New Orleans-Style Beignets

updated Feb 8, 2024

These easy New Orleans-style beignets will transport you right to the French Quarter.

Makesabout 22 beignets

Prep2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Biting into a beignet is like biting into a buttery, fluffy pillow. When fried in hot oil, the slightly savory dough yields bite-size nuggets with perfectly crisp exteriors and tender interiors that beg for a dusting of powdered sugar (did you know you can make your own?) and a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee.

New Orleans-style beignets are probably the most well-known beignets in the United States, and they’re surprisingly easy to make at home. They are made from an enriched yeast dough that contains milk, butter, and eggs for color and texture. With just one bowl and a handful of kitchen staples, you can whip up a batch and transport yourself to the French Quarter, no plane ticket required.

Quick Overview

Tips for Making the Easiest New Orleans-Style Beignets

  • Make the dough ahead of time. Beignets are best served fresh, but you can prepare the dough up the day before you want to eat them! Simply proof the dough in the fridge overnight.
  • Use a Dutch oven. (It’s the best vessel for home frying!)
  • Keep the oil at 370°F. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil. Too hot and the outside will burn before the inside is cooked through.
  • Don’t just let them sit in the hot oil. Use a heatproof spoon to spoon some of the hot oil over the beignets — it helps the beignets get their signature puff.
  • Dust the beignets heavily with powdered sugar. Don’t be shy! Drain the freshly-fried beignets on paper towels, then dust with lots of powdered sugar just before serving.
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

What Are New Orleans-Style Beignets?

New Orleans beignets are most synonymous with Café Du Monde, where platters of beignets are served with a thick layer of powdered sugar and a side of chicory coffee. While this Creole treat is reportedly a descendant of the French beignet, the two beignets are quite different.

  • French beignets: Classic French beignets are made with pâte à choux-style dough, which is cooked on the stovetop and doesn’t contain yeast or any other leavening (similar to a churro).
  • New Orleans-style beignets: New Orleans-style beignets are made from an enriched yeast dough — similar to a doughnut — that contains milk, butter, and eggs for color and texture. New Orleans-style beignets also wear a much thicker coat of powdered sugar than their French counterpart.

What’s the Difference Between a Beignet and a Doughnut?

The short answer: not a lot! Both doughnuts and beignets are made from deep-fried yeast doughs, with shape and texture being the two biggest differences.

  • Doughnuts: Doughnuts are most often shaped into rounds or rings, while beignets have a more organic, square-like shape.
  • Beignets: Beignet dough also contains fewer eggs but more water and milk, making it slightly wetter and more prone to air-pockets once fried.
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Can You Make Beignets Ahead of Time?

Beignets are best enjoyed warm, but you can make the beignet dough up to 24 hours in advance and keep it stored in the fridge. Then, fry the beignets as guests arrive or as your family wakes up. If you fried the beignet dough in advance, wait to dust the beignets with powdered sugar until just before serving.

New Orleans-Style Beignets Recipe

These easy New Orleans-style beignets will transport you right to the French Quarter.

Prep time 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes about 22 beignets

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 cup


  • 1/2 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    active dry yeast

  • 1

    large egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, very soft

  • 3 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading and cutting

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 quart

    peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar


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  1. Place 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup whole milk in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on full power. Alternatively, you can warm the milk and water in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 1 minute. The mixture should be warm but cooler than 100°F.

  2. Whisk 1/3 cup granulated sugar into the milk mixture, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast and set aside for 15 minutes until the yeast has become foamy.

  3. Add 1 large beaten egg, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, and 2 cups of the flour to the milk mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until the mixture is thick but smooth. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and beat again until just combined. You’re looking for a thick batter-like consistency that is closer to drop biscuits than bread dough here.

  4. Dust a work surface with about 1/4 cup more flour and dump the dough onto it. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 to 4 times (the dough will be sticky and a little loose). Gently shape the dough into a round and place in a well-oiled bowl (you can reuse the mixing bowl if it is mostly scraped clean). Cover with a clean kitchen towel.

  5. Set the bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Alternatively, you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours.

  6. Heat 1 quart peanut or vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven fitted with a deep-fry thermometer over medium-high heat until 370ºF. Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. If the dough is in the refrigerator, pull it out just before you heat the oil to give it 20 to 25 minutes to lose its chill while the oil warms up.

  7. While the oil is heating, dust a work surface with about 1/4 cup of flour and dump the dough onto it. Roll the dough out to a 17x11-inch rectangle that is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 20 to 22 (about 2-inch square) pieces. Don’t fret if some of the corner pieces are more triangular, and don’t reroll the dough.

  8. Fry 3 to 4 squares at a time: Gently add the beignets to the oil (you can use your hands or tongs). Immediately use a large heatproof spoon to ladle the hot oil over the pieces. Fry the first side until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using the spoon or tongs, flip the beignets and fry until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  9. Transfer the pieces to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.

  10. Just before serving and while still warm, use a large fine-mesh strainer to generously dust the beignets with 1 cup powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: These beignets are best eaten fresh, but the dough can be made the night before and proofed in the refrigerator overnight.