Pastry Cream Filled Donuts

Pastry cream-filled donuts are the epitome of sweet indulgence, offering a delightful contrast between the airy, fried donut and the rich, velvety pastry cream that oozes out with every bite. Making these delectable treats from scratch might take a bit of time, but the heavenly result is well worth the effort. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your own pastry cream-filled donuts that will have you savoring every moment of sweetness.


For the Donut Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (110°F/43°C)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Dusting:

  • Powdered sugar


Step 1: Activate the Yeast

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.

Step 2: Prepare the Donut Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, granulated sugar, eggs, melted butter, and the yeast mixture.
  2. Gradually add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Step 3: Make the Pastry Cream

  1. In a saucepan, combine the whole milk and half of the granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot but not boiling.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, remaining sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (about 5-7 minutes).
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap (make sure it touches the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until it’s completely cool.

Step 4: Roll Out and Cut the Donuts

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release excess air.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/2-inch thickness.
  3. Use a round cutter (about 3 inches in diameter) to cut out donut shapes. You can use a smaller cutter or a bottle cap to remove the centers if you want traditional ring-shaped donuts.
  4. Place the cut donuts on a floured baking sheet, cover them with a towel, and let them rise for about 30 minutes.

Step 5: Fry the Donuts

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot or fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Carefully add the donuts to the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry until they’re golden brown on both sides (about 1-2 minutes per side).
  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried donuts and place them on a paper towel-lined tray to drain and cool.

Step 6: Fill the Donuts

  1. Once the donuts are cool, use a pastry bag fitted with a long, narrow tip to inject the pastry cream into the center of each donut.
  2. You can also use a plastic squeeze bottle to fill the donuts if you don’t have a pastry bag.

Step 7: Dust and Serve

  1. Dust the filled donuts with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.
  2. Serve your pastry cream-filled donuts immediately and enjoy the creamy, sweet, and decadent treat!


Pastry cream-filled donuts are a delightful indulgence that combines the lightness of fried dough with the creamy richness of pastry cream. While making them from scratch takes a bit of time, the end result is a heavenly treat that’s sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the joy of homemade donuts, and savor each sweet, custardy bite of these delectable pastries.

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