Salvation Army Famous Doughboy Doughnut Recipe

Salvation Army Donut Day Girl

The Salvation Army is known for many things, emergency disaster services, feeding the hungry, and red kettles during Christmas, but did you know that we have a famous donut recipe?

During World War I, the Salvation Army workers served coffee and doughnuts to soldiers in the trenches. Rations were poor so the doughnut idea was conceived as a means of bringing the soldiers cheer. Salvation Army workers provided spiritual aid and comfort to the American soldier and his allies, becoming a link with home and family.

Think you can make a better donut? Post your recipe in the comment section below.

Yield: 4 doz. doughnuts

  • 5 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 C milk
  • 1 Tub lard


  • Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
  • Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
  • Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
  • When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
  • Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.


Modern Version – Yields 15 donuts (Food

This modified version of the traditional donut recipe is somewhat more appropriate for the modern home chef.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking oil or lard for deep frying

Reserve 1/4 cup of the flour for the board. Combine the remaining flour with the baking powder and set aside. Cream the shortening, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add milk and well-beaten egg and stir. Then add the flour-baking powder mixture. Work into a soft dough and roll onto the floured board into a 1/4-inch thick sheet. Cut into the desired shape and fry in the oil, heated to about 375 degrees F. Turn donuts frequently while frying. The fat should be hot enough to give the donuts a rich golden-russet color in 3 minutes. While hot, roll donuts in remaining sugar. This recipe will make about 15 good sized donuts.

Yield: 15 donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Ease of preparation: intermediate


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