These soft and pillowy Gingerbread Pastry Cream Donuts are the ultimate sweet treat you need to make this holiday season. For this fried donut recipe, yeasted dough is fried to a beautiful golden brown, then tossed in cinnamon sugar and filled with a spicy gingerbread pastry cream made with fairlife ultrafiltered whole milk. fairlife is made with 100% quality Canadian dairy and has 50% less sugar and 50% more protein than regular milk, not to mention it’s rich and creamy, which is exactly what you want for pastry cream. The best part is, homemade donuts are super fun to make and can be customized into different shapes and sizes for any occasion.
Gingerbread Pastry Cream
This recipe requires 1 ½-2 hours rest time. Pastry cream can be made a day in advance.
For the donuts, in a measuring cup, mix together fairlife ultrafiltered whole milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and yeast, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for about 5 minutes until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the bread flour, remaining sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt, give it a quick mix and create a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, eggs and melted butter. Give it a quick mix to get it going then knead on medium for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and the dough has pulled away from the bowl. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic and place in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
While the dough rises, assemble the gingerbread pastry cream: In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, all-spice and salt. Whisk in fairlife ultrafiltered whole milk, molasses and egg yolks. Place over medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Transfer to a bowl (optional: strain through a sieve for a super smooth pastry cream) place a piece of plastic directly on the cream and chill in the fridge.
Once donut dough has doubled in size, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 large or 24 small pieces, roll into smooth round balls, making sure the seams on the bottom are pinched closed, place on cookie sheets about 2-inches apart and flatten slightly. Loosely cover with plastic and let rise for a second time, about 20-30 minutes.
While the donuts are proofing, heat oil to 340°F in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet. In a shallow bowl, mix together all ingredients for the cinnamon sugar mixture and set aside.
Once the donuts have proofed, carefully drop 3 large or 4 small dough balls in the hot oil, fry for 3 minutes on one side then give it a flip and fry for another 3 minutes.
Transfer the donuts to a wire rack with a spider or slotted spoon. While they’re still hot, toss in cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining donuts. Let cool completely.
Once donuts have cooled, remove chilled pastry cream from the fridge, give it a good whisk so it’s nice and creamy, and transfer to a piping bag.
Poke a small hole on the side of each donut with a knife or a chopstick.
Fill the donuts with the gingerbread pastry cream, finishing with a dollop on top.