Homemade Boston Cream Donut Recipe

These ought to get you out of a traffic ticket.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes 18
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours


for the donuts:
12 ounces|350 ml evaporated milk
⅓ cup|80 grams granulated sugar
2 (¼-ounce|7 grams) package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons|56 grams unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
4 cups|532 grams bread flour, sifted, plus more for dusting
canola oil, for frying

for the custard:
½ cup|110 grams granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups|560 ml whole milk


for the glaze:
4 ounces|50 grams semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup|60 ml whole milk
4 tablespoons|56 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups|220 grams confectioners' sugar


  1. Make the donuts: Heat the evaporated milk to 115°F. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment along with the sugar and yeast and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, vanilla, salt, and eggs and mix to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the flour, mixing until smooth. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle about ½-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 18 donuts. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each donut. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 2-inches oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Working in batches, fry the donuts, flipping once until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the custard: Whisk the sugar, yolks, and cornstarch in a small saucepan until smooth. Add the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking, until thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill completely, then whisk again until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Fill the donuts: Using a skewer, make a hole in one side of the donut. Wiggle it in there to make a little hole that you can fill. Working with one donut at a time, pipe custard into each donut. Set aside.
  6. Make the glaze: Fill a small saucepan with 1-inch water and place over medium heat. Nest a medium heatproof bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate, milk, butter, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the chocolate and the butter melt, then add in the sugar. Whisk until smooth and keep warm over the double boiler.
  7. Glaze the donuts: Dip one side of each donut into the glaze and place on a rack set over a sheet tray to set completely before serving. Donuts will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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