Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boston Cream Doughnuts

Boston Cream Doughnuts - is almost definitely in every dozen of doughnuts from the bakery section. You know...where you go to the bakery section and see a case of doughnuts on shelves behind glass doors...and you just grab any you want? :) They're even better homemade.

This was my first attempt to make any homemade doughnuts and without a thermometer or deep fryer, well, they're not too bad! They do take a good chunk of time to make, but it was well worth the effort and time that went into these doughnuts.

Boston Cream Doughnuts

NOTE: these doughnuts are not the sweetest, if you want really sweet, just add more sugar to everything :)

Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yeast Dough
3/4 cup warm whole milk (105° to 115ºF.)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup sugar
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Chocolate Glaze
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (or bittersweet chocolate for sweeter topping)
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Make Filling: (note: this is the very first thing you should do, the filling needs to chill)
Place sugar and 1 cup milk in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat until mixture boils.Place cornstarch in medium bowl. Using wire whisk, gradually whisk in remaining milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Add yolks and whisk until well blended. Slowly pour 1/3 cup hot milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in remaining hot milk. Return milk-yolk mixture to saucepan and heat to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. (If pastry cream is lumpy, pass it through a sieve.) Transfer pastry cream to a nonreactive (glass, ceramic, tin..) bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold.

Make Dough:
Place warm milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Using a wire whisk, stir mixture until yeast granules are evenly dispersed. Let stand for 3 minutes until yeast is dissolved and mixture begins to foam. Add 1 1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Using paddle attachment (or with hands) beat on low speed 2 minutes. Remove paddle attachment and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature 45 minutes. Sponge will have increased in volume. Thoroughly grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon room temperature butter. To sponge, add remaining butter and sugar, yolks, salt, cardamom and nutmeg. Mix on low speed until blended. Add 1 1/2 cups remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat dough on medium speed 5 minutes. Dough will not form a ball – it will be soft and part of it will wrap itself around paddle. If dough is very sticky, add remaining flour 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary. Scrape dough into prepared bowl, turning over dough so that top is greased. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature about 2 hours, or until it has slightly more than doubled in volume. (Rising time will depend upon room temperature.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and evenly dust with flour. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Turn out risen dough onto surface and gently press down on it to deflate. With your hands, flatten dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rest 5 minutes. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out about 12 to 14 rounds of dough. With a floured spatula, gently transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet, reshaping them if necessary. Leave at least 1-inch between doughnuts to allow for expansion. Let doughnuts rise for about 20 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.

Fry Doughnuts:
Pour enough oil in a deep-fat fryer or large straight-sided saucepan to come halfway up sides. Oil should be a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Heat oil to 365ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Dip a spatula in hot oil and use it to transfer doughnuts from baking sheet to oil. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, for 1 to 1 minute 30 seconds or until golden brown. (The midline of the doughnut will be lighter than the rest of it, which is characteristic.) Remove doughnuts from hot oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. When cool enough to handle, use a long, plain pastry tip to poke a hole through the midline of each doughnut. Let cool completely before filling.

Make Glaze:
Cook water, corn syrup and sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat until mixture boils. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes. Whisk in butter until mixture is smooth.

Assemble Doughnuts:
Remove pastry cream from refrigerator and whisk cream until it is smooth. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/4-inch round tip with pastry cream. Pipe pastry cream into hole in middle of each doughnut until pastry cream bulges out and doughnut feels full. Wipe off any excess cream. Place filled doughnuts on rack after they are filled.

Dip top of each filled doughnut into bowl of warm chocolate glaze, letting excess glaze drip back into bowl. Place glazed doughnuts back onto rack to set. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. The doughnuts are best when prepared and served on the same day, otherwise store at room temperature for a few days in an air tight container.

Be careful...these are addicting! :)


  1. A childhood favorite right there and the best looking boston cream I've seen!!! *saving*

  2. wow. these look so good. they are my favorite doughnuts by far. and they look even better than the ones you see in the store!

  3. These are my favorite kind of donuts! Except I bet they're even better because they're homemade. As much as I'd love to, I'm not going to make them though... mostly because I would eat every single one of them all at once.

  4. Thanks! They were fun to make. Yes....I had a hard time not eating them (thankfully they were a gift! so I couldn't eat them all!)

  5. AnonymousJune 01, 2011

    These doughnuts are almost the same as german "Berliner", except they are filled with jam and dusted with confectioners sugar.

  6. AnonymousJune 02, 2011

    AMAZING Photography!!!! Keep the pictures coming on Serious Eats Photograzing!

  7. I tried making one awhile ago but it didn't turn out as good looking as yours. But when my kids tried it, they went crazy over these sweet treats. Thank you for this share and im hoping to see more from you.

  8. Hooooohhhh my word, these look AMAZING! I want them immediately. My boyfriend showed me this entry when he stumbled upon it and begged me to make them. I'll have to test out your recipe soon!

  9. Wonderful!!! I'll make them as a birthday present this friday :D
    How many donuts for this much of batter???
    Do you have any tip for frying them in the right away? I have made donuts before and they tend to get dark on the outside and not get cooked inside...
    Hope you can help me!

  10. These look so wonderful and you made the process very simple, which I appreciate. Donuts always seemed so messy or complicated to make so I avoided them, but these I might just try :)

  11. I'm looking forward to trying out this recipe! About how many doughnut's does it make?

  12. can we substitute cornstarch wid vanilla custard. pls reply

  13. Did you fry yours in a cast iron pan? How deep was the pan. In the picture it just looks like the skillet size. Which is what I have so I was wondering if it worked alright.

  14. These pics are spectacular. Thanks for the recipe, it makes it so easy and actually possible. =)
    Have you ever tried to bake these donuts? I wonder because I'm just terrible at frying anything.

  15. I made these and they are the best!!!!!The oil I used was Crisco Natural Blend(canola,sunflower,and,soybean oils).I will always use this oil from now on.

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