These fluffy vegan donuts are delectable without being overly sweet and are sure to satisfy all your donut cravings.
Filled with the creamiest silky smooth pistachio pastry cream, that's flavored with real homemade pistachio butter.
Given that these are yeast raised donuts, they taste so fresh and will make your entire home smell like a Krispy Kreme donut stand!
📖 Recipe Overview
- Incredibly Fragrant - They smell and taste like they're straight from the bakery. Plus, the pistachio filling is subtle and creamy, without overpowering the amazing taste of the donuts.
- Suitable for baking or frying - The choice is yours! When fried, they become crisp on the outside with a slightly denser center. When baked they become light and pillowy!
- Customizable - If you're not a fan of pistachio, you can fill them with dairy-free nutella, strawberry jam, chocolate ganache, lemon curd, or even a combination to mix things up!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this fluffy vegan donut recipe:
- Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk - Vegan condensed milk is used to sweeten the pastry cream and donut batter, it also acts as the donut glaze. I use Nature's Charm and their new squeezy bottle makes it super easy to pour and glaze the donuts, without having to open or waste an entire can.
- Instant Yeast - Make sure your dried yeast is "instant" (aka quick rise). This activates more quickly than active yeast, which means the doughnuts don't need to prove for very long during the second rise. I
- Cornstarch - This is the thickening agent for the homemade pistachio pastry cream. You can opt for arrowroot starch instead. Both of these act as an egg-replacer in vegan custard recipes.
- Vegan Butter & Olive Oil - As well as adding flavor to the dough, fat softens the gluten structure and helps soften the donuts.
- Granulated Sugar - This is mainly used in the pistachio sugar coating for the donuts. Raw pistachios and sugar are quickly pulsed in the food processor which creates a gorgeous sparkly pistachio green coating.
🥣 How To Make Filled Vegan Donuts
Find the complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Before getting into the main steps of this vegan doughnut recipe, there are a few things to prepare:
- To prepare the pistachio sugar coating, add the pistachios and sugar to a food processor and blitz until finely ground, and set them aside for coating the donuts later.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- Lastly, make your vegan buttermilk by mixing together the plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar.
Step 1: Make the dough. Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the condensed milk, olive oil, and buttermilk mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a spatula.
Step 2: Knead the dough. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface - no need to dust it with flour. Knead the dough for 8 minutes, then let it rest for 3 minutes, before rolling it into a ball.
Step 3: First prove. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, dust the top with a pinch of flour, and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Let it prove in a warm part of your kitchen for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Step 4: Shape and Bake. Roll out the dough to ½" thick, and cut out 2 ½" circles, transfer them to a lined baking tray. Prove for another 20 minutes, then bake for 10-11 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Step 5: Glaze. While still warm, use a pastry brush or spoon to coat the baked donuts with a thin layer of condensed milk.
Step 6: Sugar Coating. Immediately coat the glazed donuts in the pistachio sugar mixture. Place the donuts on a wire rack to cool fully for 1 hour.
Step 7: Make the pistachio cream. Cook the soy milk, cornstarch, salt, and condensed milk until thick. Whisk in the pistachio butter. Cool for 5-10 minutes then refrigerate for an hour until completely cold.
Step 8: Fill the donuts. Use a skewer or small piping tip to poke a hole in each donut Transfer the pistachio cream to a piping bag or zip-lock bag and cut off the tip. Insert the piping bag into the donut and carefully fill it with the desired amount of cream.
📝 Recipe Tips
Don't be tempted to flour your surface. There is a common misconception for doughnut-making that you need to work with a lot of flour when in fact, this will throw off the ratios of your dough.
Knead the dough for the specified period of time. This step is essential for developing the gluten strands in the dough, which will strengthen the dough and help it hold onto the gas bubbles created by the yeast - hello fluffy donuts!
Fresh donuts for the win. Just like bread, donuts tend to taste best when freshly baked, and after that, they slowly start to become stale. For that reason, they are always best on the first day.
Small batch vegan donuts. Feel free to half, third, or quarter the recipe if you'd like to make a small batch of donuts.
Yes, you absolutely can fry these donuts. You will need 2-3 cups of oil and a large deep pan, or deep fat fryer. Heat the oil to 190°C (374°F) and fry the donuts for a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown.
The key here is to make sure the temperature of the oil doesn't get too hot or cold, or your donuts won't puff up. I recommend using a candy thermometer to check the oil temperature between each batch.
Once cooked, carefully lift the donuts onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to help soak up any excess oil.
Although they will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days, these filled vegan donuts taste best on the day they are baked.
I personally do not recommend this. Usually, you can "freshen" your donuts by warming them in the microwave. But seeing as these are filled donuts, that isn't really an option!
If you don't think you'll use up all the donuts in time, simply prepare a smaller batch.
🍰 More Pistachio Desserts
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- 50 g (⅖ cup) unsalted shelled pistachios, raw or roasted
- 30 g (2.5 tbsp) granulated sugar, *see notes
- 50 g vegan sweetened condensed milk, I use Nature's Charm
- 315 g (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, (plain flour)
- 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 15 g (3.5 tsp) granulated sugar, *see notes
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) soy milk, or oat milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 75 g (⅓ cup) vegan butter
- 22 ml (1 ½ tbsp) olive oil
- 30 g (1 ½ tbsp) vegan sweetened condensed milk, I use Nature's Charm
Pistachio Pastry Cream
- 400 ml (1 ⅔ cups) soy milk, or oat milk
- 50 g (2.5 tbsp) vegan sweetened condensed milk, I use Nature's Charm
- 50 g (⅖ cup) cornstarch, (cornflour)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 60 g (¼ cup) pistachio butter
- Please read the instructions and recipe in advance. If you want to save time on the day of serving, you can prepare the pastry cream a day ahead and chill it in a sealed container. If you want to make a fried version of the recipe, see the FAQ section of the blog post.
- Prepare: To make the coating, add the pistachios and sugar to a food processor and blitz until finely ground, place in a large bowl or on a plate and set aside.Add the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt for the donuts to a bowl, whisk, and set aside. Add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar for the donuts to a jug or glass, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes (to make vegan buttermilk).
- Make the dough: Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the condensed milk, olive oil, and buttermilk mixture.Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a spatula.
- Knead the dough: Turn out the dough onto a clean surface - no need to dust it with flour. Knead the dough for 8 minutes, then let it rest for 3 minutes, before rolling it into a ball. You can watch this video for reference which shows how to knead dough in real time.
- First prove: Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, dust the top with a pinch of flour, and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Let it prove in a warm part of your kitchen for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Cut out the donuts: Punch the proved dough with your first to knock out some of the air, and roll it out to approx ½" thick, and cut circles with a 2½" cookie cutter. You can re-roll any remaining dough.
- Second prove and bake: Place the donut circles on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving an inch or so between each one. Allow the to prove for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F).Bake the donuts for 10-11 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Coat: While still warm, use a pastry brush or spoon to coat the baked donuts with a thin layer of condensed milk. Immediately coat the glazed donuts in the pistachio sugar mixture. Place the donuts on a wire rack to cool fully for 1 hour.Meanwhile, prepare the pastry cream.
- Pastry cream: Add the soy milk, cornstarch, salt, and condensed milk to a saucepan and whisk until smooth without lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes whilst whisking, until it becomes thick.Remove from the heat and whisk in the pistachio butter. Cool for 5-10 minutes then refrigerate for an hour until completely cold.
- Fill the donuts: Use a skewer or small piping tip to poke a hole in each donut Transfer the pistachio cream to a piping bag or zip-lock bag and cut off the tip. Insert the piping bag into the donut and carefully fill it with the desired amount of cream.
- Storage: These donuts are best served freshly baked, but you can keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Nutritional information is calculated based on baked donuts.
- Use organic sugar if US-based to ensure it's suitable for vegans.
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