How to Make Brigham Young's Buttermilk Doughnuts

How to Make Brigham Young’s Buttermilk Doughnuts

Here is a great recipe to help you celebrate Pioneer Day! Pioneer Day commemorates the arrival of the Saints into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847 after a long trek west. Brigham Young was the leader of the Church and is called the “American Moses” for leading the expeditions. These are his favorite buttermilk doughnuts!




  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 quart buttermilk (you may not need all of it)
  • vegetable oil or lard for frying


  1. Mix all ingredients together, except for the buttermilk. Then, add buttermilk slowly, one cup at a time, stirring and kneading the dough until it soft, but not sticky. You may not need to use the entire quart of buttermilk.
  2. Sprinkle flour over a clean surface and roll out the dough. Using a doughnut cutter or different sized glasses, cut out doughnut shapes from the dough.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil or lard until it reaches approximately 375 degrees.
  4. Carefully place each doughnut into the oil, frying on each side until the doughnut is a light golden color.
  5. Sprinkle on powdered sugar or drizzle with honey. They are also sweet plain. Best served fresh and warm.


This recipe comes from Dining with the Prophets: Historic Recipes from the Lion House

Take your family on a historical journey—by way of their taste buds! In this latest collection of recipes, the chefs at the Lion House step back in time to re-create favorite dishes enjoyed by the Presidents of the Church through the years. From Joseph Smith’s Johnny Cakes to Spencer W. Kimball’s Raspberry Cheesecake, from Lorenzo Snow’s Yorshire Pudding to Thomas S. Monson’s Swedish Meatballs, these recipes are a delight to share with family and friends.

You’ll also find a wonderful collection of old pioneer recipes, as well as a number of the Lion House’s signature dishes, the same fare (including the legendary Lion House Dinner Rolls) served at receptions and dinners and in the Lion House Pantry for several decades. Portraits of all the Church Presidents, plus photos of many of the period artifacts displayed at the Lion House, make this one-of-a-kind cookbook a fascinating stroll through history that the whole family will enjoy.


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