This super-simple brioche donuts recipe is a quick and easy dessert that will satisfy your sweet cravings. Made with pre-made brioche, this recipe requires no kneading, rising or deep frying but tastes just delicious.
This recipe for brioche donuts is one of the best dessert hacks ever.
Though not 100% from scratch, these semi homemade donuts still taste divine and are sure to satisfy your donut desires. Trust us, the first time you bite into one of these fluffy, warm balls of goodness, your world will be changed. With a fluffy texture, gooey jam filling and sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top, you’ll be coming back for seconds.
Best of all, this recipe is super simple and requires NO instant yeast, NO dough rise, NO kneading and NO excess oil. Sounds too good to be true, right?
The secret is simple. Instead of using DIY donut dough, we use pre-made brioche!
What You’ll Need
- Store-bought brioche: Any high-quality option will work. We used Brioche Gourmet sliders from Woolworths.
- Butter (or butter alternative): Unsalted butter and salted butter will both work depending on your taste preferences. You can also use butter alternatives, outlined below under ‘Make These Donuts Healthier’.
- Jam (or other filling): We used raspberry jam, but there are plenty of other filling options to try, listed under ‘Flavour Variations’.
- Sugar: You can either coat your donuts in plain caster sugar, or cinnamon sugar as explained in the notes section of the recipe card.
It goes without saying that brioche bread is the backbone of this brioche donut recipe. Instead of making the brioche yourself (which is quite a feat), we simply use store-bought brioche rolls or sliders instead.
To ensure that your donuts turn out perfectly, we recommend high-quality brioche sliders that are uniform in size and in the shape of smooth balls. Look for rolls with a shiny, golden brown exterior and fluffy texture for best results.
Notes on the Recipe
While this recipe is quite straightforward, here are a few notes to keep in mind while making these donuts.
- If you’re aiming for a classic flavour, top the donuts with pure caster sugar. For something with a slightly french toast flavour, use cinnamon sugar as explained in the recipe card.
- The best way to fill these donuts is to put the filling in a small bowl, then pipe it into the donuts once they have cooled slightly. Depending on the filling, this is best achieved with a syringe or piping bag. For jam, you can use a syringe, but for thicker fillings like nutella, peanut butter or ricotta, use a piping bag instead.
Baking the Donuts
Because the store-bought brioche is already baked, you want to avoid over-cooking your brioche donuts. By keeping the baking time short, you’ll be able to warm your donuts without risking crispy edges or burnt exteriors.
These donuts don't require a deep fryer and can be made either in the air fryer or a regular oven on convection setting.
If using an Oven:
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place prepared brioche donuts on the baking tray, leaving plenty of room between each.
- Preheat to 180 degrees Celsius, turn on the convection setting, then bake for 5 minutes.
If using an air fryer:
- Place donuts in air fryer tray, cook for 5 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
- Double chocolate donuts: Omit sugar/ cinnamon sugar mixture. After baking donuts, fill with chocolate filling such as Nutella. Let cool to room temperature, then dip the top of the donut in chocolate ganache or melted chocolate. Place on wire rack to cool completely, and enjoy once the chocolate ganache has set.
- Vanilla donuts: Swap sugar/ cinnamon sugar for vanilla sugar. Fill the donuts with vanilla cream made from ricotta, powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste.
- Custard donuts: Make an easy pastry cream from store-bought custard mix. Season to taste with a little extra vanilla extract, and use this to fill the donuts.
- Lemon donuts: Fill the donuts with ricotta, seasoned to taste with powdered sugar, lemon curd and lemon zest.
These donuts will continue to taste good the next day, if stored properly. If you live in a warm environment, place donuts on a plate, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
If you don't live in a warm place and your kitchen is a moderate temperature, you’ll be fine storing these in an airtight container, unrefrigerated for up to 1 day after they’ve been made. Though they might not taste as fresh, but they will still make a delicious breakfast the next morning.
Because these brioche donuts are filled with liquid filling, we don’t recommend eating them more than 1 day after baking, as they might become soggy. Not ideal!
Make these Donuts Healthier
Swaps to make these donuts healthier:
- Instead of using regular jam use sugar-free jam as a filling.
- Instead of coating the donuts with melted butter use a butter alternative like Nuttelex, a neutral oil spray or Coconut oil.
- Instead of rolling the donuts in caster sugar or cinnamon sugar, swap it out for a sugar-free granulated sweetener such as monk fruit or stevia.
Sure thing! To reheat these donuts, just pop them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds on medium heat.
The best way to make a big batch of these donuts is to use large baking trays and a convection oven. If you have enough racks in your oven, you can bake up to 3x the amount of donuts at once.
To make these donuts vegan, you will need to find vegan brioche sliders. You’ll also want to avoid any fillings that might contain animal byproducts such as dairy or eggs.
Since these semi homemade brioche donuts aren't fried, they're slightly healthier than regular donuts. If you want to take it one step further, then we suggest making jelly donut baked oats instead.
Chia jam is one of the healthiest jam options, since it uses real fruit and (often) no added sugar.
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