This post is sponsored by Straus Family Creamery, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Sweet Kitchen Cravings possible!
I collaborated with Straus Family Creamery to bring you these Chocolate Custard Brioche Donuts and I could not be more excited about it! Their Organic Whole Chocolate Milk is the star of the show here, making the silky chocolate custard extra rich and luscious. This chocolate milk is so thick and creamy – it’s unlike any other I’ve had before and it’s by far the best tasting. The light and fluffy brioche dough also uses Straus Family Creamery’s Organic Cream-Top Whole Milk and Organic Unsalted Sweet European Style Butter, making these donuts rich and pillowy soft.
I’m a big fan of Straus Family Creamy because of the pure and simple ingredients in their products. There is never anything artificial added and it’s all minimally processed which is exactly the quality I’m always looking for in my baking ingredients!
How to Make Brioche Donuts
The chocolate custard starts by combining the chocolate milk with sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and espresso powder. After whisking the mixture constantly over medium heat for about 10 minutes, it becomes nice and thick. The mixture is strained then butter and vanilla are mixed in. Set the custard in the fridge to cool completely.
Brioche Donut Dough
This brioche dough comes together in a stand mixer. Milk and butter are warmed up then the yeast is stirred in. Flour, sugar, salt, and an egg are added and the dough is mixed for about 8 minutes. It should be soft and smooth, yet slightly sticky and fairly easy to handle. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down to press out any air pockets then it’s time to shape the donuts. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball. Press each ball down to flatten then cover them with plastic and let the dough rest until it sightly puffs, about 30 minutes.
Frying & Finishing the Donuts
While the dough rests, get the oil ready for frying. Pour neutral oil into a large pot to fill it at least 2” deep and heat to 350°F. Once the oil is ready, turn down the heat to maintain the temperature. Carefully place 2-3 donuts at a time into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes per side. Remove donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a cooling rack.
Toss the donuts in sugar to fully coat them. Use a small pairing knife to make a slit in the end of the donut, creating a pocket in the center. Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, pipe the cooled chocolate custard into the end, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Brioche Donuts
- Weigh your ingredients. The most accurate way to measure your ingredients when baking is with a kitchen scale. Measuring cups can be really inaccurate, but weighing your ingredients on a scale will give you much more consistent results. I include gram measurements in all my recipes for this reason and highly recommend using this method!
- Maintain the oil temperature. The key to a perfectly fried donut is keeping the oil at a consistent temperature – not too high and not too low. I found that 350°F – 355°F is the sweet spot. Once the oil reaches this temperature range, turn the heat down to low to maintain that range. Check the oil temperature frequently by using a candy thermometer.
- Don’t overcrowd the pot. Keep in mind that when you add the donuts to the oil, this will cause the temperature to drop a few degrees. I like to start with frying one donut to gauge the temperature and then continue with frying only 2-3 donuts at a time. This will help maintain the temperature while frying.
Brioche Donut FAQs
How should I store the donuts?
These donuts are best enjoyed the same day. I don’t recommend keeping them longer than the first day but if you must, make sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 2 days.
Can the donuts be baked?
I do not recommend baking these. This recipe has been designed and tested for frying only. Baking the dough won’t give you the same light, fluffy texture that frying does.
Can the donut dough be made ahead of time?
Yes. Once you make the dough and it has doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any excess air. Put plastic wrap over the bowl and place it in the fridge to rise overnight. The next day, portion and shape the dough as directed.
How can I be sure that the donuts are cooked all the way through?
You can use an instant-read thermometer the check the internal temperature of the donuts – they should be at least 190°F.
More Brioche Recipes to Try
- Nutella Brioche Buns
- Almond Cream Brioche Buns
- Brown Butter Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
- Mini Brioche Slider Buns
If you make this recipe and love it, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy baking!
Chocolate Custard Brioche Donuts
For the Chocolate Custard
- ⅓ cup (68g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (18g) cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons (20g) cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
- 1 ⅓ cup (302g) Straus Family Creamery Organic Whole Chocolate Milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (14g) Straus Family Creamery Organic Unsalted Sweet European Style Butter
For the Brioche Donuts
- ⅓ cup (88g) Straus Family Creamery Organic Cream-Top Whole Milk
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) Straus Family Creamery Organic Unsalted Sweet European Style Butter
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
For Frying and Finishing
- neutral oil, like vegetable or canola for frying, needs to be at least 2” deep
- granulated sugar, for coating the donuts
- chocolate shavings, for finishing (optional)
- Chocolate Custard: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and espresso powder. Slowly stream in the chocolate milk while whisking.
- Cook the custard mixture on the stove over medium heat while whisking continuously until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture with a sieve then stir in the vanilla extract and butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the custard and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Brioche Dough: In a small saucepan, add the milk and butter and heat on low until the mixture reaches at least 90°F, but don’t let it get above 110°F. Add the milk and butter mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Stir in the yeast.
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, and egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 5 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl then continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes, until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bow. It should be slightly sticky but easy to handle.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Once the dough is ready, press out any excess air then place it onto a lightly floured surface and portion into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down each ball to flatten. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow the donuts to rest until slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
- While the donuts are resting, fill a medium heavy-bottomed pot with neutral oil so the oil is at least 2” deep. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 350°F – 355°F then turn down the heat to maintain the temperature. Place granulated sugar in a bowl for tossing.
- Frying: Once the oil is heated and the donuts have puffed, carefully place two donuts at a time in the oil. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, until donuts are a deep golden brown. The internal temperature should be at least 190°F. Remove the donuts from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
- Once all the donuts are fried, toss them in the sugar until fully coated. Place the donuts upright and use a pairing knife to make a slit in the end, down the center of the donut to create a pocket for the custard.
- Place the cooled chocolate custard in a piping bag fitted with a round pastry. Pipe the custard into the slit of each donut, then finish with a sprinkle of chocolate shavings and enjoy!