Boston Cream Donuts

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These easy fried Boston Cream Donuts are ready in under 30 minutes! Made using Pillsbury Grands biscuits and filled with a shortcut vanilla cream, these are sure to tempt you. Don’t forget the rich chocolate ganache!

Love easy breakfast donuts? Try making a batch of baked Cherry Frosted Donuts for your next craving! Or whip up a batch of Apple Cider Donuts this fall.

Boston Cream Donuts on a piece of parchment paper with a mug of coffee.

Why You’ll Love These Boston Cream Donuts

I love a good baked donut, but these Boston Cream Donuts are the REAL thing: fried in oil and filled with cream.

This style of donut was named for its resemblance to Boston Cream Pie, a sponge cake topped with pastry cream and chocolate ganache. (which is also similar to a chocolate eclair cake).

Let me tell you, once you start making your own donuts at home, you’ll never want them any other way but fresh. Grocery store donuts? No thanks!

Here’s why this Boston cream donut recipe is such a hit:

  • Filled donuts are a little bit more indulgent than the traditional shape. Why leave a hole in the middle when you could be using that space for rich vanilla cream?!
  • While traditional Boston cream filling is a custard cream, made by combining egg yolks with cream and sugar, this easy homemade version uses French vanilla pudding mixed with heavy cream, milk, and powdered sugar for a silky, thick custard-like filling that comes together in minutes. (Similar to my favorite Cream Puff Cake!)
  • The chocolate-and-vanilla combination in Boston cream donuts is iconic. There are donut shops that load up their donuts with all kinds of crazy toppings, but the chocolate ganache and vanilla filling here really hit the spot. 
  • These donuts do take a bit of work, but there are also enough shortcuts involved that they’re fun to make. It’s satisfying to fry up a batch of homemade donuts—but, of course, it’s even more satisfying to eat them!

Tray of boston cream donuts.

Important Ingredient Notes

  • Pillsbury Grands biscuits – No fussing with yeast or waiting hours for your dough to be ready! 
  • Vegetable oil – Or another oil you like to use for deep frying, like peanut oil.
  • JELL-O Instant French Vanilla Pudding – Be sure to use Instant pudding, not cook and serve.
  • Heavy cream – You’ll use one part milk and one part heavy cream. Don’t try to go with all milk, or your vanilla filling won’t have the right consistency! You’ll also need a little bit of heavy cream for the ganache.
  • Vanilla extract – I recommend real vanilla extract, not imitation.
  • Corn syrup – Corn syrup helps give the glaze its sheen and texture.
  • Chocolate – You’ll need a combination of dark and milk chocolate.

How to Make Boston Cream Donuts

Make the Filling:

  • Whisk together the pudding mix and the milk for about 2 minutes.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar on high speed until soft peaks form. 
  • Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fry the Donuts:

  • Pour about 1/2-3/4 inch of oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet.
  • Heat the oil until it sizzles when you drop a couple drops of water into it.
  • Separate the biscuits. 
  • Fry each biscuit for 2-3 minutes on each side. 
  • Allow the fried donuts to cool and dry on paper towels.

Make the Ganache:

  • Add the cream, milk, butter, vanilla, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan. 
  • Heat on medium until the butter melts. 
  • Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the chocolate until smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.

Assemble the Boston Cream Donuts:

  • Spoon the filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a tip. 
  • Press the tip into side of a donut and squeeze until the donut appears “full.” Repeat for the remaining donuts.
  • Spoon the warm ganache over each filled donut.
Boston Cream Donuts with a bite taken out of it, and a mug of black coffee.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you want to cut an extra step you can totally use canned frosting. Heat it up in the microwave for a little bit, stir, and spoon it on the donuts.
  • I save the oil to use again by allowing it to cool slightly, then straining it and storing it in a mason jar. Then you can use the oil the next time you need to fry something and save some money!
  • This Boston cream donut recipe makes a lot of filling so you will have some leftover. Use leftover filling to make a trifle with brownies or spoon it into bowls by itself or topped with fruit for a delicious pudding dessert!

Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between Boston cream and Bavarian cream?

Bavarian cream filling has a different texture than the Boston cream versions. With Bavarian cream, you make whipped cream with heavy cream and sugar to make a fluffier cream center for your doughnut. Boston cream, on the other hand, has a thick custard cream that’s more similar to pudding in consistency. 

Can I bake these donuts?

I don’t recommend it! If you bake these donuts, they’ll have the taste and texture of biscuits—since they’re made from biscuit dough! The frying process makes them more like a traditional donut.

What if I don’t have a piping tip?

If you don’t have a piping tip, you can use a zip-top bag and a knife. Use the knife to make a small slice in the side of the donut, then use your fingers to open it up a bit and squeeze the filling inside. It won’t be quite as neat as using a piping tip, but it will do the job!

Boston Cream Donuts on a piece of parchment paper.

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Boston Cream Donuts

4.82 from 27 votes
By: Aimee
Easy, fried Boston Cream Donuts in under 30 minutes! Made using Pillsbury Grands biscuits and filled with a creamy pudding mixture, these are sure to tempt you! Don't forget the rich chocolate ganache!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 large doughnuts

Ingredients 

For the Donut:

  • 1 package Pillsbury Grands biscuits
  • vegetable oil

For the Filling:

  • 1 box JELL-O Instant French Vanilla Pudding 3.4 ounce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

For the Ganache:

  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 ounce dark chocolate
  • 2 ounce milk chocolate
  • 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
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Instructions 

  • Prepare the filling first by whisking together the pudding mix with milk. Beat with whisk for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat on high with an electric mixer the heavy cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form (about 3 minutes). Fold in pudding mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat oil about 1/2-3/4 inch high. Depending on your size skillet will determine how much oil is necessary. Bring oil to a sizzle when you drop a couple drops of water into it.
  • Separate biscuits. Fry each biscuit for 2-3 minutes each side. Allow to cool and dry on paper towels.
  • For the ganache, add cream, milk, butter, vanilla and corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until butter is melted. Turn to low and add in the chocolates. Whisk continuously until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until ganache is smooth. Set aside.
  • To assemble, spoon filling into a large pastry bag with tip (any tip will do). Press tip into side of donut and squeeze until donut appears “full.” Repeat for remaining donuts.
  • Spoon warm ganache over each filled donut. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Even easier donuts: If you want to cut an extra step you can totally use canned frosting. Heat it up in the microwave for a little bit (maybe 30 seconds to a minute), stir and spoon it on the donuts.
  • Save your oil: I save the used oil to use again by allowing it to cool slightly, then storing it in a mason jar. I strain off any fried bits while pouring it in the jar. Then you can use the oil the next time you need to fry something and save some money!
  • Extra filling: This recipe makes a lot of filling so you will have some leftover. I enjoy making a trifle using this extra filling (bake up a brownie mix and layer it with filling in a trifle bowl). Or spoon into bowls by itself for a delicious pudding dessert!

Nutrition

Calories: 576kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 541mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 55g
Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Homemade Boston Cream Donuts are easier to make than you ever imagined! Enjoy these donuts for breakfast or anytime you need a sweet pick-me-up.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on June 7, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. OMG! This is only my favorite donut and I have a major weakness for donuts. Unfortunately! These look incredible! 🙂

  2. I found this recipe on pinterest and am drooling! I want to make it this weekend when we have company and am curious – what chocolate do you use in your ‘special’ frosting? All I could find at the store was un-sweet and semi-sweet. Thanks!

    1. I use dark chocolate and milk chocolate together. I usually buy the Green & Black’s brand for making ganache. It’s sold in chocolate bar form (mine is in the organic section). You can also use Ghirardelli.

  3. I just discovered your website about 10 minutes ago and I love you already after seeing this recipe. You had me at your Layered Chicken Taco Salad. :))))

  4. Oh man these donuts look terrific! I do NOT envy you for that back to school night; though. My parents pretty much just skipped it entirely and I turned out “relatively” normal. 😉 I’d rather stay home and eat these donuts instead!

  5. Boston Creams have always been like my all time favs. They were also the first donuts I ever tried. Can’t wait to try them!

  6. Wow!!! What donuts!!! Definitely, a sugary treat to die for… I am drooling!!!!!

  7. These look heavenly!! I’d most definitely stay home with one of these while the husband takes care of the high school stuff 😉

  8. Boston Cream Donuts are my favorite donuts of all time!! It’s a total guilty pleasure. Whenever I buy a dozen from Dunkin, I’ll split one in half in hopes I won’t eat the other half. I have no self control, so of course I eat it! I love how you used Grands in this recipe. Makes it SO easy to make these on a Sunday morning.

  9. These donuts look amazing! Boston Cream is like one of the best flavors on this earth. haha! 🙂 I love your chocolate ganache! It looks great.
    Pinning these!

  10. These are my favorite doughnuts of all time! I need 5 of them now please. 🙂 Gorgeous award!

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