Vegan Jelly Filled Donuts

It is carnival time and there is one treat that should not be missing: Vegan jelly filled donuts, also called German Donuts or Berliner. Plump filled with jam, greasy fried and pulled through sugar. And let’s be honest, you like to treat yourself to one of these little guys more often than just once a year during carnival time.
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fried vegan jelly filled donuts

These filled doughnuts are the absolute classic during carnival time – here also called Fasnacht. They are so delicious that they are actually available in our country all year round.
But are donuts actually vegan? An often asked and quite legitimate question. Guys, unfortunately I have to disappoint you. A vegan doughnut is more of a rarity, unless you have a Brammibal`s Donuts near you. *hint, hint*, now that would be a small vote for Brammibal to finally open a branch here in Bern. But back to the real question of whether doughnuts are vegan….

Nope, donuts are not vegan per se, as the basic dough contains milk and butter. Vegan jelly filled donuts are also rather rare to buy. In any case, this is my experience here in Bern.
However, doughnuts are super easy to bake yourself in vegan. To do this, you just need to replace the milk with plant milk and the butter with vegetable butter or margarine. That’s it. In matter for the doughnut experiment to succeed at the first attempt, I provide you with my recipe for vegan jelly filled donuts 🤫.

PS: Who, by the way, is not in on the full-fat fried version. On my Instagram account you can find a recipe for vegan doughnuts made in the oven. This doughnut recipe is even sugar-free, as I use pear syrup for it.

cherry jam for the vegan donut filling
pouring sugar for vegan jelly filled donuts

As is well known, doughnuts are traditionally baked for New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras. But you certainly don’t have to be a carnival fan to feast your eyes on these tasty buddies. I am speaking from my own experience. I am absolutely no carnival fan. I am a real carnival grinch! However, I am very happy to embark on the jelly filled donut adventure. Because delicious comfort food is always welcome in my house. And that’s definitely the case with donuts.

And while we’re on the subject of traditions. Did you know that in some places some of the doughnuts are filled with mustard, sawdust or onions. Nastily, you can’t tell from the deep-fried balls what the filling is made of. I’m telling you, if this were to happen to me, I’d spank someone 🤣. Just joking though…

Also exciting: the topic of the name of this fried yeast pastry. Sometimes you can find the most different names for the delicious dough balls. For example, Berliner Pfannkuchen, Faschingskrapfen, Kräppel, Bauernkrapfen, Puffer or just Berliner and Krapfen.
But enough about the historical digression. Now let’s turn to the topic of how you can make vegan jelly filled donuts yourself at home.

vegan jelly filled donuts
vegan donuts with cherry jam

You can easily bake vegan doughnuts yourself. I will show you how in this recipe. If you prefer doughnuts without deep frying, you can also prepare them in a hot air fryer or in the oven. How? I’ll tell you in the notes of the recipe pinned below.

The recipe makes about 8 large vegan jelly filled donuts. If you’re in the mood for mini donuts, halve the size of each dough ball.

For this recipe, I used a homemade cherry jam as the filling. I’ll also tell you how to make the cherry jam below in the recipe. Of course, it’s not cherry season at the moment. But maybe you might take the opportunity this summer to boil down a few jars of cherry jam. Otherwise, of course, you can buy the jam or just use another flavor. If doughnuts with jam aren’t your thing, you can also fill them with vanilla cream or chocolate-nut spread.

Vegan doughnuts are based on a typical yeast pastry. Similar to a brioche dough. You need milk and butter for the dough, which – as already mentioned above – can also be replaced by vegan butter or margarine and plant milk. Which makes them vegan. For the yeast dough, the most important thing is that it gets enough leavening time. So that the doughnuts also rise nicely and then can rise again when frying. For this, I use a method in this recipe that uses less yeast and instead lets the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator. If you have less time available, you can double the amount of yeast used and let the dough rise for only two hours.

vegan donuts

The trickiest part of this doughnut recipe is the frying. Ok, frankly and honestly, if there’s one thing I’m horrible at, it’s frying. I’m just completely talentless. Which is probably why I tested the recipe four times until it worked out with the frying part.

So I really highly recommend that you use a thermometer to show you the temperature when frying. Because if the oil is still not hot enough, the doughnuts will soak up fat. And believe me, it tastes a) not so flattering and b) you end up with jelly filled donuts, which rise zero, because they are too heavy.
If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will brown too quickly on the outside and remain raw on the inside. And this is even worse. Been there, done that 🤪.

If you are adventurous, you can use a wooden cooking spoon to help you. If air bubbles rise on the wooden spoon when you put it into the oil, it is ready. Also, use an oil with a high smoke point, so that the pan and vegan doughnuts don’t blow up in your face. I recommend peanut oil.

The ultimate perfect vegan jelly filled donut has this typical white edge. This edge is created when the donut rises again during frying. There’s a little insider tip for that. Fry the doughnut, top side down first, with the lid on the pan. Then turn and do NOT put the lid back on the pan. In addition, it is recommended to fill the oil about 3cm into the pan. Since I’m talentless, somehow not all my donuts had the white border. But I’m confident that with more practice I’ll get it right.

Bon appétit!

Jelly filled vegan donuts
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Vegan Jelly Filled Donuts

It is carnival time and there is one treat that should not be missing: Vegan jelly filled donuts, also called German Donuts or Berliner. Plump filled with jam, greasy fried and pulled through sugar. And let's be honest, you like to treat yourself to one of these little guys more often than just once a year during carnival time.
Course baked goods sweet, Dessert, pastry, pie & tarts
Cuisine German, Swiss
Keyword carnival, cherry, donuts, jam, jelly filled donuts, New Year`s Eve, vegan donuts, yeast dough
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Servings 8 pieces
Calories 1553kcal
Author Velvet & Vinegar

Equipment

  • 1 sauce pan with lid
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 food processor with dough hook
  • 1 silicone brush
  • 1 baking paper
  • 1 baking tray, rectangular
  • 1 Thermometer suitable for deep frying
  • 1 piping bag
  • 1 nozzle, round & long

Ingredients

Cherry Jam

  • 1 kg cherries
  • 500 g jam sugar

Vegan Jelly filled Donuts

  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar approx. 8g
  • 200 ml plant milk
  • 65 g sugar
  • 10 g yeast, fresh
  • 55 g butter or margarine, vegan
  • 1 L peanut oil for frying
  • 1 jar of cherry jam* as filling
  • sugar* as a topping

Instructions

Cherry Jam

  • Wash cherries under running water, cut in half and pit. Remove stems if necessary.
  • Place cherries in a pan with jam sugar and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. The sugar will gradually dissolve and the mixture should simmer gently. Skim off the foam that forms on the surface from time to time.
  • Finely puree the jam with a hand blender so that there are no pieces left.
  • Then immediately fill the still hot jam into sterilized jars and seal them immediately.

Vegan Jelly filled Donuts

  • Put wheat flour, salt and vanilla sugar in a bowl.
  • Add plant milk and sugar to a sauce pan and heat the two ingredients briefly on the stove to 37° Celsius. This is the perfect temperature for the yeast.
  • Add yeast to the plant milk-sugar mixture and dissolve in it.
  • Add the yeast-milk-sugar mixture to the flour and knead the whole thing into a smooth dough using a food processor. To do this, let the food processor knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes on medium speed. The dough is ready when it is elastic and can be easily removed without sticking from the dough hook.
  • Put the yeast dough into a bowl greased with oil. Brush the surface of the dough with a little oil to prevent it from drying out. This is really important because otherwise you won't be able to form nice doughnuts when the surface gets dry.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid and put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and let it get used to room temperature for a few minutes.
  • Now divide the dough into eight equal pieces (about 80-100g)*. Shape the individual pieces of dough into nice round and smooth balls using the rounding method*. Place the balls on a baking tray covered with baking paper and let them rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • In the meantime, pour the peanut oil into the sauce pan, attach a thermometer and heat the oil over medium heat to 170° Celsius. If it ever gets too hot, take the pan back off the heat, let the oil cool a bit, and put the pan back on the stove. Keep the temperature constant at 170° Celsius to a maximum of 175° Celsius.
  • Now place the first doughnut in the hot oil with the top side facing down. Put the lid on the pan and fry the doughnut in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes maximum. Monitor the temperature. Then remove the pan lid, turn the doughnut and fry on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Lift the doughnut out of the oil and let cool on a kitchen towel or similar.
  • Repeat the last two steps until all doughnuts are deep fried. Allow all doughnuts to cool thoroughly.
  • Pour cherry jam into a piping bag fitted with a long round nozzle. Carefully prick the doughnut with the nozzle. Also carefully fill the jam into the doughnut.
  • Once all the doughnuts are filled with jam, place sugar in a bowl. Dip the top of the doughnuts in the sugar and enjoy immediately.

Notes

*The doughnuts are not gluten-free and I have not tested the recipe with a gluten-free mixture. Therefore, I can not give any information whether it works.
*If you prefer not to have fried doughnuts, you can bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes in a hot air fryer at 180°. In the half time turn the doughnuts over. The duration may vary depending on the hot air fryer, so always monitor the doughnuts well. When they are golden brown, they are done. However, the result from the hot air fryer is not comparable to deep-fried ones.
*For a less greasy version, you can also bake the vegan doughnuts in the oven. In the middle of the oven for 15 minutes with the oven preheated to 180° Celsius. Again, the baking time may vary depending on the oven. The doughnuts are ready when they are nicely browned. Again, this result is not comparable to the fried one.
*The preparation time for the cherry jam is not included here in the recipe. Also, the blender you need for the jam is not listed.
*The jam should not contain any more pieces to fill the doughnuts. Otherwise they will clog the nozzle. If necessary, pass the jam through a sieve so that any pieces remain. As an alternative to jam, you can also use Nutella, vanilla cream, caramel or any other filling.
*I prefer sugar in crystal form on my doughnuts. Who likes can alternatively use powdered sugar.
*For those who want mini doughnuts, divide the dough into 16 pieces of 40-50g each.
*There are instructions for the rounding method here. The video is German, but you will understand the method just by watching. 

Nutrition

Calories: 1553kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 119g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 38g | Monounsaturated Fat: 55g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 86g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg

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