These Portuguese donuts are irresistible! The crème pâtissière is made with a generous amount of egg yolks resulting in a rich and luscious filling.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (250 votes)


  • 2 x 7 g sachets dried yeast
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar, plus extra, to coat 
  • 125 ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75 g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 500 g plain flour
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Crème pâtissière

  • 50 g (⅓ cup) plain flour 
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) milk
  • yellow food colouring (optional)

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.


Standing time: 1 hr 40 minutes

To make crème pâtissière, using an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, egg and egg yolks until thick and pale. Meanwhile, place milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Working quickly, gradually whisk milk into flour mixture until well combined. Transfer to a clean saucepan, place over low–medium heat and whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until thick, taking care it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add a few drops of colouring, if using, and stir until combined. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool. Makes 375 ml (1½ cups).

Place yeast, sugar, milk and 60 ml (¼ cup) lukewarm water in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Add eggs and butter, and stir until combined.

Place flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour yeast mixture into well and mix until combined. Knead dough on a lightly floured work surface for 5 minutes or until smooth, elastic and very soft. (Alternatively, use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.) Lightly dust with flour, then transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Line 2 trays with baking paper, then dust with flour. Punch down dough, knead gently and divide into 12 balls. Place on trays and leave to rise without touching. Dust with flour and cover with greased plastic wrap, then a tea towel. Set aside for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C. Working in batches, gently drop balls into oil and deep-fry, turning halfway, for 4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal incision in each doughnut, taking care not to cut all the way through. Toss doughnuts in extra sugar to coat, then spoon 2½ tbsp crème pâtissière into each one. Serve doughnuts immediately.

Photography by John Laurie.