Mermaid Doughnuts

  • Author: The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Cuisine: American



For the mermaid tails:

  • 1/4 lb fondant
  • 1-2 tsp tylose powder
  • Pink gel food coloring
  • Gold powdered food coloring
  • Mermaid tail mold

For the doughnuts:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For the glaze:

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar + 2-3 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Blue gel food coloring
  • Sprinkles (optional)

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Turquoise food gel coloring


  1. To ensure that the mermaid tails are stiff enough to stand upright, you'll want to make them at least one day ahead. Start by coloring your fondant with pink gel food coloring until you've reached the desired shade of pink. Knead in 1-2 tsp tylose powder (this will help the fondant harden completely). Work a small ball of fondant into the mold. You can use a sharp pairing knife to cut off any excess that sticks out over the edges of the mold. Gently turn the tails out onto a piece of parchment paper. Pour some gold powdered food coloring into a bowl and add a few drops of vodka or water until you have a paste. Using a small, food only paint brush, paint the ends of the tail gold. Set aside to dry.
  2. For the doughnuts, combine 1 tbsp granulated sugar with the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes or until frothy. Add the butter, egg and 3 cups of flour and beat on medium speed with a dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 3-5 minutes). The dough will be soft but shouldn’t be sticky. If it’s still sticky, you can add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm area until about double in size (30 minutes – 1 hour).
  3. Roll the doughnut dough out to about 1/2″ thick and cut out 12 doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or round cookie cutters. Cover the doughnuts while the oil heats.
  4. In a large pot, heat at least 2″ of frying oil until it reaches 350F. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to careful transfer your doughnuts to the oil. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown (30 seconds – 1 minute) and flip. Transfer the fried doughnuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towel. Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
  5. To make the glaze, whisk together your 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture becomes hot (but not boiling), remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the 2-3 tbsp. of extra powdered sugar to thicken up the glaze plus blue food coloring until you've reached the desired shade of blue. Dip each doughnut in the warm glaze, allowing any excess to drip off, and then immediately roll the sides in your sprinkles.
  6. To make the frosting, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup is completely clear. While the syrup cooks, whip your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. On high, pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites. Continue to whip on high until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 10 minutes). On low, begin adding small slices of the butter until all the butter has been added. Whip the frosting on high until it becomes a thick frosting (it’ll look curdled at first, but don’t worry. Just keep on whipping). Turn the mixer down to low and continue whipping until the frosting is completely smooth. Add turquoise food color until you've reached the desired shade.
  7. Spoon the buttercream frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip (I used Ateco 829) and pipe a little swirl of frosting over the hole of each doughnut. Gently press a mermaid tail into the frosting.


  • In place of making the doughnuts yourself, you can use 12 store bought. Just make sure they're not glazed, powdered or sugared.
  • In place of making your own buttercream frosting, you can use a 16 oz container of store bought frosting.
  • For powdered gold food coloring, I recommend Super Gold from Truly Mad Plastics. This isn't a sponsored link, they just make the best powdered gold food coloring on the market in my opinion.
  • If you're looking for a mermaid tail mold, you can find a lot of options on Etsy. My mold is about 3.5 inches long.

Doughnut recipe from Half Baked Harvest