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November 27, 2022

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts – Delicious!

Posted on August 24, 2021 by in baked goods

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Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

Crème  Brûlée Doughnuts is hybrid or divine ‘marriage’ between two of my favourite desserts or confectioneries to eat. I love Crème Brûlée and make it often as for doughnuts…… it is very hard for me to pass a bakery without buying one.

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts are somewhat of a labour of love, but oh boy, it is definitely worth it. The fist bite into the crunchy caramel, soft dough and then the vanilla pastry cream is absolute heaven.

Baked or Fried Doughnuts?

The choice is yours. If you are somewhat hesitant in using too much oil in your diet or maybe frying in deep oil, scares you, this baked version is for you. It is also a yeast dough, so it takes time. It is however not greasy at all.
If you are in a hurry or yeast baking freaks you out, try this delicious yeast-free, baked version.

Sweet or Savoury?

I suppose in South Africa a savoury doughnut will just be called a “vetkoek”, which is nothing else than a piece of dough  deep-fried and stuffed with either curried mince or cheese and jam. My other sweet fillings that were very popular is the Pumpkin Doughnuts with Melted Chocolate and the Chocolate Centered Doughnuts. On the savoury side, you simply have to try these Jalapeño Cheesy Doughnuts with Crispy Bacon. I mean, really, what is not to like about this.

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts


Vanilla Pastry Cream

500 ml /2 cups milk

125 ml / ½ cup sugar

80 ml / ⅓ cup corn starch

2 egg yolks

5 ml / 1 t vanilla extract

2 ml salt


250 ml / 1 cup milk

1 package instant yeast (7 g)

60 ml / ¼ cup sugar

80 ml / ¼ cup butter –  melted

1 egg

2 ml / ½  t salt

3 cups flour

oil, for frying

200 ml / ¾ cup sugar, for the brûlée tops

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts


For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

Heat up about 1 ½ cups of the milk with the vanilla extract on medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks, corn starch and sugar in a bowl and add the remaining ⅓  of the milk and whisk until there are no more lumps.

When the milk is scalding, pour little-by-little of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture while whisking as you add the milk. When done, pour everything back into the pot on medium heat.

Keep whisking the mixture until it boils. Strain through a sieve into a bowl to catch any small lumps. Cover with plastic wrap. The wrap should touch the surface of the pastry cream to avoid a skin forming. Cool until ready to use.

Making the Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

Heat the milk in a glass bowl in the microwave oven, until lukewarm. Pour the milk into your stand mixer’s bowl and add the yeast. Use the dough hook of the machine. Stir and let it rest for 10 min until the mixture is frothy.

Add the sugar, melted butter, egg and salt. Add the flour in spoonfuls while the machine is running. Beat on medium until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This takes about 6 – 8 minutes.

Brush a medium glass bowl with oil and scrape the dough out of the mixer and into the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil and cover with cling wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. 

Start making the doughnuts

Roll out dough on a lightly oiled surface to ¾  inc / 2 cm thick. Using a 2.75-in/ 7 cm cookie cutter and cut out about 20 round discs. Place dough circles on oiled baking sheet and doughnuts to double in size, about 1 hour.

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

For Frying the doughnuts

Heat oil in a pot until it reaches a temperature of 325 F. Fry doughnuts, 3-4 at a time. Once  they are golden brown on the one side, flip them over and fry 2-3 minutes on the other side. Drain on  the doughnuts on paper towels and roll the sides and ONE SIDE ONLY in cinnamon sugar ( this is optional)

Cool the doughnuts completely. Fill a piping bag, with nozzle, with the pastry cream. Poke a hole in the side of the doughnuts. Press the nozzle in the hole and fill the doughnut with pastry cream.

Brûlèe Topping

Place the sugar in a small pan. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to melt the sugar. Let the sugar cook until it reaches a caramel colour, but don’t take your eyes off the pan. Once it has the right colour, take the pan off the heat right away. Let caramel cool for about 1 min. Carefully dip the side of the doughnut, without the sugar, into the caramel. Let the excess caramel drip off. Place the doughnuts on a cooling rack with the caramel side up. Once the glaze has hardened, they are ready to be devoured.

Crème Brûlée Doughnuts

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