No breakfast dessert is more sacred to us than a donut. However, donuts themselves are incredibly diverse. There are the dense cake variety, the yeasted ones in the shape of a ring that dissolve as you chew, and then there are filled donuts with a variety of fruit or cream fillings. In true Southern fashion, we made this donut to honor the beloved banana cream flavor we adore in our layered pudding. The filling is easy to make since it relies on a package of instant banana pudding mix to lend the banana flavor and thickened structure to the creamy filling. The donut itself is a rich brioche dough that expands dramatically in the fryer, creating an airy, buttery, and yeasty interior. The air pockets inside the donut easily allow for a hefty piping of banana cream while maintaining the donut's shape and flavor. The dough takes time to make, but when it comes to frying, the donut is in the oil for less than a minute and a half before it’s finished. Once slightly cooled and filled with banana cream, a light dusting of powdered sugar makes the donuts pop visually and also adds a different kind of sweetness to the buttery fried dough. Go ahead and stick a vanilla wafer in the donut if you want—we won’t disapprove.

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Ingredients

Dough
Filling
Additional Ingredients

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make Dough: Combine warm milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and active dry yeast with a whisk until yeast  dissolved. Add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk until well incorporated. Cover with a towel and allow sponge to activate and become very foamy, about 30 minutes.

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  • Add sponge to stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment. Add remaining 2 1/3 cups flour, eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt; incorporate on low until a sticky Dough forms and no more flour sits at the bottom of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and allow Dough to knead for 10 minutes.

  • Add butter to Dough, one tablespoon at a time, kneading until butter is incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. Once all of the butter is added, continue kneading for 8 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously dust the parchment with flour. Punch down dough and transfer to a well-floured surface. Press dough into a 1-inch thick circle. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, punch out 14 circles, re-pressing scraps as necessary. Place circles on prepared baking sheet and dust surface of the circles generously with flour. Cover with towels or a plastic bag until doughnuts double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Make Filling: Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. In a bowl, whisk together milk and condensed milk. Add banana pudding mix to milk mixture and whisk for 2 minutes. Add to whipped cream and fold until fully combined and no streaks of cream remain. Refrigerate until doughnuts are ready to fill.

  • Make Doughnuts: Fill a deep fryer or Dutch oven with oil. Heat to 355°F. Gently lift doughnuts off of baking sheet and place in fryer. Allow to fry until golden brown on the bottom, about 40 seconds; flip the doughnut over and allow to fry until golden brown all over, about 40 more seconds. Remove from oil and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool and dry. Only frying two doughnuts at a time, repeat the process until all are finished frying.

  • Once doughnuts have cooled to the touch, use the back of a fork or spoon to pierce a hole in the side of each doughnut, making a space for the banana cream in the center of the doughnut. Remove banana cream filling from the fridge and beat with a spatula to soften. Transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with a wide round piping tip. Fill each doughnut with the banana cream filling until all of the doughnuts are filled. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.