Pistachio Cream Doughnuts – Super fluffy yeast doughnuts are tossed in powdered sugar and filled with homemade pistachio pastry cream. These doughnuts are going to be your family’s new favorite breakfast treat!
I’m just happy to enjoy one last hurrah out in the sun before it’s officially Fall. Only one more month! I’ve already started dreaming up some killer recipes perfectly for the Fall, including another macaron recipe, some comforting soups, and my first baked doughnut!
Speaking of doughnuts, I got a yummy yeast doughnut for you today. I am a huge fan of yeast doughnuts because they’re so chewy and light. But it’s hard to get them to crispy on the outside by just baking them, so unfortunately there is no getting around the frying.
But frying doesn’t have to be such an intimidating experience. The thing that always worried me the most was now knowing when the oil was hot so I’d always have soggy fried food. But that changed after I got a candy thermometer to ensure I was always frying at the right temperature.
Today’s version of yeast doughnuts is made with one of my newest obsessions: pistachios. I had never tried pistachio anything until I met my husband – green nuts just didn’t sounds like something I’d like.
But I had no idea they had an almond-like flavor, which I LOVE. After I tried pistachio gelato, I was hooked. Gimme pistachio everything!
So I added some chopped pistachios to a pastry cream and used that cream to fill up some classic yeast doughnuts and voila – my Pistachio Cream Doughnuts were born!
Now, I love a great, easy recipe. Sometimes you just want some breakfast and you want it fast. But I gotta warn you: this is not one of those recipes.
There are a few more steps to these doughnuts than you may be used to, but they are sooo worth the effort. Plus, it’s great therapy for days when you just want to take some stress out in the kitchen.
And did I mention there is pistachio filling?! It’s not your average custard filling. I am much more inclined to make a recipe that requires a little more effort if it’s something totally unique and not available unless I make it myself.
To make these doughnuts, you’re gonna use the same dough recipe from my blackberries & cream slider doughnuts. Remember those? They were so light and fluffy but with a slight crisp on the outside. The recipe was so perfect so there was no need to change it up for these doughnuts.
For the filling, we’re making a pastry cream. Pastry cream is the same as custard, essentially, but it’s what we call the filling in eclairs, Boston creme pie, and Napoleons.
The recipe is simple: heat milk, add to eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Then, we thicken the mixture over heat into a custard. Finally, you finish off the custard with a pat of butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and a pistachio paste.
For the pistachio paste, all you need to do is blend the pistachios with water in a food processor. That’s it! But if there’s one tip I have for you regarding the pistachios, it’s to buy them already shelled. I thought it would be easy to shell them myself and save some money.
But OMG, shelling that many pistachios is ANNOYING. It took forever and I got sore fingertips from opening about a million shells.
Here are a couple more tips to help you replicate this recipe perfectly:
- Do not roll out the dough too thin when cutting the doughnuts. If the doughnuts are too thin, they won’t expand properly in the hot oil and you’ll have flat, dense doughnuts.
- You don’t need a deep fryer for these doughnuts. I simply use my cast iron dutch oven and a candy thermometer to help me. And while I’m talking about frying, you don’t need to fill the whole dutch oven with oil – 1/3 full is perfectly enough oil to fry these doughnuts.
- Make sure you chill the pastry cream long enough so that it can thicken up. It’s hard to fill these doughnuts when the pastry cream is thin – so messy!
- Doughnuts are tough to make ahead of time. But there are things you can make the night before if you want to save time. You can make the dough and let it rise once the night before. Punch it down and then put it in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before using to let it get to room temperature and then roll out and cut into doughnuts. You can also make the pastry cream the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
There you have it – the best way to enjoy pistachios for breakfast! You’re gonna love these doughnuts! See you on Thursday for another yummy breakfast recipe!
Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!
Pistachio Cream Doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
- 1 cup milk whole
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- vegetable oil for frying (about 8 cups)
For the pistachio filling:
- 1 1/2 cup milk whole
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons butter salted
- 1 cup pistachios shelled
- 4 tablespoons water
For the dough and the filling:
- Heat milk in small saucepan over medium-low heat, until small bubbles form around the edge of the milk. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and set aside to cool.
- Add yeast packet and warm water to a small bowl to activate the yeast. Let it sit, untouched, for 10 minutes. You should see a layer of foam on top of water after the time is up. If not, that means your yeast is dead and you need to use cooler water or buy a newer packet.
- Add milk to a large bowl with 2 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of oil, eggs, and yeast mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon until mixture is combined. It will be thick, but still wet and sticky. Add remaining 1 cup of flour to a clean counter. Pour yeast batter onto flour and knead together until completely combined. Add more flour if batter is too wet and keeps sticking to the counter. Knead dough for 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth. Place into a large bowl with a little vegetable oil to keep from sticking. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.
- While dough is rising, make the pastry cream. Add milk to a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer. Turn off heat. Add eggs, cornstarch, and sugar to a small bowl and whisk until completely combined. Add a little of the warmed milk and whisk together. Slowly add the rest of the milk as you whisk slowly. Pour mixture back into saucepan.
- Place saucepan with mixture on stove set to medium-high heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken, like pudding. It happens pretty quickly so make sure you're paying attention. As soon as the mixture is the consistency of pudding, remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add butter, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract and stir together.
- Add pistachios and water into a food processor. Blend until pistachios are crushed and in the form of a paste. Add to pastry cream and stir together until combined. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of mixture and refrigerate for 3 hours so it can chill and thicken.
- Once dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and remove from the bowl. Lightly dust your counter with flour and place the dough on top. Begin rolling out the dough into a large oval or rectangle that is 1/2-inch thick. Make sure to release it from the counter so that it's not sticking or stretching.
- Using a 2 to 3 inch round cutter, cut out perfect rounds and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet(s). Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch between them so they don't stick together after rising. You will get about 15 rounds with the first pass at the dough. Gather the scraps in a ball and roll them out to get about 5-6 more rounds. Cover doughnuts with a kitchen towel and let them rise again for about 30 minutes.
- While the doughnuts rise again, begin heating the frying oil. Place oil in a large pot or dutch oven and heat on medium-high until a candy/frying thermometer reaches 375 degrees. Then reduce heat to about medium. Fry doughnuts 4 at a time, 1 minute on each side. Continue to monitor temperature. Do not let it get below 350 degrees or above 380 degrees. Let doughnuts cool on paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat until all doughnuts are fried.
- Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in a paper bag. Place a doughnut in the bag 1 at a time and shake to cover the doughnut in sugar. Repeat with the rest of the doughnuts. Let them cool for 5 minutes
For assembly of the doughnuts:
- Once the doughnuts are cool to handle, take a sharp knife and insert it through the top edge of the doughnut through the middle but don't let the knife get all the way through. This is to help create a tunnel for the pastry cream. Place chilled pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a rounded tip. Place tip of the pastry bag into hole of the doughnut. Gently press on the bag to push the filling into the doughnut. You'll start to feel the doughnut fill up. Once it's full, a little cream will poke out of the hole. Remove pastry bag and repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve immediately. Doughnut will only stay good for the day.