1 Great Donut Recipe, 5 Amazing Fillings

Do the donut shop one better with these decadent homemade treats.

Doughnuts

Homemade donuts are hard to beat. Fill them with luscious cream, fresh fruit jam, or tart citrus curd—and, well, they become fluffy, tender pillows of pure heaven. Making a batch may take a bit of effort, but the steps are simple and the results are divine. And don’t forget: when you make them yourself, you earn the right to eat as many as you’d like.

What you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the bowl
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surfaces
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

What to do:

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Watch closely to ensure that the milk doesn’t boil over. Pour the milk into a large measuring cup and top with enough water to bring the level back to ¾ cup. Let cool until warm to the touch but not hot, about 105°F to 110°F. Add the eggs and yolks and whisk gently to combine. Butter a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, combine the flour, ¼ cup of the sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the milk mixture and mix just until combined. If you are using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead the dough on low speed, about 4 minutes. If you are mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is workable but still a bit sticky, about 10 minutes.
  3. Knead the butter into the dough a small slice or two at a time. (If you are using a mixer, you may want to stop it briefly and use your hands.) Once the butter is incorporated, continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 12.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust both with flour. Transfer the cold dough to a lightly-floured work surface and roll into a 9½ x 12½-inch rectangle about ½-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and place them on the prepared sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to proof. This could take 30 minutes or 2 hours, depending on how warm your house is and how cold the dough was. You will know the dough is ready when it looks puffy and springs back slowly when poked.
  5. Prepare to fry: Line a rimmed baking sheet 
(or a few plates) with paper towels. Put the remaining ¾ cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add 2 inches of oil to a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil until a bit of flour sizzles when thrown in or a candy thermometer reads between 350°F and 360°F.
  6. Carefully add 2 to 3 donuts to the oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown—about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donuts to the paper towels to drain. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, after about 1 minute, toss them in sugar. Repeat process with the remaining dough. (Note: If, after proofing, you find that your dough rounds have stuck to the parchment paper, don’t tug at them, which may deflate them. Instead, cut the parchment around each donut and add to the oil together. When the donuts are cooked, the paper will release.)
  7. Fill the donuts: Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick, poke a hole into one side of each donut. (Take care not to poke all the way through to the other side.) Whisk the filling to loosen it, if necessary, then transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole of each donut and gently squeeze to fill.
  8. Serve donuts immediately.

The fillings:

Chocolate Custard

  • Place 2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside. Whisk together 4 large egg yolks, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, and ¼ cup cornstarch in another medium bowl.
  • Combine ¼ cup cocoa powder and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Ladle about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk
 to combine. Repeat until the milk mixture is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let the custard boil for 1 minute.
  • Strain the custard through the sieve into the bowl. Let stand for 
1 minute, then whisk the custard and the chocolate until smooth. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the surface of the pudding. (This will inhibit the formation of a skin.) Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 2½ cups.

Spiced Pear Compote

  • Combine 4 cups peeled, diced pear, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring and crushing the fruit, until the pears have broken down and the mixture is thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Transfer the compote to a bowl. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap. Chill to room temperature before filling the donuts. Makes about 2½ cups.

Quick Raspberry Peach Jam

  • Combine 2 cups peeled, finely chopped frozen peaches, 2 cups frozen raspberries, 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, ½ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt with 2 tablespoons of water in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring and crushing the fruit, until the mixture is thick, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the jam to a bowl. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap. Chill to room temperature and remove vanilla bean before filling the donuts. Makes about 2½ cups.

Lime Curd

  • Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lime zest, ¾ cup fresh lime juice, 10 large egg yolks, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Add 8 tablespoons unsalted butter and cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the butter has melted and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Pour the curd through the sieve into the bowl. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the surface of the curd. (This will inhibit the formation of a skin.) Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 2½ cups.

Pumpkin Cream

  • Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together 4 large egg yolks, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Bring 1 cup heavy cream and ½ cup whole milk to a simmer over medium heat. Ladle about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk
 to combine. Repeat until the milk is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let the custard boil for 1 minute.
  • Strain the custard through the sieve into the bowl, stirring to help it along. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the surface of the cream. (This will inhibit the formation of a skin.) Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 2½ cups.