Deep fried, pillowy raspberry filled beignets topped with lots of powdered sugar will transport you right to New Orleans!
French Quarter New Orleans Beignets
New Orleans is filled with soul, and there is no words to actually describe the vibrant atmosphere. You simply just have to go. I have always felt this pull to New Orleans, and when I went, I found out what all the hype is about! N’awlins is filled with soul, baby!
Every time I visit (since I live only a few hours away!), I start my morning with some Café Du Monde beignets and a coffee au lait. The menu is short and simple, but they truly have perfected these french donuts.
Café Du Monde beignets are fluffy, pillowy, and loaded with powdered sugar. Thankfully there is a napkin dispenser on every table. It’s an open air restaurant, which welcomes the jive of the jazz players playing their tunes on the sidewalk. It’s absolutely magical, ya’ll!
Making these with a box mix just isn’t the same, trust me! This recipe was a labor of love to create, but boy am I excited to share!
- Yeast- To shorten the rising time, you can opt for quick-rise yeast, but this recipe uses regular yeast.
- Sugar- Opt for a healthier sugar like unbleached Florida sugar!
- All-purpose flour- It’s important to use all-purpose flour in this recipe because it’s specific gluten content creates the fluffy texture.
- Evaporated milk- Using evaporated milk creates a richer, deeper flavor, but feel free to use regular milk in a pinch!
- Egg- Make sure to use large eggs!
- Raspberry jam- Use a seedless raspberry jam so the piping bag will not get clogged.
- Vegetable oil- You will need a good amount of vegetable oil since you will be frying the beignets in it. Café Du Monde uses cottonseed oil to fry their beignets, so if you can get your hands on it, try it out!
- Use a thermometer. You want to heat the evaporated milk in the microwave until it’s heated to 115 degrees. The yeast needs the warmth to activate, so having the right temperature is important.
- Don’t overmix the dough. You want to incorporate all the ingredients, then switch your mixer to medium speed and let the dough climb up the hook. Once it climbs the dough hook, remove the dough and allow it to rise. Over mixing can result in a flatter, more chewy beignet.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. You want the dough to rise in an undisturbed, draft-free area that is warm. This will result in faster rise time and a better dough.
- Don’t skimp on the sugar! I know, I know, this is a healthy blog! I will tell you a litter secret- I have a wicked sweet tooth! This recipe traditionally has loads and loads of powdered sugar, that’s what makes them so delicious! Don’t be shy, load it up!
How are New Orleans style beignets made
When I tell ya’ll creating this recipe was a labor of love, I mean it, ya’ll! I have used the boxed mix, which is not the same as fresh beignets. I had to figure this recipe out!
I tried all different types of flour, varying it up with bread flour, pastry flour, and all purpose flour. Then, I grabbed some eggs out of my chicken coop and tried using just yolks to get a certain richness.
After a few fails, numerous runs to the grocery store, and a disaster of a kitchen, I got this recipe just right! The result is fluffy, hollow, pillowy beignets that are ready to be stuffed with sugary raspberry jam! Yum!
- Activate the yeast. Heat the evaporated milk in the oven for about 45 seconds. Using a thermometer, make sure the evaporated milk has reached 115 degrees. Too hot, and it will kill the yeast, so make sure the temperature is just right! Add the yeast to the mixer bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the evaporated milk. The sugar gives the yeast something to feast on. Let the yeast activate for 10 minutes, it will get foamy and bubbly.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Next, whisk the egg and add it to the mixer. Then add the sugar, all purpose flour, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix the ingredients to form a dough. Using your mixer, combine the ingredients on low speed. Once the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes, kick up the speed to medium. Let the dough climb up the hook a few times. At this point, the dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Let the dough rise. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Turn the dough to oil all sides and shape the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and set aside in a warm, draft free place. Allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours until it has doubled.
- Heat the vegetable oil. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a cast iron dutch oven, or any heavy bottomed pot. Allow the oil to come to 350 degrees. Use a thermometer to test the temperature, or throw some flour in the pot. If the flour fries, the oil it ready!
- Cut the dough into beignets. Dump the dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is between 1/2 – 1 inch thick. Cut the dough in 2X2 squares using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. If you find the dough to be sticking, use a little more flour and coat the rolling pin with flour, too!
- Fry the beignets. Once the oil is nice and hot, grab the ugliest piece of beignet dough. This will be your tester piece! Plop the beignet into the oil and fry on each side for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pot, I found that cooking 3-4 at a time was good.
- Top with sugar and fill with raspberry jam. Once the beignets are done frying, place them on a paper towel lined plate. Place a jar of seedless raspberry jam in a piping bag and poke a small hole in the side of the beignet with your pinky finger. Place the piping bag inside the beignet and squeeze about 1-2 tablespoons of raspberry jam inside. Next, sprinkle a ton of powdered sugar on top. There is no measurement for the sugar, you measure it with your soul!
- Serve! Alright folks, get ready to be transported to NOLA! Grab a huge wad of napkins and mangia!
How long do beignets keep?
Beignets are best when they are fresh out of the frying vat, like most deep fried things! This recipe makes quite an abundance of beignets, so here are a few tips if you need to store them.
Place the beignets in an airtight, preferably glass container and store in the fridge for up to a week. They will not be as fluffy and pillowy once they are refrigerated. These are really meant to be eaten fresh, but they are still edible after refrigeration. You can warm them up by zapping in a microwave for 30 seconds or placing them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Refresh them by giving them a nice new dusting of powdered sugar.
Can beignets be frozen?
Short answer- no. But yes, they can. Freezing beignets will deflate them and can create a a very chewy texture, which you don’t want. If you are against waste and can’t find a kind neighbor to gift your leftovers to, you can freeze them by placing them in an airtight bag or container and placing in the freezer, but be prepared- they will not be as good as they are fresh!
How to pronounce beignet
I have been known to botch the pronunciation of everything and anything. Say it with me- BEN YAY. There, that was easy, right?! This is one of the easier words to pronounce in the N’awlins’ culture!
What to serve with beignets?
- Start your morning off right with this healthy caffeinated Pink Drink! Fresh strawberries, green tea, and coconut milk make this drink super refreshing!
- Refined sugar free watermelon lemonade is refreshing, delicious, and has a natural sweetness that is so delicious!
- Get some protein on your plate with this easy one pan cheesy potato, egg, and bacon scramble!
- Add some color to your plate with this easy strawberry soufflé.
- Need a little more sustenance? Try these easy, fluffy buttermilk pancakes!
Easy New Orleans Beignets
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- Rolling pin
- Pizza roller or sharp knife
- Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot
- Slotted spoon
- Piping bag with small tip
- 1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg whisked
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 jar of seedledd raspberry jam
- powdered sugar
- oil for frying vegetable/cottonseed/ or canola oil
- Activate the yeast. Heat the evaporated milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Test the tempurature with a thermometer. The milk should be 115 degrees. Pour the milk into the stand mixer bowl, then add the yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to activate for ten minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Once the yeast mixture is foamy and activated, add the flour, whisked egg, sugar, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix the ingredients to form the dough. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Mix the dough on the low setting until everything is incorporated. Set the mixer on medium speed and mix until the dough climbs up the dough hook and forms a ball. The dough should not stick to the bowl. Do not over mix the dough or the beignets will be tough and flat.
- Let the dough rest and rise. Lightly oil a large bowl. Dump the dough into the bowl, then shape the dough into a ball while turning it to oil each side. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm draft free area. Allow the dough to double in size, between 1-2 hours.
- Heat the oil. About 15 minutes before you fry the beignets, prepare the oil. In a dutch oven, pour your selected deep frying oil 3 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat until the tempurature has reached 350 degrees.
- Cut and fry the beignets. Once the dough has risen, dump the beignet dough on a lightly floured flat surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/2 – 1 inch thickness. Use a pizza roller or sharp knife to cut 2X2 inch squares in the dough. Grab an ugly, mishaped edge piece and use it as the tester to see how it fries. Fry the beignets on each side for 1-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Fry 3-4 beignets at a time, being sure to not overcrowd the pot. Remove the cooked beignets and place them on a paper towel lined plate to help absorb the excess oil.
- Stuff the beignets. Spoon the seedless raspberry jam into a piping bag with a small tip. Use your pinky finger to make a hole in the side of your beignets. Place the tip into the hole and fill the beignets with 1-2 tablespoons of jam.
- Load them with sugar and serve. Sprinkle a bunch of powdered sugar on the beignets. Serve them while their hot with lots of napkins and a coffee au lait. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.