Filozes – Portuguese Donuts for #SundaySupper

A little birdie told me that today’s #SundaySupper was all about Portuguese food.  Now what kind of Portagee would I be if I didn’t hop on this and toss in my own recipe?  Well, not my recipe, but rather my Great Grandmother Emelia’s recipe for Filozes (pron: FAY lo shez)

Filozes are a yeast donut from the Azore Islands, West of Portugal.  They are in no way fancy pants.  There’s no pretty ring to make…you just grab some dough, drop it in the fat and get fryin’!  

I can remember being a young girl standing on a stool in my Great Grandma’s kitchen while she fried up filozes for me when I came to visit.  She also made sure to have a new box of Count Chocula, but that’s a whole other blog post.  

After they were cool enough for my little hands to touch, I would roll them in cinnamon and sugar.  She always managed to have a little mini donut mixed in there somewhere that I could pop in my mouth.  It’s a wonderful memory.

Until tonight, I had never made filozes myself.  Only dreamed of fond memories in my great grandmas kitchen.  I didn’t even have the recipe.  So, I rang up my 92 year old grandmother and asked if she still had it and within a few minutes of small talk about the weather, she was asking if I had my pen handy.  

I was shocked to learn that my very own grandmother, the queen of all things yeast, had never tried her hand at filozes before.  How could this be?  She warned that they were “hard to make” and “finicky”.  After 5 or 10 minutes more of small talk, I thanked her for sharing the recipe with me and hit the kitchen.  

This recipe differs a bit from the way my great grandma made them.  The luxury of Kitchenaid mixers definitely is a time saver…and a bicep saver.  

The first bite…..was a rush of memories back to that kitchen in Ferndale, CA

The crystal platter was a gift to my grandparents on their wedding day!

Filozes – Portuguese Donuts for #SundaySupper

Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Filozes – Portuguese Donuts for #SundaySupper

Yeasty free form donuts from my great grandmother who originated from the Azore Islands of Portugal.


  • 1 cup scalded whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 packets active yeast
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • Topping:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  1. In a medium bowl add the milk, sugar, water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Beat eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until frothy. Add the yeast mixture, salt and melted butter and mix to combine. Add the sifted flour all at once and beat well to incorporate.
  3. Remove the bowl and cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Using a rubber spatula, drag along the edge of the dough and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare a dutch oven or deep fryer by adding 2 inches of oil. Heat to 375 degrees. Grab pieces of the dough and drop into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and then flip over. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and dip the warm donuts to coat. Eat immediately.

Leave a Comment