Blackberry Jam & Custard Donuts

Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


Whoever invented doughnuts, it’s fair to say, is a genius. The truth is that we will probably never know the identity of this pioneer. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to honour their memory frequently, by frying up a batch.


And I’d like you to meet the one and only yeast donut I’m ever going to make again.


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


On this particular occasion I chose to stuff these puppies with a decadent pastry cream, swirled with smooth blackberry jam. Swoon.


As decadent as that filling sounds (and is) it’s the actual donut itself that is the revelation here.


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


These are the lightest, most feathery-textured pillows of dough that I have ever had the pleasure of eating. No purchased donut could possibly compare to these. They are like eating yeasty, lemon-scented clouds.


The secret, I think, is using water as the main source of liquid in the dough. I know that seems counter intuitive, you’d think that more fat would make for a softer dough. But when the doughnuts hit the hot oil, the water turns to steam, causing the donuts to puff up and become ethereally light.


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


The jam and custard filling is decadent. Blackberries are one of my favourite fruits, and their sweet-tart flavour pairs perfectly with the rich vanilla custard and lemony donuts.


In such small quantities pastry cream is super easy to make, definitely nothing to be intimidated by, but you could easily just use plain jam. Or Nutella. Or any fruit compote. What I’m saying is, there’s no bad way to eat these.


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


It’s nearly the weekend everyone. Let’s make donuts. Let’s eat donuts. Let’s throw caution to the wind, and jam into the custard. Let’s make a godawful mess.


Shit, we’re grown ups – if we can’t make donuts now when can we!? Let’s live a little!


xx Sarah.


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


Blackberry Jam & Custard Donuts
The lightest yeasted donuts of all time, stuffed with vanilla custard and blackberry jam.
Serves: 9
For the doughnuts:
  • 1 + ⅔ cups (250g) plain flour
  • 2 tbsp (30g) caster sugar, plus ½ cup (110g) extra for coating
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • 2 tsp (10g) dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup + 2 tsps (75ml) warm water
  • 4 + ½ tbsp (65g) butter, softened
  • oil for frying (I used canola)
For the filling:
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch if you're in the US)
  • ¼ cup smooth blackberry jam
  1. First, place all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until well combined and elastic.
  2. With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, make the filling. Place the cream, milk and vanilla into a small saucepan, and place over a medium heat.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar, and cornflour. When the milk begins to bubble around the edges, remove it from the heat, and slowly whisk it into the egg mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the pan, and place over a medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture boils and becomes very thick - about 3 minutes. Once the mixture is the consistency of soft butter, scrape it out into a bowl, cover and set aside to cool completely.
  7. When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place the dougnuts on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.
  8. When the donuts are finished their second rise, place about 2 inches of oil into a high-sided pan (or use a deep fryer), heat the oil over a low flame, until it reaches 170C. Alternatively, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.
  9. Fry the donuts a few at a time (don't crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Drain the donuts on paper towels, and when they are all fried, toss them in the extra caster sugar.
  11. To fill the donuts, ripple the cooled pastry cream with the blackberry jam, and then place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a ¼ inch (1/2 cm) nozzle. Press the piping bag into the side of each donut, and squeeze until you can feel the weight of the donut increase slightly. Continue until all the donuts are filled, and then cram one in your face immediately!


Blackberry Jam  and Custard Donuts | The Sugar Hit


  • These sound so good, but
    I’m curious about how they keep? What’s the best way to store them do you think? Also by dried yeast do you mean the instant dried stuff you can buy in sachets? Sorry for all the questions but I’m eager to make these and don’t want to mess them up!

    • Hey Katie – these are best eaten on the day they’re made (like most fried things). Because of the custard filling, they do need to be kept in the fridge. When you want to eat them I would take them out of the fridge for a while to let them come up to room temperature, otherwise they can be a little hard. As for the yeast, yep it’s those dried sachets.

      Hope you love em!

  • These looked SO delicious! But my dough stuck to the parchment paper? I threw em in the fryer anyway but they obviously didn’t turn out. But the flavor and texture were both good. Too little flour? Maybe something with the butter? Any suggestions?

    • Firstly, I’m super glad you liked the flavour and texture! As far as the sticking goes, I’d say the best thing to do would be to sprinkle a little flour onto the parchment! Mine had a bit left on them from being rolled out, but if yours were a little more wet, that would be the culprit.

  • as someone without a stand mixer, I’m curious as to why you integrate the butter the way you do. couldn’t I just as easily melt it or work it in with the rest of the dough ingredients initially?

    • Hi Jb – the reason for my particular methodology is that fats (in this case butter) act as gluten inhibitors. They coat the flour and prevent gluten strands from forming, which in turn prevents the donuts from rising well and becoming light and tender. So the dough must be kneaded sans butter first, to create good strong stretchy dough, before incorporating the butter. And at that point, it’s a lot easier to incorporate soft butter, rather than trying to force a liquid (melted butter) into the dough. Unfortunately this one is hard to do without a mixer – sorry about that!

  • Just made these, turned our perfectly, love the lemon zest in the dough . I mixed the pastry cream with fresh raspberries and worked a treat.

    Can’t wait to make them again

  • Hi, I like to make this doughnut today but I like to find out do you mix pastry cream and blackberry jam
    together before you piping in? I am sorry about my english hope you understand.

  • oh my goodness, these are so good!! I don’t think i will ever be able to eat a jelly filled doughnut without the custard now! i made one small tweak since i have a slight cinnamon obsession. I omitted the zest and rolled the doughnuts in a cinnamon & sugar mixture as soon as they came out of the oil. thanks for the recipe!!

  • Great recipe best ive made,although i prefer first prove overnight in fridge gives more flavour and the slight chewy texture i adore

  • Wondering if olive oil would be an acceptable substitute for butter? For specific health reasons i don’t eat fats that can be hard (including margarine, coconut oil, shortening etc). You understand the science behind using the butter the way you do i this recipe, so that made me hopeful in asking you this question :) They look divine, even if they’re not for me in the long run!

      • I think that olive oil has too strong a flavor to put into donuts. Tina, you should check with a local health food store to see if they can recommend something to exchange for the butter, that would be acceptable for your diet. Good Luck! I am so anxious to try these! My finace is moving in with me from NY (I live in GA) and he loves donuts and pastries so these will definitely be a staple in our home! THanks for sharing!

  • I made these today for my friends for brunch, they were so good! everyone loved them. Great recipe :) You can see the pics on my instagram if you like.

  • I will definitely make these in the next week (female version of homer here!) but I cant help but conjour up fillings for this. Vanilla custard and apple , chocolate custard and raspberries, or orange cream and choc chips or lime cream cheese filling, vanilla custard swirled with caramel or pina colada cream ? Oh my better stop making my mouth water. :)

  • Sarah? I love you! They look just like your pictures do and they are so light and airy it was like eating fairy floss but less sugary. I will never buy donuts ever again!

    • Rachel? I LOVE YOU TOO! This comment totally made my week! I’m SO GLAD you liked these, and thank you so much for your comment – it means the world to me. Homemade donuts for EVERRRRR!

  • I’m so excited to make these for my boyfriend Valentine’s Day morning- only 2 questions since I’m in the us- when you say cream is it heavy whipping cream? And is the butter salted or unsalted! They’re sure to be a hit!!

  • I’m so excited to make these for my boyfriend Valentine’s Day morning- only 2 questions since I’m in the us- when you say cream is it heavy whipping cream? And is the butter salted or unsalted! They’re sure to be a hit!!

  • Hi. I want to make these without dairy – would it work with almond milk or soya cream (single)) OR coconut cream as a substitute for the cream? also can I use margerine instead of butter?

  • I followed this exactly and the dough was very gooey. It appeared to need more flour. Did i do something wrong? I used ghee instead of regular butter. Any help would be great.

    • Hi Kevin, I would hazard a guess that the ghee would be part of the problem there. I know that clarified butter doesn’t behave the same way at room temperature as regular butter.

  • I am just wondering, is the dough supposed to be runny before the first rise? Or should I add a little bit of flour until it resembles a normal dough?

  • Hi! Thanks for sharing, this looks like and is an awesome recipe.

    I’ve made it twice now and both times after the round doughnuts have risen, they’re very very soft. I mean, when I pick them up and put them in the fryer, the finger print mark stays on the doughnut. Is that normal?

    Also my daughter is allergic to egg – is there a way to make them without eggs?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hey Sandy – They will be very soft, but when you fry them, they should puff up majorly, so you shouldn’t really see any finger marks! And as far as the eggs go, I’m so sorry, but I’m coming up short on that front. I’ve never cooked with an egg substitute before. If you do try out any alternatives, I’d love to hear how you go.

  • Hey Sarah,
    I’m planning to make these and as I don’t have a dough hook, I was wondering, do you know whether I need to proof the yeast beforehand? (I’m really not sure how dough hooks or bread machines work)
    Thanks! (By the way, the pictures look INCREDIBLE.)

    • Hello lovely! A dough hook is just an attachment that goes in a standing mixer, it’s nothing to do with a bread machine. If you’re going by hand, there’s no need to proof the yeast, just continue as usual. But this dough requires so much mixing and is such a wet dough, I wouldn’t recommend doing it without a mixer. Your arms will probably look amazing afterwards if you do though! ;)
      Xx Sarah

      • Haha, okay thanks!
        My stand mixer doesn’t have a dough hook(much to my frustration) so I’ll have to do what I did in my last donut recipe, knead the wet dough with a wooden spoon for a while/forever(oh a dough hook….If only….)
        Once again, Thanks for the recipe!

  • Dried yeast – do you mean instant? I’m assuming you don’t mean Active dry as there is no blooming procedure. Just wanted to confirm as I do believe these donuts will be the christening recipe for my new deep fryer!

  • at 37 weeks pregnant I’ve been craving doughnuts for a while but been holding off the temptation, until I came across this recipe… oMG!!! They are amazing.

  • Doughnuts are my cryptonite. I usually keep my diet pretty close to carb free since my body does not seem to handle many carbs. Lovely, fantastic carbs. Doughnuts are the one thing that I crave most when staying away from carbs. Since it was national doughnut day last week I guess I will have to make some of these lovely darlings today. Then I will lay on the couch and bask in the haze of sugar overload. Great job young lady!! My first time to your blog and I have been here over an hour. Love it.

  • Me and my baby always wanted to try to make our favorite thing in the world and we did it!
    They came out great, we stuffed our bellies with deep fried sugar dough. It does not get any better. Thank you for helping me create a memory with my girl

  • So it started with the vanilla sour cream waffles, my family loves them, then I wanted to make some donuts, i tried other recipes and they just didn’t taste right. I trust your recipes and these are amazing. Thank you.

  • Oh my, I just finished making these and eating one. Yum! I was a bit worried in the beginning as the dough looked too sticky so I added in a little bit more flour and left it to rise for an hour and hoped for the best. They turned out just fine. I think I will leave out the lemon next time as it wasn’t to the whole families taste but they were amazing and I had never considered making my own doughnuts until I cam across this recipe! thank you very much.

    • Hi Fiona! Thank you so much for commenting – it makes me happy to think that this recipe could inspire you to have a go at making donuts! And I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  • Could these be baked instead of fried? If so, how much time would you recommend? Would the texture be different? Thanks in advance.

    • Hey g, I have never tried it, so I really don’t know! It’s basically a bread dough, so I don’t think it would be disastrous, but I can’t really say! Sorry about that.

  • Hi, I don’t have a mixer so I’m attempting these by hand. How is the dough suppose to look and feel after you add the butter. mine is incredible slimy and sticky from the butter. but I didn’t want to add more flour since I’m guessing that will make the donuts tough. ???

    • Hey Vivian,
      Wow – I am impressed first of all that you managed to get the butter in without a mixer- your arm must be dead. This dough is very soft and sticky – it’s what makes the donuts so light. If it’s slimy or greasy, then I would say your butter might have melted a bit. I would suggest popping the dough in the fridge for a little while after it’s had it’s rising time. Don’t be tempted to incorporate any more flour – you’re totally right, it will make them tough. But when you go to pat out the dough and cut them out, you can use plenty of flour on your surface and cutter.
      Good luck and happy donutting!

  • So…after 6 hours of trying to bake some eclairs which were a fail because my oven sucks…it’s 1 a.m. In Romania and I was looking for the perfect recipe to incorporate the vanilla custard sitting lonely in the fridge. Aaaand that said, I’m gonna dream these fabulous donuts until tomorrow when I’m gonna stuff my face with them! :)) can’t wait to try your recipe. Great blog, happy I’VE found it ?

    • I never thought I would ever want to make doughnuts before. It’s seemed like a grueling mess. This recipe has made it seem possible and not the chore I’ve always envisioned. I too always felt I had to choose cream filled out fruit. They sound absolutely divine and I’m going to try to make them very soon.

  • Hi! First, I can’t wait to make these. Second, would it work to make the batter the night before and then fry them the next day? Or how about fry them the night before and then fill them the next day? I’m trying to find a way to break up the time a little so I can bring them into work without having to get up extremely early, but with them still tasting fresh ??. Thank you!!

    • Hey Jenelle, you can definitely make the dough and then fry them the next day. But unfortunately, with donuts as with many fried thngs, they tend to need to be eaten on the day they’re fried. Which doesn’t make them ideal for making before work, because they need to be fried, and then left to cool before being filled. Good luck!
      xx Sarah

  • Just made these beauties! My first ever attempt at doughnuts and by god they are amazing!!Lovely and soft inside and the lemon zest adds a fresh zing!

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