Oven Baked French Cruller Donuts
Recently a friend of mine reminded me of cruller donuts when we were having a conversation about our favorite kinds of donuts. I used to love going to this little Belgium Bakery in town because they made the best donuts. My favorite of them all were the French Crullers. You had to get there first thing in the morning on Saturday if you wanted to get one because they sold out fast!
I began to wonder if it was possible to bake them instead of fry. I have other donut recipes that I absolutely love that I bake in the oven like Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts & Vanilla Cake Donuts. I was very excited to read that the pâte à choux pastry dough that is used to make cruller donuts bakes well in the oven! Yes! The next day I whipped up a batch of Oven Baked French Cruller Donuts & I was satisfied with the results. They turned out very well in the oven & reminded me of the ones I used to get at the bakery.
The picture above shows the dough being made in the saucepan. You want it to get really thick & evaporate as much water from it as possible because your going to add 3 eggs still & it will make it wet. The photo on the left above shows the film you get on the bottom of the saucepan when your evaporating the water. The photo on the right shows what the dough looks like after using a mixer to add the 3 eggs.
I used an Ateco 826 open star tip that I bought on Amazon, you want a big star tip about 1/2″ in size. I piped the dough using a Wilton disposable decorating bag.
Update: I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from this recipe. Seems like most are people are telling me they like it as is. Others have suggested adding 2 Tablespoons of sugar for a sweeter dough. I think the glaze gives it it’s sugary sweetness. Some say they want a more eggy flavor & wanted to add another egg white. For me the dough would have been too watery to do that but you could try making adjustments to the recipe. The one below is just the one that I liked.
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons butter, sliced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½-2 Tablespoons milk
- In a saucepan bring water, butter, sugar, & salt to a boil.
- Lower heat, add in flour and mix well.
- Continue to cook & stir it on low-medium heat for about 4-6 minutes, you want to steam out as much water as you can. Be careful to not burn it.
- Once a thin layer forms on the bottom of the saucepan turn off heat.
- Remove from heat.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the dough for 1 minute to cool it down.
- Beat in one egg at time, scrapping the sides of the bowl until they are mixed in well.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. degrees.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch open star tip.
- Squeeze the dough into circles on a greased or lined cookie sheet, place 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F degrees & bake for 15 more minutes.
- Turn off oven, leave in oven for 5-10 more minutes with door slightly ajar.
- Remove from oven & let them cool down.
- Prepare glaze, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, & milk together until you get a thin enough glaze to dip or pour over the donuts. Start with 1½ tablespoons milk & add more if needed.
- Once donuts have cooled down dip or pour glaze over them. Let glaze set.
- They are best eaten fresh or they will get soggy.
Post contains amazon affiliate links. Adapted from epicurious
Kelly Mikolich says
Pinned!! These look delicious!!
This is incredible! How many does it make? And how do you store them?
Hi, It makes about 12 depending on how big you make them. They are best eaten the same day but can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Abby Montgomery says
Can you add fruit to this batter? Or would it make it too runny?
Hi Abby, I don’t think you could add fruit to it. You could glaze it after it is baked in some kind of fruit though.
So excited to make these! They look great and thank you for your tips/pics on the pâte à choux. They seem like a healthier version too since they are baked. :)
Hope you like them! :)
I wonder if they’ll turn out the same if I piped it into a different shape? I was just thinking how cute they would be for Easter morning piped into a bunny shape with the glaze dyed pastel colors?
Hi Jessica, love that idea! I think you could make these any shapes you want.
Why mine didn’t rise ???
Hi Paola, Chances are the dough was too wet and runny. When you pipe out the batter, it probably didn’t hold its shape, it needed more flour or less liquid. Also removing from the oven too early is another reason why your donuts may have gone flat. Hope this helps. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
cindie petersen says
I used a plastic bag with a 1/2 inch cut and they turned put beautifully in the cooking time stated.
I’m so glad they turned out for you with the plastic bag. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
I made this recipe and they were not sweet at all. Is it possible it should be 2 Tablespoons of sugar instead of 2 teaspoons?
Hi, No the 2 teaspoons is correct. It’s based off this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/french-crullers-51157200 The sugary glaze is what makes them sweet. You could try adding more sugar to the dough though.
Teresa Cole says
How would I go about calculating the calorie informations? These were delicious, light and airy! Although I didn’t make them thick enough (I turned out 20 instead of 12)
Hi Teresa, I’m glad you liked the recipe! You could try using a calorie calculator, I googled & found this one: https://www.verywell.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4129594
I’m so excited to try this recipe! If I don’t have the star tip though, can I just make them using a 1/2 inch straight opening?
Hi Stephanie, I’m not sure how they would turn out using just a 1/2″ opening that would make them thicker so they would probably need more baking time.
I always use a baggie, per this great tutorial I found: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/169377635962976996/
Hi Kelsey, Thanks for sharing! I’ve never seen that tutorial before. I gave up on using plastic baggies because they always ripped on me.
I can’t wait to try these but I would like to know if I could use orange juice instead of water and make the glaze with a little orange zest. I love the flavor of orange in baked goods.
Hi Leslie, I’m not sure about adding orange juice instead of water to the recipe, I’ve never done it but you could give it a try. I’m sure adding orange zest to the recipe would be fine though. :)
I used pancake mix in lieu of flour. I then followed the recipe up through the dough stage and put flattened dough in my waffle iron. These waffles turned out extra light and a little spongy, but oh, so delicious!
I’m glad the recipe worked for you in waffle form! Sounds good!
Just thought I’d comment on these. I made them with King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour today and they came out perfect. VERY good! So they work well with gluten free flour! Couldn’t even tell they were gluten free.
I’m so glad that gluten free flour worked well for this recipe. :)
Could these be made without using an electric mixer?
Hi Melissa, it might turn out okay if you mix by hand, I have not tried it with this recipe however.
cart BOX says
Ive made this recipe twice now, theyre amazing, although i do add 2tbsp of sufar instead of 2 tsp. Ive never had real cruller donuts but these are amazing!
So glad you like them! Thanks for commenting!
Could you drop these by spoonfuls?
Hi Ann, I’m not sure about making them like drop cookies. They might end up too gooey in the middle but you could try. The baking time would probably need to be increased as well.
The air pockets and the recipe itself reminded me of the recipe for cream puffs, so I think it would be fun to drop them and fill with a custard… Would that work with this recipe??
Hi Sonia, This recipe is the same dough recipe that is used to make cream puffs.
Can this donuts be fried?
Hi Sabrina, This recipe can be fried also.
Cooked the dough for quite awhile and never got the film….these turned out like flat hockey pucks. I clearly didn’t get all the moisture out of the dough. How long does that step usually take? Does it matter that I was using a non-stick pan?
Hi Missy I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you. Using a non-stick coated sauce pan could have been part of the problem. I use stainless steel when I make it so it’s easier to tell when it is done. It takes about 5 min. on medium-low heat to evaporate the moisture. I’m not sure how long you cooked yours for.
Kind of worried I won’t gave time in the morning to do all this. Do you think it would be okay to prep the dough the night before?
Hi Blanca, I have never tried prepping the dough ahead of time so I am not sure how it will hold up.
I’m going to try making different flavored dough. & filling it
Hi Jen, Sounds like a great idea, let me know how it turns out!
Hi Lynn, I’m not sure how it would turn out with gluten free all purpose flour but it might work.
About how many donuts does this recipe make?
My hubby LOVES this kind of donut. I’m excited to try this out. :)
Thanks for posting!
Hi Christina, It makes about 10-12 depending on the size you make them.
Angelica K. says
Just made these (even though the comments all made me nervous), and I am so glad I did!!! This recipe is perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. If you follow the instructions to a “T” they should turn out just like in the blog photos. Also, I think the people claiming these aren’t sweet enough maybe have never had a cruller? Because they are perfectly sweet…I can’t imagine them having any more sugar in the actual donut, especially not once you factor in the glaze. Thanks for the great recipe, I will be using it often!
Hi Angelica, I’m glad you found you liked the recipe. Thanks for commenting!
Katie, is it possible to make these in a donut pan instead of on a cookie sheet?
Hi Jody, I think they could be made in a donut pan, I have never tried it myself but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
These look amazing! I’m wondering if there is a way the dough cold be refrigerated overnight to be made first thing the next morning?
Hi, I’m not sure about how to dough would do being prepped ahead of time but it might work.
I made them and they taste just like I’m eating an egg :( I’m sad lol … I’m wondering if I did something wrong but I followed it to a T
Hi Bri, Did you glaze the donuts? Crullers are made with an eggy dough called pâte à choux so it should taste eggy but the glaze is what gives it the sweet flavor.
Amy McCord says
These are wonderful! And, big plus, they freeze fantastically! I flash froze them on a cookie sheet and put into a Ziploc bag. I take them out a few at a time, and heat them for 8 minutes in my NuWave oven on the 3 inch rack. I don’t always have time to make the glaze, so I just melt some butter in the microwave, pour it over the crullers, and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar…Fantastic!
Hi Amy, Thanks so much for commenting! It’s so good to know that they freeze well. I will have to try that. Adding melted butter on top sounds delish!
Did you cook them before you froze them?? I would like to freeze but not sure if I would have to cook them before freezing. Thanks in advance
Can you fill these with custard cream?
Hi Elena, Yes some people make cream filled crullers. You add the cream after they are baked. I have seen people cut the crullers in half & add the cream to the middle like a sandwich also.
Many years ago I use to make cream puffs. Isn’t this the same recipe? Also, I’ve always loved French Crullers better than most donuts.
Hello Julie, Yes this recipe is for a pâte à choux dough which is used to make many different types of pastries including cream puffs.
Thanks so much for expanding my baking horizons,great technique, lovely results. They just beg for a custard filling though.Nexr time..
Hi Leanda, Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m glad you liked the recipe & I agree these would be great with a custard filling.
De Anna Venable says
loved the ideas!
Could I roll the dough into small balls to make munchkins?
Hi Rachel, I think that would work fine. This dough recipe can be used for many types of pastries. Thanks!
Hi, just found your recipe and am excited to try it. I am keto though and going to make this keto friendly by using almond flour and powdered stevia and regular stevia. I sure hope it turns out!
Hi Darcy, I hope it turns out, let us know how it works for you!
I’ve made these doughnuts twice now an the flavor is fantastic. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and although tasty they were rather dense. The second time I used self rising flour and they we’re light and fluffy and had those wonderful air pockets. Needless to say I’ll be sticking with the alteration. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I do love them. Now off to eat the other six.
Hi Cole, Thank you for the tip about using self rising flour, I will have to give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
I just came across your post when searching for choux pastry. I’ve decided to try my hand at baking and choux seemed like a good place to start. I saw your post and immediately decided to try it. I love French Crullers! I am so pleased work how they turned out. The kids loved them and even my husband, who is very picky, said they were pretty good. Thank you for providing me a stepping stone to start my baking journey.
Shawn, I’m so glad the recipe turned out for you. Good luck on your baking journey! Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
Best. Crullers. Ever. !!! After a long morning searching for crullers at local bakeries to no avail I decided to make these today.
I used bread flour (all I had on hand) and they turned out so light and airy. Also, to address two comments I saw earlier on this thread, 1) I didn’t use a mixer (mainly bec I don’t have one). I beat the eggs in one by one with wooden spoon. Slippery at first with the addition of each egg, but a little elbow grease beats it into submission. 2) I didn’t pipe (too lazy, too hungry). I just plopped spoonfuls on a baking tray then stretched holes in the centers with wet finger tips. They looked crazy going into the oven but to my utter surprise they baked up beautifully — who knew choux dough was so forgiving. All the shaggy bits became puffed ridges to catch the glaze.
Thank you so much for the brilliant idea to bake these donuts. To think for years I avoided making crullers because I assumed they had to be fried. Your post was a game changer. Now I will never have to buy crullers again!
Hi, I’m so glad the recipe worked for you and that you liked it! Thank you so much taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
I must try these. Has anyone used an air fryer with success?
Hi Rhonda, I have not tried using an air fryer but I would think it might work with one. Thanks.
I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great! Thanks.
Hi Jamie, So glad the recipe turned out great for you. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
Hi! If I glaze the donuts only when I’m ready to eat, would that prevent them from being soggy? Also are they OK to freeze glazed or when you freeze them, do you leave them unfazed; and glaze them when defrosted?
Hi Tara, No I do not believe they will get soggy unless they are glazed. I have no tried to freeze them but I would think they would freeze better without the glaze. Thanks!
How many does this make?
Hi Arfa, It makes 10-14 depending on how big you make them. Thanks!
Hello. I made these tonight and they turned out great. Enjoyed them without the glaze as well. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Mary, I’m so glad you liked the donut recipe! Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
I didn’t have the right icing tip but still,
Pretty simple. Will make these again and again.
Hi Irene, So glad you liked the donut recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
Do these need to be stored in the fridge?
Hi Hadley, I think they will do better if kept in the fridge due to the glaze. Thanks.
Made these all by hand and turned out really well! Got 12 donuts using large icing tip. Only used 2 tsp sugar and was enough. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Heather, I’m so glad you liked the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
Carol Selles says
This recipe is amazing, thank you so much for sharing! Crullers came out light and fluffy, never saw og tasted anything quite amazing. I think the amount of sugar is just fine and if you wanted a different taste, you could always make different glazing. I like to make mine with lemon instead of milk. My husband even likes them best without the glaze. I probably used a smaller icing tip because my recipe yielder more and smaller crullers (inches always baffle me as I’m Dutch) Will definitely make again, like them very much and be nice to have for a high-tea!
Hi Carol, I’m so glad you liked the recipe. Lemon glaze sounds delicious, I will have to try that sometime. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
just thought I’d whip these up for fun after the kids went to bed. This recipe is a keeper! My husband and I enjoyed them. I am always looking for recipes that use ingredients I have on hand so I can whip something up for unexpected company. Definitely saving this for my repertoire. Thanks a lot!
Hi Evelina, I’m so glad you liked the donut recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
Hi Katie, just made these, mine did rise but became flat and dense after I removed from the oven? Any suggestions? Thank you.
Hi Jolina, I’m sorry to read that your donuts went flat. With this type of dough there could be 3 reasons it became flat: The choux pastry was too runny. You opened the oven door too soon. The pastry shells weren’t baked long enough. I hope that info helps. Thanks.
Scott Lanter says
I’ve used this recipe several times over the past several months. Mine turn out perfect every time. The first batch I made, I ate all of them the same day. So, the next batch I made double. Those lasted two days. I refuse to go up to a triple batch just because I have zero willpower to stop eating these addicting baked crullers.
Hi Scott, I’m so happy that you like this recipe and that is turns out for you every time! Thank you for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
Lovely recipe! I kinda messed it up by adding 1/3 cup of a protein powder… The dough became too watery after adding eggs? Next time I will avoid. Baked it into beignets and enjoyed it though. Cookie thin dough puffed up to a small bun!
So glad you liked the recipe and were still about to make it work for you. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
I love this recipe! We have made them many times, even with gluten free flour for friends. Perfect flavor, glazed as written, with blood orange or lemon, chocolate glaze, always a hot. Thank you! And yay, no frying!!
Hi. So glad you loved the recipe and that it worked also with gluten free flour. Thank you for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
Denise A Wells says
I never watch for a film but I always stir it until it starts to form a ball in the pan. I too use stainless steel.
Arlene Clawson says
I love baked donuts! I just made a batch of coffee cake donuts for breakfast tomorrow. I can’t wait to try this recipe for Easter breakfast!
Do you think you could refrigerate part of the dough and make them fresh as needed?
I’m really not sure, I have never tried it. It might freeze well.
Just last week my kids and I were playing “Go nuts for donuts,” which is one of our favorite games. They asked if I have ever had a French Cruller and I replied that I hadn’t ever eaten one or even heard of a French Cruller, but maybe we could find a recipe. I was not looking for a recipe when I came across this just now! So excited to make some French Crullers to eat while we play Go nuts for Donuts!
Hi Jenna, I hope you like the donut recipe.