Last updated on December 8th, 2023.

This homemade Bavarian Cream Donuts recipe will be your go-to recipe you will be returning to over and over. These Bavarian cream-filled doughnuts are fluffy, tender, buttery, and filled with a creamy vanilla-flavored filling.

I am excited to share another doughnut recipe to my collection along with Brioche Donuts, Boston Cream Donuts, Morrocan Donuts, and Potato Donuts. Made with buttery Brioche dough, they are buttery and fluffy and filled with Bavarian cream filling.

Donuts with white filling
Cream filled donuts

Ingredients to make Bavarian Donuts

Ingredients For the donuts

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour. Bleach or cake flour will not do for this recipe; the gluten is too weak and will not rise well. (I am a huge fan of King Arthur Flour and Unbleached Gold Medal Flour)
  • Instant dry yeast. My absolute favorite is SAF Instant Yeast (not sponsored, not affiliated). If you are using Active dry yeast, then use 13.5 grams (1 3/4 tablespoons). If using fresh yeast, then use 19 grams (2 1/2 Tablespoons).
  • Granulated sugar, divided. Some we will use for the dough and some to coat the donuts.
  • Salt
  • Eggs at room temperature.
  • Cold water. There is no need for warm water. The fraction from the long kneading processes will increase the temperature, and we don’t want it to be too hot, or it will kill the yeast.
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2″ pieces. Do not use salted butter. It will not work for this recipe.
Ingredients to make donut dough

Ingredients For the Bavarian cream

  • Whole milk. Do not use skim milk. You can substitute 1/2 of the milk with heavy cream.
  • White sugar
  • Flour. To slightly thicken the cream and add volume.
  • Salt
  • Egg yolks. From large eggs (approx. 18g each).
  • Vanilla bean is optional. You can replace it with vanilla extract.
  • Heavy whipping cream. To be folded into the cold and set cream.
Ingredients to make Bavarian cream

How To Make Bavarian Cream Donuts

Below are the step-by-step instructions on making homemade cream-filled donuts recipe, but I highly recommend you check out my complete guide for Brioche dough.

Making The Donuts

The recipe for Bavarian creme donuts includes a list of ingredients and measurements at the bottom of this post in the recipe card.

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and water and knead for 3 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Gradually add the butter with the mixer on medium-high speed, one piece at a time, waiting about 10-15 seconds before adding the next.
  4. Increase speed to high and knead until the bottom and sides of the bowl are clean, the dough is smooth, and you can stretch it without tearing.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 10 hours or overnight.
  6. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and roll it into 1″ thick. Use a 3″ cutter to cut and place each piece over a 4×4-inch parchment paper square lined on a large baking sheet. Cover and place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size
  7. Warm the oil to 360F and gently drop the donuts into the hot oil with the parchment paper facing down. Fry the donuts for 90 seconds on each side. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes, dip each with granulated sugar (or powdered sugar), and set aside to cool for about 20-30 minutes, then fill with the Bavarian cream.
how to make donut dough
Frying donuts

How To Know The Donuts Are Done?

There are two ways to do that:

  • Remove the first donut and cut it at the center; this will estimate how long it takes to fry the donuts.
  • Insert a meat thermometer from the side and check the temperature. The donuts are done at a temperature of 180F (82C).

Making Bavarian Cream for Donuts

Pastry cream filling, (or Crema Pasticcera for a thicker version) is the base for many desserts and, today, for our cream-filled donuts. I folded the pastry cream with whipped cream in this recipe, lightening the cream and adding volume. So this is also a great white cream filling for a donut recipe.

  1. Bring the milk to a simmer until you notice some bubbles at the sides of the saucepan.
  2. While the milk is warming, mix the sugar, flour, and salt in the egg yolks.
  3. Mix a tablespoon at a time of the warm milk into the yolk mixture while stirring. Add the milk gradually and slowly, or else the eggs will cook.
  4. Once the milk is thoroughly mixed, pour it back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat with a constant string until it is thickened about 90 seconds.
  5. Remove from the heat, run the pastry through a sieve, and mix in the vanilla extract and butter. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Alternatively, you can fill these donuts with Creme Mousseline, Creme Chiboust, Chocolate Whipped Cream, or Ganache (dark or white ganache), or Strawberry Preserve like in these Sufganiyot.

how to make bavarian cream


These Bavarian cream-filled donuts are best when fresh; fry them about 3 hours before you need to serve them. Once you fill them, please place them in the refrigerator within four hours for up to two days. You can reheat them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.

Freeze. Let it rise for the first time in the refrigerator, shape it, then freeze it. Make sure to wrap the dough so it won’t be exposed to direct air in the freezer. When ready to use, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and follow the recipe (step 6).

The cream needs to be set and cooled in the refrigerator for a few hours before use and can be made up to 3 days ahead.


  • The dough might seem too dry during the first kneading, but it is ok, and do not add more water. There is water in the butter.
  • Rolling and cutting the dough when cold will help get even and symmetric donuts. You can reroll the scraps, cut some more donuts, or roll tiny dough balls for donut rolls. I like to roll them into logs and fry some twisted donuts.
  • Knead the scraps into a ball and place it back in the refrigerator. It is much easier to handle cold dough.
  • Stay put and pay attention to the oil temperature. If it rises too high, reduce the heat (I sometimes turn it off all the way). Also, adding the donuts might reduce the oil temperature, and you might need to increase the heat. It is a delicate game you must pay attention to.

FAQ and troubleshooting

How to properly fry the donuts?

Use a candy thermometer, stay put, and do not allow the oil to heat over 360F (185C).

Why are my donuts raw at the center?

The oil is too hot. Pay attention to the temperature of the oil. It should not be higher than 360F.

Why do the donuts have a tangy smell to them?

You probably over-proofed the dough, Stick to the double-in size rule.

How long do donuts last?

Donuts are best when eaten within the first day and can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

What does Bavarian cream taste like?

Bavarian creme has a vanilla flavor, a combination of light raw meringue and smooth vanilla pudding.

How do I make my donuts fluffy?

Let them rise for 2 hours or until they double in size after cutting/shaping them, and make sure the oil is not too hot.

Can I use the pastry cream plain?

Yes, the heavy cream is optional.

Can I use other fillings other than Bavarian cream fillings?

Yes! Anything goes. Turn your Bavarian-filled donut into a sufganiyah by filling it with Raspberry jelly or raspberry jam. Also, chocolate ganache or even Nutella are all great donut-filling options. It is excellent any time you are in the mood for a homemade cream-filled donut recipe.

How can I make chocolate Bavarian cream donuts?

Once the pastry cream has thickened, mix in 1-2 oz (28-56 g) of melted chocolate, then place in the refrigerator.

What is the best oil to use?

I like to use canola oil, so make sure to use a flavorless oil.

I Also Have Some Baked Donuts Recipes For You

Chouxnuts, Double Chocolate Baked Donuts, and Pumpkin Baked Donuts.

5 from 3 votes

Bavarian Cream Donuts Recipe

Fluffy and tender donuts filled with homemade bavarian cream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bavarian cream donuts
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 donuts



  • 4 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour (500 g / 18 oz)
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoon Instant dry yeast (9g)
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated sugar (50 g / 2 oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Cold water (180 ml / 6 floz)
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted butter, soft. Cut into 1/2" pieces (170 g / 6 oz)
  • 4 Cups Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 Cups Granulated sugar, for coating the donuts (400 g / 14 oz)

Bavarian Cream

  • 1 Cup Whole milk (240 ml / 8 floz)
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 teaspoons Granulated sugar (60 g / 2 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks (72 / 3 oz)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter (25 g / 1 oz)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy whipping cream (360ml)


Make The Donuts

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix on low using the paddle attachment.

  2. Add the eggs and 2/3 cup of water and mix until a shaggy mass forms. If you notice dry flour at the bottom of the bowl, add 1 tsp of water and mix for about 10 seconds and check again. Keep adding 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is hydrated.

  3. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead on medium for 4 minutes.

  4. Add the butter, 2 pieces at a time allowing the butter to mostly incorporated before adding more.

  5. Increase speed to medium-high and knead until the dough is separating from the sides and bottom of the bowl and when you gently press it, it does not tear.

  6. Place the dough in an oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a min. of 8 hours or overnight.

  7. Cut twelve 4×4-inch parchment paper squares and have a large baking sheet ready.

  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, transfer to a lightly floured surface, and roll it to 1-inch thick.

  9. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut the dough, and place each circle on a parchment paper square over the pan.

  10. Cover with plastic wrap, place it in a warm spot and rest until doubles in size.

  11. In a deep and wide pan, bring oil to 360F (182C) then gently drop the donuts into the oil with the parchment paper facing up. Do not overcrowd the pan.

  12. Fry for 90 seconds on each side then remove from the hot oil and place over a paper towel to soak oil residues. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

  13. Coat each donut with sugar, let cool for about 10 minutes then fill with the bavarian cream.

Bavarian Cream

  1. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, do not let it come to a boil. Once you notice bubbles at the sides of the pan, remove it from heat, and pour it into a measuring cup.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar and flour then mix in the egg yolks.

  3. Pour in the warm milk 1 tablespoon at a time while constantly stirring.

  4. Once all of the milk has been added, pour it back into the pan and place it on the stove over medium-low heat Keep stirring vigorously.

  5. Keep stirring until the mixture is thickened, then pour it into a glass container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

  6. When ready to fill the donuts, remove the cream from the refrigerator. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peak then fold it into the cream.

Fill The Donuts

  1. Coat each donut with sugar, or powdered sugar.

  2. Use a piping bag filled with the bavarian cream to fill the donut.

Recipe Notes

  • For the donuts to be light and fluffy the dough needs at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  • If the dough seems to dry that’s ok, it should be this way.
  • You can reroll and cut the scraps to make more donuts. if you have time, place the dough back in the refrigerator.
  • Place the cut circles in a warm spot.
  • Place the dough over a small piece of parchment paper so you can pick up the donuts without deflating them or deforming their shape. If you forgot, place the tray in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  • Use a candy thermometer, to help you during frying. If the oil is too hot, the donuts will not cook and be raw at the center, and if too cold, they will turn out pale and too oily.
  • Stay close by. Make sure to reduce the heat if it gets too high (I sometimes turn it off all the way). If it is too low after adding some donuts, then increase it.
  • Wait a few minutes before coating the donuts, if the donuts are too warm they might melt the sugar.
  • When making the cream, make sure not to bring the milk to a full boil. I like to first pour it into a measuring cup and check that the temperature is not over 140F (60C).


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