You must be a Rhode Islander, have lived in Rhode Island, or visited Rhode Island if you know what a DOUGHBOY is!

The dough is shaped into rounds and fried in oil.

My Mom made these very often!  

Doughboys are found all over the state in restaurants, pizza parlors, and fairs.  

My version has added sugar to the dough for sweetness to the bread dough and not just on top. Confectioner’s sugar is typically sprinkled on top, but sometimes people vary it with granulated sugar or a granulated sugar and cinnamon combination.  

No matter what you choose to sprinkle on top, they will be SO-OO GOOD!

See more pictures in the slideshow below.


Rhode Island Doughboys
How can fried dough with a little sugar sprinkled on top be so delicious and become famous? Because Doughboys are so-oo good, so irresistible! Easy to make too!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 203


  • 1 package(¼ ounce) yeast
  • 1 cup water warm
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  • In a large bowl, mix warm water and yeast according to your yeast package instructions. Active dry yeast you have to proof first. The instant, or rapid rise, or fast-acting you just add it in. Go by the kind you are using.
  • Add the sugar, salt, and oil and mix well.
  • Add in the flour and stir to make a dough. Add a little more flour if necessary to achieve a soft dough that is not sticky.
  • You can use the dough immediately for doughboys or cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise for an hour. Divide the dough into eighths.
  • Shape the dough pieces into 1/4-inch-thick circles.
  • In a skillet on top of the stove, heat the oil. Fry the doughboys quickly until lightly browned on both sides.
  • Remove the doughboys to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil.
  • Pat the tops of the doughboys with additional paper towels to remove any excess oil.
  • Immediately sprinkle the tops with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and serve!


FLOUR:  The amount of flour can vary when making dough.  This can be a little under 3 cups flour or a little over.  
LEFTOVERS?   It is difficult to reheat them in an oven!   We eat leftovers, (if we have any!) room temperature.  Or you can zap in the micro for about 20 seconds and then sprinkle with a little more sugar on top! 
Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. David Thomas Salerno December 25, 2022 at 10:05 am

    My mom made us PILES AND PILES of doughboys every Sunday when we were kids. Been over 50 years since i had one. I still remember them like it was yesterday. I would give ANYTHING to travel back in time to ONE MORE Sunday with my parents, my siblings and some hot doughboys.

    1. Angie March 5, 2023 at 9:31 pm

      oh wow!! I am just seeing your reply now! Sorry! Yes, doughboys were a favorite for me growing up too! They are so good and really so easy to make! Why not try to make some??!!

  2. Pingback: Surprisingly Great Rhode Island Food You Need To Try - Kind of Going Places

  3. ang1m March 1, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    ha-ha, well said, Mary….. nothing like a doughboy! People who’ve never had them just don’t know what they’re missing! They are common I guess throughout New England then! At the fairs and stands in Rhode Island throughout the summer I see them everywhere. They are not here where I live on Long Island. We have zeppoles in the pizza places but not these doughboys. Thanks for viewing and writing!

  4. Mary February 28, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I’ve actually only been to RI once and didn’t eat there (or rather, we ate a picnic we packed along) but I grew up happily making a pig of myself on doughboys every summer in Maine, where I was born and raised. We waited all year for summer to come and the fairs to start because that’s when you could get doughboys, when I was a kid in the 70s you couldn’t get them any other time. Now I see them from time to time on a menu in a pizza joint (I live in southern NH now) but they’re never as good as they were eaten on a steamy summer evening, dripping melted butter down to our elbows and caked with powdered sugar, seasoned with suntan lotion and sweat and months of waiting! Those Southerners can keep their mile-high layer cakes with an inch of frosting on top, give me a doughboy.

    1. Diane December 20, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      I buy frozen bread dough from the market and make my doughboys. I was born and raised in Little Rhody and couldn’t find them when in California. Now I live in NY and here they call them “Fried Dough”, but I still buy my dough from the grocery store and make my own. Cheaper then paying $3.50 for them and I can eat even in the winter instead of at fairs.


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