Saffron Donuts with Pistachio Cream


DONUTS!!! Whats not to love about these babies?! I got inspired by the flavor profile of the good ole Gulab Jamun and took that inspiration into making these donuts. I added saffron in the dough to give them a beautiful golden color and a great flavor. Filled them with a delicate pistachio cream – which is so easy to make but is great to use with many desserts and then finally dunked them in a glaze flavored with green cardamom.

For anyone who has had Gulab Jamun before will find the flavors very similar but even if you haven’t had it before the flavors work really well and make for a great tasting donut.

I did a nutella filled donut recipe a few years ago. Those were really delicious and popular too. Check out the recipe for it here



Serving 20 donuts


For the Donut

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp butter, melted

½ cup warm milk

1 large egg

2 ½ tsp dry active yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 big pinches of saffron, pounded in a mortar and pestle to form a coarse powder

1 big pinch of salt

Vegetable or any other neutral oil for frying

  1. Mix milk, sugar and butter together and keep aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add flour, saffron and salt. Mix roughly.
  3. Add dissolved yeast, milk mixture and vanilla.
  4. With a dough hook attachment start mixing the dough at first on low speed for a couple of minutes or till the mixture comes together as a shaggy mass.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 to 3 minutes or till the dough gets smooth and starts pulling from the side. Once the dough is done it will be a tad tacky but will spring upon poking a finger lightly.
  6. Alternatively – if kneading by hand : Flour a clean surface (counter or a board) generously and take the dough out. Knead the dough on the floured surface adding little flour on your hands for about 5 minutes. Try to only use as much flour needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and onto the surface. You don’t want the final dough to be very tight.
  7. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled clean bowl. Turn the dough around so that its coated with the oil evenly.
  8. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till the dough doubles in size.
  9. Once the dough has risen, remove the dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll out to about ½ inch thick squarish shape. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into equal size squares – you should get about 20 pieces.
  10. Arrange them on a sheet and let them rise covered for another hour.
  11. Deep fry on medium low for about 2 minutes on each side. Cool completely on a rack.
  12. Fill up a piping bag that has a regular nozzle with pistachio cream.
  13. Insert the nozzle into the cooled doughnuts in the center of the edge and fill it up with cream.
  14. Dunk the top side of the filled donuts in the glaze generously. Place on a wire rack for the excess to drip away. While the glaze is still sticky sprinkle the donuts with crushed pistachios and dried rose petals. SERVE FRESH.

Pistachio Cream Filling – Prepare 1 day in advance

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup raw pistachio

1 star anise

1/3 cup sugar

  1. Toast pistachios in a saucepan over medium low heat tossing every few seconds till they get fragrant & lightly toasted. Make sure to not burn them. Remove from heat and cool completely. Place cooled pistachios in a blender and pulse to for a coarse mixture. (Reserve 1 tbsp of ground pistachios to add on the top of the donuts)
  2. In a pot add cream, coarse pistachio, star anise and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Heat the cream mixture over low heat stirring in between and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Turn the heat off. Cool the mixture. Transfer into a container and refrigerate covered overnight.
  4. Once the flavors have infused overnight – carefully remove the star anise from the cream and whip the mixture to form soft peaks. Whip the cream just before you are ready to fill the donuts.

For the Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp ground green cardamom

2 tbsp milk + more if needed

  1. Add sugar and cardamom in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix well.
  2. Add milk and stir to form a pourable mixture. Add more milk (1/2 tbsp at a time) to adjust the consistency.