Start your day on a sweet note with these quick and easy Midwest Long Johns Biscuit Donuts glazed with maple frosting.
Here in the Midwest we love bakery of all sorts and one that is an especially favorite treat is this midwestern-inspired Long Johns recipe.
What is are Long Johns, you say?
The traditional Long Johns recipe usually starts with a yeast or risen dough base. Then, it’s baked or fried and finished with icing or glaze.
You might have also heard it called a Maple Bar if you’re from out west, but for us Wisconsinites it’s just fondly called Long Johns.
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So what makes this recipe different from the traditional method? First of all, you will be using pre-packaged biscuits rather than prepared yeast dough. Don’t worry about the donut rising when fried or baked. The leavening in the biscuits guarantees it’ll puff up perfectly.
You’ll love this method because this recipe takes very little time to prepare. Which is great if you have a hungry bunch with a sweet tooth. And, best of all, you don’t have to wait for the yeast to proof.
It’s as simple as opening a container of refrigerated biscuits (I prefer Pillsbury Grands Biscuits) and then cooking your donuts either by deep frying or baking.
Author Note: I have made this recipe both ways and really there’s no difference in it’s overall taste. It’s simply a matter of preference.
Do you have to make it “log” version? The answer is, “No.” But it’s the traditional shape that most bakeries choose to make it in. That being said, if you want to forego this step, go right ahead. Just fry it whole or with a hole, that you make with a jigger glass. It’s totally up to you.
Celebrate all that is sweet by making a batch of these each year on National Donut Day–June 7.
The glaze that I’ve chosen for this recipe is standard maple-flavored, although you can most certainly opt for chocolate if you need a chocolate fix.
How to Make Midwest Long Johns Biscuit Donuts
This recipe uses refrigerated biscuits. I like to use Pillsbury Grands because they bake up fluffy and light.
Open the package.
To Bake Long John Biscuit Donuts
If you plan to bake your donuts, lay the biscuits out on a cookie or baking sheet. You can stretch them out in the classic Long Johns shape or leave them as rounds.
Or, if you want to make yours with a donut hole, use a jigger glass. I have found this technique works great.
Don’t waste the cut holes. Place them in between the donuts.
Put baking sheet in oven and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes.
To Deep Fry Long John Biscuit Donuts
Measure out vegetable oil. I prefer Crisco because it is consistently good for deep frying food.
Bring the oil temperature up to 350 degrees F. This is the temp you want to keep the oil at for this recipe.
Place stretched “log” Long Johns in hot oil to fry.
Allow the Long Johns to fry for approximately 3-5 minutes on one side. Keep an eye on this, because frying goes very quickly.
Once golden brown, flip carefully with tongs and cook on the other side for another 3-5 minutes.
When cooked, remove and place on a cooling rack. Time to make frosting.
To Frost the Donuts
First add butter.
Then add corn syrup. But….before you do, be sure to use a non-stick spray so that the syrup doesn’t stick to measuring spoon.
See, no corn syrup is left in spoon. Pretty neat, huh?
Add powder sugar.
Remove from heat and stir well. I like to use a whisk to really break up the powder sugar.
Next add maple flavoring and keep whisking. Put frosting back on stove and heat through.
Use tongs to frost. Frosting is super hot but so delish!
When cooled, you can also hand frost. Just be sure to take frosting off stove top.
Frosting goes quickly.
And, in no time at all, you have delicious Midwest Long John Biscuit Donuts.
Take a look at these beauties. Now, for some coffee or milk. Enjoy!
Midwest Long Johns Biscuit Donut Recipe
- 8 count Pillsbury Grands Refrigerator Biscuits I like to double this.
- 4 cups Vegetable Oil add more or less depending upon your pot or Fry Baby
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 3 tsp maple extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Open the biscuit container and separate the biscuits.
- Next, pull on each to form what I call a Wisconsin Long John. If you’d rather make yours like the standard cake donut, leave the biscuits round and go on to the next step.
Deep Fried Biscuit Donuts
- Whether you use the stovetop or a Fry Baby preheat the oil to 350 degrees F. (If in doubt use a candy thermometer.)
- Deep fry the donuts for about 2 minutes or so on each side. You can check if your donuts are cooking through by cutting a sample donut in half. Add more time, if needed.
- Once cooked through allow donuts to cool on a cooling rack.
- Frost, then serve!
Oven Baked Maple Biscuit Donuts
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Next, lay them out on a cookie sheet. Note: 8 biscuits will usually fit nicely on a standard size 9 x 13 pan.
- If you want to make a holed donut, use a jigger glass and press down in the middle and twist. The center hole will pop out. Then add the donut hole to the cookie sheet for baking.
- Place the donuts in the oven to bake for about 17 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove when baked through, frost, then serve!
Maple Flavored Frosting
- In a large saucepan melt the butter.
- Next add the brown sugar and allow it to melt completely.
- After about five minutes, add the rest of the ingredients in the order they are listed.
- Finally, stir well until the frosting is smooth.
- Take off the heat and dip your donuts into the hot frosting–good side face-down. (I like to use long handled tongs for this.)
- Twist off the excess frosting and let cool on the cookie grate.
- Serve hot and delicious. Enjoy!