Doughnuts are loved the world over. These golden pillows, oozing fruit and nut-studded nougat, are doused in a floral orange blossom and honey syrup. You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (17 votes)


  • 150 ml natural honey
  • 50 ml orange blossom water

Doughnut batter

  • 28 g dried yeast
  • 600 ml lukewarm water
  • 600 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • cottonseed oil or vegetable oil, to deep–fry

Pistachio and barberry nougat

  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 175 g liquid glucose
  • 80 ml water
  • 1 eggwhite (from 65 g egg)
  • 2 tbsp barberries, soaked in cold water for 3 hours, drained
  • ¼ cup slivered Iranian pistachios, plus extra to serve
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 100 g cornflour mixture

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Proving time 30 minutes

Place the honey in a small saucepan. Bring just to the boil and remove from the heat. Stir through the orange blossom water and pour into a sterilised jar. Set aside until ready to serve. Store any leftover orange blossom syrup in the pantry as you would honey.

To make the doughnut batter, combine the yeast and water in a large bowl. Add the flour, sugar and salt and whisk to combine. The dough should be thick and quite wet. Cover and allow to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, to make the nougat, combine the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid glucose melts. Increase the heat to medium–high. Bring to boil and cook until the sugar syrup reaches soft ball stage, which is 115°C–118°C on a sugar thermometer.

While the sugar syrup is cooking, using a stand mixer on moderate speed, whisk the eggwhite to stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to low and with the motor running, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl, being careful to avoid the rotating whisk. Once all the syrup has been incorporated, increase the speed to high and whisk for 15–20 minutes or until cooled. Add the barberries and pistachios and whisk until just combined.  

Combine the icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Using two teaspoons, drop heaped teaspoons of nougat into the icing sugar mixture. Roll the nougat into balls a bit smaller than the size of a quail’s egg and transfer to a plate dusted with some of the icing sugar mixture. Reserve at room temperature.

To cook the doughnuts, heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to 170°C.
Dampen your preferred hand with cold water. Scoop out a small handful of the dough and press a piece of nougat into the centre. Place your hand over the surface of the hot oil and squeeze gently to make a fist – the dough should squeeze out in a ball shape between your thumb and index finger.

Make sure the nougat is well coated and in the centre of the batter. Pinch off the dough to release and allow to slide into the oil. Repeat with remaining nougat and dough, cooking in batches, for 4–5 minutes or until lightly golden. Drain on paper towel.

Gently reheat the orange blossom syrup and drizzle over the hot doughnuts. Sprinkle with extra pistachios and serve immediately.