For You, A Salvation Army-Style Doughnut Recipe

With the 73rd National Doughnut Day only 1 day away (is your mouth watering yet?), we thought we’d share a special treat with you a little bit early.

If you’re lucky, on Friday you may come across your local Salvation Army unit passing out doughnuts from our partners like Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, or local stores. We have a lot of love for all these great doughnut brands, BUT for those of you who are real go-getters, we’re going to help you celebrate do-it-yourself style.

Below, we’re sharing The Salvation Army’s original doughnut recipe, just like our “doughnut lassies” used to make on the front lines for American soldiers during WWI and WWII. They say it’s because of these women that doughnuts became such a popular treat in the US!

Give it a try, and let us know if you think your doughnuts are good enough to have their own annual celebration.

Salvation Army Doughnut Girl Stella Young


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.

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  18. Vintage archived newspapers in 1919 states the above recipe to be the official Salvation Army doughnut recipe but also includes 1 Tablespoon lard to ingredients. Makes 4 dozen doughnuts.
    They state: “The dry ingredients and wet ingredients are mixed separately before the whole is kneaded and ready to fry.” … “Mix all into a soft doughball and cut with a doughnut cutter. Drop into hot lard.”
    –all per State Headquarters of the Salvation Army. 1919

    P.S.: That hot lard in above recipe would be the tub of lard referred to in the your above recipe.

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