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How to make light, airy French crullers with a maple glaze! This easy to follow recipe will ensure those characteristic piped lines that stay even when fried.  

french crullers leaning against a stack of crullers.

While French crullers are made using the same method as choux pastry, real crullers should not be made with the same dough. I created this recipe to reverse engineer the crullers at Daily Provisions, which are the best I’ve ever had in my life. And I actually think these are better.

Proper crullers should not be hollow or as light as pâte à choux. Choux has an absurd amount of eggs per cup of flour and more milk to create the hollow interior and light texture of eclairs and cream puffs. Crullers are light, but not hollow. Crullers are piped rather than rolled and they require no yeast! They are one of the easiest donuts to make and even lighter than my krispy kreme donut recipe.

Why These are the Best French Crullers

  • Light, airy but not hollow. This recipe uses whole eggs for fat and leavening along with some additional egg white to achieve the perfect texture and flavor.
  • Professional recipe for crullers. Unlike the other recipes on the internet, this is not just a choux pastry recipe that I have piped and fried. This recipe makes crullers that are light, flavorful and don’t taste of egg.
  • Foolproof method tested and retested! I had a sous chef who was OBSESSED with replicating the crullers from Daily Provisions, so we problem solved and tweaked it until the recipe was perfect.
stack of crullers with one bitten.
cherry pie latticed unsliced.
My Top Pie Baking Tips
Everything you need to know about pies from a professional pastry chef!

Professional Tips for Making Crullers

  • Heat the butter and milk over medium heat. Just like with choux pastry you want to make sure that the butter melts before the milk comes to a boil because you do not want the water to evaporate from the milk while you wait for the butter to melt.
  • Fry the crullers from frozen. This step is essential for the best texture and keeping those lines when fried.
  • Allow them to cool completely before enjoying. The texture is not appealing when warm, so serve these room temperature. Save the hot taste-testing for my sour cream donuts!
  • Follow the recipe to a “t”. All the steps in this recipe are actually necessary to get the perfect crullers with those characteristic piped stripes that stay defined when fried. No step is hard but the little things matter.

Ingredients & Substitutions

French cruller ingredients.
maple glaze ingredients.
  • Whole Milk: Whole milk impacts the flavor and texture but you can use a low fat milk if desired.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar: A little bit of brown sugar in addition to the granulated sugar adds a subtle depth of flavor. You can use whichever you have on hand or use all white sugar.
  • Kosher Salt
  • All-Purpose Flour: I tested this recipe with both bread flour (like for choux) and cake flour. Both were disappointing. Cake flour didn’t have enough structure to hold the air pockets and bread flour was a little more chewy than I liked. All-purpose flour really is best.
  • Large Eggs  & Egg Whites: The combination of whole eggs and egg whites add fat, flavoring and moisture in addition to providing the leavening! Eggs have a big roll in crullers!
  • Powdered Sugar: As with other simple glazes, powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) is the main ingredient of this maple glaze. There is a little salt to balance all the sweetness from both the sugar and the maple syrup!
  • Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is not only the flavoring but the majority of the liquid in the glaze. Be sure to choose a dark amber Grade A, which has been reduced further than the lighter colored ones or Grade B.  
  • Canola Oil (for frying): I fry in vegetable oil but you can use your preferred frier oil.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

french crullers cooling on wire rack.

Possible Variations

  • Change the flavor of the glaze: Use my classic donut glaze recipe for a sweet vanilla flavor, or try using orange juice or lemon juice for a citrus variation. Use a different extract like coffee extract or peppermint to adjust the flavor, or add a tablespoon of Bourbon or another alcohol. Try my chocolate fudge glaze for a chocolate variation.  Make a honey glaze instead of maple.
  • Change the flavor of the dough. This is a little trickier to pull off without impacting the texture, but you can use a different extract or add zest to the sugar before mixing.
  • Stuff the cruller with a filling. Who says you can inject more flavor with a filling like in my jelly donuts? Try peach preserves, easy strawberry jam, mixed berry jam, Nutella, salted caramel sauce, lemon curd, or lightened cream cheese!  

How to Make French Cruller Donuts

Use these instructions to make light and airy fried crullers! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Make & pipe the dough:

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, and salt and set aside.

Step 2: In a large, high-sided saucepan combine milk and butter and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.

Just like with choux you want to make sure that the butter melts before the milk comes to a boil because you do not want the water to evaporate from the milk while you wait for the butter to melt.

whisking cruller dry ingredients.
melting butter and heating milk to boil.
incorporating flour mixture into cruller dough.

Step 3: Immediately after the milk boils, add the dry ingredients to the pot and stir constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon and cook until the residue on the bottom of the pot begins to brown. You are trying to evaporate some of the liquid.

If you don’t cook it long enough, will become too lose when the eggs are added, and it will lose its shape when piped and definitely when fried.

Step 4: Pour batter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit in the paddle attachment and then beat on high speed for about 1 minute. This is cooling the batter and allowing some the steam (more moisture) to evaporate.

Step 5: Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating at least a minute in between. Add the whites with the last egg. The batter should look emulsified and smooth.

cooking cruller dough and stirring with wooden spoon.
adding egg to cruller dough.

Step 6: Scoop into pastry bag fitted with a large Ateco French star tip (869). Pipe rings onto parchment paper. They will be approximately 2 ½-3 inches in diameter. Chill and then freeze. 

fully mixed, sticky cruller dough.
piped cruller dough on parchment paper.

After they are frozen you can cut the parchment around each cruller, place them in an airtight container then wrap them well. Store frozen until ready to use.

Fry the Crullers!

Step 1: Before you are ready to fry, mix the glaze. In a large bowl mix all ingredients for the glaze, adding the milk to thin as necessary. It should flow from the whisk like cold molasses.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface until ready to use to keep a skin from forming.

Step 2: Add at least 2 inches of vegetable oil or your preferred frier oil to your cooking vessel. Use a tabletop fryer, cast iron skillet or Dutch oven fitted with a clip on fry thermometer. Preheat the oil to 335°F.

Step 2: Get your frying mis en place ready! You want your glaze, a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack fitted inside and some sort of slotted spoon or spider to transfer the crullers. The wire rack is best for allowing the crullers to drain excess oil. You could also put the rack on paper towels.

Step 3: Fry from frozen at 335°F until golden brown. I find it easier to transfer the crullers while on the parchment. Be sure to delicately place them in the oil. Fry until golden on one side, flip and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon, spider, or tongs to wire rack to let the excess oil drip.

maple glaze pouring from whisk.
frying 3 crullers in oil with bubbles.
removing cruller from fryer oil with perforated spoon.

Keep in mind that placing frozen dough into the preheated oil will drop the temperature. I heat mine to 335°F then I place one cruller in at a time allowing the oil to rise again before adding the next. You can preheat 5°F hotter if you want but be careful it doesn’t get or stay too hot or it will be difficult to tell when the crullers are finished cooking. You can also remove them from the oil then poke them with a metal cake tester. It should come out clean.

Step 4: Dip in the prepared glaze while hot, place back on wire rack to cool.  Serve room temperature. The texture is not appealing when hot just like choux.

glazing crullers on wire rack.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

Just like when frying pumpkin donuts or making whole wheat pancakes, cook a tester cruller. Fry one, let it cool a bit then break it open and see! Adjust as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store crullers?

Store piped, unfried crullers frozen on parchment paper until ready to fry. You can freeze them up to 2 months in advance. Fry from frozen.
Once fried, dip in glaze while warm and allow to cool to room temperature. The glaze will help keep them fresh for 3 days. They are best the day they are fried as are all donut recipes.

Are crullers just fried pâte à choux?

No, crullers are not simply fried choux pastry dough though they have the same preparation method. Choux has many more eggs and a lot more milk per cup of flour than crullers, which results in a pastry that is hollow and has a more pronounced egg flavor.

How to serve crullers?

Crullers are best served room temperature. They are delicious with a simple glaze or try serving them with a dipping sauce like crème anglaise, easy blueberry sauce, or maple caramel sauce.

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

cruller with bite to show interior.
5 from 1 ratings

French Cruller with Maple Glaze

How to make light, airy French crullers with a maple glaze! This easy to follow recipe will ensure those characteristic piped lines that stay even when fried.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Freezing Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 Crullers

Ingredients 
 

For the Crullers:

For the Maple Glaze:

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, and salt and set aside.
  • In a large, high-sided saucepot combine milk and butter and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Just like with choux you want to make sure that the butter melts before the milk comes to a boil because you do not want the water to evaporate from the milk while you wait for the butter to melt.
  • Immediately after the milk boils, add the dry ingredients to the pot and stir constantly over medium heat and cook until the residue on the bottom of the pot begins to brown. You are trying to evaporate some of the liquid.
  • If you don’t cook it long enough, will become too lose when the eggs are added, and it will lose its shape when piped and definitely when fried.
  • Pour batter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit in the paddle attachment and then beat on high speed for about 1 minute. This is cooling the batter and allowing some the steam (more moisture) to evaporate. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating at least a minute in between. Add the whites with the last egg. The batter should look emulsified and smooth.
  • Scoop into pastry bag fitted with a large Ateco French star tip (869). Pipe rings onto parchment. They will be approximately 2 ½-3 inches in diameter. Chill and then freeze. After frozen you can cut the parchment around each cruller, place them in an airtight container then wrap them well. Store frozen until ready to use.
  • Before you are ready to fry, mix the glaze. In a large bowl mix all ingredients for the glaze, adding the milk to thin as necessary. It should flow from the whisk like cold molasses. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface until ready to use to keep a skin from forming.
  • Preheat a tabletop fryer to 335°F or canola oil in a skillet or Dutch oven fitted with a clip on fry thermometer.
  • Get your frying mis en place ready! You want your glaze, a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack fitted inside and some sort of slotted spoon or spider to transfer the crullers.
  • Fry from frozen at 335°F until golden brown. I find it easier to transfer the crullers while on the parchment. Be sure to delicately place them in the oil. Fry until golden on one side, flip and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove to wire rack to let the excess oil drip.
  • Dip in the prepared glaze while hot, place back on wire rack to cool. Serve room temperature. The texture is not appealing when hot just like choux.

Notes

Yield – 12, 3-inch crullers
Presentation – You must fry them from frozen to preserve the piped lines! Variations – Try a different glaze recipe or use citrus juice in place of the maple syrup.
Storage – Store piped, unfried crullers frozen on parchment paper until ready to fry. You can freeze them up to 2 months in advance. Fry from frozen. Once fried, dip in glaze while warm and allow to cool to room temperature. The glaze will help keep them fresh for 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Calories: 231
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Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef created recipe. Check out our other doughnut recipes like this chocolate cake donut, or broaden your brunch spread with one of our breakfast pastries recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to make these, they look so delicious! Thanks for the tips, I’ve always been nervous and now I’m not!