Cream Filled Doughnuts

Cream-filled golden brown doughnuts dusted with confectioners' sugar and stacked on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 42 mins
Rise Time: 75 mins
Total: 2 hrs 37 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
7g Fat
27g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 214mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 97mg 2%
*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.)

These cream-filled doughnuts are what coffee-break dreams are made of. They are soft pillows with a super-easy cream filling. These yeast doughnuts are deep-fried to perfection, and then filling is piped inside for a delightful treat. 

For a bit of a shortcut, use instant vanilla pudding. Feel free to fill them with homemade vanilla pudding or homemade pastry cream. Rich chocolate pudding or thick jam would be excellent fillings, as well. Or fill half the doughnuts with one filling, and half with another for some variety.

Grab a cup of coffee, take a break, and enjoy one of these delicious doughnuts.

“I have a sweet tooth and love doughnuts with my afternoon coffee. This recipe was easy to follow, didn’t require a long rise time, and produced a light and not-too-sweet doughnut. This recipe yielded 32 doughnuts using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Next time I’ll halve the recipe, so I don’t have so many leftovers.”  —Carrie Parente

Cream Filled Doughnuts / Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Doughnuts:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup (2-ounces) unsalted butter, more for the bowl

  • 1/2 cup warm water

  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 6 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, or as needed, divided

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • Canola oil, or vegetable oil, for frying

  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish, optional

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups cold milk

  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages instant pudding mix

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cream filled doughnut recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Scald 1 1/2 cups milk in a medium saucepan. Stir in the granulated sugar, salt, and butter. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

    Milk, sugar, salt, and melted butter in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Add the warm water to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir the mixture gently until the yeast dissolves.

    Water and dissolved yeast in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Combine the cooled milk-butter mixture with the yeast. Add the eggs and half the flour and mix until smooth.

    Smooth liquid batter in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Stir in the lemon zest and enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough; mix well (you may not need all the flour).

    Thick batter in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Turn the dough out onto the lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 4 minutes.

    Smooth dough ball on a floured surface

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Place in a lightly buttered bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover tightly and let the dough rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for about 45 minutes, until doubled in bulk.

    Smooth dough ball in a bowl covered with plastic film

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto the lightly floured surface. Divide it in half. Cover the unused half to prevent it from drying out.

    Dough punched down in the bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Roll out one half into a large round, about 1/2 inch thick.

    Dough rolled out on a piece of parchment with a rolling pin

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Cut doughnut rounds with a floured 3-inch circle or biscuit cutter.

    Doughnut rounds cut out of the rolled out dough with a circular metal cutter

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Place the doughnuts on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Combine the dough scraps and continue cutting doughnuts until the dough is used. Cover with a lightweight kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

    Doughnut rounds on a baking sheet, partially covered with a tea towel

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  12. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy, large pan until it reaches 365 F. Fry the doughnuts in batches (so not to overcrowd the pan) until golden brown and cooked throughout, turning once to brown both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

    Golden brown doughnuts frying in a non-stick skillet on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  13. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining dough. Let the doughnuts thoroughly cool before filling.

    Golden brown doughnuts on paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  14. Meanwhile, make the filling. Pour the cold milk into a deep bowl. Add the pudding mix and whisk until well blended and thick, about 1 minute. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

    Milk and pudding mix being beaten with a wire whisk in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  15. Spoon the pudding into a pastry bag with a wide nozzle. Poke a hole in the side of each doughnut. Pipe the pudding into the cooled doughnuts.

    Pudding mix being piped into donuts using a pastry bag

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  16. Sift confectioners' sugar over the filled doughnuts, if using. Keep the doughnuts refrigerated until ready to serve. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

    Cream-filled doughnuts dusted with confectioners' sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn


  • Lukewarm should feel slightly warm on your wrist, or about 100 F.
  • Fillings can range from the vanilla pudding that's in this recipe to jams, chocolate pudding, or whatever you'd like.
  • Make sure the oil is at 365 F before frying. If your doughnuts are "oily," then the oil was not hot enough, if they're raw in the middle but done on the outside, then your oil was too hot.
  • These doughnuts are best eaten on the same day they're made. Keep leftovers refrigerated since the filling is dairy-based.