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Beignets – A Fluffy French Doughnut Delight


Bonjour, dear readers! If you've ever been to New Orleans or France, you might have encountered a delectable pastry known as a beignet. This fluffy, deep-fried French doughnut, dusted with powdered sugar, is a delicious treat that's perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack. The good news? You can make these heavenly treats at home! So roll up your sleeves, and let's dive into the delightful world of beignets.

What are Beignets?

Beignets (pronounced "ben-YAY") are a type of doughnut that originated in France. They're made from a sweet, yeasted dough that is deep-fried until golden brown, then generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. In the United States, beignets are especially popular in New Orleans, where they're a staple of the city's vibrant food scene. One of the most famous beignet purveyors is Café du Monde, which has been serving these treats since 1862. But don't worry, you don't need to travel to France or New Orleans to enjoy this delicious pastry; follow our recipe below to create beignets right in your own kitchen!


To make approximately 20 beignets, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup warm water (about 110°F / 43°C)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Activate the yeast: In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water and granulated sugar, then sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to use.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients: Add the beaten egg and whole milk to the yeast mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and softened butter. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms. You may need to use your hands to help the dough come together.
  4. Knead the dough: On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Let the dough rise: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Roll and cut the dough: Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down to release any air bubbles. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares, approximately 2-3 inches on each side.
  7. Heat the oil: In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). Use a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the ideal frying temperature.

8. Fry the beignets: Carefully lower a few dough squares into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Fry the beignets for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they are puffed up and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beignets from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Repeat this process with the remaining dough squares, ensuring the oil temperature remains consistent between batches.

  1. Dust with powdered sugar: Once the beignets have drained and cooled slightly, generously dust them with powdered sugar. The more, the merrier! You can use a fine mesh sieve or a shaker to evenly distribute the sugar.
  2. Serve and enjoy: Beignets are best enjoyed fresh and warm, so dig in right away! Pair your beignets with a cup of chicory coffee or hot chocolate for a truly authentic experience.

Variations and Tips

  • For a twist on the classic beignet, try adding a filling! You can pipe your favorite fruit preserves, Nutella, or even a sweetened cream cheese mixture into the center of the dough squares before frying.
  • If you're short on time, you can use store-bought pizza dough or refrigerated biscuit dough as a quick and easy substitute for homemade dough. Just be sure to roll it out thinly and cut it into squares before frying.
  • To maintain the ideal frying temperature, avoid adding too many beignets to the pot at once. Overcrowding can lower the oil temperature, resulting in greasy, undercooked pastries.
  • If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, you can test the oil temperature by dropping a small piece of dough into the pot. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is ready for frying.


Now that you know how to make beignets, you can bring a little taste of France or New Orleans right into your home. This versatile French doughnut is sure to be a hit with family and friends, and it's a fun baking project to try when you're craving something sweet and indulgent. Bon appétit!