Brioche Donuts are both crispy and light and filled with smooth vanilla pastry cream making them the ultimate breakfast confection! This from-scratch recipe includes step-by-step instructions making homemade donuts easier than ever!
These Brioche Donuts are homemade but I promise you the end result has them looking like they’re directly from your favorite bakery! Finish off just one of these perfectly pillowed donuts and you’ll quickly realize their taste is also bakery-level!
The first time I had a brioche donut was from PVDONUTS in Rhode Island, they were phenomenal. But I figured they would be way too hard to make at home – I was wrong!
And I’ve broken this recipe down with step-by-step photos to show you just how easy it is!
Don’t let the amount of chill time for this recipe scare you away, it’s worth every bit of waiting! Just make the dough up a couple of hours before you go to bed. Then when you wake up, you’re only steps away from an incredible, homemade donut to start your day with!
Brioche Donut Recipe Ingredients
Donuts: You’ll need all-purpose flour, water, granulated sugar, yeast, eggs, unsalted butter, rum, and salt.
Pastry Cream: Made using whole milk, egg yolks, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
How To Make Brioche Dough
- Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl, whisking together to dissolve the yeast. Leave alone until foamy.
- Add the flour, salt, eggs, and rum to the yeast mixture, kneading together by hand or using the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer. Then slowly incorporate the butter cubes, kneading until the dough is glossy and smooth.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it almost doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down and then place it in the refrigerator to chill.
- Cut and shape the dough into smooth buns, placing them on a baking sheet leaving plenty of room between each. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave them to proof until they’ve doubled in size.
- Fry several donuts at a time in vegetable oil until they become golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes on each side). Then remove from the oil and place them on a tray lined with paper towels. Then roll each slightly cooled donut in sugar and set aside to cool completely before filling.
How To Make Vanilla Pastry Cream
Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and milk in a large saucepan until smooth. Cook while whisking continuously until the mixture begins to thicken and boil. Simmer on reduced heat and then remove from heat.
Add a little of the mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to the milk mixture. Bring back to a light boil while stirring continuously.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring together until smooth. Pour the cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until cold.
To assemble the donuts by cutting a hole in the side of each donut. Then fill a piping bag with vanilla cream and pipe a generous amount of cream into the center of the donut.
Can I Let The Dough Chill Overnight?
Yes, I actually find the dough is more delicious when it’s been left to chill overnight!
Storing Brioche Donuts
Once the donuts have been filled store them for 12 hours at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can also store them in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
What Other Filling Can I Use For These Donuts?
You could add a bit of lemon zest to the filling for a citrus flavor! Other fillings such as jelly, chocolate, or even lemon curd would make for a tasty variation!
When I’m making Breakfast on the weekends I like to make these donuts or another well-loved favorite to enjoy! Check out these other recipes to whip up a new breakfast treat that I’m sure your family will appreciate!
- Easy Cinnamon Rolls – A no-yeast recipe filled with swirls of delicious cinnamon and sugar wrapped in a soft dough!
- Morning Glory Muffins – Packed full of fruit, cinnamon, and veggies for a wholesome breakfast!
- Hot Cross Buns – Spiced sweet buns that are loaded with currants or raisins and then covered in vanilla icing!
- Snickerdoodle Sweet Rolls – Ready in just 30 minutes using only 5 ingredients!
- Vanilla Chai Crumble Muffins – Made with vanilla chai, Vietnamese cinnamon, and topped with a sweet glaze!
Brioche Doughnuts With Vanilla Cream
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Brioche Donuts with Vanilla Filling
- Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add the flour, salt, eggs, and rum. Knead well using the attachment on your mixer or by hand.
- Slowly incorporate the butter cubes and knead well. The dough has to be glossy and smooth.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about two hours.
- Punch the dough down. Put in the fridge to chill for 12 to 16 hours or overnight.
- Cut the dough into 70g (2¼ oz. or ⅓ cup) sized pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth bun and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour. Leave plenty of room between the donuts to proof. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to proof for about 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot (cast iron) to 330-350°F. To fry donuts, drop several of them at a time and allow to become golden before turning to the other side, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove donuts from the oil with a kitchen spider/strainer spoon and place on a tray lined with paper towels.
- Once slightly cooled, place ½ cup granulated sugar in a dish, roll each donut in sugar, and set aside to cool completely before filling.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch, and milk to a large saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking continuously, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Add a little bit of mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together to temper the eggs, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. Place the saucepan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour the cream into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap and press it directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold.
- Fill a piping bag with a round tip with the vanilla cream. Using a small knife, cut a hole in the side of each donut about ¾ of the way into the donut and pipe a generous amount of vanilla cream into the center of the donut.
- The dough will be more delicious if you leave it to chill overnight. If you don’t have the time, you can skip it.
- Try alternative fillings such as jello, lemon curd, or chocolate ganache.
- These donuts can also be rolled in powdered sugar.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 12 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.