The History of National Donut Day

We all know what a donut is and how tasty they are, but many people don’t know how donuts first came to America. During World War I, the Salvation Army first deployed hundreds of volunteers to France. The volunteers missed their homes dearly and dreamt of having a fresh pastry. In order to satisfy these cravings and help the home sick volunteers the Salvation Army troops had to improvise.

Lard was heated in soldier helmets and used to fry dough to produce what we now know as donuts. “Donut Lassies” or “Donut Girls” gave out fresh donuts to American soldiers serving in France.   When the troops finally returned to America, they made sure to bring this delicious treat along. The US government helped veterans open donut shops across the country. This is what eventually led to what we now know as National Donut Day.

National Donut Day takes place on the first Friday of every June. It is not only a day to appreciate these treats, it is also a day to reflect on the sacrifices of WWI soldiers and the Salvation Army volunteers. The first National Donut Day took place in 1938. Celebrate this tradition by grabbing a bag of Amalgamated Sugar and trying the original recipe that was used by Donut Lassies!




5 C flour
2 C White Satin Granulated Sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt (1/4 tsp.)
2 eggs
1 3/4 C milk
1 tub lard


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



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