Orange custard-filled doughnuts

These doughnuts are a delicious afternoon treat with homemade custard and a hint of orange zest filled into delicately fluffy pastry.
A wooden tray with orange and custard-filled doughnuts.Photography: Nicky Ryan / Styling: John Mangila
14 doughnuts

You don’t need to be a pastry pro to make this delicious orange custard-filled doughnut recipe. With a little time and patience, you’ll have the dough ready and rolled for this tasty afternoon pick-me-up. To discover the secret to their classic fluffiness just see our tip for selecting the perfect flour.





Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, yeast and salt. Whisk together milk, butter, zest and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth and combined to a sticky dough.


Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until dough becomes elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until tripled in size.


Punch down dough and knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth. Roll dough out until 2cm thick. Use a 6.5cm round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Re-roll dough scraps to make more. Place on a lightly floured tray, 3cm apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.


To make custard, heat milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Whisk together egg yolks, zest, sugar, cornflour and custard powder with a little of the juice until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining juice. Gradually whisk in hot milk until combined.


Pour custard into a saucepan and whisk over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin. Cool slightly before refrigerating for about 5 hours or overnight or until thick. This can be made the day before.


Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat until 160°C on a deep-frying thermometer. Cook doughnuts, three at a time, in hot oil for about 1½-2 minutes each side or until golden and puffed. Roll doughnuts in combined sugar and cinnamon until coated.


Fill a piping bag fitted with a ½cm piping nozzle. Make an incision in the side of cool doughnuts, through to the centre. Pipe a small amount of custard into each. Serve.

Although plain flour can be used, bread flour produces excellent volume, creating a lighter texture. Bread flour is available at supermarkets.

A serving of orange and custard-filled doughnuts.
(Photography: Nicky Ryan / Styling: John Mangila)

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