Last updated on April 24th, 2023.
This homemade Boston Cream Donuts recipe is fluffy, airy, buttery doughnuts filled with smooth pastry cream custard and topped with simple yet delicious ganache.
No more searching for the best donut shop near you; with this recipe, you can bake the most delicious Boston cream doughnuts, elevate your baking and impress everyone around you.
If you are a donuts fan, then be sure to check out my, Chouxnuts (French Crullers) Potato Donuts and Sfenj (Moroccan donuts) recipe.
What is a Boston cream donut?
Boston cream doughnuts (AKA Boston Kreme Donuts) are the homemade donuts version of the famous Boston Cream Pie. Fried yeast-raised donuts filled with vanilla pastry cream and dipped with chocolate ganache. They are very similar to Bavarian crème donuts. However, bavarian cream donuts are coated with sugar and filled with Bavarian cream that has been folded into whipped cream. Also, Bavarian cream is white, while pastry cream is pale yellow.
The complete ingredients list, including the full recipe you can find below on the recipe card below
- Unbleached all-purpose flour. Look at the bag if you are unsure if it’s unbleached all-purpose flour. It should say bleached or unbleached.
- Instant yeast. See recipe notes for active dry yeast and cake yeast conversions.
- Granulated white sugar is a relatively small amount to mainly feed the yeast. And also for the pastry cream filling.
- Salt. Salt not only provides flavor but also contributes to the structure of the dough. (Read all about it in my book, Baking Science)
- Large eggs, at room temperature.
- Cold Water, the long kneading processes might increase the temperature and kill the yeast; the cold water will prevent that.
- Unsalted butter, soft. Do not use salted butter; too much salt will disrupt the yeast fermentation.
- Vegetable oil. For deep frying the donuts. (a deep fryer is a good option)
- Whole milk. Do not use half and half or heavy cream; it will break it.
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Unsalted butter
- Chopped semi-sweet dark chocolate for the ganache
- Heavy cream for the ganache
- Corn syrup for the ganache.
How To Make Boston Cream Donuts
the donuts are made of Brioche dough and must be refrigerated for about 8 hours, or use this Brioche Donuts, or this Chocolate Brioche dough recipe for 90 minutes of proofing. (same method)
Making the dough of the donut
These Boston Cream Doughnuts, like baking, are a labor of love, and paying attention to details is critical. Please take a few minutes to read my notes and tips carefully for the best results.
- In a large bowl or a bowl of a standing mixer, measure the two types of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt, and use a fork or a whisk to blend. Add the eggs and water.
- Knead the dough at medium speed for about 4 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, at the butter one piece at a time. Increase speed to medium-high and knead until the bottom and sides of the bowl are clean (10-20 minutes).
- Cover the dough with a plastic bag and place it and the refrigerator to chill overnight.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll it to 3/4-inch thick, and cut the donuts. Place each piece over a small parchment paper square over a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 90 minutes.
- Warm the oil to 360 degrees F (180C), then gently place the donuts in the warm oven. Fry on each side for about 90 seconds and remove using a slotted spoon from the heat onto a wire rack or over paper towels. Cool before glazing.
Making the Vanilla Pastry cream
- Scald the milk in a medium saucepan. Warm it to a simmer, and do not allow it to boil. While the milk is warming, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Gradually add one tablespoon of warm milk into the yolk mixture while stirring.
- Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat while constantly stringing until the mixture is thickened, about 90 seconds.
- Remove the pastry from the heat, and keep stirring for another minute. Then mix in the butter and vanilla. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until use.
Making the chocolate ganache and assembling
- Place the chocolate, heavy cream, and corn syrup into a wide, deep medium bowl and warm in the microwave using 30-second increments. Use a rubber spatula to mix in between. Once the chocolate is mainly melted and you notice a few unmelted lumps, stop warming and gently stir to melt from the heat residue.
- Fill a pastry bag with the pastry cream. You can use a filling tip, a shape knife, wooden chopsticks, or a drinking straw to make an insertion in the donuts.
- Insert the piping bag into each donut and gently squeeze the filling as you slowly remove the bag.
- Hold the donuts from the sides and dip them into the ganache. Place it ganache side up on your serving plate.
- It is crucial to have the oil warm to the proper temperature. If too hot, the donuts will not cook from the inside; if not warm enough, the donuts will be pale and oily. If you do not have a candy thermometer, dip the back of a wooden spoon; once you notice bubbles around the handle, the oil is ready. Also, popcorn pops at 350F (170C), so place one seed once it pops; you know the oil is ready.
- Use a wide dip pan to fry the donuts. A dutch oven is a good option.
- Use the dough scraps to fry some donut holes.
- The best way to know if the donuts are ready is by checking the temperature with a thermometer; when the temperature is 180F, the donuts are ready.
- Use your favorite filling for this recipe, like this Chocolate Cream Filling.
The donuts should be served immediately and refrigerated within four hours after filling. The pastry cream is suitable for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Yeast donuts filled with pastry cream and dipped in ganache.
The oil was not at the right high temperature.
The oil was too hot.
Yes, pastry cream is custard.
Yes. Bake at 350F (170C) for about 20 minutes, or until the inside temperature is 180F (82C); remove from the oven and cool. (For a golden color, brush the dough with egg wash).
Yes. Spray the dough on both sides and bake at 350F for 4 Minutes. Start with baking 1-2 donuts to test your air fryer.
If you tried this recipe, please take a moment to leave a comment and rank it at the bottom of this post. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram.
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Chocolate Cake Donuts, Pumpkin Baked Donuts , Chocolate Puff Pastry
Boston Cream Donuts
Delicious and surprisingly easy yeast donuts filled with pastry cream and dipped with ganache.
Pastry Cream Filling
- 1 1/2 Cup Whole milk (360ml / 12floz)
- 2/3 Cup Granulated sugar (140g / 5oz)
- 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch (27g / 1oz)
- 6 Large Egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter (24g / 1oz)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 4 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour (500g / 18 oz)
- 1 1/4 tablespoon Instant yeast (9g)
- 1/4 Cup Granulated sugar (50g / 2 oz)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3/4 Cup Cold water (180ml / 6floz)
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted butter, soften (170g / 6oz)
- 4 Cups Vegetable oil for frying
- 3/4 Cup Chopped semi-sweet chocolate (120g / 4oz)
- 1/2 Cup Heavy cream (120ml / 4 floz)
- 1 Tablespoon Corn syrup (or honey)
Vanilla pastry cream
Pour the milk into a medium a saucepan , and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil the milk, once you notice small bubbles at the sides of the pan, remove it from heat.
While the milk is warming, in a medium bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch, then mix in the egg yolks.
While constantly stirring, add one tablespoon at a time of the warm milk until you added all of it.
Pour the milk and egg yolk mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until the cream has thickened.
Remove from the heat and keep stirring for additional one minutes then add the butter and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Pour the cream into an airtight container and refrigerate until use.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, place the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and use the paddle attachment to blend on low speed.
Add the eggs and water and mix until you have a shaggy mass, replace with the dough hook.
Knead the dough for additional 4-5 minutes, until the dough comes together into a ball and does not break.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting for each piece to blend before adding the next.
Once you have added the last piece of the butter, increase speed to medium-high and knead until the bottom and sides of the bowl are clean and the dough is smooth.
Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator and roll the dough into 1/2-1 inch thick.
Use 2-inch cookie cutter to cut the dough and place each piece over a 4×4-inch piece of parchment paper, then on a baking sheet.
Cover with pastic wrap and let rise for about 90 minutes, or until double in size.
Warm the oil in a large and deep pan until it reaches 350F (170C). Hold each donut by the parchment paper and gently place it in the hot oil, the parchment paper facing up.
Use kitchen toughs to remove the paper and fry each donut for 90 seconds on each side. Or until it reaches 180F (82C). Remove from the oil and place over paper towl. Allow the donuts to cool for about 15 minutes before filling.
Place the chocolate, and heavy cream in a medium heat proff bowl and warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to mix until smooth, if needed warm it for additional 15 seconds. Mix in the corn syrup.
Fill a pastry bag with the cool pastry cream. Use a sharp knife, or a straw to make an insertion in each donuts then fill with the cream.
Hold each donut facing down, then dip it into the chocolate ganache.
- Cut the donuts as close to each other as possible because the leftover dough will not yield pretty donuts again. You can use it to make donut holes or give it time to rest and reroll again.
- Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil is at the right temperature. If too hot, the donuts will be raw at the center; if not warm enough, they will be too oily.
- Use high-quality chocolate and avoid using chocolate chips.
- Test your first donut by cutting it at the center and checking if it is done. If possible, check the inner temperature; it should read 180F (82C).
- The donuts are best served immediately and should be refrigerated within 4 hours.
- To air fry, the doughnuts, spray with oil and bake for 4 minutes at 350F. Do a test for the first one since every air fryer is different.
- Bake the donuts for about 20 minutes at 350F (170C). Brush with egg wash for a golden brown color.
- You can use other types; here are the correct measurements: for Active dry yeast, measure 13.5 grams (1 3/4 tablespoons). For fresh yeast, measure 19 grams (2 1/2 Tablespoons).
2 Comments on " Boston Cream Donuts "
Hi Dee! This recipe looks amazing and I’d love to try it. I was wondering if it would be possible to bake the donuts rather than fry them? If so, would I need to change anything / use different ingredients for the dough? Many thanks!
Thank you, Pauline! Yes, you can bake them at 350F, 160C for about 18 minutes or until the inner temperature is 190F (87c). Brush them with an egg wash. You can also use an air fryer, set it to the baking option and bake for about 5-7 minutes. If you use the air fryer, do a test bake for one donut because each air fryer is different, so you might need to change the settings.