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    The Best Beignets Recipe

    Published May 28, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    These delicious, easy-to-make, light, and fluffy fried beignets covered in powdered sugar will make you feel right at Café du Monde in New Orleans. We are big fans of these and make them often.

    Something about light, creamy desserts keeps me coming back for seconds. If you like the same kind of sweet treats, then try out my Buttermilk Chess Pie or Banana Pudding.

    beignets with sugar in a bowl


     

    Beignets

    Beignet translates from French to English as donut or fritter and is pronounced as ben-yei. It’s a simple enriched yeast dough consisting of flour, eggs, butter, yeast, and milk. Once the dough is formed, it’s proofed, rolled out, then cut into squares before being fried until golden brown. They’re then classically finished with a heaping amount of powdered sugar.

    Traditional beignets originated in France and are known as Boules De Berlin. In France, beignets are circles instead of squares and have a cake-like filling, not light and yeast-based as they are known here in the States. Both are delicious, but they do have some distinct differences.

    A beignet as we know it was brought over from French colonists who settled in the New Orleans area and adapted its choux pastry dough recipe to the dough, we use now for these. There are several different opinions on the history of the beignet, who started it when it was created, and how it made its way to the States, but none have been verified.

    The biggest difference between a donut and a beignet is its shape and fillings. Donuts are often shaped in a circle with a hole in the center. Since they are simply fritters, they are cut into simple shapes like squares or spooned directly into hot oil, making them oblong in shape.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Water – Tap, bottled, or filtered water works fine.
    • Yeast – You can use active or instant yeast.
    • Sugar — The dough is made with regular granulated sugar, and the beignets are finished with powdered sugar.
    • Milk — Whole milk is best. However, you can also use 1%, 2%, or skim milk.
    • Eggs – Whole eggs that are chilled or at room temperature will work.
    • Butter — I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content.
    • Salt – I always use coarse salt in my cooking and baking.
    • Flour – All-purpose flour works well. You can also use bread flour, however, you’ll need to add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of milk.
    • Oil – Any neutral-flavored oil works best. Classically, cottonseed oil is used.

    How to Make Beignets

    1. Mix the water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
    2. Wait 7 to 10 minutes until it forms a raft on top.
    3. Whisk in the rest of the sugar, eggs, milk, and melted butter until combined.
    4. Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
      step by step procedures for making beignet dough
    5. Add in the salt and flour.
    6. Mix until the dough is smooth and pulled away from the bowl.
    7. Cover the dough and let it rest for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
    8. Preheat the oil until it reaches 350°.
      step by step procedures for kneading beignet dough
    9. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick,
    10. Cut small squares or rectangles out of the dough.
    11. Fry the dough squares in batches in the oil until golden brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.
    12. Drain the beignets on a rack over a sheet tray or paper towels.
    13. Dust heavily with powdered sugar.
    step by step procedures for frying beignets

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make the dough up to one day ahead. It can be stored covered in the refrigerator. Once it’s cooked, it should be eaten right away.

    How to Store: Unfortunately, they do not store well in the refrigerator after cooking. However, if you must, cover them and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They do not freeze well and are not recommended. That said, the dough will be kept in the refrigerator overnight if you do not have time to make it the day of.

    How to Reheat: You can heat this quickly in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds or at 350° in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until warm.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • Café Du Monde is the most traditional place in the United States to eat them.
    • Classically they are served for breakfast with café au lait, equal parts hot strong coffee mixed with hot steamed milk. Oftentimes, chicory was used in the coffee to make it more bitter to counteract the sweetness from the powdered sugar on the beignet
    • If you are looking for a simpler recipe between donuts and beignets, then definitely go with beignets.
    • You do not need a stand mixer. You can do this by hand in a large bowl; just be prepared to knead it until smooth.
    • When resting the dough, you can cover it with plastic wrap or a light towel, which is what I did.

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    The Best Beignets Recipe

    5 from 15 votes
    These delicious easy-to-make fried beignets covered in powdered sugar will make you feel like you're right at Café du Monde in New Orleans.
    Servings: 24
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1 cup warm water, 105° to 110°
    • 2 teaspoons active yeast
    • 1/3 cups of sugar + 1 tablespoon
    • 2/3 cup whole milk
    • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
    • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 4 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
    • neutral oil for frying
    • powdered sugar

    Instructions

    • Add the warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a standing mixer bowl and whisk until combined. Let sit for 7-10 minutes until it forms a raft on top.
    • Next, pour in the remaining sugar, milk, eggs, and melted butter and whisk until combined.
    • Attach the bowl to the stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the salt and flour, and mix on medium speed until smooth and the dough has pulled away from the inside of the bowl, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
    • Transfer the dough to a large clean surface dusted with flour. Roll out until it is ½” to ¾” thick and cut into 1 ½” to 2” squares or rectangles.
    • Add 5-6 of the beignets to a pot with hot oil or a deep fryer set to 350° and cook for 1 1/2-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
    • Cook in batches until the beignets have all been fried and set on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or paper towels and drain.
    • Coat heavily in powdered sugar and serve.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make the dough up to one day ahead. It can be stored covered in the refrigerator. Once it’s cooked, it should be eaten right away.
    How to Store: Unfortunately, they do not store well in the refrigerator after cooking. However, if you must, cover them and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They do not freeze well and are not recommended. That said, the dough will be kept in the refrigerator overnight if you do not have time to make it the day of.
    How to Reheat: You can heat this quickly in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds or at 350° in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until warm.
    Café Du Monde is the most traditional place in the United States to eat them.
    Classically they are served for breakfast with café au lait, equal parts hot strong coffee mixed with hot steamed milk.  Oftentimes, chicory was used in the coffee to make it more bitter to counteract the sweetness from the powdered sugar on the beignet
    If you are looking for a simpler recipe between donuts and beignets, then definitely go with beignets.
    You do not need a stand mixer. You can do this by hand in a large bowl; just be prepared to knead it until smooth.
    When resting the dough, you can cover it with plastic wrap or a light towel, which is what I did.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 116mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 65IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert
    Cuisine: American, French