Peanut butter + chocolate + donuts = delicious.
While I’m not technically a mathematician, I feel fairly certain that the above equation and the below recipe will tickle your taste buds. Starting with the basic format of a Boston Cream Donut, these sweet specimens are filled with a peanut butter cream filling instead of custard, resulting in a singularly delicious finished product.
The creamy peanut butter filling is the perfect texture and flavor complement to the airy yeast-raised donuts. The chocolate topping unites both of these elements and makes these donuts truly memorable.
Oh, and by the way, these donuts just so happen to be vegan. So if you avoid animal products, you can break into a happy dance right this instant; even if you’re not vegan, there’s no doubt that you will rejoice once you’ve sampled the rich, full-bodied flavor of these donut delights.
Prep time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (including rising times)
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Yield: 18-24 donuts
For the donuts:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup vegan yogurt (soy, almond, or coconut milk based is fine)
Enough oil* to fill a deep skillet 2 inches deep
For the cream filling:
6 ounces vegan butter or vegetable shortening
1 jar (16 ounces) Smooth Operator peanut butter
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Soy milk, to thin
For the topping:
5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegan butter or vegetable shortening
*olive oil was used for this recipe.
- 1. Place the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.
- 2.In a medium saucepan, heat the soy milk, sugar and olive oil over low heat until the mixture is warm but not hot — between 105 and 115°F (just warm enough to activate the yeast). Remove from heat and whisk in the vegan yogurt.
- 3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients in your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium-high, and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes. It will still be somewhat sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- 4. Dust a work surface with flour, and turn the dough on top. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2- or 3-inch round cutter (or even a floured drinking glass rim), cut out as many circles as you can and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Reroll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you’ve used all the dough. Cover the rounds with plastic wrap and again let them rise, this time for about 30 minutes.
- 5. Set up your frying area; place the oil in a large, deep skillet or a deep pan (don’t heat it yet). Secure a slotted spoon or tool for flipping and fishing your donuts out of the oil. Place paper towels under a wire rack. Have it near your frying surface. This is where you’ll put the donuts to cool off.
- 6. Heat your oil in a large deep skillet or deep pan until it has reached 350°F. Transfer the rounds a couple at a time into the hot oil, and fry until browned — 1 minute or so. Flip, and remember the second side takes less time to fry. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and transfer to the wire rack. Continue frying until you’ve finished them all.
- 7. Once cooled enough to handle, make holes in the donuts. Using a chopstick or small knife, make a hole and slightly work it without enlarging the hole too much, to make more space inside of the donuts for the filling.
- 8. Make your filling. Cream the vegan butter or shortening and Smooth Operator peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, and mix on low until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar, one cup at a time, until you have reached your desired spreading consistency. If the mixture becomes too thick, thin it with a little bit of soy milk.
- 9. Load up a pastry bag with your filling, and pipe as much as each donuts can reasonably accommodate. (You can also spoon it in if you prefer, slicing the donuts in half and spooning the filling inside that way). Once filled, place the donuts back on the wire rack.
- 10. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over medium-low heat. Once melted and smooth, spoon a small amount of chocolate on top of each donut. Place back on the racks. Let the chocolate set slightly before serving. These donuts taste best the same day made; the filling can be made a day ahead.