Bavarian Cream Donuts

Bavarian Cream Donuts.

I made these Bavarian Cream Donuts to join the Oktoberfest Bash hosted by Milena from the Craft Beering.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Together with some of my fellow bloggers, we are each bringing one Oktoberfest recipe to the party.

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Bavarian Cream Donuts

So, these Bavarian Cream Donuts take me all the way back to a happy place in my childhood. I am not German or have a German family, but I grew up eating Bavarian Cream Donuts. They just went by a different name. They were called: Sonho de padaria (translation “bakery dream”).

Back in Brazil, my Portuguese grandmother had a bakery with her siblings and my grandpa. And this was one of the staples in their shelves. They had their bakery for almost 50 years! The bakery is still there, under a different owner.

But it’s where I grew up, and I hold dear memories of that place. And of course, its food. My grandma was the baker. She made some mean Pastry Cream filled donuts.

The difference is that they used to cut the donut in half to fill it with the pastry cream.

And didn’t add vanilla bean to their filling either.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Actually I am not even sure if the original Bavarian recipe uses vanilla bean, but I am one for modifications, adaptations, changes, improvements. And I believe that the vanilla bean seeds in the pastry cream just bring the Bavarian Cream Donuts to a whole new level!

You are going to make the donut dough a day before you intend to make your donuts.

The next day, remove the dough from the fridge after resting overnight, and start by rolling it out til about 1/2 inch thick.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Cut it into circles with a cookie cutter.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

I used a 3 1/2″ cutter.

Then, let donuts rise.

Fry donuts. Immediately coat them in granulated sugar. The donuts have to be hot so this way the granulated sugar will stick to it.

Once donuts have cooled down, you can either slice them in half and fill them, or you can poke a hole with a thick straw on top of the donuts.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

And then fill each donut with the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

This recipe makes a lot of donuts, probably about 20 of them. I made 12 into large donuts and fried the rest as donut holes.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

I used a small 1 inch cutter to cut the donut holes.

And coated them in a cinnamon and sugar mixture when they came out of the fryer.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

They were devoured in 0.7 seconds by my husband and 2 year old son Luke.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Can’t blame them.

Anyway, this is the best donut dough I’ve ever made. I am so happy and proud to bring this recipe to you today.

And I also wanted to show you a picture of the inside of the Bavarian Cream Donuts.

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Thanks for reading guys, and check out the other posts by my fellow bloggers with lots of Oktoberfest recipes!

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Oktoberfest Bash 2018

Aromatic Currywurst  made by Marvellina from What to Cook Today

Hot Cheese Dip with Onions and Gruyere made by Julie from Cooks with Cocktails

Bratkartoffeln (German-Style Pan Fried Potatoes with Bacon) made by Annie from Ciao Chow Bambina

Bratwurst Burger made by Brittany from Beyond the Bayou

German Pan Fried Trout made by Amanda from Burrata and Bubbles

Schnitzel Platter made by Milena from Craft Beering

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins with Hefeweizen Drizzle made by Kelly from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats

Gebrannte Mandeln (Roasted Candied Almonds) made by Dawn from Dawn the Gourmand

Danube Waves Cake made by Kelsie from The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen

Bavarian Cream Donuts made by Camila from Pies and Tacos

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Bavarian Cream Donuts are filled with a vanilla bean pastry cream.
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine bavarian
Servings 20 donuts
Calories 390 kcal


  • 3/4 cup milk 170 grams, 6 oz
  • 1/4 cup sugar 50 grams, 1.76 oz
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 510 grams, 18 oz
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg optional
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (113 grams, 4 oz)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar for coating
For frying
  • 1 gallon canola oil
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk 283 grams, 10 oz
  • 1 vanilla bean split and seeded
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams, 3.5 oz
  • 1/4 cup flour 31 grams, 1.125 oz
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Start by warming up the milk until lukewarm, about 90-100F. Don’t go hotter than this or you may kill the yeast.
  • Add sugar and mix to dissolve. Add yeast.
  • Now you may add the flour and salt.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing with a spatula or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  • Add vanilla and nutmeg.
  • Switch to the dough hook.
  • Knead dough on medium-low for about 1 minute.
  • Add unsalted butter by the tablespoon with the mixer on.
  • Let the mixer knead the dough for quite some time.
  • I recommend using a stand mixer to do this. If you don’t have one or don’t want to use one, that’s ok but you may need to work your arms a little bit.
  • Use a spatula and simply try to incorporate the butter into the dough by mixing as vigorously as you can.
  • Regardless if you are using a mixer, or mixing by hand, if after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. You may have to add up to 1/4 cup of flour to the dough.
  • Knead for another 4 minutes or so.
  • Once dough is smooth, transfer it to a large bowl, lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight, or at least for 8 hours.
  • Remove dough from the fridge, transfer to a lightly floured surface, using your hands or a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into a circle that will be about 1/2” thick. If you use your hands, simply pat the dough as gently pushing your fingers away, in order to open up the dough.
  • Using a circle cutter, cut circles out of the dough. I used a 3 1/2” cutter.
  • Set donuts on top of a tray lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. You want to leave some room between the donuts because they will rise slightly.
  • Repeat with remaining dough. Just be careful not to keep kneading the dough too much as you re-roll it, or the dough might become tough and chewy.
  • I made 12 large donuts and made the rest into small donut holes. Feel free to make more of the large ones if you don’t want any donut holes. The recipe for the pastry cream will be enough to fill about 20 donuts, depending on how generous you are with your filling.
  • Cover donuts with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let them rest for about 1 hour to come to room temperature and rise a little bit.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
  • I usually like to make my vanilla bean pastry cream a day before, when I make the donut dough. So this way it has time to firm up in the fridge.
  • Start by bringing split vanilla bean, seeds, and milk in a large pan to almost a boil over medium heat. Once you see the first bubbles emerging, turn the heat off. Set pan aside to infuse the flavor a little bit. Some people even like to cover their pan and let the mixture infuse for 20 minutes or so, which is totally something I am all for.
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, until pale in color.
  • Add flour and whisk.
  • If you have infused your milk and vanilla for a long time, you may have to re-heat it again. If the temperature is below lukewarm, just bring it to almost a boil again.
  • Start by pouring about 1/4 cup of the milk mixture over eggs, while whisking.
  • Add another 1/4 cup and whisk. Do this until the milk has all been incorporated. This is when I discard the vanilla bean.
  • Place the mixture back in the pan, over medium heat, stirring without stopping. Cook the custard for a few minutes until it becomes thick. When the custard starts thickening up, the mixture will look scrambled or lumpy. Just continue to stir and cook and it will come together and become smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the vanilla.
  • Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so it won’t form a skin as it cools down.
  • Keep it refrigerated until ready to use, and I recommend refrigerating it for at least a couple of hours before using it.
To fry
  • Place oil in a large frying pan.
  • Over medium high heat, you can heat the oil until 350F.
  • Add donuts in small batches and fry about 1 minute on each side.
  • Remove to a cookie rack, or another place where it can let the excess oil drip.
  • Coat donuts in sugar as soon as possible, because they have to be warm to make the sugar stick in them.
To assemble
  • Wait for donuts to cool down.
  • Using a straw, poke a whole on the side of each donut.
  • Place chilled Bavarian Cream in a pastry bag, and pipe the filling in the center of each donut.
  • Storage
  • These donuts are best if consumed on the day they are made, preferably within a few hours.
  • Specially if they are already filled with the cream.
Keyword bavarian, donut, oktoberfest


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  1. 5 stars
    No wonder they were devoured!! These look AMAZING! With your tutorial I am pretty sure even I can put together a batch, may not look as pretty, I am sure I will mess up the piping of the cream inside the donuts, but will be delicious. Absolutely a bakery dream…Pinning everywhere!

  2. 5 stars
    These seriously look like the best doughnuts and such a fun kitchen project! I always love a good cream-filled doughnut, so I’m super excited to make these. Prost!

    1. Thank you for pointing it out. I just removed that. Initially I had a step where I would whip the heavy cream and fold it with the already chilled pastry cream right before piping, which you can still do if you want a lighter filling. However, I like my filling to be on the thicker side, so I started skipping that step. But you can experiment with it if you want to. Simply whip 5 tablespoons of heavy cream and fold it with the pastry cream before piping in the donuts. Thank you again for pointing it out to me!! I appreciate it. Have a great day!!

    1. Ohhh!! that was a huge typo on my end!! I apologize about that! It’s still 1/4 cup of flour, but instead of 318 grams it’s 31.75 grams, or 1.12 oz. Thank you so very much for bringing to my attention!!

      1. That’s what I’m here for! 😀
        These do taste great indeed, even though I overcooked them. They turned out quite big, and I was worried that the dough would be raw inside. And I also underestimated the thickness of the cream. I used the thinnest pipe and it took me quite a while to fill them. I had a bit of cream left over in the end, and I have zero idea how much cream is in each one. 😀

        1. I am happy to hear you thought they tasted great!! Thank you so much for making my recipe and reporting back to me!! I appreciate your support and thank you for reading my blog! You’re awesome! Have a great day!!

  3. I only used this recipe for the filling because I found the dough recipe to be too complex so I can’t comment on the dough, however the filling came out to a great consistency, this is definitely the best custard recipe I’ve had for texture, the flavour is goods as well and on par with other custards I’ve made. Make sure to stir it continually while in the sauce pan. Great recipe

  4. 5 stars
    I used your dough recipe and loved it! The donuts came out fluffy, soft and so tasty. I took it to a church reunion and they were a hit. I have yet to try the cream recipe, but I sure will. I would like to know if I can freeze the dough? Thinking that I may just use half of the dough and would like to save the rest. I’ve tried it with pizza dough with no problem but would like to know for this.

    1. Yes Ana! I am pretty sure you can freeze this dough with no problem. I would also portion the dough and shape it into donuts before freezing it, if possible!
      Thank you so much!
      Have a beautiful day!

      1. Thank you for your reply Camila. I just have another question. How long do you think the dough might last frozen?

        1. I did some research and found that the dough could last up to 3 months if well packaged so it doesn’t get freeze burn! 🙂 So, make sure you pack it tight!!! Have a fabulous day!

          1. Hi Camila,

            Would you recommend letting the dough rise before cutting and then freezing it or after mixing do the rolling, cutting, freezing and then letting it rise after it has thawed and ready to fry?

  5. 5 stars
    Great flavor!! a little worried that the middle might be raw but i tasted one small doughnt and its delicious!!! the pastry cream is by far the easiest recipe ive found so far, good texture and easy to make.
    any tips for avoiding raw middles? seems to be a problem i have with doughnuts

    1. keep the temperature of the oil at 350ºF, use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature and be able to control it, because the oil temperature will keep spiking up the longer the oil is on, and if you don’t have a thermometer you won’t be able to tell what temperature it is. And then the outside of the donuts is going to cook and brown too much without giving the chance for the middle to cook, if the temperature of the oil is too high 🙂

  6. 4 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly and then tweaked it for laziness. The lazy version turned out just as well, possibly better (more fluffy and thus, took filling better). Lazy version was just mix everything together until eggs one by one. Mix the crap out of it with the paddle because the hook took forever. Turned into a soft ball with my hands quickly. No need to cover with oil (it was fine). Let rise 1.5 hours on a warm kitchen counter, rolled and cut then rise again for an hour. Done. Much faster. No impact on taste. Did not deviate the ingredients in any way!

  7. 5 stars
    It was great the doughnut,i made this recipe and i was happy the result the dought was fantastic,
    Can i bake the doughnut instead frying?

  8. 5 stars
    These donuts were amazing and fairly easy to make. The vanilla bean bavarian cream was also delicious. The vanilla bean was a nice touch!

  9. How long can this dough last in the fridge? If I make the dough Wednesday night, can I leave it in the fridge until Friday morning?

  10. 2 stars
    Donuts were great, the custard was a massive let down, cooked as per instructions but tasted lole raw flour. Go with another filling recipe

    1. maybe your flour isn’t fresh? or maybe you didn’t cook it through? I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s always delicious and nobody has ever complained about this before which makes me think the issue is on your end. Thanks so much have a lovely day.

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