Boston Cream Doughnuts

published Mar 25, 2022
Boston Cream Doughnut Recipe

Turn this pie favorite into a luscious, silky doughnut.


Prep1 hour

Cook30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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boston cream donuts with chocolate icing,  on a green cloth napkin
Credit: Laura Rege

Inspired by the classic Boston cream pie, this popular donut variety envelopes silky-smooth pastry cream in a light and airy yeasted doughnut, then tops it off with a chocolate glaze. Sweet enough to be a dessert, these doughnuts also make for a decadent breakfast or snack with a cup of coffee. They also have very similar vibes to chocolate eclairs.

What Is a Boston Cream Doughnut Made Of?

Boston cream donuts are made of a yeasted round doughnut that is stuffed with pastry cream and dipped in a chocolate glaze.

Boston Cream Doughnuts Versus Bavarian Cream Doughnuts

Both doughnuts typically start with the same base, a yeasted doughnut stuffed with pastry cream. However, Bavarian cream doughnuts are usually tossed in powdered sugar, whereas Boston cream doughnuts are always glazed with chocolate.

Tips and Tricks for Making Boston Cream Doughnuts

  • Check the yeast by heating the milk to around 110ºF and sprinkling the yeast over the top. It should be foamy and bubbling before proceeding, which signals the yeast is still alive. Be careful not to overheat the milk, as it could kill the yeast.
  • Rise the dough twice to achieve light and airy doughnut texture: Once after the dough is made and again after the rounds are cut. Don’t skip that second rise. 
  • Use a deep-fry thermometer to regulate the oil temperature. Keeping the temperature at 350ºF ensures the doughnuts brown at the same rate for the perfect fry.
  • Let the doughnuts cool on a wire rack to keep them crispy outside and tender inside.
  • Fill the doughnuts with a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and 1/4-inch tip. Because you need to use a little force to push the pastry cream from the bag into the doughnut, a coupler helps prevent the pastry cream from coming out between the pastry tip and bag
Credit: Laura Rege

Boston Cream Doughnut Recipe

Turn this pie favorite into a luscious, silky doughnut.

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 6

Nutritional Info


  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 1/4 cups

    plus 6 tablespoons whole milk, divided

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet

    active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    large egg

  • 5

    large egg yolks, divided

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 6 cups

    vegetable oil, for deep frying, plus more for greasing

  • 2 ounces

    bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    Dutch-process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Cut 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter into cubes and place in a small bowl. Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Pour 6 tablespoons of the whole milk into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until just warm to the touch, about 10 seconds. Sprinkle with 1 packet active dry yeast and let sit until bubbly and foamy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Place 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture, 1 large egg, and 1 of the large egg yolks. Beat with the dough hook on medium-low speed until a dough forms (it does not need to be completely smooth), about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the 2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter. Mix on medium-low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes more.

  5. Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball. Place in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot until almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the pastry cream.

  6. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, remaining 4 large egg yolks, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a small saucepan and whisk until combined and lightened in color. Add 2 cups of the whole milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter. Stir to combine, the butter will stay in a chunk.

  7. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil, about 8 minutes. Let boil, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the saucepan to make sure nothing sticks, until thickened, about 1 minute. Immediately scrape the mixture into a medium heatproof bowl.

  8. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 1 hour.

  9. Lightly dust a work surface with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the surface and roll out with a rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can. Gather the scraps in a ball, then re-roll and cut until you have 6 total rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  10. Heat 6 cups vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until 350°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack onto a baking sheet.

  11. Using a lightly floured thin metal spatula, transfer half of the doughnuts into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and puffed, about 2 minutes per side. e a kitchen spider or slotted spoon to transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Repeat frying the remaining doughnuts. Let cool before filling.

  12. Whisk the pastry cream until smooth. Transfer into a pastry bag fit with a coupler and 1/4-inch round pastry tip. Insert the tip into the side of each doughnut and fill with pastry cream.

  13. Chop 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate. Place in small saucepan. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, remaining 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Place over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until melted, combined, and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape into a shallow bowl.

  14. Dip the tops of doughnuts into the chocolate sauce, let the excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the wire rack glazed-side. Let sit until the glaze is set, about 45 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight containers for up to 3 days.