Nutella & Cream Filled (baked!) Bomboloni

Doughnuts; I adore them.

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And people, I am not talking about your local Joe’s doughnut shop sort of doughnuts,  I’m talking about doughnts.

Not too bland – don’t get me wrong here, I love the old classics, if they’re done right – and not too weird. I like mine pretty basic, a little daring, and worth e.v.e.r.y. bite.

 Please don’t think I’m a snob. I enjoy Dunkin and I will (very) gladly take a Krispy Kreme glaze any day, but I think you get my point; there’s doughnuts and then there are doughnuts.

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But today, in a way, I guess I’m not really talking about doughnuts either. I’m talking about bomboloni.

What’s the difference, you ask?

I don’t really know if there is one. From what I can tell, they are just the Italian version of cream filled doughnuts, but if you know otherwise feel free to set me straight.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say if that is of any help.

Now lets talk about the difference between frying and baking.

I think we all know that if we want an awesome and authentic experience we have to fry. Have to. But.. frying is a hassle – let’s not even pretend it’s about health, it’s about the hassle (for the most part) – so a lot of times we bake our doughnuts.

Baked doughnuts can be a wonderfully delicious experience (I need to share the recipe my brother uses sometime; heavenly!), but it’s not the doughnut-shop-fried experience.

Anyway, my point being, when you bake doughnuts (if the right recipe is involved) you are going to have a wonderful experience, but if you fry (if the right recipe and technique is used) you are going to have an awesome experience.

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So when I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago, I was a bit apprehensive. Baked bomboloni just didn’t look like the fried bomboloni. The pictures I saw around the web looked, for the most part, dry and bready .

Yes, I was indeed concerned. But I wasn’t going to fry either – too much hassle, remember?

(plus, I found this recipe for baked bomboloni, it looked good, and so baked bomboloni it was going to be!) ;)

However, I was extremely and pleasantly surprised! These were to die for and I think for the first time I could easily be satisfied with these instead of the fried ones (that’s saying a lot, people) – yummy deliciousness!

Also the flavor of lemon that comes through these is superb – I really can’t rave enough about these, so the only thing for you to do is try them for yourselves – you won’t be disappointed!

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 The lowdown: Bomboloni that is baked and not fried will be sure to please on all accounts. There is no hot oil involved, no standing over a pot, and best of all is they taste wonderful; soft, fluffy, and light, these make for a very pleasant culinary experience.

Cottura felice!

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Nutella & Cream Filled (baked) Bomboloni
Ingredients
Bomboloni:
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C. milk, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/3 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt (I would recommend using a bit less - perhaps ½ tsp. - if you’re using salted butter)
  • 1/2 of a lemon, zested
  • 2 C. + 2/3 - 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
Fillings:
  • Nutella
  • Vanilla Cream Filling (1 ½ tbsp. heavy cream + pastry cream < recipe below!)
Topping:
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
Instructions
  1. Make pastry cream (directions below recipe) and chill for 4 hours, or up to 3 days.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients.
  3. Add in 2 1/4 C. flour and the yeast and blend until well incorporated and smooth.
  4. Once dough is blended, turn onto generously floured surface.
  5. Kneading with your hands, add remaining 1/4 C.flour until smooth and soft (the dough should no longer be very sticky but not overworked - you really have to use your instincts here, although the dough should be rather soft).
  6. Coat a clean bowl with a little olive oil and place dough inside.
  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (or kitchen towel) and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours. OR, if you are making dough the night before (which I would highly recommend if you are making for breakfast) place dough in fridge overnight.
  8. When ready to make bomboloni, turn dough onto a floured surface (if you have refrigerated overnight, make sure dough comes to room temp (30-60 min.) before proceeding).
  9. If the dough is sticky you may need to use quite a bit of flour during this next process, but what I love about this recipe is that it goes against the general rules of working with dough and flour; you can use quite a bit of extra flour and the bomboloni will still turn out soft and not tough/dry (crazy, right?!).
  10. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with a little bit of flour.
  11. Sprinkle some flour on top of dough (only if sticky) and on rolling pin, and roll dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  12. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter (or glass or anything else that is 3 inches round and will cut through dough), cut out as many circles as you can (I got 11 + 1 mini). (Note: It's OK to re-roll dough a few times to get as many bomboloni as you can . Again, this recipe goes against the rules of working with dough - you can re-roll it and they will be fine!)
  13. Place bomboloni on baking sheet and allow to rest for another hour (I placed mine in a slightly warm oven).
  14. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  15. While oven is heating, make the vanilla cream filling: in a small bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, whip heavy cream for about 30 seconds or until stiff (cream won't fall of a spoon).
  16. Using a rubber spatula, fold it into your pastry cream. Return to fridge until ready to use.
  17. Bake bomboloni for 7-14 minutes, or until golden brown on top. ( Note: I don't know if it's my oven or what, but after only 7 minutes they were already brown but some still not quite cooked through. So I lowered the temperature and baked them for a little longer, which did the trick. I am hoping you won't have this problem, but if you do and if they are like mine and a little extra brown on top, don't worry about it! This did not affect the results and plus, they will be covered in sugar so who will know? ;)
  18. Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle.
For the topping:
  1. While bomboloni is cooling, melt butter in a small microwave safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over medium-high heat.
  2. Place the sugar in another small bowl.
  3. When cool enough to handle, dip bomboloni in butter, coating the entire doughnut; then roll in sugar. (Note: you may need to add a little extra sugar towards the end as it may get some butter clumps.)
To finish:
  1. Using two pastry bags (frosting squeeze bottles work as well), add the nutella (if using) in one, and the vanilla cream to another.
  2. Fill each bomboloni with desired filling by inserting tip 3/4 of the way in and pulling out as you squeeze.
  3. Set finished bomboloni on a serving dish and serve immediately.
Print
Pastry Cream
Ingredients
  • 1/4 C. + 1 tbsp. milk (I used whole)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cake flour
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat, scald the milk (bubbles will start to form around the edge of the pan, but the milk is not boiling).
  2. While milk is heating, combine sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk egg yolk until blended.
  4. Slowly whisk yolk into the flour mixture (the mixture will be thick and pasty).
  5. Remove milk from heat and slowly add it to the egg/flour mixture a little at a time, whisking constantly until combined.
  6. When milk has been incorporated, return mixture to saucepan over medium-high heat.
  7. Continuously and vigorously whisk for about 3 minutes, or until mixture thickens and comes to a boil (once the mixture thickens, stop whisking every few seconds to see if it has come to a boil. If not, keep whisking vigorously).
  8. As soon as you see mixture bubbling, immediately continue to whisk for just 10 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat (boiling the mixture longer than 10 seconds can make it grainy).
  9. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small, heatproof bowl.
  10. Stir in the vanilla and then cover with plastic wrap, placed it directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold. Note: mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Lexi

27 Comments

  1. Reply

    Thalia @ butter and brioche

    March 17, 2015
    Oh god.. I didn't think bombolini could get any better and then you went and added nutella! Wow these are decadent and definitely delicious.
    • Reply

      Lexi

      March 18, 2015
      Thanks, Thalia - nutella is always an added bonus! :)
  2. Reply

    Deborah Christensen

    March 18, 2015
    Is this recipe correct? How do you whip 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS of cream to stiff peaks? Please check all measurements and advise.
    • Reply

      Lexi

      March 19, 2015
      Thanks for the question and for pointing that out! The measurements are correct, actually, but I do realize that whipping 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream into "stiff peaks" is ridiculous! Let me do some thinking/experimenting and I'll get back with you - I definitely need to make that more clear! The crazy measurements are due to my having to 1/4 the recipe as the original recipe would have made way too much. :)
      • Reply

        Lexi

        March 21, 2015
        Okay, I updated the recipe - hope it makes more sense now! :)
  3. Reply

    Amanda

    March 18, 2015
    I am dying! These bombolini look so amazing!!!
    • Reply

      Lexi

      March 19, 2015
      Thanks, Amanda!!
  4. Reply

    nicky @ Kitchen Sanctuary

    March 23, 2015
    I really want to reach into my screen and grab like 7 or 8 of these to eat right now!!
    • Reply

      Lexi

      March 23, 2015
      Thanks!! Wouldn't it be great of we could reach into our screens?? ;)
  5. Reply

    Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    March 29, 2015
    These look incredible Lexi!! I can't handle that chocolate ooze...
    • Reply

      Lexi

      March 30, 2015
      Thanks Karen! I try my best... ;)
  6. Reply

    Mariana @The Candid Kitchen

    April 1, 2015
    Lovely to be acquanited with the italian version of doughnuts. So good to hear these are baked too!
    • Reply

      Lexi

      April 1, 2015
      Thanks, Mariana! :)
  7. Reply

    Ella-HomeCookingAdventure

    April 3, 2015
    OMG.. looking totally awesome.. I would love some right now
    • Reply

      Lexi

      April 3, 2015
      Thanks so much, Ella! :)
  8. Reply

    Rita

    April 3, 2015
    OMG! These look delicious Lexi! You can't go wrong with Nutella! I follow you on Instagram too.
    • Reply

      Lexi

      April 4, 2015
      Thanks for stopping by, Rita! And yes, Nutella always gives food a slight boost. :)
  9. Reply

    Antonietta

    September 1, 2016
    Hi! I know I'm seeing this post quite some time after it was posted. Just a question, for the yeast you don't have to mix with water correct? Just mix in dry with flour? I'm trying this for the first time to bring to someone - is this recipe pretty fool proof. Oh and also, the recipe posted is for a full batch? Thanks
    • Reply

      Lexi

      September 1, 2016
      Hi Antonietta! No, you don't have to mix the yeast in with water beforehand. You are going to mix it in to the first seven ingredients, when you add the flour (see step 2). Every time I've made this recipe, it's turned out, so I suppose it's as foolproof as any recipe, really - I'm not sure you can guarantee any recipe to be completely foolproof, to be honest. :) This should yield at least 10 bomboloni. Let me know if you have any further questions or encounter any problems when making these - enjoy!!
      • Reply

        Antonietta

        September 1, 2016
        Thanks for your quick reply!! Can I double the recipe or would you suggest to make two separate batches? Thanks.
      • Reply

        Antonietta

        September 1, 2016
        Sorry one more question - if I make them from the night before how long do I need to let the dough rest (to warm up)before rolling? Also, is the lemon zest necessary? Could we leave it out? Would it taste the same ? Thanks.
        • Reply

          Lexi

          September 1, 2016
          Basically, just let the dough come to room temperature before working with it - this could take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. The lemon zest is not necessary but you will lose some flavor and the bomboloni will taste different. However, If you don't mind the absence of the lemon flavor, just go ahead and leave it out. I've never tried doubling this recipe before so I can't give you a 100% answer, but I think you would be perfectly fine doubling in one batch. :)
  10. Reply

    Jodie

    September 22, 2017
    Hi Alexis, these look amazing. I have been trying to find a baked bombolini recipe and these look great. My only problem is that I can't access the recipe link. Is there another link I could use? Thanks for your help, cheers, Jodie
    • Reply

      Lexi

      September 22, 2017
      Hi Jodie, thanks for reaching out (no problems with the name, btw - I totally understand auto correct ;). Everything seems to be working on my end - are you having trouble actually seeing the recipe? I just updated my site recently, so there my be some bugs.
    • Reply

      Lexi

      September 23, 2017
      Hi Jodie - I just saw the problem and unfortunately it's not going to be a quick fix. I seem to have completely lost the bomboloni recipe and never knew it! I'll try to see of I can recover it and re-post it - I apologize for the problem!!
      • Reply

        Lexi

        October 2, 2017
        OK, I've updated the recipe. I apologize for the delay in getting it fixed - there were a lot of adjustments I had to make to it. :) Enjoy!
  11. Reply

    Jodie

    September 22, 2017
    Sorry Lexi, my auto correct changed your name!! Apologies.

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