Boston Cream Doughnuts

When I was a kid my mom would shop at a grocery store called Co-op which is a big brand in Western Canada. I remember the bakers in the bakery department would put out warm, freshly fried doughnut holes that were covered in cinnamon sugar for the customers to take. My sister and I would beg my mom to make it the first stop before doing any shopping and then she’d have to go back multiple times while we were there. This was back in the day when doughnuts were made freash daoly from scratch. There are few things in this world that are better than a fresh, warm doughnut….I’m having a moment…

So in the name of a nostalgic memory the good ol’ days, here’s my recipe for homemade doughnuts.

Yeast doughnuts are not a beginner recipe but once you feel comfortable using yeat, it’s a good idea to move on to other applications. The most important part of making doughnuts is to proof the dough on a bed of flour so they’re easy to pick up when their proofed and ready for the fryer so you don’t deflate them. The line around the center of the doughnut is a good indicator that the doughnuts were well proofed and did not deflate.

I start by making the pastry cream for the center of the doughnuts because it needs a few hours to cool in the fridge before you can use it. Below is a recipe I use from Anna Olsen

You can use a good quality vanilla pudding if you prefer not to take this step.

Pastry Cream

recipe by: Anna Olsen

  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces.


  1. Heat the milk with the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean or the vanilla bean paste until just below a simmer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Ready a bowl with the butter, placing a strainer on top of it.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk into egg mixture and then return it all to the pot. Whisk this constantly (switching to a spatula now and again, to get into the corners) over medium heat until thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes. Pour this immediately through the strainer, whisking it through if needed, and stir in the butter.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard, cool to room temperature and then chill completely until ready to use.The pastry cream will keep up to 4 days refrigerated.

Place cooled pastry cream in a piping bag fitted with a metal round tip.

To make the dough:

250ml Cold Milk, 2% or 3%

375ml Hot Water

12g Active Dry Yeast

25g Granulated Sugar

35g Vegetable Shortening

1 Egg, large

930 – 960g All Purpose Flour

20g Kosher or Sea Salt

4-6 Cups Vegetable or Peanut oil

To get your water/milk to the right temperature (no more than 110°F) use hot tap water mixed with cold milk and the result should be slightly warmer than room temp. Add yeast and sugar, stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes, it will start to foam if the yeast is still active.

In a bowl for a stand mixer, add all purpose flour and salt, stir for a moment to distribute the salt.

Add egg and shortening to the yeast/water mixture and add the yeast mixture to the flour, knead on first speed with a dough hook attachment. Increase speed to second speed and knead for 10 minutes longer. The dough should be tacky but not stick to your hands. If the dough is sticky, add small amounts of flour 1 tbsp at a time allowing them to be absorbed in between until you get a tacky dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Finish kneading by hand until you get a smooth ball, rub 2-3 tsp of butter on the dough to coat it and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours at room temperature.

Turn out the dough and roll on a flour surface until it’s 1/2″ thick. Cut the doughnuts into circles with a cookie cutter or a hollow soup can. Place the disks on a heavily floured sheet pan and allow to rise loosely covered with plastic wrap until doubled in size, approx. 1-1.5 hours.

Heat oil to 325°F, in a heavy bottom pan with tall sides to prevent spillage. Gently pick up a doughnut using a metal spatula and gently place it in the oil being careful not to deflate it. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes per side and flip once to cook both sides. Remove from oil and place on a rack to drain fully. Allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze

(the best part)

65g Cocoa Powder

200g Icing Sugar

35g Corn Syrup

100g Milk

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

To Finish:

Using a skewer, poke a hole in the side if the doughnut and wiggle it around to hollow out a space for the cream. Place piping tip inside the hole and squeeze in some pastry cream, you will feel some resistance when the doughnut is full. Repeat for all doughnuts.

Dip the topside of the doughnut into the chocolate glaze and allow the excess to drip off, place back on the wire rack to set up.

Enjoy, They will not last long y’all!


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