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Strawberry Donuts

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Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
resting time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 20 donuts
Calories 268
With strawberry in the dough, the filling, and the coating, these donuts deliver real strawberry flavor.


  • candy thermometer



  • 7 grams active dry or instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons or 1 envelope)
  • 245 grams milk* (1 cup)
  • 75 grams granulated sugar (⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 large egg yolk (at room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 130 grams strawberry paste** (½ cup, packed)
  • 550 grams all purpose flour (4½ cups plus 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 113 grams unsalted butter (at cool room temperature, cut into 8 pieces (8 Tablespoons or ½ cup))
  • canola oil or any other neutral oil suitable for frying (a 48 ounce bottle should be more than enough)

Strawberry Cream Filling:

  • 75 grams heavy cream (⅓ cup)
  • 25 grams strawberries, diced into small pieces (4-6 medium sized strawberries)
  • 25 grams freeze dried strawberries, processed into powder in blender or food processor (1 cup)
  • 25 grams corn starch (3 Tablespoons)
  • 475 grams whole milk (2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 125 grams sugar (⅔ cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks

Sugar Coating:

  • 100 grams sugar (½ cup)
  • 25 grams freeze dried strawberries, processed into powder in blender or food processor (1 cup)


Day before:

  • Dough. [If using instant yeast, skip to Step 3 and add the yeast and the milk with the rest of the ingredients.] In microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, warm milk to body temperature, generally between 105°F and 110°F. Alternatively, you can heat the milk in a saucepan on a low flame, stirring constantly. Either way, do not let the milk get above 115°F. (If you do, just let it sit out at room temperature for a couple of minutes constantly checking it until it cools to body temperature.)
  • Place warmed milk into bowl of electric mixer. Sprinkle yeast and approximately 1 tsp. of the sugar over the milk. Using a fork, stir the mixture to distribute the sugar and hydrate the yeast granules. Allow to sit for approximately 3-5 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.
  • Add the room temperature egg, the room temperature egg yolk, the strawberry paste, and the vanilla to the mixture. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on at a low speed and add the rest of the sugar. With the mixer running at the lowest speed, add the flour. As the flour starts to get absorbed by the liquid mixture, raise the mixer to a medium speed. You may need to turn the mixer off once or twice to wipe down the sides of the bowl with a dough scraper or rubber spatula. Allow to knead for approximately 3 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl and be tacky, but not too sticky. If it is too wet (sticking to the sides and bottom of the bowl), add some flour, no more than 1 Tbsp. at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add a little milk, 1 tsp. at a time.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low (1 or 2 on the KitchenAid) and slowly add the salt, allowing it to knead into the dough, an additional 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and take a small piece (approximately 1 tsp.) of dough and stretch it between your fingers. It should form a “window pane”, meaning it should get thin enough that it is translucent without it ripping. If it is not at that point yet, continue kneading in the machine at 1 minute intervals. (It may just need an additional minute or two to reach the window pane stage. If it still isn’t there yet, check to see if the dough is too dry. If it is, add ½ tsp. water and knead another minute.)
  • With the mixer running at medium speed, add the butter. It is best to add it one piece at a time, waiting until it is fully integrated into the dough before adding the next piece. You may need to turn off the mixer from time to time to push the slab of butter back into the range of the dough and the hook. This process will take approximately 5-10 minutes. Once all the butter is incorporated, the dough will look shiny and be slightly tacky. (If, after approximately ten minutes, the butter is still not fully incorporated, do not panic. Just move to the next step – having some unincorporated butter is not problematic in this recipe. That said, the key to incorporating the butter is nothing more than patience.)
  • Lightly grease a bowl with a little butter or nonstick cooking spray. Form dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Turn the dough over to coat it in the butter or nonstick cooking spray and cover tightly with plastic wrap.*** Refrigerate the dough overnight.
  • Strawberry Cream Filling. In an airtight container, mix together the heavy cream with the diced strawberries. (These are the first two ingredients in the Strawberry Cream Filling.) Cover and refrigerate overnight. Set a a heatproof bowl aside or line a baking sheet with plastic wrap.
  • In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean paste and half of the sugar (you can eyeball it) to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves.
  • While the milk is heating, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, the yolks, the rest of the sugar, the freeze dried strawberry powder, and the cornstrach. Whisk until the mixture starts to thicken slightly, so it leaves a ribbon for a few seconds when you lift the whisk from the bowl. Place the bowl on a rubber mat, other non-stick surface, or wrap a wet towel around the bottom to hold it in place as you whisk in the hot milk.
  • Once the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for approximately one minute. Carefully pour approximately ⅓ of the milk mixture in the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Quickly pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil, set a timer for 2 minutes. Continue cooking and whisking constantly. After two minutes, immediately pour the pastry cream through a strainer into a heatproof bowl or onto plastic wrap laid out on a baking sheet. Immediately cover the top of the pastry cream with plastic wrap and allow it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Donut Day:

  • In the morning, cut 20 squares of parchment, approximately 4 inches by 4 inches. Prepare the sugar coating by mixing together the sugar with the freeze dried strawberry powder. Place an empty mixing bowl (metal is ideal) in the freezer or refrigerator.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out until it is ½-inch thick. Shoot for a rectangle, but any shape will do. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut donuts out, placing each one on a parchment square, then placing each parchment square one on a baking sheet. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Fill a large pot with a few inches of oil, enough for the donuts to float in. Using a candy thermometer to note the temperature, heat the oil over medium heat to 350° F. (You will probably have to adjust the heat throughout the cooking process. Try to maintain the temperature between 340°F and 350°F.)
  • While the oil is heating up, set up a cooling rack or two over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Carefully insert two donuts (with the parchment squares) into the oil. After approximately 30 seconds, use tongs to remove and discard the parchment squares. Allow the donuts to cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Using tongs, a skimmer, a large fork/spoon, or chopsticks, flip the donuts and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the donuts are lightly browned. Once cooked, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to carefully remove the donuts, placing them on the prepared cooling rack. Allow the donuts to cool for no more than 30 seconds, then (using tongs) coat them in the strawberry sugar. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat with remaining donuts.
  • While donuts are cooling, beat the pastry cream until it is sooth. (You can do this by hand or with a mixer. A hand mixer is perfect for this.) Remove the cold bowl from the freezer or refrigerator and strain the strawberries and cream mixture into it. Whisk the cream (by hand or with a mixer) until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream. (You can fold in the discarded strawberries, but make sure to use a tip on the pastry bag wide enough for them to go through.) Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium sized tip with the mixture. Poke a hole into each donut and use your finger (or a clean knife honing steel) to push the insides around. Pipe each donut just until they are full. Best to fill the donuts just prior to serving. The filling can remain refrigerated in the piping bag until you are ready to fill and serve.


*Use whole milk, or if in a pinch, 2% milk. Anything less, and you will lose the benefit from the fats in the milk which add to both the flavor and texture of the babka.
**For the strawberry paste, puree in a blender at least 1 pound of slightly thawed (or entirely thawed) frozen strawberries. Pour the puree into a pot (2-quart pot works great here) and cook on medium low heat, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until it is thick and resembles tomato paste. If you draw a line through it, you should see the bottom of the pot and the mounds on either side of the streak should remain in place. Don't be afraid to cook it down even past this stage. The more water you cook out of it, the more concentrated strawberry you will have in the dough. (For a bolder strawberry flavor, add 1/2 cup or 12 grams of freeze dried strawberries ground in a blender to a powder.) Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before mixing it with the dough ingredients. Alternatively, store in an airtight container for up to seven days in the refrigerator, allowing it to come to room temperature before mixing it with the dough.
***You can certainly make these donuts in one day. Rather than refrigerate the dough overnight, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in sized, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you are making the donuts in one day, once you make the pastry cream, you can cool it quickly by placing it in a metal bowl (covered with plastic wrap touching the top) over an ice bath. You can use it once it is fully cooled to room temperature,
Calories: 268kcal
Course: Bread, Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: donuts, pastry cream, strawberries, strawberry


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg