Getting ready for V-day? Then you don’t want to skip these delicious, romantic, and flavor-filled Valentine’s beignets. These do take some time to make but are still super easy with my step-by-step guide today. They are uber soft, fluffy, and some of them are loaded with a rich, creamy Nutella filling.
What Are Valentine’s Beignets?
Simply put, beignets are a classic type of French pastry that closely resembles a donut.
The yeast-leavened dough is super fluffy, soft, and slightly spongey to create a classic donut texture and flavor. What makes them slightly different is that they are usually filled with a super creamy filling (of any flavor) and heavily dusted with powdered sugar.
These are the perfect snacks to make for Valentine’s day. While the process takes some time, it’s still incredibly easy if you follow my guide.
Today, not only will I show you how to make these classic French desserts, but how you can turn them romantic too. We’ll be making a classic dough and as an option stuffing it with a rich, creamy Nutella filling.
Here is a breakdown of each ingredient in the beignet recipe and why they create an amazing end result!
For the beignet dough
Lukewarm Water: Lukewarm water helps to activate the yeast, which is essential for the dough to rise.
Yeast: Yeast is what gives beignets their fluffy, airy texture. The yeast reacts with sugar and water to produce carbon dioxide bubbles which help the pastries rise during baking.
Flour: Flour adds structure to the pastry and helps give it its bouncy texture. All-purpose flour is specially formulated with high protein levels to enable the dough to rise during frying or baking.
Salt: Adding salt to this recipe helps bring out the sweetness of other ingredients as well as give it that classic beignet taste. Salt also evens out any bitterness from the yeast in the batter.
Sugar: Sugar is essential for activating the yeast, allowing it to react and rise, which makes for a light, airy pastry. It’s also important for creating sweetness without adding too much extra liquid or fat to the batter.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk gives the dough a light, velvety texture and also adds flavor.
Vanilla Extract: A little bit of vanilla extract adds an extra level of flavor complexity to your beignets.
Melted butter: Melted butter adds flavor and moisture to the dough while also giving it a buttery richness when fried.
Eggs: Eggs add richness and depth of flavor as well as create a lightness and tender texture when added to beignets.
For the filling and garnishes
Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is what makes your beignets creamy and rich! You can add this directly into your filling or whip it up separately for a different type of garnish on top.
Nutella: Nutella is a delicious addition to any pastry. Be sure not to go overboard with it though! It’s great in small amounts as part of your filling or even as an extra drizzle on top once they’re done baking.
Powdered Sugar: Sprinkle some powdered sugar over your finished beignets before serving for an extra sweet touch!
How To Make Heart-Shaped Beignets
To make heart-shaped beignets, start by preheating your oven to 200ºF (93ºC). In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl combine lukewarm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Stir gently and leave to rest for 10 minutes until the yeast starts foaming.
Next, add beaten egg, buttermilk, melted cooled butter, vanilla extract, salt, and mix well together.
Add in a small portion of the sifted flour while the mixer is running or while you are mixing with your hands. Knead until a smooth surface area is reached.
Transfer the dough to an oiled oven-proof bowl and cover it with plastic or cloth. Leave it inside the cooling oven with the door slightly open for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the oven and roll it out on a lightly floured surface till 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2-inch heart cookie cutter to form the beignets.
Place them on a lined baking tray and put them back into the cooling oven for 20 minutes or until they double in size.
Preheat the frying oil to 360ºF (180ºC) and fry the beignets in batches for 30-60 seconds per side until golden brown. Place the beignets onto paper towels to drain excess oil before leaving them to cool for a few minutes.
If you go for the filling as well, prepare the Nutella filling by whipping heavy cream until light and fluffy, then combine it with a beaten Nutella mixture.
Place the resulting creamy filling into a piping bag and fill each heart-shaped beignet with it through a small hole poked in the side.
Add some powdered sugar on top and either serve them warm or let them cool down.
Tips And Tricks For These Valentine’s Beignets Recipe
- If your dough is still too sticky after adding the initial amount of flour, add a tablespoon extra at a time. Don’t add too much or it will get too dense.
- It helps to lightly dust your cookie cutter with flour before cutting the beignets. This simply prevents the dough from sticking to it and creates a beautiful, clean shape.
- You must avoid over-filling the pot when frying the beignets. If you do, they will cook unevenly and may not even puff up at all. You need that instant high heat that helps the treats get that lift during the initial 10-15 seconds. The remaining cooking time just helps the dough cook and the exterior get a crispy texture.
- You can technically use any type of filling that you’d like. I love a classic chocolate filling for a romantic Valentine’s day beignet. But a custard-based filling (like creme patisserie) will also work great! And, if you want to go all-in, you can color it red or pink to portray that Valentine’s day theme!
This recipe works perfectly also without filling, I usually fill up a few beignets to have 2 kinds of beignet flavors.
I also like to play around with different shapes, such as smaller hearts or flower-shaped beignets.
Here you can see one of my favorite hearty-smile shapes I truly love to use.
More Delicious Desserts
- Homer Simpson’s Donuts
- Princess Tiana Beignets
- Valentine’s day Oreo Cookie Pops
- Heart Shaped Berliners
This can happen for two reasons. The first is that you overworked the dough, which makes it denser and less fluffy. The second is that you overloaded the fryer. If the oil isn’t hot enough because you added too many beignets, they cannot rise quickly and set into place.
Kind of, but not chewy like a bagel. Remember, beignets are a type of donut. So they will be chewy to some extent. But if they are too chewy, your ingredient ratio is off, or you overworked the dough.
There are a few things better than freshly made hot Valentine’s day beignets. That being said, you can also eat them once they have cooled. As long as they are as fresh as they can be, you will enjoy them regardless!
Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Beignets Recipe With Delicious Filling
For the beignet dough
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 large egg, room temperature, beaten
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 4 tbsp melted butter, cooled to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine salt
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
For the filling and garnishes Optional
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
Make the beignet dough
- First, preheat your oven to 200ºF (93ºC).
- Next, combine the lukewarm water, sugar, and active dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Give them a gentle stir and leave them to rest for 10 minutes. The yeast will start foaming as it activates.
- After 10 minutes, add the beaten egg, buttermilk, melted cooled butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer or use your hands. Slowly add the sifted flour in three additions while the mixer is slowly running.
- Knead the ingredients until your dough starts coming together. When it pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl and has a completely smooth surface area, it has kneaded for long enough. See tips on adjusting the consistency of the dough.
- Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and add it to a separate lightly oiled oven-proof bowl. Cover the dough with plastic or cloth.
- Now, switch off your oven and place the bowl inside. Leave the door slightly open. Your dough will proof for roughly 15-20 minutes.
Shape the beignets
- Once your dough has proven, you can remove it from the cooling oven.
- Sprinkle some flour on the suface and shape the dough into a square. Then, roll it until it's about 1/4 inch thick.
- Use a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out some beignets.
- Place them onto a lined baking tray. Once they are all on the tray, leave them inside the cooling oven for another 30 minutes. The should rise and become slightly golden. Again, leave the oven door slightly open.
Fry your beignets
- Preheat your frying oil to 360ºF (180ºC).
- When your beignets are puffed up, add them to the heated oil for roughly 30-60 seconds. Flip them over and leave them to fry on the other side for another 30-60 seconds. They can be flipped/removed when they become golden brown.
- Once cooked, place them on a stack of paper towels to drain the excess oil. Let them cool down for a few minutes.
Make the filling and assemble
- While your beignets are cooling, prepare the filling.
- Whip the heavy cream until it has become light and fluffy, about medium-stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat the Nutella so that it becomes smooth and creamy.
- Fold the whipped cream into the Nutella mixture in small additions. After every addition, you should work more gently. If you overwork this mixture, it won't be as fluffy as it can be.
- Once the filling has been made, place it into a piping bag.
- Poke a small hole in the side of each heart-shaped beignet. Place the tip/nozzle of the piping bag into the hole and carefully fill it with your creamy Nutella filling.
- Once filled, dust each beignet with powdered sugar and serve them warm or cooled.