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Hole in One: Old-Fashioned Cake Dougnuts (Video)

Why do donuts have holes? Find out as host Ian Knauer serves up some old-fashioned cake donuts.
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    Hole in One: Old-Fashioned Cake Dougnuts (Video)

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      History.com Staff

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      Hole in One: Old-Fashioned Cake Dougnuts (Video)

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      June 22, 2018

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      A+E Networks

In this exclusive Hungry History video, host Ian Knauer takes us through the history of doughnuts, which were first introduced to America by Dutch settlers. He also explores the mystery of why doughnuts have holes. Make your own version of this classic and delicious treat by trying out Ian’s surprisingly easy formula for old-fashioned cake doughnuts, based on a recipe from the 1860s.


4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons soda
1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
Powdered sugar for dusting

Put the flour into a shallow pan; add salt, soda, cream of tartar and spices. Work in butter with tips of fingers; add sugar, a well-beaten egg and milk. Stir thoroughly and toss on a board thickly dredged with flour. Knead slightly, using more flour if necessary. Pat and roll out to half-inch thickness; Cut using 3-inch cookie cutter and, using a 3/4-inch cookie cutter, cut out center. Fry, drain and coat with powdered sugar.

About the Host: After spending close to a decade in the test kitchens of Gourmet Magazine, where he developed recipes and co-hosted “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” and “Adventures with Ruth,” Ian poured his love of food back into his family’s Pennsylvania farm. There, he grows his own vegetables and cooks everything from scratch. He recently released his first cookbook, “The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food.” He also writes for several publications and contributes to Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”

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