The Best Boston Cream Donuts

9 Min Read

These Boston cream donuts are made with fluffy yeast dough, filled with creamy vanilla custard, and topped with chocolate ganache.

Stack of two Boston cream donuts.

Boston Cream Donuts is a classic pastry treat that originated in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.

The combination of textures and flavors creates a delightful indulgence that is loved by donut enthusiasts around the world.

The creamy filling along with the fluffy and melt in your mouth dough that is dipped in chocolate ganache creates the most delicious bite that will make it hard to stop at one donut!

Whether enjoyed as a breakfast treat or as an afternoon snack, these donuts are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth craving.

If you like making donuts, check out our strawberry glazed donuts, lotus biscoff donuts, bavarian cream donuts, and mini donuts.

Why this recipe works

  • Texture- the dough of these doughnuts is pillowy soft and will melt in your mouth along with the delicious custard filling and chocolate ganache topping.
  • Simple- these donuts are easy to make and are made with super simple ingredients you can find in any grocery store.
  • Vanilla custard filling- these donuts are filled with a creamy and velvety smooth vanilla custard filling that melts in your mouth.
  • Chocolate ganache topping- after every donut is filled with pastry cream, each donut is dipped in silky and rich chocolate ganache which takes these to the next level.
Single Boston cream donut with a bite missing.


Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.Full measurements are in the recipe card below.

For the dough

Flour– we use all-purpose flour for this recipe. Bread flour will work great as well for this recipe.

Active dry yeast– active dry yeast works best for this recipe.

Granulated sugar– granulated sugar works best for this recipe, but caster sugar can work as well.

Vegetable oil- use either vegetable oil or canola oil for this recipe. You will need oil for the dough and for frying the dough.

Kosher salt– use kosher salt or table salt for this recipe.

Water– use room temperature water.

Eggs- you will need 2 large eggs, make sure that your eggs are at room temperature.

Vanilla extract- for extra flavor.

For the vanilla custard

Milk- use room temperature whole milk.

Egg yolks- you will need 4 egg yolks for this recipe. Use large eggs.

Vanilla extract- vanilla extract adds extra flavor. For extra vanilla flavor, use vanilla bean extract or an actual vanilla bean!

Butter- use unsalted butter for this recipe. Only butter will work for this recipe, no margarine, and no coconut oil. Margarine has a weird taste and can ruin the flavor of this pastry cream.

Granulated sugar– granulated sugar works best for this recipe, but caster sugar can work as well.

Cornstarch- you will need cornstarch to thicken the cream.

For the chocolate ganache topping

Heavy cream- use full-fat heavy cream for this recipe. This can’t be substituted.

Chocolate- use the best quality semisweet or dark chocolate bars for the best flavor. using the best quality dark chocolate is very important in this recipe.


Make the vanilla pastry cream

Place a saucepan over high heat and fill it with the milk and vanilla extract. Let it simmer, and remove from heat. Scoop ¼ cup of the milk and set aside.

Donuts process shots.

In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and cornstarch. Mix with a whisk until combined. Add the egg yolks and mix. Gradually add the ¼ cup of milk and mix constantly with a whisk.

Donuts process shots.
Donuts process shots.
Donuts process shots.

Move the saucepan with the milk to the stovetop over low heat and add the egg yolk mixture into the milk mixing constantly with a whisk.

Mix constantly with a whisk until the mixture thickens. Don’t increase the heat, be patient it will be worth it!

Finally, add the butter and mix until the butter melts.

Donuts process shots.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap tightly. Place the bowl in the fridge to set and cool for a few hours.

Donuts process shots.

Make the dough

In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, dry yeast, and sugar. Mix with a spoon until combined. Add the salt, and mix until combined.

Donuts process shots.

Add the room temperature water, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and the eggs, and start mixing on low until the dough forms.

Donuts process shots.

Increase the speed to medium and mix for at least 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and silky.

Donuts process shots.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until it’s doubled in size (or even tripled in size).

Donuts process shots.

Punch down the dough and transfer it to a clean floured surface. Sprinkle flour on the dough and roll it into a ¼-inch thick rectangle, making sure that the bottom of the donuts doesn’t stick to the surface.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, stamp out as many rounds as you can. Reuse the leftover dough and make more dough rounds.

Transfer the dough rounds to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with a clean towel, and let the dough rise until it doubles in size or at least for 30 minutes.

Donuts process shots.

Heat canola oil in a Dutch oven, saucepan, or frying pan and allow it to get to about 160c (320f).

Gently place a donut round in the hot oil (using your hand or a spatula) and fry in small batches for about 2 minutes on each side.

Remove the fried donuts to paper towels to drain any excess oil. Let the donuts cool for a few minutes or until they are cool enough to hold.

Donuts process shots.

Make the chocolate ganache

Melt dark chocolate and heavy cream in a small to medium mixing bowl in the microwave for about 50 seconds.

Let the chocolate and the cream sit for 10 minutes for the chocolate to melt, then mix until the chocolate ganache is smooth and silky.


Transfer the vanilla pastry cream to a piping bag with a donut piping tip and fill each donut with as much vanilla pastry cream as you like. Dip each donut in the chocolate ganache and serve!

Donuts process shots.

Expert Tips

  • Measure your flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with the back of a knife.
  • Use a candy thermometer to reach the proper heating oil temperature. This will prevent from your donuts from cooking too fast on the outside and being undercooked on the inside.
  • Make sure that your yeast isn’t expired. You can check if your yeast is expired by mixing a teaspoon of dry yeast with ¼ cup of room temperature water, waiting 10 minutes, and if the yeast has bubbles in it and it puffed a bit, your yeast is alive and good, if there are no bubbles in your yeast mixture, your yeast is probably expired.
  • Be patient! Let the dough rise at least until it doubles its size. The more the dough rises, the more fluffy the donuts will be.
  • Use bread flour! We like to use either all-purpose flour or bread flour for making bread. Bread flour contains more gluten, which makes the dough more stretchy and easy to work with.
  • Make sure that your ingredients are fresh! Make sure that your flour and yeast are fresh and not expired. This step ensures that you will have great dough to work with.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying the donuts, this step ensures that your donuts cook well.
  • Remove the fried donuts to paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Stack of two custard donuts with the top one missing a bite.
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