Fluffy Boston Cream Donuts are stuffed with pastry cream filling and dipped in a rich chocolate glaze! Don’t let the deep frying scare you off, because this recipe is worth every step. And so much better than anything you’ll get from the donut shop.
Boston Cream Donut Recipe
Do you get childhood cravings? I get them all the time. There’s just something so comforting about indulging in special foods from the past. And for me, Boston Cream Donuts are an especially nostalgic treat!
My mom and I would often stop by dunkin’ donuts on our way to church, or before school, or just because we were both having a crappy day and donuts make things a little bit better. We’d go through the drive-thru, grab our donuts (mine, Boston cream, hers, chocolate coconut, and sit in the parking lot, just eating and chatting, and regretting not grabbing more napkins. A simple memory I hold near and dear.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Dunkin’ Donuts, and at this point, but I still think about bosom cream donuts on the regular. All that fluffy dough… stuffed with pale yellow cream, and topped with shiny chocolate glaze! What’s not to love?! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a homemade version we can all make anytime a craving strikes!
Now, I’ll be frank: making homemade donuts is a labor of love! You have to make the donut dough, and let it rise… twice! Then there’s the Boston cream filling, that must be made and chilled for several hours. And finally, the chocolate glaze! Which should be made right before you planning on dipping the donuts. Sounds like a lot right?
Well, it is! But I promise you two things: you can do this and it will all be worth it after one bite!
Plus, I’ve tweaked and tweaked this recipe to make it as do-ahead friendly as possible! You can making the donut dough 24 hours in advance, and you can make the Boston cream filling 5 days in advance! Meaning on the day of, all you’ll need to do is fry, fill, dip, and devour!
P.S. if you love Boston cream treats, try my Boston cream puffs next!
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:
- For best results, make the doughnut dough in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. If you don’t have one, you can knead the dough by hand, just be prepared to work that elbow grease.
- One the dough has come together, you have two options. If you plan on making the donuts right away, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm area of your home for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. If you plan on making the donuts the next day or later in the day, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- When you’re ready, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ in thickness. Be sure not to roll it too thin or you’ll have very thin donuts that won’t puff up.
- These donuts require a second rise! Once they’ve been cut, you’ll lightly cover them with saran and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Don’t skip this second rise!
- Use a candy thermometer to reach the proper oil heat! I like a fry in a dutch oven, but any large pot or pan should do!
- Be sure to line a large baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. You’ll use this to place the donuts on as they come out of the oil.
- Making the Boston cream pie filling is a breeze! It’s made on the stovetop and is very similar to making pudding. Just be sure to keep an eye on your heat and whisk constantly. And for an extra silky smooth cream filling, be sure to run it though a fine-mesh strainer.
- Finally, we have the chocolate glaze! Made with chocolate and cream, it’s simple and so easy! If you have high-quality chocolate chips on hand (Ghirardelli or Guittard), that can be used instead of chopped chocolate!
If it’s an especially hot day, you may want to consider keeping these donuts indoors or chilling them for a bit before serving. The cream filling can become loose when kept in higher temperatures, and the chocolate glaze won’t set as quickly. But that’s totally up to you! Some people like the messy chocolate and gooey filling… while others (like my husband) prefer both to be set and chilled. Either way, I hope you enjoy these donuts as much as we do!
More Doughnut Recipes:
- Apple Pie Doughnuts
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Doughnuts
- Old-Fashion Jelly Doughnuts
- Nutella Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
- Bakery-Style Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnuts
Boston Cream Donuts
For the Doughnuts:
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) warm water (110° to 115° F)
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) whole milk (full fat) (110° to 115° F)
- 5 Tablespoons(67 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 3/4 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour be sure to weigh your flour for best results
- 1 Liter frying oil canola, vegetable, peanut, or refined coconut oil all work
For the Boston Cream Filling:
- 8 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (57 grams) corn starch
- 2 and 3/4 cup (624 grams) whole milk (full-fat)
- 5 Tablespoons (67 grams) unsalted butter cut into tiny pieces
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt fine sea salt, if possible
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- 1 cup (170 grams) high-quality chocolate chips OR finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 2/3 cup (152 grams) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder optional
For the Doughnuts:
- Line a large baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Lightly grease another large baking sheet with butter or nonstick baking spray. Set both aside for later use.
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water; set aside until it foams up, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine the warm milk and butter and, using a silicon whisk, stir until the butter has completely dissolved.
- Add in the sugar, egg, egg yolk, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour, and beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Beat in remaining flour just until a soft ball of dough forms around the hook. Don't knead the dough yet!
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover tightly with saran wrap and set aside to rise in a warm area until it appears to have tripled in size, about 1 hour. (If you plan on making the dough in advance, see recipe notes).
- Gently punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough into a smooth ball, about 7-8 times, or until it's uniform in texture.
- Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 1/2" to 3/4" inch in thickness. Using a lightly floured 2 and 1/2-inch round dough cutter, cut an equal amount of circles from the rectangle. Use any dough scraps to make donuts hole! Just roll into tiny balls.
- Transfer the donuts to the prepared lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them an inch a part (they will rise). Cover pan lightly with saran wrap and set aside for 45 minutes, or until the doughnuts have almost doubled in size.
- When ready to fry, heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot, to 360°(F). Fry donuts, a few at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Transfer cooked donuts onto the prepared paper towel lined baking sheet, continuing until all donuts have been fried.
For the Boston Cream Filling:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aide.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, warm the milk over medium-heat until it comes to a gentle boil.
- Remove the pan from heat and slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
- Return the mixture to the pan containing the remaining milk.
- Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Once boiling, continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes, or until very thick.
- Remove from heat. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pan with a spatula, then whisk smooth.
- Whisk in the butter, whisking until completely melted. Then whisk in the vanilla and salt.
- Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium-sized glass bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface to avoid a skin forming.
- Cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled.
- Boston cream filling will keep, stored in the fridge, for up to 4 days!
- When ready to fill donuts, scrape the filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a small round nozzle.
- Using a large straw, or your pinky finger, make a small hole on the side of each doughnut.
- Carefully fit the nozzle of the bag into a doughnut and squeeze until you see the center begin to puff up. You can add a lot of filling, just be sure not to add so much the donut tears. Repeat with all donuts.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- Place the finely chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Set aside.
- Warm the cream over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add in the espresso powder, if using, and whisk smooth.
- Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk smooth.
- Dip the top of each donut into the glaze, allowing excess chocolate to drip off before placing it on a large serving platter. Repeat with all donuts. Allow glaze to set, about 20 minutes. You can speed this up by placing the donuts in the fridge.
- Donuts are best served the day they are made. Store leftovers in the fridge, wrapped in saran wrap, for up to 48 hours.