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Bavarian Cream Donuts

Bavarian Cream Donuts

Bavarian Cream Donuts are filled with a vanilla bean pastry cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine bavarian
Keyword bavarian, donut, oktoberfest
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
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



  1. Start by warming up the milk until lukewarm, about 90-100F. Don’t go hotter than this or you may kill the yeast.
  2. Add sugar and mix to dissolve. Add yeast.
  3. Now you may add the flour and salt.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing with a spatula or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  5. Add vanilla and nutmeg.
  6. Switch to the dough hook.
  7. Knead dough on medium-low for about 1 minute.
  8. Add unsalted butter by the tablespoon with the mixer on.
  9. Let the mixer knead the dough for quite some time.
  10. 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.
  11. Use a spatula and simply try to incorporate the butter into the dough by mixing as vigorously as you can.
  12. 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.
  13. Knead for another 4 minutes or so.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Using a circle cutter, cut circles out of the dough. I used a 3 1/2” cutter.
  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, until pale in color.
  4. Add flour and whisk.
  5. 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.
  6. Start by pouring about 1/4 cup of the milk mixture over eggs, while whisking.
  7. Add another 1/4 cup and whisk. Do this until the milk has all been incorporated. This is when I discard the vanilla bean.
  8. 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.

  9. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the vanilla.

  10. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so it won’t form a skin as it cools down.
  11. Keep it refrigerated until ready to use, and I recommend refrigerating it for at least a couple of hours before using it.

To fry

  1. Place oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Over medium high heat, you can heat the oil until 350F.
  3. Add donuts in small batches and fry about 1 minute on each side.
  4. Remove to a cookie rack, or another place where it can let the excess oil drip.
  5. Coat donuts in sugar as soon as possible, because they have to be warm to make the sugar stick in them.

To assemble

  1. Wait for donuts to cool down.
  2. Using a straw, poke a whole on the side of each donut.
  3. Place chilled Bavarian Cream in a pastry bag, and pipe the filling in the center of each donut.
  4. Storage
  5. These donuts are best if consumed on the day they are made, preferably within a few hours.
  6. Specially if they are already filled with the cream.
Nutrition Facts
Bavarian Cream Donuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.