Indulge yourself in the scrumptious world of Bavarian Cream Donuts, an irresistible treat that brings together soft, pillowy dough and luscious cream filling. The velvety Bavarian cream is the star of the show, making every bite a heavenly experience.
Whether you're hosting a special brunch, seeking a delightful snack to share with loved ones, or simply yearning for a sweet and satisfying pick-me-up, my Bavarian cream donuts recipe is a must-bake! So grab your mixing bowl, get ready to create some magic in the kitchen, and prepare to enjoy these all-time favorite pastries.
If you're a fan of authentic German bakery delights, you'll absolutely love exploring my collection of German cakes and pastries! These recipes transport you straight to the enchanting realm of traditional German bakeries, where every bite is a taste sensation.
What is a Bavarian Cream Donut?
A Bavarian cream donut, also known as a Bavarian cream-filled donut, is a German-style donut called a Berliner or Krapfen in Germany that is filled with a smooth and velvety Bavarian cream. Bavarian cream is a custard-like, fluffy cream made from heavy cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and gelatin, and flavored with real vanilla bean.
Difference Between Bavarian Cream & Boston Cream
Boston creme is a pudding-like vanilla-flavored pastry cream with a thick consistency, thanks to the addition of corn starch. In contrast, Bavarian cream is a more sophisticated, tender and fluffy vanilla cream, infused with the rich taste of vanilla bean and thickened using gelatin. The inclusion of whipped cream in Bavarian cream makes it even more indulgent and creamier, setting it apart from its Boston counterpart.
Ingredients Bavarian Cream Filling
The ingredients for Bavarian cream are simple and easy to get all over the world. But the result is heavenly.
Eggs - are the most important ingredient for this recipe, and I recommend only using high-quality, fresh eggs.
Sugar - powdered sugar is best, as it dissolves easily. But you can substitute white granulated sugar.
Gelatin - I use granulated gelatin, but gelatin sheets can be substituted.
Check the package for the conversion from dry gelatin.
Milk - personally, I prefer whole, full-fat milk, but you can substitute for fat-reduced milk.
Vanilla - for the best taste, I prefer vanilla beans, but you can substitute for vanilla paste or extract.
Cream - heavy whipping cream will add a velvety texture to the cream.
See recipe card for quantities.
The ingredients for the donuts might already be waiting in your pantry.
Flour - I use unbleached, organic all-purpose flour.
Sugar - a simple white granulated sugar will work just fine.
Yeast - you can use either active dry yeast or instant dry yeast. Fresh yeast can also be substituted.
Butter - should be used for the best taste. But if you prefer, you can substitute margarine.
Rum - is the secret ingredient, but if you don't want to use alcohol, you can just omit it.
Frying Oil - Use neutral frying oil that can withstand high temperatures, such as avocado, canola, or sunflower.
See recipe card for quantities.
Instead of filling the donuts with the classic vanilla Bavarian Cream, you can also use other, lesser known flavor variations of the delicious German dessert cream filling.
Chocolate: Use this recipe for chocolate Bavarian cream to fill the delicious donuts.
Berries: Flavor the filling cream with berry purees of all kinds. Strawberries and raspberries are my favorites. Substitute half of the milk with fruit puree to add a fruity twist to the recipe.
Eierlikör: A special filling is this Bavarian Eierlikör cream, which is makes the donuts the perfect pastry for Easter brunch. It's a magical flavor combination of sweet and boozy. Simply mix in a couple of tablespoons of the delicious egg liqueur before chilling the cream.
Coffee: To infuse the Bavarian cream with a coffee flavor, simply mix in some instant coffee powder with the milk before warming it up.
Toppings: And do you know what's amazing? You can personalize these delectable delights also with your preferred glaze or topping to make them uniquely yours!
Instructions - Bavarian Cream Filling
Start by making the Bavarian cream, which needs to chill overnight.
Step 1: First, add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.
Step 2: Cut the vanilla bean into halves and scrape out the seeds. Add the bean and the vanilla seeds to a small saucepan along with the milk and bring to a light boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 3: Separate the eggs, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Save the egg whites for another dish.
Step 4: Add one ladle of the cooled down milk to the yolks and mix well. Then pour the mix back into the saucepan. Heat to about 170°F, stirring constantly. Add the bloomed gelatin and whisk.
Step 5: Strain the liquid into a bowl and cool it down (an ice bath works fast). Stir the mixture frequently.
Step 6: Meanwhile, whip heavy cream, and fold it into the cooled custard.
Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight for the best results.
Instructions - Donuts
Let´s make the donuts.
Step 1: Put the flour in a big bowl and form a well in the middle. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast to the well, then mix it with a little warm milk.
Stir in some flour from the edges of the well too. Cover the bowl with a towel and wait for 15 minutes.
Step 2: While waiting, whisk the egg and egg yolk in a small bowl. Melt the butter in the rest of the warm milk.
Step 3: Cover the well with the flour from the rim of the well, then add the eggs, milk mixture, the rest of the sugar, rum, and a pinch of salt. Knead everything for about 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a floured bowl. Cover the bowl again and allow the dough to rise for 60–90 minutes.
Step 4: Cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Put them on a floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and wait for 15 minutes.
Press the balls with your palm down to make them flatter (about 12 inch high) and wait for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pot or deep pan until it reaches 320–330°F. Carefully place the dough pieces into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Cover the pot with the lid and cook for 3 minutes. Take off the lid, flip the dough balls, and cook for 3 more minutes without the lid.
Take the donuts out with the slotted spoon and place them on a plate with paper towels to soak up any extra oil.
Step 6: You have two options to fill the donuts with Bavarian cream:
Method 1: Cut the donuts into halves, spread cream on one half, and put the other half on top.
Method 2: Put the Bavarian cream in a piping bag with a special tip for filling.
Step 7: No matter which filling method you choose, finish by sprinkling powdered sugar on top of the donuts for a sweet touch.
To make this recipe, you need these kitchen tools.
- Stand mixer or mixing bowl
- Small bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scale
- Sieve or fine mesh strainer
- Candy or deep-fry thermometer
- Heavy-duty pot or deep fryer for frying
- Slotted spoon or spider skimmer
- Piping bag and piping tip
- Paper towels for draining fried donuts
- Plate or wire rack
Store Bavarian cream donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or refrigerate for 2-3 days to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.
How to Serve
Serve Bavarian cream donuts, dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with a light glaze, alongside a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea for a delightful treat.
Bavarian Cream Donuts
Bavarian Cream Filling:
- 1 tbsp. gelatin
- ⅛ cup water cold
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon yeast
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 ½ tablespoon butter
- ½ tablespoon brown rum optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 40 fl.oz. neutral vegetable oil or lard
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
Bavarian Cream Filling
- Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside for bloom.
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the vanilla bean seeds, and add both to a small saucepan with the milk. Bring to a light simmer and remove from the heat.
- Separate the eggs and whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy and light. Preserve the egg whites for another dish in an airtight container.
- Add a ladleful of milk to the yolk mixture and blend well. This is called tempering. (The milk dilutes the egg yolks and prevents them from forming scramble.)
- Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the milk in the saucepan and heat the mixture on medium-low for a couple of minutes while whisking constantly. The mixture should reach about 170 degrees F, which is just below simmering.
- Add the bloomed gelatin to the warm custard and whisk until everything is well combined.
- Transfer through a fine-mesh sieve to a large mixing bowl and whisk to cool down. (Use an ice bath for the quickest results.)
- In the meantime, whip heavy cream. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled custard. Cover and refrigerate for about 6–8 hours for best results over night.
- Add flour to a bowl and form a well in the middle. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast to the bowl and mix with about a quarter of the lukewarm milk while incorporating some of the flour from the rim of the well.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk the egg and the egg yolks in a small bowl with a fork and melt the butter in the remaining milk.
- Cover the well with some flour, then add the eggs, the milk mixture, remaining sugar, rum, and a pinch of salt to the bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes on medium-low speed.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it into the bowl that has been lightly dusted with flour. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a floured surface, sprinkle with a bit of flour, and allow to sit for about 15 minutes.
- Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand or a small plate to about ½ inch in height and set aside for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat oil in a large pot or deep pan to 320-330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- With a slotted spoon, lower the dough pieces into the hot oil. Place a lid on the pot and bake for 3 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the dough balls, and bake uncovered for another 3 minutes.
- Remove carefully and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Either cut the donuts into halves and pipe the Bavarian cream on one half, cover with the other half. Or fill the Bavarian cream into a piping bag with a filler tip.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.