Pistachio Cream Filled Doughnuts




Introduction: Pistachio Cream Filled Doughnuts

About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to use…

Hello everyone,

Today I’ll be sharing with you another family favorite recipe: stuffed doughnuts. They are really hard to resist: imagine a soft and tender bun made of enriched dough that melts in your mouth, filled with jam or some sort of a cream and dusted with sugar. They are the best fresh fried, still slightly warm. I remember my mum frying huge batches of them, we just could not get enough. They are so good!

Doughnuts are very popular in Central - Europe, they are the typical treat of the carnival season that starts on January 6 (Epiphany) and lasts until Ash Wednesday when, in the Christian tradition, the fasting period of Lent begins. During the carnival season people celebrate the end of winter. This period is traditionally characterized by eating rich food and loud, colorful events with people (especially kids these days at school parties) getting dressed in costumes and masks.  

There is a funny anecdote as to the origin of doughnuts: Ms. Krapfen took over business from her late husband, a baker by profession in Vienna, when he died. The customers were disappointed for having to wait too long and when they expressed their discontent, Ms. Krapfen threw a piece of dough at them that happened to land in a pot of cooking oil. The outcome was a major hit, that is how the first doughnut (Krapfen in German, fánk in Hungarian but it has various names all over Europe) was born, as far as the story goes.

It does not really matter if it is true or not, I highly recommend to try it. Maybe it will become one of your family favorites, too.

Today I chose to make a pistachio cream to fill the doughnuts with and dusted them with a mixture of ground pistachios and sugar, but any kind of cream filling works. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate cream or vanilla custard, or jam. The easiest way out is to omit the filling and simply put jam and icing sugar on top of fried doughnuts. 



For the dough:

  • 550 g all purpose or cake flour
  • 7 g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 80 g sugar
  • 300 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 7 g salt

 Canola (or other neutral flavored oil) for frying and oiling the bowl

flour for dusting work surface

For dusting doughnuts:

  • 80 g sugar
  • 50 g blanched, toasted, unsalted pistachios (measured shells removed)

For the filling:

  • 200 g blanched, toasted, unsalted pistachios (on how to blanch, check out step 2.)
  • 300 g whole milk
  • 80 g + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 egg yolks*
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45 g corn starch
  • 180 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 200 g double cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt

*Tip: You may freeze the leftover eggwhites in freezer bags for a later use.


  • digital scale
  • kitchen towel
  • paper towel
  • pot
  • baking tray / skillet
  • parchment paper
  • strainer
  • saucepan
  • food processor
  • clingfilm
  • bowls and heatproof bowls
  • silicone spatula
  • electric whisk
  • piping bag with a mid-sized round tip
  • stand mixer with dough hook and whisk attachment
  • mixing bowl
  • round cookie cutter
  • rolling pin
  • tong
  • slotted spoon / spider
  • digital thermometer
  • chopstick

Step 1: Hulling Pistachios

If you can buy pistachios without their shells or even better, blanched, that is definitely a shortcut, but you may also start with pistachios in their shells and prepare them yourself. Please note that measurements are given for hulled and blanched pistachios.

First remove shells (if you worry about your nails, use a half-shell to remove them). 

Step 2: Blanching Pistachios

The reason for blanching pistachios is to remove the paper skin for a more intense pistachio flavor. You need to proceed carefully as we want to avoid pistachios turning crumbly as a result off too long time spent in hot water.

So first, soak them in cold water in a wide bottomed pot for 3 - 5 minutes then heat them (at medium heat) until the water is very hot (but not boiling). At this point, test one of the pistachios whether you can push it out of the paper skin. If yes, strain them in a colander and rinse with cold water until completely cold to stop from further cooking. If not, continue heating for 30 seconds and retest.

Then, remove the paper skin one-by-one by simply pinching the skin off. Or, you may put them into a clean kitchen towel and rub them thoroughly. Either way you chose, you should end up with beautiful, green pistachios resembling gems.

Spread them on a paper towel and wait till they dry. 

Step 3: Toasting Pistachios

Toasting pistachios adds extra flavor to the cream.

I prefer to toast them in a skillet, because that way I can keep a constant eye on them. Toasting must be done really gently so that the they do not lose their color. Put them into a dry skillet and toast on medium heat just until that beautiful pistachio smell hits your nose.

Or: Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius, spread pistachios on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and toast for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. 

Step 4: Pistachio Paste

The first step that will take us to having a wonderful pistachio cream to fill the doughnuts with is making pistachio paste. For this you only need three things: pistachios, high-speed food processor and patience.

Add 200 g blanched pistachios into the food processor and blend until smooth. It may take 10-15 minutes.

What happens is that as pistachios break down, the oil content is released and they turn into a smooth cream. The smoothness actually depends on the power of the food processor you're using. Mine started to make weird sounds, therefore I stopped when the paste was playdoh like, but it is OK for this recipe.

There is no need to add anything else. When I made this for the first time I felt really tempted to add water because through most part of the process it seemed impossible that the nuts would turn into a paste anytime. But they actually will. Adding water is strictly prohibited, if you’re on the verge of losing your patience, add a teaspoon of canola oil or pistachio oil for that matter.

When the paste is almost done, add 1 tablespoon sugar to make it somewhat sweet. 

Step 5: Pistachio Cream 1.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan, add vanilla extract and bring it to boil.

In the meantime, add the yolks into a heatproof bowl, mix with an electric whisk, then add sugar in two batches and finally the starch and combine (in this order). Keep whisking until the color of the mixture starts to fade. 

Step 6: Pistachio Cream 2.

When the milk reaches boiling point, pour it little by little onto the egg mixture while mixing constantly with the elecric whisk.

Then pour it back into the saucepan used for heating the milk, mix in pistachio paste, place it back onto low-medium heat and cook – stirring constantly – until the cream gets dense like pancake batter (about 5 minutes).

Transfer the cream into a heatproof bowl, place a piece of clingfilm directly on top (that way no “skin” will form on top of the cream). Wait for it to cool completely.

Step 7: Pistachio Cream 3.

Whip the double cream until soft peaks form. Transfer the whipped double cream into a separate bowl.

Put the butter into the mixing bowl (no need to clean the bowl or the whisk) and whisk the butter until light and fluffy. Add pistachio cream and keep whisking until it is fully combined with the butter. It should be smooth and light.

Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pistachio - butter mixture and mix thorougly. Then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream.

Step 8: Pistachio Cream 4.

 Transfer the cream into a piping bag equipped with a not too small, not too wide round tip. Keep it in the fridge until further use.

Note: Pistachio cream freezes absolutely well, you may freeze it in the piping bag for 3-4 months should you have any leftover.

Step 9: Dusting Mix

Place sugar and 50 g pistachios into a food processor and pulse until you find it crumbly enough. In this case do not overwork, we are not aiming at an extraordinarily sweet pistachio paste. 

Step 10: The Dough – Proofing the Yeast

Dump the flour into the mixing bowl, make a well in the middle.

Pour in approximately 1/3 of the milk, 1 tablespoon sugar and the yeast.

Cover the top with some flour, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and wait for about 5-10 minutes.

Soon you’ll see cracks appearing on the surface, that practically means that yeast fungi are alive and well and have started working. 

Step 11: Combining the Dough

Place the rest of the ingredients - except for the salt and the butter - into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the dough hook attachment and mix until the dough comes together (3-4 minutes).

At this point, add salt and the butter little by little (add next piece of butter after the former was fully incorporated) while kneading the dough constantly.

The dough should be kneaded for about 10-15 minutes altogether until it’s elastic and shiny.

Step 12: Rest the Dough

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball.

Place it back into the clean, lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl.

What we are looking for is the dough rising to 2-3 times its original volume that can be achieved two ways. Either leave it at room temperature in which case the process should take about 2 hours, or put in the fridge overnight and fry doughnuts the next day. It is very important though to bear in mind that in the latter case that the dough should be allowed to temper the next day prior to frying. Simply take it out of the fridge and wait until it warms to room temperature.

Step 13: Stretch the Dough

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and stretch it to about 1-1.5 cm thickness.

Cut the dough with circular cookie cutter. Traditionally 7-9 cm diameter cutter is used, but size is not crucial. You can even use a glass turned upside down. 

Place them onto a piece of parchment and loosely cover with clingfilm. Let them rest about 30-40 minutes until they have visibly risen.

What to do with the dough in between the circles? The easy option is to fry them as they are. Of course you can't stuff them, but they may be dunked into jam.

If you prefer making super-regular circles only, then the dough may be re-knead, but must be allowed to rest another 30 minutes before stretching it again.

Step 14: Frying

Heat 3-4 cm canola or sunflower oil in a thick bottomed pan till it reaches 170° Celsius (use a digital thermometer to measure). If the oil is too hot, the outside of the doughnuts gets burnt while the inside is still raw. The height of the oil should be enough for the doughnuts to float without touching the bottom of the pan.

Cut the parchment underneath the doughnuts so that each will be sitting alone on its own piece. The idea behind placing the doughnuts individually on parchment squares is that this way it will be easier to transfer them into the frying pan without ruining the airy texture. 

Lift the doughnuts by holding the parchment and place them gently (together with the parchment) into the hot oil. Soon the parchments will be separated from each piece of dough, they should be removed with a tong.

The number of doughnuts that can be fried at a time depends on the size of the pan. Do not overcrowd them!

 Fry one side for about 40-50 seconds then turn (use a spider or a slotted spoon) and fry the other half as well. Both sides should be golden brown.

 Place fried doughnuts on a fat absorbent paper. 

Step 15: Dusting

Wait a couple of minutes until they can be touched by hand and coat them with the pistachio and sugar mix (the doughnut should be a little warm, otherwise the coating would not stick). Line them up on a piece of parchment.

Step 16: Stuffing

Once the doughnuts have almost cooled to room temperature, it’s time to stuff them. They should feel slightly warm when touched, but if they are too warm, the filling may melt.

Grab the first doughnut and poke a hole in it from the side approximately midway into the doughnut with a chopstick. Gently rotate the chopstick around inside the doughnut to open up a little more space inside for the filling. Be careful not to push the chopstick through any other part of the doughnut. It should come out where it went in. :-)

 Insert the filling tip of the piping bag into the hole and stuff the doughnuts with a generous amount of pistachio cream. The doughnut is full when you feel that the piping bag is pushed out by the filling already in the doughnut.

Step 17: Enjoy

That's it, we're done. Give it a try, you won't regret it, I promise.

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    22 days ago

    Ohhh wow delicious donuts with clear explanations,,,, photos are clear and brilliant angle, totally superb donuts!!


    Reply 22 days ago

    Thank you very much!


    27 days ago

    Please pleaseeee pleaseee i wanna one of these ultragoodlooking doughnuts! Simply fabulous!


    Reply 27 days ago

    Thanks 😀
    Unfortunately they are all gone by now…


    27 days ago

    Fantastic recipe and very detailed explanation.


    Reply 27 days ago

    Thank you so much!


    27 days ago

    Drooling 🤤


    Reply 27 days ago

    Absolutely 😀
    Thank you!


    4 weeks ago

    Beautiful and they sound so delicius :D


    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks 😊