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Sugared Pillsbury Biscuits (Cheater Donuts)

Sugared Pillsbury Biscuits
Sugared Pillsbury Biscuits pictures (1 of 4)

Are they malasadas (malassadas)? Beignets? Sugar Egg Puffs? Doughuts?

Not quite but they are really as good as all the above—soft, doughy, and fluffy. Once you have one, you just can’t stop. And the best thing of all, they take only 3 minutes to make, seriously.

They are fried Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits. Yes, those biscuits that you always bake, or even steamed to create Chinese bao (steamed buns)…

They were fried to golden brown (took less than 2 minutes) and then dusted generously with sugar. It’s not conventional, but trust me on this one: once you taste these babies, you will probably not bake them anymore! Look at the pictures, puffy, pillowy, sugared fried dough balls. Can you say no?

Happy National Doughnut Day! This is really a great cheat. Try it out and I am positive everyone will love them. If you like doughnut, check out this doughnut muffin and the doughnut muffin recipe.

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50 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. JP

    This is such a good idea. Never thought about frying Pillsbury biscuits. I can already imagine how good it tastes since they are so soft and fluffy. Will try the recipe this weekend. Thanks!

  2. OMG! You weren’t kidding when you told me how incredible these were. Who knew you could create such puffy, wonderful looking donuts from a tube of biscuit dough?? These would be so great for a brunch or when you have guests staying over. They’d think you woke up super early just to make these special for them. ;)

    • Carolyn – yes, they are very very good, I wasn’t kidding. I think it’s better than doughnuts because they are so puffy and soft, and they don’t absorb oil much after frying. ;)

  3. Mike Goody

    Hmm Sounds delicious – I’ve never heard of Pillsbury biscuits, probably due to my geographic location. Does anyone know if you can buy the dough in New Zealand, or whether it goes by a different name??
    Or, on the other hand, does anyone have a recipe for the dough itself?


    Mike G

    • Nancy

      Just moved to Australia from Canada – a place where you find everything American.. You can fry any bread dough – Texture will be slightly different but the outcome will be the same. I use bread dough to fry them to make Elephant Ears, Churrors, doughnut.. call it what you want. If you want to make from scratch, then buy powdered yeast and follow package instructions – very, very easy and no fail formula.

  4. memow

    My mother used to make doughnuts this way when we were growing up. Instead of sugar, we’d dust them in cinnamon sugar or drizzle them with a powdered sugar/milk frosting.

  5. I was going to try this Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits for Chinese steamed buns (idea from Now I need to try these too. Soft and fluffy are for me and I also like the dainty cute size. Reminds me of those mini round donuts sold in bakery shops. Ok…maybe when I get back, I will buy this – then half for Chinese steamed buns and half for these :D

    • Yes, Tiga, this fried Pillsbury biscuit is even better than steamed, so soft and better than some not-so-good/not-so-fresh donuts. I can eat all 10 of them from one tube. You need to buy more, 1 tube is not enough. By the way, can you get Pillsbury in Singapore? A reader asked me.

  6. Joyjoy

    That’s such a wonderful recipe! I’ve always wondered how to make those delicious fritters… who knew it’d be so easy! Thank you for the recipe ^_^

  7. Airaloske

    my Mother-In-Law uses the canned biscuit dough to make fried pies, using whatever jam or jelly that she has on hand. they’re especially good with apple butter or lemon pie filling. basically one would just half the biscuit lengthwise (leaving you with two complete circles) flatten the dough a little, add filling (leaving about 1/2 inch all around) and then smoosh the other piece of dough on top. fry for about 2 minutes in oil and dust with powdered sugar. super super good :D

  8. Tried these yesterday & it is quite good except a tad strong taste of sodium bicarb….But it sure is a good easy snack to serve guests with : )
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. HunnyShineZ


    I luv dougnuts very much.. i am in Pg and have been looking for this biscuits in tesco and gurney plaza but cant find it. Do you mind telling me where to get the biscuits??

    Really cant wait to try the recipe. .;) yummy yumm

      • sharifah

        Not sure where you get them in Penang, but in KL in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (where my sister lives) Pillsbury was available at Tesco or Jusco. Carrefour might have them too. They should be at the refrigerated (cold case) section. One question, doesn’t the Pillsbury dough have that weird aftertaste? Or I’m wondering if it’s just that particular batch I picked up from the store… Too bad because they tasted like beignets.. now i need is a dark chocolate drizzle on these powdered doughnuts…

  10. Melissa Yung

    Residing in Denmark now. My 4 1/2 yrs old son and i miss big Apple donuts. Dó you have any recipe that produced similar donuts like big Apple

  11. Tina

    My parents’ chinese restaurant has always served these on the buffet as dessert ever since I can remember! I always called them “sugar donuts”.

  12. Ah, I remember how my family would do this when we didn’t want to make our donuts with pancake mix. We prepared the same way and stuffed them with homemade mulberry jam from our grandmother’s garden. ^^ Your blog and its pictures are gorgeous!

  13. charlene k

    I love these when we go to the chinese buffet and now I can make them at home….I just don’t ever fry anything so I am a little wary on that – maybe my husband will do it (fingers crossed). Thanks for recipes :).

  14. Fish fries were often done where my husband worked. After the fish were deep fried, canned biscuite were dropped in and deep fried to serve with the fish. He loved them. I like the recipe above and will definitely try it. Would love to do a cream filling. Is it possible with this type donut?

  15. cook from SF

    At what temperature would you suggest the oil be at? Other websites have the temp. at 375 degrees. I tried it at this temp. and the outside browned wonderfully, but when I broke it in half, the dough was raw?

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