Boston Cream Doughnuts

Perfectly fried pillows of dough topped with a rich chocolate glaze and filled with a smooth pastry cream.

Perfectly fried pillows of dough topped with a rich chocolate glaze and filled with a smooth pastry cream

(CBC Life)

Designated the official state doughnuts of Massachusetts, these perfectly fried pillows of dough are topped with a rich chocolate glaze and filled with a smooth pastry cream.

When you’ve mastered this recipe, try one of these variations: Black Forest Doughnuts and Spicy Mango Doughnuts 

Learn how to make Boston cream doughnuts in Episode 4 of Raufikat’s Better Bake Along on CBC Gem.

Boston Cream Doughnuts



  • 3 cups plus 3 tbsp (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp (60 g) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ tsp quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to just above body temperature
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Pastry Cream:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp (60 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 cups (226 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp instant coffee granules
  • ¼ cup water, plus more if needed
  • ⅓ cup (55 g) dark chocolate callets or chopped dark chocolate


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (this is a sticky dough; use a bench scraper if needed to avoid adding too much additional flour). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

Cut out 12 3¾-inch squares of parchment paper and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll them into smooth balls. Place each ball onto a parchment paper square and cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel.

If using a proofing drawer, heat it to 100 F, otherwise, heat your oven for 2 minutes and turn it off. Place the dough balls in the drawer or oven to proof until they’ve doubled in size, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Pastry Cream:
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just steaming.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt in a large, heatproof bowl until smooth. Slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until thickened. Allow it to bubble for a few seconds then transfer to a heatproof bowl.

Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and place it in the fridge until chilled.

Whisk the chilled pastry cream, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a Bismarck tip and refrigerate.

Frying Doughnuts:
Fill a deep fryer with vegetable oil (or add 3 to 4 inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot set over medium) and heat to 350 F. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Working in batches of three or four, use the parchment squares to gently lower the dough balls into the oil, removing the parchment as it detaches from the dough. Fry the dough until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the doughnuts to the cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Chocolate Glaze:
Combine the icing sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, salt, coffee granules and ¼ cup of water in a saucepan. 

Cook over medium heat until hot, then add the chocolate and stir until melted. The glaze should have the consistency of corn syrup; add more water if needed.

Use a skewer to make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Insert the tip of the prepared piping bag into one of the doughnuts and fill it with pastry cream, releasing when you feel resistance. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

If the chocolate glaze has started to stiffen up, warm it over low heat for a few seconds. Carefully dip the top of one doughnut into the glaze to coat. Place it on the cooling rack to set. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

Makes 12 doughnuts


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