Making homemade beignets is easy and so delicious! With this easy homemade beignets recipe, you can have a taste of a New Orleans classic food, at home!
My niece married a young man who was born and raised in New Orleans. They married in New Orleans just 2 years after Katrina.
New Orleans is just about the best place ever for a party. And so it was. One of the mandatory stops on any trip to New Orleans is a visit to Cafe du Monde for Beignets and Coffee. While Mardi Gras really isn’t the major event in LA that it is in the South, right around this time every year, is a good enough excuse for me to make a King Cake, or in this case, Beignets.
This homemade beignets recipe is an adaptation from several sources.
Really just a square doughnut, every culture has some sort or fried dough dessert that uses up all the flour, dairy and fat in the kitchen in preparation for lighter or more ‘enlightened’ meals during Lent. This was actually my first venture with Beignets. I’ve made churros, Doughnuts and Indian Onion Fritters before, but never this simple dessert? Breakfast? Snack?
Chilling the dough definitely helps. Making it the night before and letting it rest in the fridge would be best, but we ate plenty after just a half hour of chilling. The lovely, puffy center would be the perfect vehicle for some sort of filling, but my family of purists gave me a resounding “NO!”, when I suggested tainting them with anything other then a light dusting of powdered sugar.
I froze 1/2 of the dough, pre-cut into 2″x 3″ pillows between layers of parchment for a future slumber party or special occasion breakfast. The trickiest bit is making sure the oil is hot enough, because it needs to be hot enough to cook them quickly. Not hot enough, the homemade beignets come out soggy and greasy. Too hot and they’ll cook too fast, raw on the inside and brown on the outside. I use a bench knife to cut the dough.
You want to keep the temperature between 365-375 degrees F. Using a clip-on thermometer is key, unless you have a Fry-Baby.
Enjoy your homemade beignets!
Easy Homemade Beignets
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 2 Tablespoons shortening
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- powdered sugar
- Pour 1/2 cup room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
- Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Overnight is better)
- Divide dough into 4 pieces, wrap 3 pieces in plastic. Working with one piece of dough dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into pillows or rectangles approximately 2" x 3",
- Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, over-high heat to 375 degree F.
- Carefully drop dough into the oil to avoid splattering, and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, if they don't flip over on their own after 1 minute, use a slotted spoon or tongs to nudge them over. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a rack or plate lined with paper towels. When cool enough to handle, dust with powdered sugar. Makes approximately 3 dozen.
Absolutely Gorgeous! Cannot wait to try them! Have Posted them on #ThursdayTweetTreats !! You’re becoming a regular Feature!
Thank you Laurie!
i’d love to try these. they look great!
Christina @ Christina's Cucina says
I’ve never made beignets like this before, but they look wonderful! Yet another thing to add to the mile long list of things to try…yum!!
Pretty similar to doughnuts christina….I think you’ve made some, but filled them with jelly.
heather @french press says
if you are going to splurge – beignets are the way to go – SO delicious
GiGi Eats says
Never have I had one of these before – But…. I WANT ONE! Or 10. HA HA.
Sheryl @Lady Behind The Curtain says
Oh, YUM! These sound so delicious!
Dear Cynthia, I have never made my own beignets thought I have wanted to now for a quite some time. These look perfect and sound wonderful! xo, Catherine
Cynthia, these look great. I have only made beignets from the Cafe du Monde box that my husband brought back from New Orleans – he was on a missions clean-up trip after Katrina. I have got to try your recipe. Yours cooked up so light, I love that pillow in the middle. I have to agree with your family, no filling!
Yes! they are much easier to make than you would think!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
Would love to try making these at home! I stood in the crazy line in New Orleans for those suckers and while they were delicious, that line was beyond insane. Making them at home sounds like a way better option 🙂
Oh yum! Freshly made beignets are marvelous!!
I agree! A perfect weekend treat!
I have always wanted to make beignets! They just look so good 😀 Believe it or not, I’ve never had one so making a batch would be my first at not only baking them but tasting them as well. I’m surprised to see they are hollow inside..now I want one more than ever ^_^
Tammy, they’re no harder to make then doughnuts…in fact they really are just square doughnuts! I like the hollow part too! You can fill them with chocolate or preserves!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
Filling or no filling, these look absolutely amazing! Can you believe I’ve never been to New Orleans? Until then, I’ll have your recipe!
Thank you patricia! you’ve got to make time to visit New Orleans! It’s one of our country’s jewels!
What is the secret to getting them air pockets inside? Is it the fact that used shortening instead of butter? Also, why did you boil the water?
The air pockets are great for filling the beignets..Some people don’t want air pockets though. A denser, less hollow beignet can be achieved by rolling them out a bit thicker and letting them prove longer. (I prefer them light and airy) The boiled water melts the shortening.
thank you for sharing it;s carnival time here in my country and can;t wait to bake them;
You’re welcome Pauline! Where do you live?
My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.
thank you! I’m glad you like them!
We are going to a Mardi Gras Murder Mystery party this weekend, and I am tasked w/dessert. Would these serve well if made early in the day & served for dessert in the evening?
Sorry, Just seeing this! They should be fine! or you can try the King cake?