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Apple Pie Brioche Doughnuts

  • Author: Erin Clarkson and Mike Johnson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus rising and chilling time
  • Yield: 14 doughnuts 1x
  • Category: Doughnuts
  • Cuisine: American


Fluffy Brioche Doughnuts filled with Apple Pie Filling and Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream



Spiced Apple Pie Filling

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 560g apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 50g sugar
  • 3 Tbsp All-purpose flour

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

  • 132g egg yolks (about 8 yolks)
  • 110g sugar
  • 37g corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 550g whole milk
  • 27g unsalted butter, at room temperature



  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter then add the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and spices. Cook until the apples are just starting to soften. Combine the sugar and flour in a small bowl, then add to the apples. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Transfer to an airtight container and allow to cool completely.


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl.
  2. In a medium pot, warm the milk and vanilla paste until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil.
  3. Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Transfer to an airtight container, pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard, and allow to cool completely.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.
  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours and up to overnight. Alternatively the first rise can be done at room temperature.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto work surface (try not to use flour if you can). Divide into 75g portions. Roll each portion into a tight ball, making sure that they are well sealed on the bottom
  6. Place the rolled doughnuts on the baking sheets, flattening each one slightly, leaving adequate space between.
  7. Leave the doughnuts to proof for a second time. This rise time will depend on the weather and the temperature of your starting dough so will take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.
  8. While the doughnuts are proofing, heat neutral oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Heat the oil to 350°f / 180°c. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, two at a time, into the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip again, and cook for a further 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack.
  10. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts. Once the doughnuts are totally cool, poke a hole in them using a chopstick, and widen the hole using your finger.


  1. Place the apple filling and pastry cream into piping bags either fitted with a round tip or with the end snipped off (end snipped will be easier for apple pie filling).
  2. Pipe apple pie filling into each doughnut, followed by the pastry cream, finishing with a little blob of pastry cream on the top. 

Doughnuts are best eaten the day that they are made.


Pastry cream adapted from Bouchon bakery

Apple Pie filling adapted from Erin Mcdowell

Keywords: Brioche Doughnut, Apple Pie doughnut, Custard Doughnut, Apple Pie and Custard Doughnut