Brown butter donut dough

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk, warmed to 105°F
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons (300g) bread flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Spiced sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup sugar

Spiced vanilla filling

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream


Making the donut dough:

  • In a small saucepan, add butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly until the butter has turned golden brown and smells nutty. There’s only a few seconds between brown butter and burnt butter so keep an eye on it. It’s helpful to use a light-colored pan so you can see when the butter turns golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and place in a heat proof jar. Set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool to room temperature. It should still be liquid and barely warm to the touch.
  • Heat milk to 105°F and add to a small bowl. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in yeast and set aside until it becomes foamy. About 8-10 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, add all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt. Set aside.
  • Add eggs, vanilla bean paste, and cooled brown butter to a stand mixer. Whisk together to combine. Add foamed yeast to the stand mixer and whisk until combined.
  • Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Add the flour to a stand mixer and mix for around 10-15 minutes on medium speed. Add the additional ¼ cup flour as needed if the dough is too wet. The dough is ready when it’s smooth and elastic. You can use the windowpane test to check if it’s properly kneaded. Take a small amount of dough and carefully stretch it using your index fingers and thumbs. If you are able to stretch it until it’s super thin and you can see through it like a window it is ready. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area to rise for almost an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. In the meantime, prepare the spiced vanilla filling and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Proofing and frying the donuts:

  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Punch gently to deflate. Using a kitchen scale and dough scraper, measure out 16 pieces weighing around 75 grams each. Shape into a tight, round ball. Pinch the bottom so they do not open up when placed in the oil. Place 2 inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with a tea towel and proof for another 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the spiced sugar.
  • Prepare the deep fryer. Add 2 inches of oil to a large pot. Heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the donuts 2 to 3 at a time. 2 minutes on each side. The donuts should be a deep golden brown color. Transfer donuts to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Let cool for a few minutes before coating all sides in spiced sugar. Using a small knife, poke a small hole in the side of the donuts to create an opening for the piping bag. It’s best to poke the hole in the donut while they are still warm. Cool at least 15 minutes before piping the filling into the donuts. If the center is too warm the filling will leak out.

For the spiced sugar:

  • Combine the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar in a small dish and mix until combined.

For the spiced vanilla filling:

  • Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrapping the sides as needed. About 3 minutes. Add salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cardamom and beat for another minute until combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Add the heavy whipping cream and beat until filling thickens. About 1-2 minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator until donuts are done cooling.
  • Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip. Fill the donuts with the spiced vanilla filling. These donuts are best served immediately and should be eaten on the day of.

Recipe from our friend Tyler Schmidt Happens MN