No one really knows when donuts were invented or who invented them. One theory suggests they were introduced into North America by Dutch settlers, who were responsible for popularizing other American desserts, including cookies, cream pie, and cobbler. Another theory is the English brought the recipes over when they settled in the US.
Doughnut is the more traditional spelling, and still dominates
outside the US. Doughnut and the shortened form donut are both
pervasive in American English.
Donuts were originally made as a long twist of dough. It was also
common in England for doughnuts to be made in a ball shape and
injected with jam after they were cooked. Both methods of cooking
involved no human intervention as the balls and twists turn over
when the underside is cooked.
Hansen Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring
donut in 1847 when he was traveling on a steam boat. He was not
satisfied with the texture of the center of the donut so he
pressed a hole in the center with the ship’s tin pepper box. Excuse
me, I feel the need to graze on a glazed.