Getting ready for Valentine’s day? Then you have to make these easy, delicious, and super cute Valentine Berliners recipe!
These stuffed donuts are super light and fluffy and filled with a delicious sweet raspberry jam. They make the perfect sweet treats for a romantic picnic, day on the beach, or dinner date.
Speaking of dinner dates: do you already know what you are making? Have a look at some of my favorite easy dinners you can try. I personally love an authentic Creamy Lasagna recipe or my healthy Crispy Chicken Salad.
What are heart-shaped Berliners?
What’s better than a doughnut? A heart-shaped doughnut, of course. This is exactly what Berliners are; heart-shaped doughnuts filled with lovely berry jam.
The doughnuts are made with yeast-activated dough and are gently fried until they puff up like little clouds. They are then filled with sweet, tart jam and dusted with icing sugar. These dreamy delights are a beautiful gift to make for a loved one, so go ahead and gather the ingredients.
Why you will love these heart-shaped Berliners
There are so many reasons to love these Berliners; here are my top five:
- Light and fluffy as a cloud. These Berliners are the opposite of dense and are truly a fantastic doughnut recipe.
- Super simple to make. They don’t require any exceptional skills.
- A little different as they are heart-shaped – making them great for special occasions.Made with simple ingredients that are easy to source.
- Delicately balanced in flavor, sweet, and a little tart, thanks to the filling.
What’s The Difference Between Berliners And Donuts?
Whilst not many people have heard about “Berliners” before, you have most likely had one yourself.
Essentially they are round donuts (balls) without the hole in the middle. The shaped dough ball can be made from exactly the same sweet yeast-leavened dough and is still deep-fried.
What makes them completely different from your traditional donuts is the fact that these sweet treats are stuffed with a delicious jam, ganache, or custard-based filling.
Once assembled, they are usually dusted with a coating of powdered sugar. You can still glaze them, but this often creates a “too sweet” donut.
About Today’s Valentine’s Berliners Recipe – What You Will Need
So, today we are making donuts. But what makes these unique is (obviously) their heart shape and the delicious jam-filling.
I love using raspberry jam or jelly for these donuts. They also suit the romantic Valentine’s day theme we are going for with this recipe.
If you don’t like raspberries or you are allergic, feel free to use another type of red-berry jam. Strawberry jam is easy to find and delicious, and for a more complex flavor, you can try cherry jam as well.
To make the sweet dough, the only ingredients you will likely have to source are yeast and oat milk.
Active Dry Yeast
I use active dry yeast for this Valentine’s Berliners recipe. It’s easy to find, easy to keep on hand, and has a lengthy shelf life.
If you want to use “active instant yeast” you will need to adjust the quantity. For this recipe, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast.
If you want to use fresh yeast, you will need to dissolve it in lukewarm water first before adding it to the ingredients. For this recipe, you can use about 12 grams of fresh yeast instead of 2 teaspoons (6 grams) of active dry yeast.
You can also use regular milk if you’d like. I just like the earthy flavor that the oat milk adds to the recipe.
Do not replace the milk with water. Milk has several functions in this dough and cannot be left out. It enriches, helps add color, adds sweetness, and helps feed (activate) the yeast.
Tips And Tricks For Making This Valentine’s Berliners Recipe
- You have to make sure that the temperature of the milk mixture and the water doesn’t exceed 140ºF (60ºC). Anything higher than this and the yeast will be killed. In turn, that will prevent the dough from rising and ultimately leave you with dense, chewy Berliners. Ideally, the water should be between 130-140ºF (54-60ºC) for the yeast to properly activate.
- Make sure you test your oil temperature and that it doesn’t exceed 365 °F. If you cook your Berliners in oil that is too hot, they are likely to burn on the outside and remain uncooked in the middle. Not what you’re after. I definitely recommend using a thermometer to ensure you reach the right temperature.
- When cooking the donuts, do not overfill the deep-fryer (or air fryer). If you do, your Valentine’s Berliners will cook unevenly and won’t get a uniform golden brown color. I usually only add 3 to 4 at a time, depending on the size of my fryer.
- This dough is stiff enough to use in an air fryer. You just have to be super gentle when transferring the donuts from the baking sheet to the air-fryer basket.
- Change up the fillings – try using different jams and jellies for a variety.
- Make a batch of these in advance and freeze them.
More Delicious Desserts
Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Berliners Recipe – Made With Love!
- 3/4 cup oat milk
- 3 tbsp margarine (make sure it's vegan)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 tbsp lukewarm water
- 1 large beaten egg
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Raspberry jam or jelly, without seeds
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
Make the Berliner dough
- To start, heat the oat milk over medium-low heat until it's lukewarm. Do not allow the milk to boil! It denatures the proteins and could ruin the final texture.
- Remove the milk from the heat and add the margarine. Stir gently until it's completely melted. Set this mixture aside.
- Add lukewarm water to a mixing bowl. Stir the active dry yeast into the water and leave it to rest. This will activate the yeast and the mixture will become foamy.
- Once foamy, combine this mixture with the milk in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Next, add the egg, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir them in well. Then, add sifted flour and mix on a low speed until a ball of dough has formed.
- When the ingredients have come together, increase the mixer speed and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and pulls away from the edges. This will take about 4 minutes. Keep in mind that the dough shouldn't be sticky at all.
- Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a cloth and leave it to proof for 1 hour.
Shape the dough
- When your dough has risen, you can place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a sheet with a thickness of about 3/8 of an inch (1cm).
- Lightly dust a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Cut out your shapes and transfer them to a lightly floured baking sheet.
- Cover the heart-shaped Berliners with a damp cloth or tea towel. Leave them to prove for another 35 minutes.
Deep-fry the Berliners
- Heat your frying oil to 320ºF (160ºC).
- Add a couple of Berliners at a time and leave them to fry for roughly 3 minutes. They should be golden brown on both sides.
- Once cooked, remove them from the oil and drain the on pieces of paper towel. Allow them to cool completely.
- Repeat the process until all of your Berliners have been fried.
Finish your stuffed donuts
- You can place the jam or jelly in a piping bag.
- Then, use a knife to poke a tiny hole in the side of each Berliner donut.
- Place the nozzle of the piping bag through the hole and start filling the fried dough.
- Once they are all filled, dust them with powdered sugar and serve them immediately.