How Did Donuts Become A Breakfast Food? History & Best Recipe

How did donuts become a breakfast food? This may seem like a stupid question, but the answer is surprisingly complicated.

History has shown that donuts got their start as something sweet to balance out heavy metals. These days, however, they are often eaten for breakfast because of how convenient they are to prepare and eat on the go.

To learn more about how donuts became a breakfast food, keep reading!

History of the Donut

The exact origins of donuts are currently unknown, but there are many theories about how and when they became breakfast food. Mark Twain wrote the first known account of donuts in Life on the Mississippi, which was published in 1884.

In the book, Twain describes New Orleans as “a paradise for the [donut] lovers” because they were not only cheap but also served to people at any time.

Antoine’s, a French restaurant in New Orleans, was given credit for creating the modern-day donut. One of the most popular items on their menu was fried apple fritters, and it became so popular that they had to start frying them fresh every morning instead of reheating them throughout the day.

Donuts have been synonymous with breakfast food ever since.

How Did Donuts Become A Breakfast Food
How Did Donuts Become A Breakfast Food

How Did Donuts Become A Breakfast Food?

Breakfasts have evolved a lot since the beginning of time, changing to meet cultural needs and varying availability. The earliest breakfasts were bread. People have been making bread at least since Neolithic times by kneading flour and water to make a dough which was then shaped into loaves.

The term “bread” is derived from the Old English word “breast.” By the beginning of the 16th century, bread was made in Britain daily for most people. Instead of the wheat-and-water doughs that were made into bread, the British made a new pastry for breakfast.

Artisan bakers began making yeast-based donuts in 19 century New Orleans. These donuts were called “jumbles” and were deep-fried in pork fat as opposed to lard or vegetable oil.

Jumbles from colonial New Orleans are similar to modern-day donuts, only they did not have any holes, and they were sweetened with molasses instead of sugar.

How Did Donuts Become A Breakfast Food:

1. Donuts became popular in the 1700s; they were originally served with coffee as a morning meal.

2. During World War II, donuts were included in soldiers’ rations. The donut-shaped cardboard cutout helped soldiers identify their rations at night and made them easy to hold.

3. From 1900-2010, donut consumption has increased by 1,000%.

4. In the 1950s, donuts were served to guests at cocktail parties and were considered a sophisticated food item (along with caviar).

5. In the 1940s, Krispy Kreme was invented. Doughnuts have gone from breakfast food to an anytime-of-day treat.

Both the making of donuts and their popularity has changed drastically through time. Just a few centuries ago, a donut was made with nothing more than flour, water, and butter. Nowadays, donuts are made with more ingredients than that, and people can’t get enough of them!

Donuts Recipe:


  • Flour
  • Yeast or baking powder to make it rise
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Water to make dough moist and lumpy
  • Vegetable oil for frying the doughnuts after they’re fried in the oven for about 8 minutes at 350°F (177°C)


Step 1: Mix together 2 cups (200g) of flour, 1/3 cup (50g) of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt to form a bowl.

Step 2: Mix in 3/4 cup (180ml) of lukewarm water. Remember that the water should be neither too hot nor too cold.

Step 3: Stir until the dough becomes lumpy and not smooth. Stiff consistency is best for donuts. Add more water, if necessary.

Step 4: Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it stay in a warm place for about 2 to 3 hours.

Step 5: After, take out the dough and knead it until it is as smooth as possible. The longer you knead, the more air will be incorporated into it and make the donuts light and airy.

Step 6: Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions, gently roll them with your hands and shape them into balls. Alternatively, roll them out into long sheets and cut out circles with a glass.

Step 7: Leave the donuts to rest for about 5 minutes.

Step 8: Roll out the dough into circles and leave them to rise again for 30 minutes or until they double in size.

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a baking tray with lard or oil.

Step 10: Cook the donuts in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Step 11: In a pan, heat 1 cup (240ml) of vegetable oil to 350°F (177°C). Adjust the heat to just below the smoking point.

Step 12: Fry each donut for about 30 seconds or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove each from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Step 13: Eat while still warm.

How Americans Eat Donuts Today?

Americans love donuts! In fact, they consume more than 10 billion donuts per year.

About 75% of all donuts are eaten in the morning on the way to work, and some people even eat them for breakfast.

According to National Geographic, Americans love donuts so much that they now consume more than 10 billion donuts per year or 63 donuts per person every year. There are various ways that people eat these delicious, sugary treats, and each has its own set of rules. These rules determine the nature of each particular donut breakfast.

Many people eat donuts in the morning on the way to work. This breakfast is called “donut and coffee” breakfasts. The donut is usually eaten by hand and then washed down with a cup of coffee or tea.

Some people make donuts part of their lunch. They often enjoy it as dessert after a big meal or as a snack during their breaks at work. Instead of being eaten by hand, they are eaten with utensils like forks and spoons.

One of the best ways to eat donuts while it is still warm is to cut them into halves and dip them into cream or honey. This sweet treat can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a dessert.

Bottom Line

Donuts can now be bought exclusively in some stores in the US, where they are served as toppings on ice cream or blended into smoothies.

Donuts have become a delicacy today and are used in different kinds of dishes. For example, donuts are found in desserts or added to hot appetizers at restaurants. They also appear on display shelves in bakeries, supermarkets, and even vending machines.

These delicious treats can be bought by any person of any age group and prefer to partake of them with friends or family.

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Hello! I'm Naznin Aktar, the food enthusiast and recipe curator at Naznin's Kitchen. Want to turn everyday ingredients into extraordinary dishes? Explore Naznin's Kitchen for a collection of recipes that are sure to inspire your inner chef and delight your loved ones.
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