Vanilla Bean Creme Pat Brioche Donuts


Good morning lovely people, how are you doing in the midst of your quarantine? I hope you are well and that you are staying safe. I wish I could tell you I’m doing fine, but to be brutally honest, my anxiety has been off the rails. It’s the fear of the unknown that is controlling every aspect of my life. Not knowing whether or not I have germs on me. Not knowing if I’m unintentionally spreading the virus or bringing it home. Not knowing how this will affect the world and the people in it. I constantly feel saddened by the thought of all these deaths. The families that it affects and the domino effect it causes. I worry about my loved ones and others in the healthcare industry working without protective gear. I stress about stepping foot outside our home. I’ve begun to get panic attacks in places I’m completely comfortable with because I’m afraid of being too close to someone or touching something “wrong”. All these thoughts are consuming my mind and I’m exhausted from taking care of a newborn. I’m trying to find time as a new mom for myself while living through this insane time in our lives and it is getting overwhelming.

The person I was a couple years ago would have pushed all these feelings aside and let the anxiety build up till it exploded into a bad episode. But the person I am now is starting to recognize the signs of distress and irrational fears and is trying to rewire her thoughts and work through it however she can. I am upping my therapy sessions to help me cope with all the changes and I’m also reintroducing yoga/meditation back into my life. I know that I’m not helping others nor am I able to when I can’t take care of my own mental health first. If you are in any way feeling high strung anxiety like this, I urge you to seek out some help and talk to someone. Although we are all advised to stay home, friends and family are a call away. Talk, talk, talk. Learn from my mistakes and talk to someone about how you’re feeling, I promise it will feel so much better once it’s out in the open.

I don’t want this to be a super depressing post, but it’s my truth right now. I know that there is an end to it all, I just haven’t been able to truly believe it or see it in the near future…and that scares me. I wish life could go back to the way it was already, but I’m also so grateful for all that I still have. I hope that these little balls of sugary, creamy, vanilla goodness brings you a bit of joy during such rough times and that baking can be one of your sources of therapy as well. Stay safe, wash your hands, bake & breathe. Love you all so much. XOXO Steph



for the brioche donuts

  • 3/4 cup warm water

  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 4 cups AP flour (more for dusting)

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

for frying & coating

  • 2 liters vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

for the vanilla creme pat

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter (room temp.)


for the brioche donuts 

  • In a large bowl, add the water, yeast and sugar, then let it it sit for 5-10 mins till bubbles form. 
  • Add the eggs into the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. 
  • In a stand mixer attached with a dough hook, add the flour to the yeast mixture & knead the dough on low for 5 mins until smooth. If the dough is sticking to the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time till it no longer sticks. 
  • Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rise in a warm draft free place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Once it has doubled in size, punch the dough down, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to chill overnight. 

for the vanilla creme pat 

  • Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk & eggs.
  • Add the milk mixture & butter to the saucepan & whisk to combine. 
  • Whisking the entire time, cook the mixture over medium heat till it comes to a boil.
  • Turn the heat on low and cook for another minute, then remove from the heat. 
  • Transfer the creme pat into a heat proof bowl & cover it with plastic wrap making sure to press it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming on the top, then let it chill in the fridge overnight.

for frying, coating & filling

  • The next day, line a baking pan with parchment paper, lightly dust it with flour and set aside.
  • Pour the sugar into a medium size bowl and set aside. 
  • Portion out each donut to weigh ~70g each and shape them into a smooth bun, then set them on your prepared pan.
  • Cover the buns lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm draft free place for an hour or till doubled in size. 
  • Once the donuts have risen, heat the oil in a large pot till it reaches 330-350°F.
  • Place a few donuts in at a time making sure not to squish or flatten them & cook for ~3 mins on each side.
  • Drain the donuts on a wire rack & toss them in the bowl of sugar to coat while it’s still warm.
  • Let them cool completely before filling.
  • Whisk the creme pat before filling it into a pastry bag.
  • Pipe the filling into the sides of donuts till full, serve. 
  • The donuts are best eaten the day of. If you do not pipe the filling in and only coat the donuts in sugar, they can last for a few days in a bag or container on your counter, but once you place them in the fridge the sugar will melt and make the donuts wet. If you decide to fill them, they must go in the fridge if you don’t finish them as the filling contains milk & eggs. You can store them for a few days in the fridge in a baggie or an airtight container. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.