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Glazed "Twist" Doughnuts

If my childhood was a warm, pillowy soft glazed dessert, it would most definitely be "twist" as it's popularly known here in the Bahamas. Whether you get it from a local bakery, gas station or your own kitchen, the flavor and texture satisfies every craving. Though this doughnut goes by many names from various origins, it's signature look and braiding technique remains unaltered.

A rich sweet dough, twisted ever so gently. Fried until golden brown then coated with a silky smooth glaze or tossed in cinnamon sugar.

Preparing this doughnut from start to finish brought a sense of pure nostalgia. Weekends filled with grocery shopping and cleaning were not complete without the addition of this sweet treat. At one point they were even sold at my primary school! Definitely the highlight for me after a long day of fractions lol. From me to you, welcome to my kitchen and a bit of my childhood.

Grab an Apron & Let's Get Started!

twist 101
  • Flour: For this recipe, I chose to stick with all-purpose flour. I wanted the texture of the doughnuts to be light and airy. As discussed in prior recipes, bread flour gives us that "chewy" factor, an attribute I didn't necessarily want.

  • Frying: After gently twisting your doughnuts, it is always a good idea to allow dough to rest after working it. During that time, allow your oil to steadily come up to temperature. After adding doughnuts to heated oil, keep an eye on them as they will cook pretty quickly. Carefully turn doughnuts to ensure an even cook and color.

  • Coating: Though the standard twist is coated in a light glaze, I've also included the option of cinnamon sugar — which is equally as delicious.


How to Make:

glazed twist doughnuts

Yield: 10-12 twists

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 2-3 minutes


For Twists:

  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk *warm

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (approx 2 1/4 tsp)

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup butter *melted

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoons salt

  • vegetable oil, for frying


  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 3 tbsp milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon


The Dough:

  1. In a small bowl combine warm evaporated milk, sugar and yeast. Stir gently and let it rest until the yeast activates and it begins to look foamy.

  2. In the large bowl or the bowl of your mixer combine flour and salt.

  3. Add the egg and melted butter to the yeast mixture and stir until butter is fully incorporated.

  4. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture, mix until a soft dough begins to form.

Rising Process:

  1. In a large bowl add a bit of oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around until completely coated.

  2. Cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Twist & Fry:

  1. Generously coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 10-12 equal pieces.

  3. Working with one piece at a time, roll and stretch dough to form a 14-inch rope. 

  4. An easy way to form twists: holding both ends of the dough, fold one end upward while simultaneously folding the other end downward.

  5. Pinch end seam together and place on the prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover with kitchen towel and repeat process with remaining dough. Allow dough to rest for 20-30 minutes.

  6. In the last 10 minutes of resting, begin heating oil steadily over medium-high heat, until it reaches 350°. 

  7. Carefully place two or three twists into hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot/fryer, as this quickly decreases the temperature. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer cooked doughnuts on a paper towel lined baking sheet.


  • To make glaze, add milk and vanilla to powdered sugar, whisk until thoroughly combined.

  • Pour glaze into a shallow dish. Dip one doughnut at a time, spooning more glaze over the top as you go. Transfer back to rack. Repeat with all remaining doughnuts. Glaze will set after 5 minutes.

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Set aside until ready to coat cooked doughnuts.

  • Toss warm doughnuts in cinnamon sugar coating. Enjoy immediately. 

quick tip:
  • If you don't happen to have a kitchen thermometer, heat oil under medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes. To ensure oil is up to the proper temperature, sprinkle a pinch of flour into the oil if it sizzles, the oil is ready.

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