Donuts are the ultimate splurge food. We stopped buying store-bought ones when we realized how much better we could make them at home. Once we perfected the donut, we knew cream filling was inevitably the next step.
These little bites are mouth watering and showcase all of our favorite dessert notes; Sweet, crunchy and rich. Don't be intimidated by the oil frying. It's a simple process that requires just a few precautions.
Below we've outlined our favorite cream puff donut recipe. It contains a variation of SpoonForkBacon's awesome vanilla filling, combined with a homemade donut hole recipe.
We Hope You Enjoy!
- Vanilla Cream Ingredients -
- Donut Ingredients -
Vanilla Cream Filling Instructions
We recommend preparing the vanilla cream first, as it requires at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator before filling the donut holes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk ½ cup whole milk, 4 egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of corn starch. Set aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan, add remaining ½ cup of whole milk, ½ cup of heavy cream and ¼ cup sugar.
Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
Take ⅓ of the hot mixture and begin whisking it into the mixing bowl from step 1. Continually mix to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Once thoroughly mixed, take the mixture from the mixing bowl and dump it into the sauce pan, mixing over low-medium heat. Mix until your cream thickens (check image below).
Once the desired thickness is reached, mix in the 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and whisk until completely distributed.
Strain the mixture into a bowl that is sitting over an ice bath, and allow to cool.
Once cooled, cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before filling donuts.
Pour 5 cups of vegetable oil into a large pot. There should be at least 2 inches between the bottom of the pot and the top of the oil, and 2 inches between the top of the oil and the top of the pot.
Heat over medium heat until your deep fry thermometer reads 350°F. Do your best to keep the oil around this temperature.
Line a baking pan with paper towels (very important this is done beforehand to give you a place to put the donuts when they're hot and ready).
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of whole milk and the large egg.
In a separate (and larger) mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 ½ tablespoon sugar, 4 ½ tablespoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.
Once thoroughly mixed, add the milk/egg mixture into the larger bowl, mix in the ¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter, and mix until a thick dough forms.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop tablespoon-sized balls of the mixture and gently drop it into the 350°F vegetable oil. Don't overfill the pan. Give each donut hole ample space to expand (7 donuts at a time seems to be the magic number).
Flip each donut every 20-30 seconds to ensure even cooking.
Cooking times will vary by the size of the donut you choose to make. We made golf ball sized donuts and they turned gold at about the 2 minute mark.
Look for a golden color on all sides of the donut. Then, using a slotted spoon or utensil, carefully take the donuts out, and place them on your baking sheet that is lined with paper towels.
Place the donuts on a cooling rack, and allow them to reach a temp just above room temperature. Don't Let them cool too much if you want to fill them.
Once they're just above room temperature, they're ready to be filled.
Filling the Donut Holes
Okay, there are two different ways to fill your donut holes, and both offer some great advantages.
Fill your donut holes using a pastry tip. This technique is a little more fancy, and also makes less of a mess. It does, however, require that you pay close attention to temperature.
Place the vanilla cream filling in your pastry bag and pastry tip. Once the donuts are warm to the touch (but not HOT), poke the pastry tip into the donut and start filling. Once the filling begins to pour out, stop, and continue on to the next donut hole.
(You can also drizzle some powdered sugar on them)
Cut the donut in half and make a vanilla cream donut sandwich.
This technique is simple and allows you to cut the donut open without worrying too much about temperature. If you can eat the donut without burning your mouth, you can cut it in half safely.
Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, cut them in half using a sharp knife. Then lather the pastry filling in between the two slices and smash them together. You can use a pastry bag and tip, but it's not necessary. A butter knife should do you just fine.
If you've never made homemade donuts, I hope this recipe blows you away. I know it did for us. Making your own donuts at home is extremely easy and we recommend experimenting with different variations.
Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.