New Orleans Beignets

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New Orleans BeignetHere it is, just in time for Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday).  What is that snowy, pillowy puff of deliciousness you ask?  You’re looking at Louisiana’s state doughnut, the beignet! They are just as scrumptious as they look, too.

You won’t believe me when I tell you that this is one of the easiest doughs I’ve ever worked with.  You do not need a stand mixer (although that’s what I use) and you can keep the dough in the fridge after the 2 hour rise, then roll it out and fry the doughnuts in the morning.  Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you either have a big appetite, or a lot of friends and family to share these with, because this recipe yields a TON.  (Which is good, because you won’t have any problem chowing down on a few at a time.)

Beignets are very popular in Louisiana, especially during the Mardi Gras season.  Many of you have heard of Cafe du Monde, which is a well-known place in NOLA that serves beignets.  You can find their beignet mix on grocery store shelves, as well.  But, let me encourage you to make these completely homemade instead as it is probably much easier than you think.  You can eat them for breakfast or dessert!

Beignets JudahKids will love to make these with you, as long as you keep them away from the hot oil! 😉  Get them involved by letting them shake the paper bag filled with powdered sugar and a few warm doughnuts at a time.  Then, of course, let them eat a bunch and watch their faces get covered with white!  It’s priceless.

Judah and I made a quick little video using the new Vine app on my iPhone.  (Have you downloaded it yet?)  Anyway, take a look if you want to see a very fast demo of how to fry and coat beignets.  🙂New Orleans Beignets

Check out these other fab recipes for Fat Tuesday and get your Mardi Gras swagger on!

King Cake

New Orleans Beignets

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 4+ dozen

Serving Size: 2 beignets

New Orleans Beignets

These snowy pillows of sugar and dough are claimed as Louisiana's state doughnut. You can make these easily and just in time for Fat Tuesday!

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • Nonstick spray
  • Frying oil
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Combine the water, granulated sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl). Let set for 10 minutes to bloom.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and evaporated milk. Add to the yeast mixture and stir on low with the paddle attachment (or wooden spoon) until incorporated. Stir in 3 cups of the flour then mix in the shortening on medium speed. With the mixer on low, add in the rest of the flour.

Change to the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour (up to 2-3 Tbs) if necessary. Alternatively, you can knead the dough on a floured surface by hand until smooth. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, lightly greased with nonstick spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 2 hours.

**At this point (after the rise) you can either continue on or store the dough in the refrigerator overnight and complete the rest of the steps in the morning.**

Heat at least 1 inch of oil to between 350 to 380 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

As the oil is heating up, roll the dough out to a large 1/4-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 2-inch squares (pizza cutter works great). Once the oil reaches between 350 to 380 degrees F, fry 3 to 5 squares at a time until lightly golden, just a few seconds on each side. Tip: Once the dough pops to the top of the oil and puffs a little, flip them every 2-3 seconds to keep from browning too much on either side, and becoming hard to work with. Make sure you keep the oil between 350 to 380 degrees by reheating it between batches if necessary.

Transfer fried doughnuts to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil for a few seconds. Place about 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar in a paper bag. While still warm, toss three to five doughnuts at a time into the sugar filled paper bag. Fold bag closed and shake to coat. Remove doughnuts from the bag and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar.

Serve immediately. These are best the same day they are made.

Source: Adapted from Paula Deen via The Food Network



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  1. These are one of my most favorite things!! Excited to make them at home now!!

  2. I am totally in love with this post. I’m heading to NOLA next week and can’t wait to try the real thing!!

  3. I so need to make these! It’s been ages since I’ve had a beignet!

  4. omg – the last time i had a beignet (it was my first time ever!) was 3 years ago at Cafe Du Monde in NOLA. I want one soooo bad. I need to make these ASAP!! 🙂

  5. I just made beignets at home for the first time this weekend – they were completely irresistible! Yours look fantastic, and of course Judah is as cute as ever 🙂

  6. Thank you for the post, Nikki! I used to get these all the time at Cafe Du Monde when my brother lived in New Orleans! Haven’t tasted one in years!!!! Sooo excited to give this recipe a try!

  7. I love that Judah can enjoy a lollipop while coating the beignets! Love the video!

  8. Kit Kathryn says:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest. After I pinned it, I spent days thinking about it. Finally I decided I had enough time and energy to make it. I LOVEEEE them. My husband loves them. (I can tell because he is working on his 8th one) Thank you for ruining my figure in a very delicious way.

  9. Hi Nikki–these look amazing! Have you ever ytied stuffing these with anything? Like jelly?

  10. Fernanda says:

    Hi, Nikki!

    I’ve just found out your recipe through pinterest and am dying to try it out. However, I live in Brazil and we don’t have evaporated milk in handy like you have. Can I substitute it with normal milk?

    Thank you!

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Fernanda,
      I wouldn’t sub in regular milk. Instead, you can easily make your own evaporated milk as follows: To make 1 cup of evaporated milk, heat 2 1/4 cups regular milk and simmer until it evaporates down to 1 cup. Or, try a mixture of 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup half and half, although I haven’t tried this method in this recipe to be sure. Good luck!!

      (And, please come back to let us know the turn out! We all can learn from each other, right?) 😉

  11. comWell Spanish people were in NUEVA ESPAÑa or New Orleans long before French were there. Many of the dishes you call French are really Spanish This on e is one of them. And after centuries been connected how can you say a dish is Roman or French or Arab. We call these beignets BUÑUELOS and have been eaten long before the French. Several Spanish princesses married French Kings (Louis XV mother and a wife were from Spain). They took many recipes (ike chocolate, rice pudding, French toast -very traditional in holy week etc etc…-) to France . And later To NorthAmerica

  12. Can I freeze the dough in portions so I can make just a few at a time?

  13. What do you think about frying them in coconut oil?

  14. Harry Apple says:

    Here is simple recipe for faux beignets. For the dough, substitute a tube of ordinary frozen biscuits(Pillsbury works fine). Cut each biscuit in half. Follow the rest of Nikki’s recipe starting at “Once the oil reaches between 350 to 380 degrees F”. I fry between 350F and 360 F. The difference in production time will more than compensate for the difference in taste.

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Thanks, Harry! This is how my neighbor does it! I, personally, like the homemade taste better, but this definitely works in a pinch! 🙂

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