Easy Classic French Beignets

Easy Classic French Beignets

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Total: 28 mins
Servings: 20 to 30 servings
Yields: 20 to 30 beignets
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
99 Calories
9g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20 to 30
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 52mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 15mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy, yeast-free beignet recipe is a snap to throw together the morning after your Mardi Gras celebration. For added atmosphere, follow the custom of New Orleans' famed Cafe Du Monde and add a steaming mug of black chicory-coffee brew or a serving of cafe au lait for a complete breakfast.

As a classic and traditional French recipe, this one will not produce the French Quarter-style beignets that are so familiar in New Orleans. Instead, it is made with choux pastry dough, which is the dough used in cream puffs and eclairs. Made using only butter, water, flour, and eggs, the moisture in the dough allows it to rise without the need for yeast. This is what makes it the easiest version of beignets, and you can make them on the spur of the moment.

Absolutely delicious, these French beignets puff up wonderfully when deep-fried. The batter includes a high proportion of eggs, so the taste is reminiscent of French toast. It's a tasty change, a fun recipe to try, and they're wonderful when served alongside fresh fruit or preserves.

You can use a deep fryer or a pan that is deep enough for the oil to fry the beignets. A deep fryer should allow setting the temperature, but you will need to use a thermometer if using a pan.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 cups oil (or amount needed for deep-frying)

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Classic French Beignets ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water over medium-high heat.

    butter and water in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add salt and flour, and quickly stir until a sticky batter is formed. Remove from heat.

    flour added to the butter and water mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

    add eggs to the batter in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Heat oil to 375 F.

    pot with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Fry mounded teaspoons of dough, several at a time, for about 6 minutes or until light, golden brown on each side. Don't crowd the fryer; ensure each beignet has plenty of room to move around. They may flip over by themselves, or you can use a slotted spoon to flip them so they cook evenly on all sides.

    beignets cooking in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Drain the beignets for a few minutes on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

    French beignets on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy.

    Easy Classic French Beignets on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • When cooking in several batches, ensure the oil comes back up to temperature before starting the next batch. A splatter screen reduces splashes of oil and is a handy tool if you fry in a pan often.
  • The dough will get very stiff with each additional egg. While it will seem very liquidy at first, keep mixing until it's smooth.
  • A small (1-inch diameter) cookie dough scoop makes quick work of dropping the beignet dough into the hot oil and ensures uniform size. Grease it lightly with nonstick cooking spray for best results.
  • Lighten up the powdered sugar and remove any clumps by filtering it through a fine-mesh sieve as you dust the beignets. Alternatively, put the powdered sugar in a bag, add the beignets, and shake the bag gently to coat them.

What Is a Beignet?

Beignet (BEN-yay) is a French term that means bump and it originally meant fritters made with choux pastry, as in this version. So while you may wonder whether you should really be taking the time to make a yeast dough, this is an authentic version. This pastry was enshrined as the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986, even though it has no hole. Beignets have been a traditional food for Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday or the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday) in both France and New Orleans. They're often served for breakfast, dessert, or a coffee or tea time snack.