This French Cruller recipe makes delicious fluffy doughnuts with a sweet glaze coating just like you remember from Dunkin’ Donuts. They are the ultimate breakfast indulgence!
What’s in a Cruller Donut?
These cruller donuts have a classic ridged texture and fluffy dough inside. Coated in a deliciously sweet glaze, you are in for the ultimate sweet treat. It’s the perfect thing to pair with your morning coffee!
- Water: Hydrates the doughnut dough and helps create the right glaze consistency.
- Unsalted Butter: Enriches the dough and helps prevent the flour from clumping.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the doughnut dough, while powdered sugar sweetens the glaze without making it gritty.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the natural flavor of the dough.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness of the dough and adds a warm vanilla flavor to the glaze.
- Bread Flour: Has more protein than all-purpose flour, giving these donuts their signature chew.
- Eggs: Loosen the batter, add richness, and help the dough rise in the oven.
- Corn Syrup: Makes the glaze extra shiny!
Pro Tip: You can use vegetable shortening in place of the butter. Keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.
Variations on a Cruller
You can use almond extract in place of the vanilla for a slightly different flavor, or try a citrus extract instead.
Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the glaze for cinnamon crullers, or mash up some fresh berries and stir them into the glaze for a fruity option.
French crullers are a type of donut made from choux pastry (like churros or chocolate eclairs) instead of a yeasted dough.
French crullers are different from regular donuts, as they are made with pâte à choux– a very light, eggy pastry dough– rather than traditional donut dough. This leads to a lighter, airier donut with a crisp exterior. They also commonly have a ridged exterior that is perfect for catching glaze.
Yes, but the crust will be firmer and the insides will be less gooey, so they may seem a bit drier. To bake, preheat oven to 425°F and place crullers with 2 inches between them on a lined baking sheet. Place in the hot oven and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, crack the door open slightly, and allow the crullers to sit in the oven for 10 minutes before removing and dipping in glaze.
Crullers are cooked through when they are deep golden brown on both sides. This should only take about 2-3 minutes per side.
If the pastry dough is not chilled enough, then the crullers may split when fried. Furthermore, if there is not enough oil in your Dutch oven or the temperature is not quite right, the donuts could get stuck to the bottom or fry too quickly, causing them to split.
If your crullers are not cooked all the way through, they can collapse after frying. Another reason may be the type of flour used. While you can use all-purpose flour, I often recommend making these donuts with bread flour to make them sturdier and less likely to collapse.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover French crullers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat for 5-10 seconds in the microwave or 5 minutes in a 350°F air fryer.
How to Freeze
Freeze French crullers in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or Ziplock bag to store for up to 2 months. Let thaw on the countertop before reheating.
The dough can also be piped frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, set the piped crullers on a lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or Ziplock bag to store. Let thaw slightly on the countertop while the oil heats, then fry, adding an additional 1-2 minutes to the total fry time.
French Cruller Recipe
For the Donuts
- 1¼ cups water 284 grams
- ½ cup unsalted butter 113 grams, room temperature (1 stick)
- 4½ teaspoons granulated sugar 19 grams
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 grams
- 1¼ cups bread flour 150 grams (or all-purpose flour)
- 4 large eggs 200 grams, room temperature
- 2 egg whites 70 grams, room temperature
For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar 226 grams
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup 20 grams
- 2-3 teaspoons water 9-14 grams, hot (180-200°F)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
For the Donuts
- In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir until incorporated.1¼ cups water, ½ cup unsalted butter, 4½ teaspoons granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1¼ cups bread flour
- Continue cooking and stirring the mixture until it begins coating the bottom of the saucepan in places. Remove from the heat.
- Carefully transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix on a medium-low speed for a few minutes, or until the mixture has cooled slightly.
- While the mixer is running, add the eggs one at a time, letting each one incorporate into the mixture before adding the next.4 large eggs, 2 egg whites
- Once all of the eggs have been added, continue mixing until smooth and glossy and the dough starts to hold a little shape.
- In a Dutch oven, preheat 3-4 inches of oil to 375°F. Cut a piece of parchment paper into 3-4-inch squares.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a very large open star tip. Pipe dough circles about 3-4 inches in diameter onto the parchment squares.
- Place the piped dough circles with the parchment into the preheated oil. Gently remove the parchment paper with tongs and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until a caramel golden color.
- Once cooked and golden, carefully remove the crullers from the oil and place on a wire cooling rack over paper towels to let any excess oil drip out. Repeat the frying process with the remaining dough.
For the Glaze
- Add the powdered sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and vanilla to a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Start with 2 teaspoons of water and add more until desired consistency is reached.2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, 2-3 teaspoons water, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- One at a time, dip the warm crullers into the bowl of glaze. Using a fork, turn the doughnut over to completely cover it with the glaze. Lift the donut out of the glaze and let as much excess glaze drip back into the bowl as possible, then place it onto a wire cooling rack to let the remaining excess glaze drip off.
- You can use vegetable shortening in place of the butter. Keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.
- While I recommend using bread flour for more stable crullers, you can also use all-purpose flour.
- The easiest way to tell if your choux pastry is cooked to the right consistency is to perform the “V” test. Place a rubber spatula upright into the dough, stir a little, then lift directly up. If the dough forms a “V” shape at the end, it is ready to be piped.
- Pipe the crullers onto individual parchment squares to avoid a mess. Choux dough is sticky and soft and will not hold its shape if you try to lift it with your hands only.
- To prevent the edges from burning, use a wet fingertip to gently press down the point where your crullers meet after piping them.
- Make sure you wait until the oil has been heated to the correct temperature before frying the crullers. Hot oil will give the crullers a nice crisp outside, while the inside will remain soft and delicate.
- Carefully place the crullers into the oil to avoid burning yourself!
- Do not overcrowd the oil; this will reduce the temperature and lead to soggy, undercooked crullers.
- If you notice that your crullers are splitting when frying them, try chilling the dough for 10 minutes before frying the next batch.
- Let the glaze set completely before storing to prevent the crullers from sticking together.