Yes, I admit doughnuts are one of my favorite treats, which is why I'm excited about this recipe for Strawberry Cream-Filled Doughnuts. It's a soft, slightly chewy doughnut filled with strawberry mascarpone cream and then coated with strawberry sugar dust. It's as good as it sounds.
I love doughnuts and once I learned how easy they were to make, I couldn't have been happier. If you're new to making doughnuts you might want to start with one of my favorites - Toasted Coconut Doughnuts. And then move onto my other favorite - S'Mores Doughnuts.
- Why These Doughnuts Taste So Good
- Ingredients for Yeast Raised Doughnuts
- Ingredients for the Strawberry Filling and Strawberry Sugar Dust
- How to Make Fluffy Yeast Raised Doughnuts
- How to Proof Dough When It's Cold Outside
- How to Fry Doughnuts
- How to Make the Strawberry Mascarpone Filling
- Finishing the Doughnuts
- Pro Tips for Making Doughnuts
- Frequently Asked Questions About Making Doughnuts
- Other Breakfast Treats
- Strawberry Cream-Filled Doughnuts
Why These Doughnuts Taste So Good
Yeast raised doughnuts are my favorite type of doughnut, though I will never turn down a good buttermilk doughnut. The dough for the doughnut starts with a sponge which when combined with the other ingredients creates a fluffy dough and doughnut. Quick homemade strawberry is combined with mascarpone and heavy cream for delectable cream filling that goes perfectly with the doughnut. The doughnut is finished with strawberry sugar dust tying the inside and outside together.
Ingredients for Yeast Raised Doughnuts
The ingredient list is relatively short, but it is important to understand how the ingredients work together to produce the end results.
- Unbleached All-Purpose. Flour provides the structure for the doughnut
- Dry Yeast. Yeast is what causes the dough to rise unlike cake doughnuts which use a chemical leavener, like baking powder.
- Whole Milk. Milk helps tenderize the dough and add richness. Water can be used if milk is not available.
- Whole Eggs. Eggs add structure and tenderize the dough. I always use large eggs for my baking. Large eggs weigh about 50 grams each.
- Unsalted Butter. The fat tenderizes the dough, adds richness and flavor. Vegetable shortening can be used in place of butter, but the taste won't be quite the same.
- Mace. Adds flavor to the dough. Experiment with other spices such as cinnamon, or cardamom.
- Sugar. Sugar adds just a little sweetness. Yeast doughs usually contain very little sugar.
- Kosher Salt. Salt intensifies the other flavors. If using table salt, use half the amount called for in the recipe.
Ingredients for the Strawberry Filling and Strawberry Sugar Dust
The strawberry cream filling is simple to make and has just a few ingredients:
- Fresh Strawberries
- Granulated Sugar
- Mascarpone Cheese
- Heavy Cream
The fresh strawberries and sugar are used to make a quick strawberry jam for the filling, but if local strawberries are not available use your favorite strawberry jam.
The Strawberry Sugar Dust has just two ingredients:
- Granulated Sugar
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries
The Strawberry Sugar dust can be used for other dishes. Add to your pancake batter, or use it to sweeten whipped cream.
How to Make Fluffy Yeast Raised Doughnuts
The recipe starts with a sponge made with a portion of the flour, most of the yeast, half the milk, and a tablespoon of the sugar. After mixing all those ingredients together, let it sit for 15 minutes. If there are no bubbles after 15 minutes and the sponge hasn't risen, it means your yeast has not activated and you'll need to start over.
Once the sponge is ready, add all the remaining ingredients, except the butter and mix with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until the flour is thoroughly mixed in with the wet ingredients.
Switch to the dough hook and add the butter in 3 pieces. Once the butter is thoroughly mixed in, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be slightly sticky, but elastic and smooth.
Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead it by hand for 30 seconds until the dough is smooth and uniform. It will stick a little to the work surface, so use a bench scraper to scrape of the bits that stick and keep the dough together.
Place the dough on a floured half baking sheet and cover it with a tea towel. Let it rise for 60 minutes until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces, that weigh about 80 grams each. Roll each one into a ball and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 3-inches apart.
Let the dough rise until the raised doughnuts have risen to 2-3 times their original size. The second rise will take about 45-60 minutes.
How to Proof Dough When It's Cold Outside
Sometimes one of the challenges of making a yeast dough is having a cold kitchen especially first thing in the morning. I am fortunate to have a proofing function on my oven, but if you don't have that feature on your oven here are the steps for creating your own proofing box in your oven.
Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups of boiling water into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it on the floor or bottom rack of your oven. Place the bowl with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door and let the dough rise until doubled in size, according to your recipe. Repeat these steps for the second rise.
How to Fry Doughnuts
Now we're onto frying the dough and making doughnuts. You're almost there. If you don't do much deep frying or have never done it before it can seem a little intimidating. But it can be done and done successfully. Here are the tools you will need for frying the doughnuts.
- Candy Thermometer (or Instant Read Thermometer). These tools will help you keep track of and maintain the oil temperature. The candy thermometer will be attached to the side of the pot.
- Good Quality Saucepan or Dutch Oven. You will need a 4 or 5-quart pot to ensure you have enough room to fry and turn the doughnuts. A quality pot will ensure even oil temperature and make it easier to maintain the temperature.
- Spider Skimmer. This skimmer is great for deep frying as it allows you to easily pick up the food and quickly drains the oil.
- Chopsticks or Wooden Skewers. Chopsticks or skewers are perfect for turning the doughnuts over.
- Cooling Rack. The rack is used to drain the doughnuts as they cook and I set it over a half sheet pan.
Here are the tips for successfully frying doughnuts:
- The oil should have a depth of 1-1/2 inches at least. Use vegetable or canola oil.
- Slowly heat the oil on medium-high heat. As the oil gets closer to temperature check the rise on your doughnuts and make sure all your other tools are in place.
- Fry the doughnuts at about 360 degrees F. I discovered that this was the good temperature to create a slightly crisp exterior and keep the doughnut from soaking in too much oil. It is okay if the temperature goes up to 370 degrees F, but if it goes past 370, remove the pot from the heat and allow the oil to cool slightly.
- Fry the doughnuts for 1 minute on each side. I use the timer on my stove to keep track of the time.
- If using a 4-quart pot, fry 2 doughnuts at a time. If using a 5-quart pot fry up to 3 doughnuts at a time.
Here are a few safety tips:
- Never walk away when deep frying. If you have to leave the kitchen remove the pot of oil from the heat, turn off the heat and reheat it when you return.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. It's a good idea to have an extinguisher in your kitchen no matter what you are cooking.
Toss the doughnuts in the Strawberry Sugar Dust while they are still warm.
How to Make the Strawberry Mascarpone Filling
Whipped mascarpone is one of my favorite fillings. And this strawberry mascarpone is so good, especially if you use in-season strawberries. It's easy to make and so delicious.
Combine the cold mascarpone and the sugar in a medium bowl and beat it with a handheld mixer until it is creamy and the ingredients are combined. Slowly add the heavy cream while the mixer is on low, increase the speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form. Add the strawberry jam and mix it.
Finishing the Doughnuts
Now we get to the fun part - filling the doughnuts with the strawberry mascarpone filling.
Place the cream filling in an 18-inch pastry bag with a plain tip or a bismark doughnut tip. Place the Strawberry Sugar Dust in a wide bowl.
Insert a small knife into the side of the doughnut and move it around to make a small cavity in the doughnut.
Stick the tip into the doughnut and squeeze until the center of the doughnut is filled. The doughnut will be heavier and become larger because of the cream filling.
Pro Tips for Making Doughnuts
- Check the expiration date on your package or container or yeast. If past the expiration test the yeast by mixing it with a little warm water and a teaspoon of sugar.
- If the sponge does not develop air bubbles and it doesn't rise the yeast has not been activated and you'll need to start over. It's also possible that your milk was too warm and killed the yeast.
- If your oil is too hot (above 370°F) the doughnuts will turn dark and possibly burn on the outside before they are done in the middle. If your oil gets too hot remove the pot from the heat source and allow it to cool to at least 350°F.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Doughnuts
If the doughnuts are tough and compact then they didn't rise enough during the first rise.
Your doughnuts didn't rise because the yeast was not activated or the area was too cold.
Yes, the dough can rise too much. Usually if that happens the final doughnuts will have a coarse crumb and might have a sour taste from the yeast.
Yes, you can use cream cheese. Use the Philadelphia brand because it has a softer texture and will whip up easier than most other brands.
Once the doughnuts are filled with the cream filling they should only be a room temperature for about 2 hours. The filled doughnuts will last 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
Homemade doughnuts are a great way to treat your family and exercise your creativity with different flavor combinations. Leave a comment below if you make these doughnuts or if you have a question about making theme. If you take a picture and post it to Instagram tag me @bakesbybrownsugar and #bakesbybrownsugar. I look forward to seeing your versions.
Other Breakfast Treats
Please check out these other recipe if you're are looking for ideas for breakfast or brunch treats:
Strawberry Cream-Filled Doughnuts
- 1 cup coarsely chopped strawberries room temperature
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Yeast Raised Doughnuts
- 4 1/2 cups (638 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (15 grams) dry yeast
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons whole milk heated to 110°F
- 5 tablespoons (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
- 3 large eggs (150 grams) room temperature
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
Strawberry Sugar Coating
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries
Strawberry Mascarpone Filling
- 8 ounces mascarpone cold
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- Before starting measure out all the ingredients for the doughnuts. Place the flour in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a 2-cup measuring cup and heat it in the microwave to 110 degrees F.
- If the weather or your kitchen is cold see the Note below for creating your own proofing box.
For the Strawberry Sugar Dust
- Place the sugar and freeze-dried strawberries in a mini food processor and process until the strawberries are thoroughly combined with the sugar and look like dust.
Quick Strawberry Jam
- Place the chopped strawberries and the sugar in a small saucepan and place the pan over medium high heat
- Stir the strawberries as they cook and once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cook the strawberry jam until is thick and the strawberries have completely cooked down. You should have about 1/4 cup of jam.
- Scrape the jam into a small bowl and let cool to room temperature before combining with the mascarpone and heavy cream.
Make the Sponge
- Place 1 cup of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Add half of the milk and use a spatula to stir it together until there are no bits of flour left. Be sure that no flour is left on the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. The mixture should begin to bubble and rise.
- While the yeast mixture is sitting add the ground mace, ground nutmeg, salt, remaining sugar to the remaining flour and whisk together.
For the Dough
- Sprinkle a half baking sheet lightly with a tablespoon of flour.
- To the sponge add the remaining yeast, the milk and the eggs and with the paddle attachment mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low speed add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time and continue to mix until all the ingredients all mixed together.
- Switch to the dough hook, start on low speed and add the butter in 3 pieces waiting until 1 piece is mixed in before adding the next piece. When all the butter is added, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes the dough should be smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky. Another way to check that it's ready is to gently stretch the dough until it is almost transparent. You should be able to do this without the tearing the dough. If the dough easily tears knead it with the mixer for 1 more minute.
- Scrape the dough onto a a clean surface (without flour). Knead the dough for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth ball. Place the dough onto the baking sheet. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with tea towel. Let the dough proof for 45-60 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, line two half baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray them with non-stick spray.
- When the dough has risen gently turn the dough onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into about 15 pieces, 80 grams each. Roll each piece into smooth ball. Place the doughnuts on the baking trays about 3-inches apart.
- Cover the doughnuts with tea towels Let them rise until doubled in height, about 45-60 minutes. If your kitchen is warm it might take less time.
- While the doughnuts are proofing, fill a 5-quart pot with vegetable oil to a depth of 1-1/2-inches. Begin to heat the oil on medium low heat. The oil temperature will slowly rise. Use a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Place a baking sheet with a cooling rack next to your cooking pot.
- When the doughnuts are ready place them near the pot and increase the heat to medium-high heat and heat the oil to 360°F.
- Cut the parchment paper into individual squares so each doughnut is on its own piece of parchment. Use the parchment squares to place the doughnuts into the hot oil and immediately remove the parchment squares from the oil.
- Place 2-3 doughnuts in the pot and fry for one minute on each side. Use a set of chop sticks to turn the doughnuts over and a spider skimmer to remove the doughnuts from the pot and place them on the rack.
- As the doughnuts fry you will need to adjust the temperature on your stove to keep the oil from getting too hot or too cool. If the oil gets too hot (above 370°F), remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. On my stove I am able to maintain temperature at medium low heat.
- When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, but still warm roll them in the strawberry sugar dust.
- Let them cool before filling with the strawberry mascarpone filling.
For the Strawberry Whipped Mascarpone
- Place the cold mascarpone and the sugar in a large bowl. With a handheld mixer mix on medium-high speed beat until the mixture is smooth and sugar is well combined with the mascarpone.
- With the mixer on low speed slowly stream in the heavy whipping cream. When all of it is added, increase the speed to medium and beat until visible beater marks at left in the whipped mascarpone and there are soft peaks. Be careful not to overmix.
- Add the strawberry jam and mix on low speed just until the strawberry jam is combined. If the doughnuts are cooled to room temperature start filling the doughnuts. If the doughnuts are not cooled, stored the whipped mascarpone in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Filling the Doughnuts
- Place the cream filling in an 18-inch pastry bag with a plain tip or a bismark doughnut tip.
- Insert a small knife into the side of the doughnut and move it around to make a small cavity in the doughnut.
- Stick the tip into the doughnut and squeeze until the center of the doughnut is filled.
- The doughnuts are best they day they are made but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups of boiling water into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it on the floor or bottom rack of your oven. Place the bowl with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. You can make the strawberry jam for the recipe or use your favorite jarred strawberry jam. When local strawberries are available they make the best jam. I have a 7-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer. If you have a smaller mixer you may require more time to knead the dough.