Baking Blog

Dunkin’ Delights: The Best Boston Cream Donut Recipe

Donut worry, be happy. This Boston cream donut recipe will enable you to make delicious custard-filled and chocolate topped donuts to enjoy whenever you’d like. 

Homemade Boston cream donut recipe

Make your own Boston cream donuts!

Photos via CakeSpy

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In spite of their New England-centric name, Boston cream donuts are a food beloved and consumed worldwide. They get their name from the Boston cream pie (which is actually a cake, but that’s another story), a dessert featuring light cake sandwiched with rich custard and topped with a rich chocolate glaze, which was developed and popularized in the city of Boston.

In donut form, the Boston cream construction goes like so: a fried yeast donut is filled with a rich, creamy custard, and then topped with a melty chocolate glaze. Yes, they taste just as perfect as they sound, and when they are homemade, they’re unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Once you take one bite of these fresh donuts and experience the crisp edges, creamy, smooth filling, and dark chocolate topping, I donut think you’ll ever go back to store-bought. 

Homemade Boston Cream Donuts

Boston cream donut recipe

Makes 18-24 donuts 

For the donuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

For frying:

  • Enough olive oil to fill a deep skillet 2 inches deep

For the cream filling:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the topping:

  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter 

Note: International readers may enjoy our handy metric conversion guide.

Step 1:

It is suggested that you start by making the filling since it will need to chill for a while before it can be piped into your doughnuts. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, milk, and cream. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Whisking eggs and sugar to make Boston cream donuts

Step 2:

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is light yellow and and ribbon-like strings form when you lift the whisk. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking until completely combined. 

Cook the filling

Step 3:

Pour the mixture into a clean medium-sized saucepan (if it’s the same one you started with, wash it out). Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling until the mixture begins bubbling; continue whisking until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a pudding. This process can take over 10 minutes. If there are any little lumps or bumps in the mixture, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer the cream filling to a clean bowl. Press a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. This will keep a “skin” from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. 

Step 4:

Time to make the donuts! Place the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.

Butter and milk mixture

Step 5:

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and butter over low heat until the mixture is warm but not hot — between 105 and 115 F (just warm enough to activate the yeast). Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs.

Mixing donut dough in a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer

Step 6:

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients in your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium-high, and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes. It will still be somewhat sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Cutouts

Step 7:

Dust a work surface with flour, and turn the dough on top. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2- or 3-inch round cutter (or even a floured drinking glass rim), cut out as many circles as you can and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you’ve used all the dough. Cover the rounds with plastic wrap and again let them rise, this time for about 30 minutes.

Step 8:

Set up your frying area; place the oil in a large, deep skillet or a deep pan (don’t heat it yet). Secure a slotted spoon or tool for flipping and fishing your donuts out of the oil. Place paper towels under a wire rack. Have it near your frying surface. This is where you’ll put the doughnuts to cool off. 

Fry your donuts

Step 9:

Heat your oil in a large deep skillet or deep pan until it has reached 350 F. Transfer the rounds a couple at a time in to the hot oil, and fry until browned — 1 minute or so. Flip, and remember the second side takes less time to fry. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and transfer to the wire rack. Continue frying until you’ve finished them all.

Make a hole in the donuts

Step 10:

Once cooled enough to handle, make holes in the donuts. Using a chopstick or small knife, make a hole and slightly work it without enlarging the hole too much, to make more space inside of the doughnut for the filling.

Fill the donuts

Step 11:

Load up a piping bag with your pastry cream, and pipe as much as each doughnut can reasonably accommodate. (You can also spoon it in if you prefer, slicing the doughnut in half and spooning the cream inside that way). Once filled, place the doughnuts back on the wire rack. 

Top your donuts

Step 12:

Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over medium-low heat. Once melted and smooth, spoon a small amount of chocolate on top of each donut. Place back on the racks. Let the chocolate set slightly before serving.

These doughnuts taste best the same day made; the cream filling can be made a day ahead.

FREE Download: Delicious Homemade Doughnut Recipes

Doughnut Recipes

Learn everything you need to master the ultimate breakfast pastry in this free PDF guide, available exclusively on Craftsy.Get My FREE Guide »

11 Comments

s sander

Please, can we have just the recipes without the pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s such a waste of paper and ink to print pictures that we don’t need

Reply
sharon

Thanks Jessie – now how did you get that?

Reply
Jessie Oleson Moore

I am the creator of the recipe and wrote the blog post, I had it in my archives.

Reply
Pamela Preston

Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious!
For those who have never made Boston Cream Donuts before your illustrations are helpful.

Reply
Felicia

I’m a visual person and all pictures are wonderful. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try to make them.

Reply
Dymphna

I’m with you Felicia, I love the pictures as they give you a visual “final Product” to strive for. With a scrap of paper, a pencil and “minimal” effort one can write the actual recipe themselves, who would have thought? 😉

Reply
Cassandra

My egg mixture won’t thicken…. am I doing something wrong?

Reply
Gabby

I’m definitely going to try his recipe. Can it also be used for regular donuts, or does it only work for the Boston creme? I want to try making chocolate glazed donuts and Boston cream as their my favorite types, so I’m trying to find a recipe where I can make both at the same time.

Reply
Jessie Oleson Moore

You can use it for regular donuts too. Instead of cutting out just circles, use a doughnut cutter (the easiest) or cut out circles and then cut out holes from the center.

Reply
Mistie

Oh my gosh They look sooooo delicious. I can’t wait to try out this recipe as I just purchased a new minature donut making machine that I’m hoping to make use of for one of my children’s birthday parties that we have coming up 🙂 – btw, thanks for the text only version of the recipe.

Reply

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