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Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

These Creme Brulee Doughnuts are a showstopper and they are wonderful treat. Soft, pillowy doughnuts are stuffed with a homemade creamy vanilla pastry cream, then topped with a crunch caramel topping. If you want a treat to impress, this is the one to make!

The details

Make the pastry cream

The first step for making these creme brulee doughnuts is to make the pastry cream. The pastry cream needs time to set up and chill in the refrigerator, so it’s best to do this first. This can even be done in advance. You can make the pastry cream a day or two in advance, to save you time the day of making the doughnuts.

In a bowl, you’ll add sugar, cornstarch, salt and your egg yolks. Why egg yolks and not the whole egg? The yolks add richness and thickness to the custard. You want the cream filling to be rich and tender. Whisk together this mixture until the mixture is a pale yellow color. This takes roughly 1 minute.

Next, you’ll add milk and heavy cream to a saucepan over medium heat and heat just until the outside begins to bubble. If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use all whole milk. The heavy cream just adds a touch extra richness and creaminess to the finished product.

While whisking the egg mixture, pour roughly half the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This will temper the eggs and warm them up. This helps prevent the eggs from scrambling when you heat the egg yolk mixture in the saucepan. Add the warmed egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the warm milk mixture and whisk to combine.

Place the mixture back over medium heat and cooking, whisking constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. You want the plastic wrap to touch the pastry cream so that a skin does not form on the pastry cream.

Making the doughnuts

Next up, you’ll make the creme brulee doughnuts. This dough is much like my other dough recipes. You’ll add the ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough is a softer dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap.

first rise

I like to use my handy dandy warm oven trick for a faster rise for these creme brulee doughnuts. Turn your oven on till it reaches 100F. Turn the oven off once it reaches this temperature. Place the covered dough in the warm oven for 45 minutes. Alternatively, if you have extra time, you can allow the creme brulee doughnuts to rise for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.

rolling, shaping and second rise

While the dough does it’s first rise, I like to cut out roughly 10 pieces of parchment paper measuring 4×4 inches. You’ll place the doughnuts on here, which makes it easier to transfer to the frying pot. Spray the parchment paper squares with nonstick spray to ensure the dough doesn’t stick.

Roll the dough on a floured surface until it reaches 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts out using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter or a heart shaped cookie cutter. Place onto prepared parchment paper squares, then cover.

Allow the dough to rise in a warm oven (as above) for 30 minutes, OR 1 hour at room temperature.

frying the doughnuts and filling

In a large pot or deep pan, heat 3 inches vegetable oil to 325 to 350F. Carefully place parchment paper square in oil, then using tongs, pull the parchment paper square out from underneath the doughnut. Fry doughnuts 3-4 at a time until golden brown, then flip and fry other side. Remove doughnuts with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet, or a wire cooling rack with paper towels lined underneath.

Using the handle of a spoon, insert into one side of the doughnut, then move the handle back and forth to create a pocket for the cream. Using a pastry bag or zip-top bag with one corner snipped, pipe pastry cream into doughnuts.

The final touch – the creme brulee

You’re almost done! Now, it’s time to make the creme brulee. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally until mixture turns golden. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until mixture color deepens to light golden brown. Remove from the heat.

VERY CAREFULLY, wearing a glove on the hand you are using to dip the doughnuts, dip doughnut into the caramelized sugar, then tilt doughnut away from you to allow excess to drip for a second or two. Set aside and repeat with remaining doughnuts.

If the caramel begins to get too hard, place back on heat, swirling occasionally until the mixture is not as hard.

If you made these creme brulee doughnuts, let me know what you thought in the ratings and comments below. Make sure you find me on instagram and youtube for the full baking video for these and more fun behind the scenes.

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Crème Brûlée Doughnuts


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  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

These Creme Brulee Doughnuts are a showstopper and they are wonderful treat. Soft, pillowy doughnuts are stuffed with a homemade creamy vanilla pastry cream, then topped with a crunch caramel topping. If you want a treat to impress, this is the one to make!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Doughnuts

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Custard Filling

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Brulee

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Make the Custard:

1. Whisk the salt, cornstarch, sugar and egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Beat the mixture for about 1 minutes, until combined and the mixture is a pale yellow color.

2. In a medium saucepan, add milk and heavy cream over medium-high heat. Heat just until the milk/heavy cream begins to bubble around the edges, then remove from the heat.

3. While beating the egg mixture with a whisk, slowly drizzle in roughly ½ cup of the hot milk mixture. Add the warmed egg mixture to the rest of the milk mixture in the medium saucepan, whisking to combine. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat.

4. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter, until smooth and combined.

5. Transfer custard to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard (this helps prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate for 2 hours, ot until completely cooled.

Make the Doughnuts:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, add warm milk, yeast, sugar, flour vanilla, salt, egg and softened butter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with nonstick cooking spray, then cover with plastic wrap.

2. Allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours at room temperature. Alternatively, you can turn the oven on to 100F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn the oven off. Place the covered dough in the oven for 45 minutes.

3. While the dough rises, cut out 10 4×4 inch pieces of parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Set parchment paper on a sheet pan.

4. Punch the dough down, then turn out dough onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out to ½ inch thickness. Using a heart or 3 inch circle cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Repeat this process using the scraps of dough, combining together and re-rolling into ½ inch thickness. Place the doughnuts onto the cut out pieces of parchment paper.

5. Cover dough and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can turn your oven to 100F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn the oven off. Place the covered doughnuts in the warm oven to rise for 30 minutes.

6. When the dough is almost done rising, fill a large pot or deep pan with vegetable oil 3 inches deep. Place over medium heat until it reaches 325-350F. Line a baking tray with paper towels, or place paper towels underneath a wire cooling rack.

7. Fry the doughnuts, 3-4 at a time, making sure to not crowd the pot. Carefully place parchment paper square in oil, then using tongs, pull the parchment paper square out from underneath the doughnut. Fry on each side until golden brown, flipping halfway through. Transfer doughnuts to paper towel lined baking tray or wire cooling rack, lined with paper towels underneath. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Filling the Doughnuts

1. Use the back of a spoon to poke a hole deep into one side of the doughnut. Move the back of the spoon handle back and forth to open up a cavity for the filling to go into.

2. Using a piping bag, or a zip-top bag with one corner snipped, place the pastry cream in the bag. Insert the piping bag into the hole of each doughnut and fill with custard.

The Brulee Topping

1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Do not stir the mixture, as it will cause the sugar to crystallize. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil, swirling the pan occasionally. The color will start to turn golden. Turn the heat to low and allow the color to become golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat.

2. Wearing a glove on the hand you plan to dip the doughnuts with, grab a doughnut and carefully and gently, dip one side of the doughnut into the caramelized sugar. Lift the doughnut from the caramelized sugar, and tilt it away from your fingers, allowing the excess to drip for a second or two, then place aside to cool.

3. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. If the caramel begins to harden, place the pan back on the heat, swirling to gently warm up the mixture.

  • Prep Time: 240
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American

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