Cinnamon Doughnuts

These doughnuts were sold piping hot in baskets on the quayside at Ventnor, Isle of Wight, in the nineteenth century and were extremely popular with those who had been sailing or fishing. Traditional doughnuts are made with yeast; this is a local variation. The cinnamon sticks were eaten with the doughnuts but may be considered rather strong today.


  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) butter
  • ⅝ cup (15 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ΒΎ lb (360 g) self-raising flour
  • ⅝ cup (1.5 dl) milk
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 12 cinnamon sticks, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths - they are made of the rolled leaves, rather like cigars, but very thin (optional)


Cream the butter into β…œ cup (90 g) of the sugar, stir in the well-beaten eggs and then the flour, adding just enough of the milk to make a soft dough which comes away clean from the bowl.

Divide the dough and roll into ping-pong-sized balls.

They will almost double their size as they cook. Drop them into very hot oil and deep fry for 3 to 4 minutes until brown all over. Turn them out on to a piece of foil, which has been spread with the remaining sugar mixed with the ground cinnamon, and roll them in it lightly. If cinnamon sticks are to be used, make a tiny hole in each doughnut with a skewer and insert a stick in it, allowing about Β½ inch (1 cm) to stick out. Put in a warm dish and serve quickly.