Homemade Crullers

published Sep 29, 2021
Crullers Recipe

An all-natural proofing method makes these crullers impossibly airy.

Serves12

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
three glazed crullers on a plate
Credit: Perry Santanachote

What’s the secret to the airiness of crullers? While old-fashioned cake doughnuts use baking powder for lift and yeasted doughnuts use yeast, crullers use only steam to boost their poof. This dough contains a high amount of moisture that tries to escape once the pastry hits the hot oil, causing it to expand and set quickly. The outsides get super crispy while the insides stay soft and custardy. 

What’s the Difference Between a Donut and Cruller?

A yeast doughnut has a firm, pillowy texture; a cake doughnut has a dense, crumbly texture; and a cruller is airy and custardy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The yeasted doughnut might taste slightly more bread-like, the cake doughnut will taste mostly sweet, while the cruller will have a noticeably eggy flavor. All three are excellent vessels for various glazes.

What Is a Cruller Made from?

Crullers are made from pâte à choux, the same dough used to make profiteroles, cream puffs, and éclairs. A basic choux recipe consists of just boiled water and butter mixed with flour and eggs.

How to Pipe Crullers

Here are some tips for piping the perfect crullers.

  • Before you fill the bag, check to make sure your piping tip is secure and there’s no risk of it popping out the moment you press dough through.
  • When filling the piping bag, fold the top of the bag over the hand holding the bag. Gradually pull up the sides as you fill the bag. Twist the top of the bag closed to make sure the dough doesn’t ooze out the top.
  • Don’t overfill the bag. You’ll have more control when your hand is closer to the tip. And it’s easier to refill it rather than try to scoop dough out.
  • When piping, use one hand to squeeze the dough out of the bag and the other one to guide and steady the tip. Pipe at a 90-degree angle for better control.
  • When you’re done piping a ring, release pressure on the bag and quickly pull up while slightly turning your wrist.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Baking Versus Frying Crullers

Baking crullers instead of frying them will produce a pastry similar to a paris-brest, a slightly less fluffy and less custardy cruller with a firmer crust. And while crullers are already lighter than their leavened counterparts, baking them will shave off even more calories. Instead of frying, pipe the crullers onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them in an oven set to 450°F. After 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, open the oven door slightly and let the crullers sit in the cooling oven for 10 minutes to set. 

Crullers Recipe

An all-natural proofing method makes these crullers impossibly airy.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crullers:

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1 quart

    vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup

    honey

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups

    powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup water, 1 stick unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  2. Add 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Continue stirring until a layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until no more steam rises out of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat in 4 large eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat until the dough is smooth and glossy, about 3 minutes.

  4. Heat 1 quart vegetable oil in a medium pot (preferably about 10 inches in diameter) over medium-high heat until 375°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a baking sheet. Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star piping tip. Transfer the dough to the piping bag. Lay a 12x18-inch sheet of parchment paper on the counter and pipe 12 (2 1/2-inch wide) rings of dough onto the paper. (Trace a stencil on the paper first if you want a guide). Cut the paper between the rings so each ring is sitting on its own paper square.

  5. When the oil is ready, reduce the heat to medium to maintain an oil temperature of 375ºF. Fry 3 crullers at a time: Carefully place in the oil parchment paper-side up. After 30 seconds, remove the parchment paper squares with tongs. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip the crullers and fry until the second side is golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the crullers to the wire rack to drain.

  6. While the crullers cool, make the glaze. Place 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until the butter is melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

  7. Working one at a time, dip the craggy side of crullers into the glaze and let excess drip off. Return the to the wire rack dipped-side up. Let sit until the glaze sets, about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Frying: If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, drop a little piece of dough into the oil to test it. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s ready. If you don’t see much bubbling, it needs to heat up more. If it immediately smokes and darkens, the oil is too hot. Adjust the heat as needed while you fry.

Make ahead: Cruller dough can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days before piping and frying. Fried and unglazed crullers can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Crisp them up in a 300°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, let cool, then glaze. Glazed crullers should be eaten right away.