There are so many national *insert food item here* days each year, but National Dessert Day — now that’s something we can really rally behind! In honor of this super-sweet day, make these two-in-one Coffee Cream Puff Donuts. Instead of being fried, these donuts are baked using the same batter, or choux pastry, as cream puffs, then filled with decadent coffee pastry cream. Add pink icing and sprinkles, of course. Trust us, the only thing better than coffee and donuts are these coffee-filled donuts, cup o’ joe optional.
This confectionary mashup is pretty much the dessert of our dreams. Inspired by these treats from Preppy Kitchen, these no-fry donuts are so simple to make at home. They start with choux pastry (pronounced “shoe”) before being piped into a ring and then baked. In fact, it’s the same batter used to make a French cruller! Pretty perfect, right? Simply “inject” pastry cream into the bottom of the donuts to make them cream-filled and delicious.
For the Choux Paste
- 8 Tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour and salt until it forms a very thick paste.
- Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat. Cook while stirring constantly to cook out the flour for about 3-5 minutes. Once the mixture becomes smooth, pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball in the center, it is done.
- Keep mixing until the batter cools (either by hand or with an electric mixer).
- Once the batter is no longer hot, stir in the eggs one at a time.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe rings of batter on the prepared baking sheet, about four inches in diameter.
- Bake the donuts at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven to 350 and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes. When done, turn off the oven but keep the donuts inside. Crack the oven door with a wooden spoon and allow them to cool inside.
After the donuts are piped, slightly wet a clean finger with water and gently tap down any peaks in the batter left behind from the piping tip. The batter should be thick yet fluid, but not too runny. It should be able to hold its shape when piped. Not sure if they are done baking? Crack one open! The inside should be dry and slightly hollow, not doughy.
For the Coffee Pastry Cream
- 1 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 Tablespoon hot water
- Place the milk in a saucepan and gently bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch.
- Once the milk is hot, temper it into the egg mixture by whisking in a small portion at a time in order to gradually raise the temperature of the eggs (so they don’t scramble). Keep whisking in a little bit more of the hot milk at a time until fully combined.
- Transfer the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan.
- Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat. While stirring constantly, cook until thickened and slow, large bubbles begin to “pop” on the surface.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until combined.
- Stir the hot water into the espresso powder to make a paste. Whisk the espresso into the pastry cream until combined.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap directly touching the top surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until completely cool and thick, or overnight.
For the Icing
- 2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3-5 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring (optional)
- Sift the confectioner’s sugar to get rid of any lumps.
- Stir in the milk and vanilla until thick and smooth.
- Add in the food coloring until desired color is achieved.
- Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke 3-4 holes in the bottoms of the donuts and slightly hollow them out.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with the thickened, chilled pastry cream.
- Insert the piping tip into the holes and gently fill the donuts. Hold the donuts with the opposite hand and stop piping once you can feel the pressure build so that they do not burst open.
- Dip the top surface in the icing, add sprinkles and allow to dry right-side up on a wire rack.
What are you favorite dessert mash-ups? Be sure to tag your recipes on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative.