Brioche Doughnuts with Vanilla Cream Filling




  • ¾ cup water lukewarm
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ gallon vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Vanilla Cream

  • ½ cup vanilla sugar (or vanilla seeds mixed with sugar) 
  •  cup corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Prepare the Donut Dough:

  • Add sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble. PRO TIP: Water temperature should not be above 35°C / 95°F, or it will destroy the yeast. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside.  After 10 minutes, add flour, eggs, rum and lemon zest to the yeast mixture in a large bowl. Knead well using the attachment on your mixer or by hand. After about 5 minutes, add the salt. Slowly incorporate the butter cubes and continue kneading well with your hands or in a stand mixer. The dough has to be glossy and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, then re-cover the bowl. Put in the fridge to chill for 12 - 16 hours or overnight. PRO TIP: The donut dough will be more delicious if you leave them to chill overnight. If you don't have the time, leave that part out.

Shape The Donuts:

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 70g pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, tight bun and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour. Leave plenty of room between the donuts to proof. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to proof for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size

Fry the Donuts:

  • In a cast iron pot filled halfway with vegetable oil, clip a candy thermometer to the side and heat over low until the oil reaches 165 - 175°C / 330 - 350°F. Carefully remove the donuts from the baking tray, taking care not to deflate them, and place them gently into the oil using a long-handled spider tool. Fry for three minutes on each side until golden brown. Keep an eye on the oil temperature to ensure it doesn't get too hot or too cool - adjust heat as necessary. Remove donuts from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Once slightly cooled, place ½ cup granulated sugar in a dish, roll each donut in sugar and set aside to cool completely before filling

Make the Vanilla Cream:

  • Whisk together vanilla sugar, corn starch, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Whisk together milk and eggs in a separate bowl. Add milk mixture to the saucepan then add the butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the vanilla cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Just before using, whisk until smooth

Fill the Donuts:

  • Fill a piping bag affixed with a large round tip with the vanilla cream. Using a butter knife, cut a small hole in the side of each donut about ¾ of the way into the donut and pipe a generous amount of vanilla cream into the center of the donut. Eat the donuts right away or store in an airtight container for up to three days. 


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