These yummy, indulgent donuts are super delicious and super addictive! In Italy, these are generally consumed for breakfast.

When we visit Italy we go to a direct-to-public bakery where these are being made during the night for the next morning. We buy them fresh during the night and eat them straight away!!!

They are simply the best when eaten warm or within one or two hours of making them. You can make the dough the night before so it is ready for the morning.


    • 50g caster sugar
    • 100g butter at room temperature
    • 6g dry yeast (or 12g fresh yeast)
    • 10g salt
    • 200ml lukewarm milk
    • grated rind of 1 lemon
    • 40g egg yolk (about 3 yolks)
    • 50g whole egg (about 1 egg)
    • 500g baker’s flour, plus extra for kneading
    • Sunflower oil, enough for deep frying
    • Sugar for covering the donuts
    • 500ml thick crème pâtissière for the filling

      1. Dissolve the yeast in about 100ml of the lukewarm milk, set aside.
      2. In the remainder of the milk, whisk all of the eggs, set aside.
      3. In the bowl of a bench mixer (or a regular bowl if mixing by hand), add the flour, sifted. Then add the salt, sugar and lemon rind and mix the lot.
      4. Add the egg/milk mixture slowly to the flour mixture. Add the leaf-shaped beater attachment to the mixer and beat for approximately 5 minutes (or knead by hand until incorporated). The dough will look a bit sticky at this point.
      5. Add the yeast/milk mixture and beat/knead for another 2 minutes. The dough will look wet.
      6. Add the butter, a piece at the time, to the mix. Wait until each piece is fully incorporated into the batter before you add another piece of butter. Continue to add the butter until all of the butter is incorporated. The dough will look creamier at this point.
      7. Sprinkle a little bit of flour to the batter in the bowl until the batter comes off the walls of the bowl (or if kneading by hand, until you have a soft, uniform ball that doesn’t stick to the benchtop). The dough should be dry but soft at this point.
      8. Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a clean bowl covered with cling film and let it rest in a warm ambient for about 3 hours or overnight, until it has doubled in size.
      9. Once the dough has risen, roll it out on the bench top with a rolling pin until the dough is about 2cm thick(without kneading it further).
      10. Cut out discs of the dough with a cookie cutter of about 8cm diameter.
      11. Put the dough discs on a cookie sheet and cover with some cling wrap and let them rise for about another hour.
      12. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan, until about 170 degrees Celcius.
      13. Cook in batches. Add two or three dough discs to the oil at a time. The dough will sink and then puff up and float. Turn them a few times with a slotted spoon until golden brown on each side. Remove them from the oil and put them in a bowl with sugar to cover them. If you notice that the sugar is no longer sticking to the donuts, then add some more sugar to a clean bowl. This happens because the heat and the oil of the donuts melts the sugar a bit and it no longer sticks.
      14. Let the donuts cool slightly. When still warm, fill them with the Crème Pâtissière using a piping bag with a medium round piping tip.


    1. Baker’s flour is a high protein flour. You can also use self raising flour if you don’t have any baker’s flour.
    2. Cut the yeast into long strips, wrap the strips around cannoli tubes and fry that way. This will make zuccherati (long spiral Italian donuts filled with the crème).
    3. Try baking these in the oven. Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up.
    4. Try filling these with Nutella or your favourite jam.