishes like chili or fried cabbage, it is sure to be a hit!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Fried Dough Recipe (15-Minute!)
- 1¾ cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Melted butter
- ⅔ cup Milk
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Oil for frying
- Melt the cold butter in the microwave for 10 seconds in a small bowl.
- Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the milk and melted butter into the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork.
- Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until stretchy.
- Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide the soft dough into 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a dough disk.
- Heat a deep pan or skillet over medium heat with 1-inch of vegetable oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Carefully lower each dough disk into the hot oil. Cook in batches for best results.
- Cook for 1 minute on either side until puffed and golden brown, then repeat with the remaining fried doughs.
- Transfer the fried bread dough to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease.
- Sprinkle each fried dough with powdered sugar, and enjoy!