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Dulce de Leche Donuts

Dulce de Leche Donuts

These are Dulce de Leche Donut holes, but you can make them into bigger donuts too. This is the best fried donut recipe I’ve ever tried, I’ve been using it for years.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, brazilian
Keyword donuts, dulce de leche
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 74 donut holes
Calories 50 kcal



  • 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)*
  • cups  all-purpose flour 510 grams, 18 oz
  • teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • eggs
  • teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly grated nutmeg optional
  • 1/2  cup  unsalted butter softened 113 grams, 4 oz

To coat

  • cup  granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder

For frying

  • gallon  canola oil or shortening

Dulce de Leche

  • Dulce de Leche Filling
  • 1-14 oz can of condensed milk to make dulce de leche



  1. Start by warming up the milk until lukewarm, about 90-100 F. Don’t go hotter than this or you may kill the yeast.

  2. 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.

  3. Add eggs one at a time.

  4. Now add the flour, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg.

  5. Mix all ingredients together using a spoon or the dough hook.

  6. Knead dough on medium-low for about 1 minute.
  7. Once dough has come together, add unsalted butter by the tablespoon with the mixer on.

  8. Let the mixer knead the dough for quite some time.
  9. 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.
  10. Use a spatula and simply try to incorporate the butter into the dough by mixing as vigorously as you can.
  11. 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.
  12. Knead for another 4 minutes or so.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Using a circle cutter, cut circles out of the dough. I used a 3 1/2” cutter.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.

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.

Dulce de leche filling

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Then, bring the water to a boil and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
  4. Let pressure release naturally and let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
  5. When you open the can, it will be a thick darkened caramel inside.
  6. Place contents in a container and put it in the fridge until cold and firm.

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 Dulce de leche in a pastry bag, and pipe the filling in the center of each donut.
  4. These donuts are best if consumed on the day they are made.

Recipe Notes

*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.

Nutrition Facts
Dulce de Leche Donuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 50
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.