Old-fashioned donut recipes include a recipe for plain donuts featured at About.com, cake donuts featured at King Arthur Flour and yeast-raised donuts featured at Food Network. Donuts are deep-fried in hot fat at 375 degrees; you can cook three or four donuts at the same time.
The recipe for plain donuts combines 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, 3/4 cup sugar, 4 egg yolks and 4 teaspoons baking powder. Add 1 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon mace and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix all of the ingredients to create a dough and roll the dough into a 3/8-inch thick round shape. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes while heating 1 1/2 inches of cooking fat in a pan or deep fryer. Use a doughnut cutter to cut donut shapes from the dough and fry in batches.
Old-fashioned yeast donuts use 2 packages of active dry yeast to make them rise. Combine ingredients for the donuts in a bowl, mixing until the dough is soft and pliable. Place the dough onto a floured pastry cloth and knead lightly for one minute. Grease a large bowl with butter or oil and place the dough inside the bowl. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise for one hour in a warm area.