Puffy Pillow Beignets

February 24, 2022
2 Ratings
  • Prep time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 20
Author Notes

This Japanese-inspired yeast doughnut incorporates the use of tapioca flour to give these beignets a unique chewiness. And a tiny bit of baking powder creates a hollow center, ready to be filled with your wildest imaginations. —Mandy @ Lady and pups

Test Kitchen Notes

Yes, it is possible to make beignets at home, and you don't have to go to New Orleans to indulge in these delicious, adorable treats. You'll be pleasantly surprised, as the method is far easier than you might think; it just takes a few hours for the dough to proof properly in order to end up with the best texture possible. Here's how to do it: After combining the dry ingredients, stir in the whole milk, then condensed milk and butter. Let it proof for a couple of hours, then perform a series of folds to get that fluffy, pillowy texture. After rolling into a thin sheet, you can opt to cut your shapes into squares or rounds. Feel free to do whatever speaks to you that particular day.

After another rise, the most genius part of this recipe is using a small pot and frying the dough just 2 to 3 pieces at a time. Right when the dough starts warming up, it'll puff up before it gets browned. A light dusting of powdered sugar is all it takes to finish off these delicious beignets. You can opt to fill them if you'd like—just use a piping bag by poking a hole in each beignet and filling with whatever suits your fancy—but the most traditional kind is plain, with the sweet dough as the star of the show. You could also dust with cinnamon for a more breakfast-y treat. Whatever you decide, we highly recommend serving these beignets with a cup of coffee or café au lait. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, yeast, baking powder, and salt. Add the whole milk and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the condensed milk and butter and stir again until the dough is smooth and very sticky. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
  2. Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape out the dough and dust the top with more flour. Pat down the dough and use a bench scraper to fold the dough onto itself, like folding a letter. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold again. Keep in mind that this dough is very sticky, and you will need to continuously dust with more flour. Roll out the dough to a thin sheet about ⅛ inch (0.25 centimeters) thick. Cut the sheet into square shapes (which is easier and faster), or use a pastry cutter to cut out little rounds. Gather the scraps, roll them out, and cut again until all the dough is used.
  3. Arrange the pieces on a flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until puffed.
  4. in a deep, narrow pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 cups of the oil. The smaller and deeper the pot is, the less oil you’ll need. Once you stick a wooden chopstick into the oil and it starts bubbling at the edges, the oil is ready. Working with 2 to 3 pieces at a time, fry the dough. Once the dough gets heated, it will start to puff up. Flip before the first side gets browned—otherwise, it will always revert back to the same side because of the air on the inside. Keep flipping a few times until both sides are golden brown.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Generously dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Martha E. Ojeda
    Martha E. Ojeda
  • Nancy
  • Penny LaPrade
    Penny LaPrade
  • HalfPint
  • Graydon Powell
    Graydon Powell

20 Reviews

Martha E. June 8, 2016
Did anybody have a hard time with the dough being way too sticky???
Nancy February 23, 2016
This is the hot roll mix beignets recipe I think aleeda is referring to.
aleeda February 4, 2016
After making scratch beignets for years, and wondering how I could get the Cafe du Monde beignet mix on the regular, I stumbled across a recipe using hot roll mix, confectioners' sugar and vanilla with an overnight fridge rise. I have yet to return to a scratch recipe, particularly when making beignets for coffee hour (think hundreds of beignets!) the Sunday before Mardi Gras...the tapioca flour and condensed milk combination have made me curious. For this weekend though, it will be old reliable. Perhaps these for Mardi Gras proper!?
Paul B. February 6, 2016
can you send me the recipe you stumbled on???? [email protected]
aleeda February 17, 2016
Paul....I wanted to make sure you got the Beignets recipe....
Jenine February 23, 2016
Hi aleeda...can I get that too please?!!!! [email protected]
Nancy February 23, 2016
Yep! I would love that recipe also. You can't just say stuff like that and not provide a link!! Drives people crazy!
jennifer January 7, 2017
Aleeda, please share the recipe with me, too! I'll do a side-by-side comparison....
Bill R. February 25, 2017
@aleeda can u send recipe?
[email protected]
Penny L. December 20, 2015
I'm going to try these soon
Phil February 12, 2015
Think I could make these the night before and serve them for my co-workers at work the next morning?
Mandy @. February 12, 2015
Phil, I've never tried it before, but you can certainly let it proof in the fridge overnight. If it didn't double overnight, let it do that once returned to room-temperature.
Diane December 14, 2014
Could these be made without dairy?
Yazoolulu December 14, 2014
I think you could substitute just about any non-dairy milk without any problem. I have never had any problem doing that.
Yazoolulu January 5, 2014
I finally made these today - I've had my eye on them for months. I love this recipe. I had previously made beignets in a big skillet, which resulted in lots of splattered oil and a hot, intense experience trying to manage a dozen or so beignets. This recipe is simple. The dough doesn't rise much- the dough gets puffy, but when it cooks in the oil (I used rice bran oil from Trader Joes), they puff up just like the picture. So smart to cook them in a small saucepan, three at a time. Absolutely delicious. I made a double batch and my family inhaled them.
HalfPint September 6, 2013
OMG. Those look beautiful!
Graydon P. August 18, 2013
Janet Ross, if you try to infuse the beignets with raspberry preserves, that will make them more like aebleskivers than beignets.
JanetRoss August 10, 2013
Could these be infused with raspberry preserves?
Archena August 5, 2013
Thanks I never knew Beignets would be made without eggs. Will have to try this for sure
kim P. August 2, 2013
It's printed out and ready to go for tomorrow - thanks for planning my Saturday for me!