These homemade Ring Doughnuts, made using brioche dough, are soft, fluffy, and golden. Dipped in a sweet blackberry glaze, these doughnuts are perfection. They'll make you feel like a kid after just one bite!
I adore making brioche dough as what you can make with the dough is endless. Think Cinnamon Rolls, French Toast, babka, and more! The good news for you is that I have a comprehensive guide on Brioche Dough that is full of images, and step-by-step helpful instructions so that you can confidently make it too.
I'm proud to share this ring doughnut recipe from my Cookbook, 'Simply Sweet Nostalgic Bakes'. For many of us, biting down on a pastel-coloured iced doughnut ring brings us back to days gone by and makes us smile.
These Blackberry-Glazed Donut rings aim to do just that. In the colour alone, they are an immediate pick-me-up! The glaze is made from pure natural fruit to give it such a vibrant hue, and the blackberry flavour shines through.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Brings out the child in you. I challenge you not to smile when you take a bite out of these! They are tasty, more-ish, and down-right fun to make and eat!
- Textural Sensation. The texture of homemade brioche donuts is insane. Fluffy, airy, and light on the inside with that crispy golden shell surrounding it- um, hello! Then they are coated in that sweet blackberry glaze and sprinkled with pearl sugar for some bonus crunch!
- Worth the effort. Yes, there are two proof times needed to make this dough, but you will be rewarded in spades for your effort.
- I guide you through the recipe. Never made dough before. Don't sweat! I provide instructions to make the dough the day before if you want to get ahead and split up the workload.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
The ingredients for these brioche donuts aren't out of the ordinary. Aside from the yeast in the dough and blackberries in the glaze, you should have everything else as staples in your pantry and fridge.
Yeast: I use active dry yeast, which means that prior to baking, we need to activate the yeast. We do this by mixing it into warm milk with some sugar (you could use honey if you prefer.) Whisk it together and let it stand for 15 minutes. The yeast will then become frothy and bubbly.
Also worth mentioning is that if the yeast doesn't bubble, then it means that it's expired.
If using instant rise yeast, then there's no need to mix it with the milk beforehand. Just add it when adding in the flour.
Milk: It needs to be warm (approx 35C/95F if you use a thermometer) as this helps activate the yeast initially and provides moisture to the dough.
Sugar: Whilst providing sweetness, it feeds the yeast and helps activate it.
Flour: Use plain flour (all-purpose flour) to structure the dough.
Salt: Always necessary to season any bread to help add flavour, otherwise it will taste bland.
Eggs: Acts as a binding agent but also adds flavour and richness.
Vanilla Bean Paste: I add it to the dough when making sweet bread combined with other sweet toppings. It adds depth of flavour to the dough.
Butter: An invaluable and necessary addition when making enriched brioche bread as it adds immeasurable flavour and aids in providing that tender crumb. Brioche just isn’t brioche without butter! Go for unsalted butter as you can control the amount of salt added, plus salted butter contains higher water content than unsalted.
Blackberries: The all-important natural colouring and flavouring to the glaze. Just like in my Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls, the natural fruit adds amazing flavour.
Lemon Juice: Helps to give a little tartness to offset the sweetness from the icing sugar.
Powdered Icing Sugar: (Confectioner's sugar) The bulk ingredient of the glaze
Pearl Sugar: The prettiest finishing touch to the glaze. If you can't find any, then use your favourite sprinkles for a fun alternative. Pearl sugar can be found online or in speciality stores.
Oil. Technically not an ingredient within the doughnuts or glaze, but it's used to fry the doughnuts in, so I want to mention it. Use a neutral oil that has no distinctive flavour, such as canola oil, vegetable oil or rapeseed oil. The benefit of these oils is that they have a high smoke point. I’ve specified 2 L needed, but don’t worry - not all the oil will soak into the doughnut rings!
I'll keep the variations relatively straightforward to stay true to this Brioche Donuts recipe from my book. Ultimately, you can glaze the doughnut rings with whatever you like and top them with all sorts of sprinkles, nuts, or chocolate.
One way to shake things up is to turn them into FILLED doughnuts! Stamp the doughnuts out with the larger cutter and leave them in that shape without stamping out the center.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Ring Doughnuts
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Brioche dough should not be intimidating to make in the slightest. Once you know the basic steps needed to create the dough, and the appropriate timings for prooving the dough, you'll be a master in no time.
For the brioche dough, the main elements to remember are that the dough needs to mix for long enough for the gluten formation to occur at the right level. The dough needs to be soft, supple, shiny, and smooth. And don't scrimp on the two proofing times- this ensures a light and airy texture. They may seem like a slow process to make, but trust in that very process as some things are worth the wait!!
For the blackberry glaze, the key is to get the correct consistency to dip the donuts into. Too runny and it won't hold to the donuts, and too thick and you'll struggle to dunk and coat the top of each donut.
Make the Brioche Dough
I've pulled these images from my comprehensive Brioche Dough Guide, where I go it great detail about the ins and outs of making Brioche Dough. In my post, I share plenty of process shots, instructions, and tips so that you can confidently make brioche dough. I'd love you to go and take a read of it before continuing on.
STEP 1. Activate yeast. Add the yeast, warm milk, and one tablespoon of sugar into a bowl. Give it a whisk and set it aside for 15 minutes until the yeast is foamy and bubbly (Image 2).
STEP 2. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add flour, remaining sugar, and salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and mix (Image 1).
STEP 3. Add wet ingredients (except the butter). Add the eggs, foaming yeast mixture, and vanilla bean paste into the stand mixer and mix on low speed for 5 minutes until the dough starts to come together(Image 3). If the dough is struggling to come together and needs a little more moisture, then add one tablespoon of milk extra at a time.
4. Add butter and knead in the mixer. Whilst the mixer is still running at medium speed, add the butter gradually, one knob (tablespoon) at a time, and mix until incorporated. Don’t rush this process so the butter can emulsify properly with the dough.
Then turn the mixer up to med-high and knead for ten minutes. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl and have formed a ‘tornado’ around the dough hook (Image 4). You'll know the dough is at the right stage by performing the windowpane test.
STEP 5. Knead by hand. Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface It will look dimply. We do this by doing some stretch and folds to the dough. One corner at a time, pull the dough out and fold it over itself and into the middle.
STEP 6. Proof the dough. This is PROOF 1. Turn the dough over so that the fold seams are underneath, and you’ll have a lovely smooth dough ball. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl (Image 5).
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1.5 hours in a warm place or until doubled in size for the dough's first rise/proof (Image 6).
STEP 7. Deflate the dough. Gently punch down the dough (Image 7) and tip onto a lightly floured surface, and using lightly floured hands, shape it into a rectangle.
TIP: Refrigerate Dough
If the dough is warm and soft to roll out, wrap it well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes. It's easier to stamp the dough when it's cold. Refer to FAQ below, to turn these into overnight doughnuts.
Stamp Out the Brioche Doughnuts
STEP 8. Prep your baking paper squares. Cut 12 squares of baking paper. I usually go for around 10cm (4 inches) square. Line them all up on one or two baking trays and lightly grease them with cooking spray (Images 9 & 10).
STEP 9. Stamp out the brioche doughnut rings. Roll the dough into a rectangle- it needs to be about 2cm (¾ inch) thick (Image 11). Stamp out dough rounds using a cookie cutter or a drinking glass about 7.5cm (3 inches) in diameter.
Then use a mini cookie cutter to stamp out the centre of each round (Image 12). There's no right or wrong size for these centres. I use around a 2.5cm (1-inch) cutter for these.
Lay the donut rings on their own piece of parchment paper, and the donut centres on the paper's squares too. (Image 13).
TIP: Don't waste the dough scraps.
Knead the dough scraps and re-roll and stamp out more doughnut rings and holes. I only re-roll the scraps once to get a second round of doughnut rings out of the dough. After that, you tend to work the dough too much, which toughens it up.
I cut out loads of doughnut holes with the scraps on the second round of rolling through. No need to waste the dough- these little doughnut bites are scrumptious. Bag them up, and they make a great gift to your neighbour!
STEP 10. Cover trays with a slightly damp tea towel and let the doughnuts proof for 1 hour to 1 hour 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size and is puffy. This is our PROOF 2. When you poke the dough lightly, and it springs back all the way, then they are ready for frying!
Fry the Donuts!
STEP 11. Heat the oil. Two things you need here. A heavy-based saucepan and a thermometer. Super important.
Fill the saucepan halfway up and heat the oil to 170C - 180C (Image 14). Then turn the heat down to stop it from climbing any further. Too hot, and the doughnuts will cook too quickly on the outside and remain raw in the center. On the other end of the scale, if it's too low, then the brioche doughnuts won't fry; they'll just absorb the oil and be one greasy mess.
TIP: A cast-iron heavy-based pan, such as a dutch oven, retains the heat well which stabilizes the temperature of the oil creating less fluctuation.
STEP 12. Fry the doughnuts. Carefully lift the parchment paper with one of the doughnut rings on it into the hot oil (Image 15). Once in the oil, use tongs to lift the paper out (Image 16). You can put two or three doughnuts into the pan in one go (Image 17).
TIP: Sliding the doughnut into the oil directly on the paper allows the doughnut to hold its shape. If you picked up the doughnut ring directly, you would most likely, deflate the dough and lose its shape.
Fry for about 2 minutes on each side. The doughnuts will look golden brown. Just flip them over with a slotted spoon. When they are ready, lift them out of the oil, shaking any excess off, and place them on a baking tray covered in a paper towel to absorb any excess oil (Image 18).
Donut Holes. Don't forget all your doughnut holes. They'll fry up super quickly, in about 30 seconds. After draining them on a paper towel, you can dip them into the glaze, or toss them through sugar, as I did in Image 19.
Make the Glaze and Decorate
STEP 13. Make the blackberry juice. Simply heat the blackberries and lemon juice in a small saucepan on the stovetop for about 5 minutes, until soft (Image 20). Use a fork to mash them down as they soften. Push the pulp through a fine mesh sieve discarding the pulp whilst keeping the juice (Image 21).
STEP 14. Make the glaze. Add the blackberry juice, powdered icing sugar, and cream into a bowl and whisk until smooth (Image 22).
STEP 15. Coat each doughnut. Dip one side of each doughnut into the glaze and set it on a wire rack. Sprinkle with as much pearl sugar as you fancy!! Then allow them to set for 15 minutes. (Image below) NOTE: the doughnut rings must be cooled before dipping them in the glaze. They don’t take long to cool, though, so don’t worry.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Refrigerate the dough. After its first proof, if the dough is very warm and too soft to roll out and stamp, just wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Flour the cookie cutter. When stamping out the rounds and the doughnut holes, dip the cutter into flour each and every time before stamping. Otherwise, the dough will stick to the cutter, and you'll lose the defined shape of the doughnut.
- Paper Bases. One of the best tips in this recipe! Placing the doughnut rings on paper allows you to manoeuvre the dough into the hot oil without touching it. This maintains the shape and puffiness of the dough.
- Use a cast iron pan to fry in. Cast Iron retains heat, meaning that the temperature of the oil will remain at a steady temperature with less fluctuation.
📋 Recipe FAQs
Absolutely! Once you've made the dough and placed it in an oiled bowl, cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The following morning, remove from the fridge, punch down the dough, and continue with the recipe by rolling out the dough, stamping out the rounds, and proofing for the second time.
Yes, you can as long as the oil is clean when you've finished with the frying. Once cool, pass it through a sieve to remove any bits and return it to the original bottle. Store it in a cool dark place until ready to use again. You can get 2-3 uses out of it. Find out more about the reuse of oil for frying from an insightful article from Serious Eats.
The answer is no - you definitely do not. Saying that, though, it is far easier and quicker to use a stand mixer. However, if you don’t have one, arm power is the way. Roll up those sleeves, and round this as your arm workout for the day!! Ensure that you don’t flour the surface too much throughout kneading, as the dough will incorporate this and dry out.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: Brioche Ring Doughnuts are best eaten straight away. Or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. I do find the texture of the doughnut does become a little stiff and dry on the second day.
To freeze: I wouldn't recommend freezing these doughnuts. They are best enjoyed when freshly made.
🫐 More Berries Recipes
Plus, I have two other fab recipes from the pages of my cookbook
If you tried these Glazed Ring Doughnuts or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Blackberry-Glazed Doughnuts Recipe
- 12 g Active dry yeast
- 240 ml whole milk, luke-warm
- 65 g granulated sugar
- 540 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 140 g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
- 2 litres canola oil or sunflower oil, for deep frying
- 140 g fresh blackberries, or frozen (don’t thaw)
- 15 ml lemon juice
- 240 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 30-45 ml double (heavy) cream
- 18 g pearl sugar, or sprinkles
Make Brioche Dough
- Activate yeast. To make the brioche dough, add the yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon (15 g) of the sugar into a bowl and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes, or until foamy.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the flour, remaining sugar and salt of an electric stand mixer and mix quickly.
- Add wet ingredients (except the butter). Add in the eggs and vanilla, and using the dough hook, mix on low for 5 minutes, or until the dough comes together.
- Add butter and knead in the mixer. Whilst the mixer is running on low speed, add the butter gradually, and once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium speed and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl and have formed a “tornado” around the dough hook. Do the windowpane test on the dough by grabbing a small piece of dough in between your fingers and thumbs and stretch it out. If it tears quickly, the dough requires more kneading. If it stretches thinly and you can see the light through it, it’s perfect!
- Knead by hand. Tip the dough onto a greased countertop and knead a couple of times until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Proof the dough. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size
- Deflate the dough. Knock the air out of the dough by kneading it gently about 6 or 7 times until it turns into a smooth ball.
Stamp Out Donuts
- Prep your baking paper squares. Cut 10 to 12, 4-inch (10-cm) square pieces of parchment paper, and grease their tops lightly with cooking oil spray and arrange them on 2 baking sheets.
- Stamp out donut rings. Roll out on a lightly floured countertop until ¾-inch (2-cm) thick. Leave to rest on the counter for a couple of minutes so the rolled dough can settle.Using a 3-inch (7.5-cm) round cutter coated in flour (or a drinking glass), cut out rounds from the dough. Then cut out smaller holes with a 1-inch (2.5-cm) round cutter in the middle. Knead any leftover dough, and reroll it cut to get more donuts. I cut out lots of donut holes with the scraps from this second round of rolling. Place the donut rings on their individual pieces of greased parchment on the baking sheets, leaving space between each one. Place the donut holes on their own piece or two of parchment as well. Cover the donuts with a slightly damp tea towel. Proof in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1½ hours, or until doubled in size and puffy.
Fry the Doughnuts
- Heat the oil. Fill a heavy saucepan halfway with the oil. Heat the oil to 340 to 350°F (170 to 180°C) using a candy thermometer to check the temperature accurately. Once it has reached this temperature, turn the heat down to stop it from climbing any further. Then regularly check to ensure the temperature is holding steady.
- Fry the donuts. Working with two or three at a time, slide the donuts on their paper into the oil. Use tongs to pluck out the papers, which should float free within seconds. Sliding the doughnuts into the oil on the paper will allow them to hold their shape; otherwise, trying to move them with a spatula might deflate the dough before it hits the oil. Fry for approximately 2 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a tray lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat the steps until all the donuts are fried. Don’t forget the donut holes, which will take about 30 seconds to fry on each side. Allow the donuts to cool before dipping into the glaze.
Make the Glaze and Decorate
- Make the blackberry juice. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blackberries and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly and gently mashing the berries to a pulp with a fork. Remove from the heat. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and push the pulp though, leaving any seeds/large chunks behind. Allow the blackberry juice to cool for at least 10 minutes before using.
- Make the glaze. Transfer the blackberry juice to a large bowl, and add the confectioners’ sugar and cream and whisk until smooth. If the glaze appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup (30 g) at a time. If the glaze appears too thick add in a little more cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Coat each donut. Dip each donut in the blackberry glaze, set aside on a wire rack and sprinkle immediately with pearl sugar or sprinkles. Allow the icing to set for 15 minutes. Dip the donut holes in the glaze or toss in caster sugar. These are best eaten straightaway or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This post was originally published in November 2021 but has been updated with new content.