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Bomboloni Recipe Italian Donuts with Cream Filling

This Bomboloni Recipe (Italian Donuts with Cream Filling) is what you find in Italian bakeries- super soft, light, rolled in sugar, and filled with smooth pastry cream. Take a trip to Italy by enjoying these right at home. 

  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes rising times)
  • Yield: 10-12 large donuts 1x


Units Scale

Donuts (Bomboloni)

  • 4 cups 00 flour or all-purpose flour (480 gr)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoon butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 small pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 orange or lemon (optional, but traditional to Italian donuts)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or confectioners sugar for rolling doughnuts
  • Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

Pastry Cream

Other flavors to try:



Pastry Cream 

Make the pastry cream first and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 


Make Dough 

  1. In a small bowl, add the warm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top; let it sit for five minutes, then mix. If the yeast does not bubble after 5 minutes- try with new yeast.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the milk and yeast mixture, beaten eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Attach a dough hook attachment to the mixer and knead until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  
  4. Scatter butter cubes over the dough mixture so it's evenly distributed, then knead on a low speed for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, the dough will be smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky. With greased hands, shape the dough into a smooth ball by kneading it 2-3 times on a clean cutting board or work surface (do not add extra flour here).
  6. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for the first rise in a warm place without drafts for 2-3 hours or until triple in size.

Shape Donuts

  1. After the dough rises, transfer it onto a lightly floured and clean work surface, punch down once, and knead it a few times back into a smooth ball.
  2. Flatten the dough with your hands, then roll it out with a rolling pin into a rectangle- about ½ inch thick.
  3. Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut out round doughnuts about 3.5 inches in diameter. TIP: save the scraps for frying or re-knead them and roll them out again to cut out more doughnuts.
  4. Place the cut-out doughnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cover them loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let the dough proof for the second rise for 1 to 1.5 hours or until it triples in size.

Fry the Donuts

  1. When ready to fry, heat a large deep pan or dutch oven pot with oil until it reaches 170-175°C/340-350°F. Test with a frying thermometer. Set out a baking sheet lined with paper towels for laying the fried donuts. Prepare a bowl of sugar for rolling the donuts. 
  2. Cut the parchment paper into squares so that each doughnut is on an individual square of parchment. Try not to touch the donuts, or they might deflate after rising.
  3. Carefully drop the doughnuts into the oil and quickly remove the parchment paper with tongs and discard. Fry the doughnuts in batches and don't overcrowd the pan so they can fry evenly. 
  4. Fry the doughnuts for about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove the donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels for a few minutes to absorb excess oil, then roll the doughnuts in the bowl with sugar. Leave to cool before filling.


  1. Once the pastry cream is cooled and the donuts are rolled in sugar and cooled slightly, fill the donuts. 
  2. To fill the bomboloni, insert a small knife into the side of a doughnut and move it around to make a small incision.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the pastry cream or desired filling option and pipe it into the hole in the donut.
  4. Serve immediately for best results or store in plastic containers for 1-2 days.



  • Room temperature eggs and butter. This will help the dough rise faster and be more elastic.
  • Activate yeast. Ensure the milk is warm enough to activate the yeast but not so warm that it kills it—a temperature of around 110°F.
  • Hot oil. Maintain oil temperature around 350°F. You can lower or raise the heat to keep a stable temperature. Too low of a temperature and the doughnuts will absorb too much oil; too high and they will brown faster on the outside and stay raw in the middle.
  • Make sure you have enough oil- about 3 inches for best results.
  • Work in batches and often stir for proper cooking. Overcrowding the pot with the bomboloni can lower the oil temperature and cause them to stick together and not brown properly. 
  • Roll bomboloni in sugar while still warm. If you don't do this when the doughnuts are warm the sugar won't stick. Wait until the bomboloni are cooled before filling them.

Baked Bomboloni

This yeast dough bombolini or Italian donut recipe works best for frying. However, you can bake them for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F (180C), let them cool before filling, then sprinkle them with powdered sugar. You can also try them in the air fryer using cooking oil spray. You can also make these Easy Baked Italian Donuts.

How to Store

How to Store Italian Donuts (Bomboloni)

Freshly made donuts are always best eaten immediately! To store- keep them unfilled in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

If filled, store the cream donuts in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Freezing the donuts is not recommended.

The best way to reheat Italian donuts is by wrapping them in aluminum foil and warming them in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This also works if they are frozen.


  • Author: Elena
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: bomboloni, donuts, cream filled donuts, Italian donuts