Introduction: Cockroach Donuts (Boston Cream)

Picture of Cockroach Donuts (Boston Cream)

Give your guests the creeps with these donuts disguised as cockroaches! But they won't be creeped out for long once guests dig their teeth into the mouthwatering chocolate glaze, soft and chewy caramel shell, and into the deliciously oozing vanilla bean Boston cream. And if you're expecting cockroaches would have some crunch, these donuts do not disappoint -- the antennae and legs are all made from thin, crispy fried strips of donut dough.

I'll show you how fun and straightforward they are to make.

I've entered this into the Halloween Contest for the Food Category. Your vote is surely appreciated!


Step 1: Ingredients & Supplies

Picture of Ingredients & Supplies

The doughnut, chocolate glaze, and cream filling have been adapted from Genius Kitchen.

Doughnut Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1 egg

For Frying

Frying sieve


Chopstick (or something for flipping)
Large pot with 2" canola oil

Boston Cream Filling Ingredients

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup confectioner's sugar

4 tablespoons hot water

Caramel Ridges

Soft caramels (I used Werther's Soft Caramels)

Black food color

Food color paintbrush

Paint palette

Other Supplies

Plastic wrap

Rolling pin

Pizza cutter

Oval cookie cutter

Piping bag with piping tip

Step 2: The Dough in Donut

Picture of The Dough in Donut

Donut doughs are very simple to make. They only extra needed is time for a second rise. All ingredients are pictured and listed in the ingredients page.

1. Add yeast in 1/4 cup very warm water. Whisk until dissolved. Wait 5-10 minutes for yeast to bubble up. This means it is activated.

2. Heat milk and add butter. Stir until butter melts.

3. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl (preferably the same bowl that will be used for kneading, if kneading with a machine).

4. Add all wet ingredients.

5. Mix thoroughly until combined. The mixture will be lumpy.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a dark, warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).

7. Once doubled in size, knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

8. Place dough on a floured surface and you are ready for the next step!

Step 3: Cockroach Bodies

Picture of Cockroach Bodies

Here is where I wish I had used a 4" oval cutter. Instead, I used 3" Easter egg cutter. I would advise using 4" oval cutter, and elongating the donut for a narrower cockroach body and maybe even trimming off the sides so the cockroaches aren't so obese. Or if using a 3" Easter cutter as I did, it might be better to squish the cutter to a narrower shape (however, you might not quite get the egg shape back perfectly on your cutter)

1. On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough out to a 1/3" thickness.

2. Cut dough using oval cookie cutter.

3. Place ovals on a generously floured parchment lined tray.

4. Reserve half as many ovals for the next step.

5. Cut reserved ovals in half.

6. With a silicone or pastry brush, brush water on the top third of oval.

7. Place half an oval on the top third of oval.

8. Repeat until all ovals have a half-oval on the top.

9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

Save dough remnants for antennae and legs.

Step 4: Fry Them Up

Picture of Fry Them Up

Once the dough has had its second rise:

1. Using a very sharp knife, slit the half oval across as shown.

2. Repeat on all donuts.

3. Heat oil to 370F over meadium heat. Carefully place 4 donuts in oil. Do not overcrowd the pot.

4. Cook 1 minute on each side. I used a chopstick to flip the donuts.

5. Using a fryer sieve, retrieve the donuts from the oil.

6. On a cooling rack lined with paper towels, let donuts cool.

Step 5: Antennae and Legs

Picture of Antennae and Legs

1. Gather dough remnants into a ball and roll out very thin (1/16" thin).

2. Using pizza cutter, cut thin (1/8") strips of dough.

3. In 370F hot oil, fry the strips.

4. Cook strips 1 minute each side.

5. Retrieve from oil using a fryer sieve and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

Step 6: Boston Cream Filling

Picture of Boston Cream Filling

1. Combine all ingredients (pictured and listed on ingredients page) in a sauce pan.

2. Whisk together until combined.

3. Over low-medium heat, whisk continuously.

4. Remove from heat once thickened (pastry cream).

5. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill (in freezer for quicker results, just make sure it does not freeze).

6. Once the pastry cream has cooled, whip heavy cream to firm peaks.

7. Add pastry cream to whipped cream.

8. Whip on high until combined.

9. Put cream in piping bag.

10. Insert nozzle into donut and pipe donut with cream until slightly heavy.

Step 7: Chocolate Glaze

Picture of Chocolate Glaze

1. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.

2. Add icing sugar and mix until combined.

3. Add water and stir. Remove from heat and into a bowl.

4. Dip tops of donuts into chocolate glaze.

5. Repeat for all donuts.

Step 8: Soft Caramel Shell

Picture of Soft Caramel Shell

1. Place caramels in a bowl and microwave for no more than 10 seconds, just until they are more pliable but not melted.

2. Put caramels into a ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

3. Roll until very thin (1/8").

4. Using a pizza cutter, slice into thin 1/8"-1/4" strips.

5. Place first caramel strip below the bulb of the cockroach's head. Using kitchen shears, cut caramel strip to size along the side of the donut.

6. Repeat until cockroach body has a series of caramel stripes.

Step 9: Paint It Real

Picture of Paint It Real

Using black food color and water:

1. Start painting from the head of the cockroach.

2. Paint the areas of the sides of the head. Paint some shading and details. It helps to have several images of a hissing cockroach on hand for reference.

3. Paint the bottoms of the caramel stripes, as well as some shading on the center and sides.

4. Add a dot on each caramel stripe, along each side of the cockroach.

5. Using a loaded brush and very light touch, add tiny specks on the caramel stripes.

6. Don't forget to have fun!

7. Go through the crispy fried strips of dough for pieces that resemble antennae and legs. Don't be afraid to break off from larger pieces to make the shapes and sizes you need. Just be gentle.

8. Insert antenna. I discovered piloting a hole using bamboo skewers made this process easier and the antenna not likely to break upon insertion.

9. Insert legs.

10. Paint antennae using short horizontal strokes.

11. Paint legs.

And you are done! Time to eat!


MymlanOhlin (author)2017-11-21

SO well worth first prize in the Halloween contest! Congrats!!

Thank you so much!

misterxp (author)2017-11-17

These are woderful. Look just like the ones I find in my kitchen!! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you! I hope the ones in your kitchen aren't this big! haha.

Big? You can ride on their backs they are so big!


4DIYers (author)2017-11-19

Wow does that ever look realistic, amazing work!

Thank you!

Sparkle44 (author)2017-11-20

good for pranking people if they were smaller but great job

Thank you!

ChristineAZ (author)2017-11-16

Perfect for Halloween party

Hope you try it out!

meswanson (author)2017-11-16

Such a well done instructable. Great detail and fine results. Thank you.

Thank you!

chefspenser (author)2017-11-16

Very, very creative!!!


thesnowtheriver (author)2017-11-16

absolutely marvelous! well designed, well written. top notch instructable.! eek and yum in equal amounts. perfect!

Thank you, thank you!!

Cayotica (author)2017-11-16

the photos alone makes my stomach turn. What a nice trick to play on my mother except she’s already too close to the grave. Now if it was spiders and my brother BAM!

Oh no! XD

rfitzgerald1 (author)2017-11-16

Oh heck no, gives me the heebie jeebies just looking at the pictures! LOL. But this is perfect for Halloween or anytime you want to do something unusual. If you live in a state with palmetto bugs you'll understand that these look too close to reality, lol. I'm sure they taste wonderful!

For Halloween. April Fools. Revenge. :)

Cayotica (author)rfitzgerald12017-11-16

oh yeah, way to close to home for us southerners, American southerners that is.

MillennialDIYer (author)2017-11-14

Somewhere, in some remote country with exotic cuisine is probably thinking "Bah, the real thing tastes better if you cook it right" ;)

LOL! I bet!!! And my aunt was just recently telling me she's eaten deep fried locusts.

who hasn’t eaten locust and spiders and worms and rotten shark and the list goes on and on.

Right! Who hasn't! XD

booboobear (author)2017-11-16

A million points for creativity!! A bajillion points if these taste good! Plan to make them soon. Very well done instructable. I Voted for you.

Thank you so much for your kind compliments and your vote!

Alaskan Bev (author)2017-11-16

Great Instructable! I voted, BTW. But I'm still not sure I'd eat one...

Thank you so much for your vote!
If you closed your eyes, I'm sure you could! :D

wwjbd1441 (author)2017-11-16

SO awesome! Going to make these for a thanksgiving potluck at church. Should be a hilarious reaction! ...especially from the kids!

Thanksgiving at church! lol!! That WOULD be hilarious!

MolnarL1 (author)2017-11-16

Oh God. You made my evening. I just imagined my triplets to eat these. Thanks for this. :-)

Glad to make your evening! :)

Notfurlong (author)2017-11-16

You are clearly an evil genius! These look great! :D

Thank you! Mwahahahahah.

tiniwesa (author)2017-11-16

Boston Cream IS my favourite, but these guys look too cute to eat!!! (I used to raise hissing cockroaches for pets & they are actually really interesting insects - funny & smart!) I have to say that this is one of the best Instructables I've ever seen! So organised, easy to follow & FUN! Best part? How realistic they are! Okay, now how about doing some kind of Jelly Bean Jumping Spiders or Magot Milkshakes! I will await your future endeavors with baited breath...and maybe some mild skin crawling, haha!

That's amazing that you've had them as pets! I bet they have a really interesting personality.

I love donuts and love making them! I'm now considering making realistically decorated donuts in various forms. Maggots have been on my list! :D

Thank you so much for all the kind compliments, I'm happy you've thoroughly enjoyed my Instructable!

wurzelld (author)2017-11-16

Tastes like chicken!

Hahaha! I'm glad to say, these taste chocolatey, caramely, and creamy!

cichfrk (author)2017-11-17

Simply awesome! Thanks for sharing. Followed and voted too.

Thank you so much for following and your vote! I hope you try these out and the other recipes/projects I have.

gwdouglas (author)2017-11-17

Amazingly creative, yet, a bit on the disgusting side. This would've been perfect for a themed party like Halloween or just for fun with the kids!


Jake_Makes (author)2017-11-14

For the first time in my life I am completely unsure what to think of something. Half of me is fearing for your mental sanity............the other half thinks this is the most awesome thing since the duct tape tie!

Cayotica (author)Jake_Makes2017-11-16

I fully agree with you.

Half of me is also fearing for my mental sanity. lol.
Thanks for your concern and compliments. :D

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2017-11-15

It would be such a hard situation to be faced with this donut. I would so want to eat it because I love donuts, but I don't know if I could convince myself to bite into it. Amazing job :)

So you'd be bugging out, huh? :D
Thank you!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! I'm Jeromina Juan. Former blogger. Former freelance crafts contributor for Canadian Living in print and Craftzine online. Former full-time civil engineering Utility Design ... More »
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