Gul Gula (Guyanese Fried Donuts)

Queens FEASTS is Queens Public Library’s FREE training program to provide knowledge, tools, and resources to people who want to start and run their own food businesses in Queens.

Several talented students have graduated from Queens FEASTS, and we’re very pleased to share their holiday recipes with you!

PS: Until this year, Queens FEASTS was known as Jamaica FEASTS. We also have graduates' recipes from last year, and we hope you will enjoy those too!

Gul Gula (Guyanese Fried Donuts)
from Nellie Dimont, Spice Shanty

“As a young child, the holidays were a time when family from all corners would come together to celebrate with festive music, lots of dancing, and a wondrous spread of delicious food,” says Nellie Dimont, the personal chef who describes her catering business Spice Shanty as “a journey into the world of Caribbean cuisine with a bite of spice.”

“My favorite was gul gula, a fried sweet donut made with raisins and flavored with a hint of almond extract. My cousins and I would dance around the feet of our Aunty May, anxiously waiting for her to drain these donuts onto a paper towel so we could eat them nice and hot. As fast as she would prepare them, we would steal them and eat them before she was able to dust them with sugar. I hope you enjoy my recipe!”

Ingredients (12 pieces/serves 4 people)

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar set aside in a mesh sieve for dusting
  • 2 cups vegetable or corn oil


  • Add flour, milk, baking powder, egg, raisins, vanilla or almond extract, white sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix into a thick batter and let rest for at least 5 minutes. (Your batter can be made 2 hours ahead of time.)
  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat to 350 degrees F (5-10 minutes). To test if the oil is hot enough for frying (if you don’t have a food thermometer), place a small scoop of batter into the oil. If the oil begins to bubble around the dough, then it is hot enough and you can begin frying.
  • Using two tablespoons, scoop the batter with one spoon and use the other one to help drop the batter into the oil. Add 2-3 scoops of batter at a time. The gul gula will puff up and rise to the top of the oil.
  • Using a slotted spoon (wooden or metal), turn the gul gula in the oil until they are golden brown, approximately 2-4 minutes on each side. If the donuts are cooking/browning too fast, lower the heat and cook them more slowly.
  • Place donuts on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  • Dust donuts with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Please prepare all recipes at your own discretion; Queens Public Library is not responsible for accidents, allergic reactions, or illnesses that occur because of preparation.

Posts in This Series

  1. Holiday Recipes from Queens FEASTS: Sweet & Spicy Seasonal Chili
  2. Holiday Recipes from Queens FEASTS: Vegan Red Velvet