Strawberries and Cream Donuts

When it comes to food, I have strong convictions.

Pie crust should never be whole wheat (just eewww).  Cookies should never have raisins (they shouldn't be in anything else, for that matter).  And donut day shouldn't be confined to one paltry day a year.

Donuts? Doughnuts?  Do two spellings mean we get to eat two do(ugh)nuts?  I think yes.

And see that bright, pretty glaze?  It was made with nary a drop of artificial flavoring or food coloring.  Just powderized freeze dried strawberries, which have officially become my new food crush.  Can we start making them trend?  So much flavor and color in such a small size and usable texture.  They could very well world peace, or at least world kitchen peace.

And if you look reeeeeaaallly closey, you can maybe see that my first food love made it in too.  The cream filling is filled with tiny, itty bitty black specks of vanilla bean perfection, courtesy of vanilla bean paste rather than extract.  They just make food so real, you know?  

All of that to say... There's so much to love here for your warm weather baking.  They look like summer.  They taste like summer.  You don't even have to heat your oven because SUMMER.  You'll probably definitely love them (even if your swimsuit won't).

And look!  They'll even love you back. XOXO

Strawberries and Cream Donuts

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups peanut, vegetable, or canola oil for frying
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, powdered
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk

For the donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.  Dump all of the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir and knead into a soft dough.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

After the rest, knead for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is soft, supple, and smooth.  Place it in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for 1 to 1.5 hours or until doubled.

Once dough has finished rising, deflate and turn out onto well floured counter.  Roll out to a 1/4" thick and cut into 2 to 2.5" circles.  Place on parchment paper, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for about a half hour.

In a frying pan, heat at least 3" of oil until 350 degrees.  place 2-3 donuts in the hot oil at a time, allowing it to cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and puffy.  Set aside and allow oil to return to to 350 before adding the next batch.  Allow to cool completely.

For the pastry cream: While the donuts are rising, make the cream filling.  Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolk and vanilla bean paste with a fork until they are well blended and slightly lightened.  Gradually beat in the sugar mixture until completely combined and smooth.  The mixture will be quite thick.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge, but it's not boiling.  Slowly drizzle the hot milk into the eggs while stirring, making sure that the eggs aren't being cooked by the hot milk.  Scrape it all back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent scorching, and cook until it comes to a boil.  Cook until mixture is smooth and glossy, about ten seconds.  Place in a clean bowl, press plastic wrap over the top to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until cold.

For the frosting: In a small mixing bowl, crush the freeze dried strawberries until they are powder.  You can use a pestle, the end of a french rolling pin, or your psychic powers, but they need to be well powderized.  Whisk in the powdered sugar, then gradually add the milk until a glaze like consistency has been reached.

To make the donuts: Place the cream filling in a pastry bag with a medium/small round tip in the end.  Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit in the side of the donuts, insert the pastry bag tip, and squeeze until you feel the donut begin to bulge slightly.  Dip the tops in glaze and allow to dry.