St. Patrick's Day is almost here, and you know what? I think the holiday deserves more than just wearing green attires. It deserves these Baileys cinnamon sugar donuts! Although these donut may not have the greens to save you from pinches, but it will definitely make your Tuesday a happy one!
If you're looking for a healthier alternative to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, try our Gluten Free Pea and Kale Pesto Pasta!
Before we dive into this yumminess, I do want to make this obvious for all of our underage friends: This recipe does contain alcohol that's not completely cooked out, so please be advised!
Baileys pastry cream tips and FAQs:
Can I mix the egg, cornstarch, and sugar ahead of time?
I recommend not to premix your egg mixture until right before your milk is hot. The reason premixing is not recommended is because sugar is hydrophilic (aka loves water) so it'll draw out the moisture from the egg yolks and scramble your eggs.
Mix your egg mixture right before the milk comes to a simmer.
Yeah...nah. We're not about to waste all these egg yolks in exchange for 10 seconds of convenience.
Why do I have to slowly pour hot milk into my egg mixture?
Temper the egg yolks to prevent scrambling!
This process is called tempering. We stream hot milk into our egg mixture while whisking to "temper" our eggs, or bring our egg mixture up to temperature. If we skip this step, the eggs will very most likely scramble and make chunky, not very appetizing pastry cream.
Can I heat the Baileys Irish Cream with the milk?
Actually, you can if you'd like. I prefer to add my Baileys mid-way while cooking my pastry cream just to preserve as much alcohol as I can without thinning my pastry cream too much. After all, we're making this donut because we want to taste the alcohol. Right?
How thick is this pastry cream suppose to be?
When the pastry cream is done cooking, it should be a tad thicker than pudding consistency.
Before cooking the pastry cream, it's super thin and watery consistency.
After cooking the pastry cream (along with adding Baileys mid-way), it thickened to stiff pudding consistency.
Even when my pastry cream reaches the consistency I'm looking for, I have a habit of tasting it before I stop cooking just to make sure all the cornstarch taste has been cooked out. If you still taste cornstarch even after the pastry cream has thickened to your desired consistency, you may have added too much cornstarch. You can add some more milk to cook the cornstarch more.
I have cornstarch clumps or scrambled eggs in my pastry cream.
If this ever happens to you, don't panic! As long the pastry cream didn't burn, it's salvageable. Simply strain it through a sieve once it has thickened to your desired consistency.
I'm a little ashamed to say that this happens to me occasionally...usually when I'm in a rush. That's why it's important to take it slow and keep your heat at a manageable level when cooking your pastry cream.
Additionally, I highly recommending mixing with a rubber spatula rather than a whisk because rubber spatulas cover a large surface and can get into the curves of a pot much better than a whisk.
Make sure to adhere the plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream.
Make sure the plastic touches the pastry cream to prevent film from developing.
I'm sure you probably noticed that cooked milk and egg products tend to develop a film across the surface that comes into contact with air. So to prevent that from happening to your beautiful pastry cream, make sure that the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the cream.
Donut tips and FAQs:
Can I substitute butter for shortening?
Unfortunately, no. I'm not the biggest fan of vegetable shortening and would much prefer butter, but shortening in fried dough is incomparable. Because of its high melting point, it keeps the dough moist and tender.
How do I know my dough has been kneaded enough?
Do the window pane test!
The window pane test shows if the dough has developed enough gluten. If a dough's gluten is well developed, you can take a piece of it and stretch it between your fingers and be able to kind of see through it. If it breaks before it's semi-translucent, keep kneading.
I like to use the paddle attachment to mix my dough until it comes together then switching to a dough hook for kneading.
Switch to a dough hook and add shortening, half at a time until blended before adding the next half.
Knead the dough on medium high speed for about 8-10 minutes until it's smooth, supple, and barely sticky.
Stretch a piece of the dough to see if it passed the window pane test. This one passed!
How big should I cut the donuts?
We wanted large donuts so we rolled ours out to ½ inch and punched out 4 inch circles.
If you prefer normal size donuts, I recommend rolling it out to ¼ - ⅜ inch and cut with a 4 inch circle cutter. It may look flat, but remember it'll grow a bit before frying and expand again when frying.
These got so puffy! Yes, we found chopsticks flip donuts like a champ! 😉
How much/ how full can I fill the donuts?
Personally, I don't like my donuts with too much filling. I think the dough should be the star and fillings, glazes, and other add-ons are extras.
But If you like your donut like how Kyong likes his, full with fillings, pipe the pastry cream into the donut until you feel resistance from the donut.
Cook with love!
If you made this recipe or any recipe from our blog, please tag us on Instagram @twoplaidparons! We would love to see your creations! It makes our day 🥰
Baileys Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
For the filling (pastry cream):
- 2¼ cups milk
- 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter (or ½ stick)
- 9 Tablespoon granulated sugar (about 4 oz.)
- ¾ cup Baileys Irish Cream (about 180 mL)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (about 2.5 oz.)
- ⅓ cup cornstarch (about 1.5 oz)
For the dough:
Cinnamon sugar dusting:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the filling (pastry cream):
- Heat milk, butter, and 9 Tablespoon of sugar in a saucepan until just under a simmer. While waiting for the milk to heat, whisk together cornstarch and remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the egg yolks when the milk is almost heated through. Whisk together until combined.
- When the milk is heated, stream it into the egg mixture a little at a time while whisking. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick, like pudding consistency. Make sure to not scramble the pastry cream.Remove from heat. *If needed, pour the pastry cream through a sieve to remove clumps.*
- Transfer the pastry cream into a pan. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap touches the the cream to prevent a layer of film from developing. Chill in the fridge until cooled or overnight.
For the dough:
- Sprinkle active dry yeast over the warmed milk. Stir and let the yeast dissolve, about 5 minutes.
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt into the stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Add eggs and dissolved yeast. Paddle on low speed until the dough just comes together.
- Switch to the hook attachment and add half of the vegetable shortening. Knead the dough on medium speed until shortening is incorporated. Add the remaining shortening and continue to knead on medium speed until incorporated. *You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often.*
- Once the shortening is no longer visible, increase the speed to medium high and knead until the dough is smooth and passes the window pane test, about 8-10 minutes.
- Shape dough into a ball and transfer into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl and let it proof in a warm area until doubled, about 1 hour.Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and pull the edge of the dough into the center.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thick. Use a 4 inch circle cutter, punch out the dough discs. Try to cut each circle as close together as possible.Knead together and re-roll leftover dough until used up.Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before frying.
- While waiting, heat the oil or your fryer to 350°F.Gently place a few pieces of donut circles into the oil at a time. Fry each side for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oil and let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.Once the donuts are cooled, poke a hole through one side of the donut for the filling.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a wide bowl. Roll the cooled donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture until the entire donut has been coated.
- Mix the chilled Baileys pastry cream to loosen the mixture. Transfer the pastry cream into a pastry bag with a round tip. Fill the donut with pastry cream via the hole created earlier.