Hello friends! My love for donuts is real, and here are some scrumptious Dulce de Leche Donuts to make my list of donut recipes a bit longer!
I made these Dulce de Leche Donuts for two reasons to be exact: Dulce de Leche Cake, and Dulce de Leche Cupcakes. I had this vision of cakes and cupcakes topped with donut holes. So I just made it happen.
I used my traditional Donut recipe, that I have been using for years, and has never failed to deliver fluffy, soft, and wonderful donuts.
If you want fluffy donuts, then this is the recipe for you, my friend!
Let’s begin with the Donut dough recipe!
Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make donut dough:
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Nutmeg (optional, but I highly recommend it)
I actually learned to add nutmeg to my donut dough when I worked at a Jewish bakery years ago, we made donuts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and there I learned many donut tricks!
Here is how we make donut dough!
- Mix yeast with water, milk, and sugar. Let mixture proof, which means you let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it rises, foams up, and becomes spongy.
- Add eggs to the mixture.
- Now add flour, salt, vanilla, nutmeg. Mix dough until it comes together.
- Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, with the mixer running.
- The dough is going to look like a hot mess, but don’t worry, trust the process. Keep kneading it for about 10 minutes until it comes together.
- Once dough comes together and becomes smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Place it in the fridge for 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
The slow rise of the dough will provide more flavor and better structure to the dough.
Plus, working with a cold dough will be extremely beneficial to keeping a nice shape to the donuts, since you will be dealing with a sturdy dough.
The next morning, remove the dough from the fridge, and begin rolling.
Roll to about 1/2″ thick. May seem thin, but trust me, the donuts will rise a bit before frying, and they will totally plump up while frying!
I have used small cutters with about 1 1/2″ diameter to cut small donut holes, but you can also use a larger cutter (3 1/2″ for regular size donut). I made about 74 donut holes using my small cutter.
These are the cutters I use.
I’ve had my Ateco set for so many years, they never got rusted, or bent. Really good quality cutters!
You can re-roll your dough as many times as necessary, but have in mind that the pieces you re-roll probably won’t keep the same shape as the donuts from the first batch.
Lay your cut donuts on top of a floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel, and let them rise for about 1 hour at room temperature.
Now, heat the oil, or shortening in a deep frying pan, over medium high heat. And fry the donuts one by one, once oil reaches 350 F.
It’s good to have a candy thermometer in place, to regulate the temperature of the oil. If the oil is too hot, the outside of the donuts is going to cook too fast, not leaving time for the inside of the donuts to get cooked.
Fry donuts for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to drain.
While you fry the next batch, quickly start to coat the hot donuts in the sugar+cinnamon mix. Don’t wait for the donuts to cool down to coat them in the sugar mix, because once cold, the sugar won’t stick to the donuts.
After you coat the donuts in sugar + cinnamon mix, let them cool down completely before filling.
You can use a straw, or the handle of a wooden spoon to poke the donuts to make room for the filling.
Place dulce de leche in a piping bag, and pipe the filling inside the donuts.
You can use homemade dulce de leche, or store-bought.
Here are some tips on how to make the dulce de leche. (On the recipe below, you will find instructions for my favorite method, in the pressure cooker.)
How to make Dulce de Leche with condensed milk
Simply start with a can of condensed milk. Now, there are several options here.
- Making dulce de leche in the oven– Pour the inside of the condensed milk can in an oven-proof pan, and bake over a water bath for about 2-3 hours, stirring in between, covered with foil, at 350F.
- Making dulce de leche on the stove top– there are two ways to make dulce de leche on the stove top with a sealed can of condensed milk.
- First is to use a pressure cooker, which is the fastest way. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker full of water, covering the can by at least 2 inches. Cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and let can and water both cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
- If you just want to use a regular pot, make sure it’s a large pot of water, where the can will be submerged the whole time. Boil sealed can for about 2 1/2 hours. Let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
Regardless of the method you choose to make your dulce de leche, make sure to always let it cool down before handling it. And leave it in the fridge for a few hours before piping so dulce de leche will be cold and have proper texture.
Here are some more recipes with dulce de leche:
- Dulce de Leche Pecan Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Bars
- Dulce de Leche filled Snickerdoodles
- Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Pie
- Alfajor Cupcakes
If you like donuts, and if you loved this recipe for Dulce de Leche Donuts, check out some more of my donut recipes:
- Bavarian Cream Donuts
- Apple and Banana Beignets (also with dulce de leche, ps. very old og recipe on the blog!)
- Pistachio Donuts
- Blueberry Pineapple Donuts
- Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Donuts
- Vegan S’mores Donuts
- Vegan Coffee Donuts
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe! These Dulce de Leche Donuts are super delicious and we all loved them at my house!!
Have a fabulous day, thanks for reading the blog!
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Dulce de Leche Donuts
- 3/4 cup milk 170 grams, 6 oz
- 1/4 cup sugar 50 grams, 1.76 oz
- 3 teaspoons active yeast (or 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
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
- 1 gallon canola oil or shortening
Dulce de Leche
- Dulce de Leche Filling
- 1-14 oz can of condensed milk to make dulce de leche
Start by warming up the milk until lukewarm, about 90-100 F. Don’t go hotter than this or you may kill the yeast.
Add sugar and mix to dissolve. Add yeast. Let mixture rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast blooms. The mixture will look spongy and risen.
Add eggs one at a time.
Now add the flour, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg.
Mix all ingredients together using a spoon or the dough hook.
Knead dough on medium-low for about 1 minute.
Once dough has come together, 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.
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.
Dulce de leche filling
You can use pre-made dulce de leche, or make it at home. To make dulce de leche at home, you take many different approaches. Check the post above to read 3 different approaches on how to make dulce de leche from a can of condensed milk.
My favorite way to make dulce de leche starts with an unopened can of condensed milk. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it plus at least 2 inches.
Then, bring the water to a boil and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
Let pressure release naturally and let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
When you open the can, it will be a thick darkened caramel inside.
Place contents in a container and put it in the fridge until cold and firm.
Wait for donuts to cool down.
Using a straw, poke a whole on the side of each donut.
Place chilled Dulce de leche 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.
*If using instant yeast instead of active yeast, you don’t need to let the yeast + liquid + sugar proof, simply mix all ingredients together in the bowl and proceed to step 6 of the donut dough recipe.