Peanut Butter Bourbon-Filled Doughnuts

If you ask me, there's a good bit of subject matter that Dale Carnegie neglected to cover in his book "How to Win Friends & Influence People". I think a chapter on doughnuts would have been appropriate. Years ago when I worked in an office environment I would sometimes bring doughnuts to my co-workers, and those who had squabbled just one day earlier conceded to speak a few polite words over a box of glazed and jelly-filled. Segregated groups came together. White coats and secretaries stood around exchanging pleasantries "Isn't it nice out today? These are my favorite!"

Such is the magic of doughnuts. Believe it!

I've had the idea for these doughnuts ever since my visit to New York last year. My agent Lindsay took me to The Breslin for breakfast, and they served up a crazy good peanut butter bourbon sandwich. It looked a little like a doughnut to me, and it tasted even better than it looked! I made a mental note - try this at home.

My pastry is definitely different than what I sampled at the Breslin, but it has the flavor I wanted to capture with a peanut butter-bourbon filling. 

Goodie Bags from Hey YoYo.
This symphony of sweet begins with a puffy yeast-risen doughnut, then it's filled with bourbon-spiked peanut butter pastry cream. It's dipped in shiny semi-sweet chocolate glaze and topped with peanut butter chocolate chip streusel. All of this peanutty goodness practically begs for a sprinkling of sea salt on top, so I went for it! And you should too if you're feeling the salty-sweet love.

Admittedly, there are several steps to making these, but I've made sure to give you a doughnut recipe that is well worth the effort. I mean, if you're going to go through the double raising, frying, filling, dipping and streusel-ing then a mere dozen seems like an inadequate reward. This recipe makes about 30, so there's plenty to share and enjoy! They might even be a perfect Dad's Day treat for the special guy in your life.

Peanut Butter Bourbon-Filled Doughnuts
[click for printable version]
Yield: 25-30 doughnuts
Source: SprinkleBakes original recipe
Prep: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours 40 minutes

Since there are quite a few steps in this recipe, I suggest spreading out the work over two days. Make the streusel and pastry cream the first day, and save the dough-raising and assembly for the second day.
I used Wild Turkey American Honey bourbon because of its sweet, mellow flavor, but you can substitute your favorite brand. The bourbon can also be completely omitted from the pastry cream, if desired.

Streusel topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (low or no-sugar/salt)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place the flour, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl.  Pour in the melted butter and mash the ingredients together with a fork.  Pour the mixture onto a metal baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden and fragrant. 
  2. Let the streusel cool on the pan completely.  Crumble streusel with your fingers and mix in the 2/3 cup chocolate chips. Reserve for later use.
Peanut butter pastry cream
2 cups milk or cream, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup smooth or chunky natural peanut butter (low or no-sugar/salt)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup (to taste) Kentucky Bourbon
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/2 cup of milk, set aside. Combine the remaining milk and sugar in a medium saucepan; heat until the mixture just starts to bubble.  Remove from heat. 
  2. Beat the whole eggs and yolks into the cornstarch/milk mixture.  Pour 1/3 of the boiling mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.  Return the remaining milk mixture to a boil.  Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.  Whisk until the peanut butter is melted and well combined. Add the salt. Stir in bourbon to taste. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon active dry yeast, divided
2 cups whole fat half & half, heated to 110˚F, divided
4 to 5 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Vegetable oil for frying
  1. In a medium bowl dissolve 2 tablespoons of yeast into 1 1/2 cups of the half & half. Add 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour and stir until a smooth paste forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  2. While you wait for the paste mixture to rest, combine the remaining half & half and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Stir to combine.  When the paste mixture has rested (and has risen a bit) add it to the mixer bowl along with the vanilla and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add 2 cups of the remaining flour and top with the sugar and salt. Mix on low for about 30 seconds or until the dough starts to come together. Add the melted butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Switch to a dough hook and add more flour gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer turned off.  Knead the dough at medium speed between additions until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky.  You may not have to use all the remaining flour. The dough will be very soft but not very sticky.  Put the kneaded dough into a large bowl that has been greased with shortening.  Turn the dough over to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.  After it has rested, gently punch down the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured tea towel.  Lightly flour a work surface and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick. With a 3” pastry ring or cookie cutter, cut out rounds.
  4. Place the doughnuts on the lined baking sheet 1 inch apart and cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, about 30 to 40 minutes
  5. While you wait for the donuts to rise, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a thermometer registers 360˚F.  Keep an eye on that thermometer!  It’s very easy for oil to overheat, so you may have to adjust the dial on your range to keep the heat at a steady temperature.  
  6. Carefully place the cut donuts in the oil.  Fry donuts for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until a light golden color is achieved.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.  Let cool. 
Chocolate glaze
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup *optional
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.  Add the pinch of salt. 
  2. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Allow the pan to stay on the warm stove eye while you dip the doughnuts.
*The corn syrup adds shine to the glaze.  It can be omitted if desired

Sea salt, if desired.
  1. Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a large plain pastry tip. Place the tip inside the doughnut and squeeze about 2 tablespoons of cream into each pastry. You should feel the doughnut expand slightly in your hand. 
  2. Dip the tops of each doughnut into the glaze and allow the excess to run off. Let each donut stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute before topping with the streusel. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  3. Keep assembled doughnuts in an air-tight container. On assembly day, doughnuts can stay at room temperature for several hours, but do not exceed 12 hours. These are best eaten fresh, but you can refrigerate leftovers and gently re-heat doughnuts in the microwave before serving.

link Peanut Butter Bourbon-Filled Doughnuts By Published: Peanut Butter Bourbon-Filled Doughnuts Recipe


  1. Peanut butter addict here. the use of bourbon is new to me. I never knew the two could work together. I will take your advice and try this combo more often. These look delicious!

  2. This is all of my favorite things in one place - bourbon, doughnuts, peanut butter, crumbly toppings, salted chocolate. I'm just completely stunned and in awe of them!

  3. O.M.G. Girl! I'm drooling into my keyboard!

  4. my mouth is melting just looking at your pics!!!!
    i bet they're yummies!!!!

    xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's

  5. Oh, lordy! Those doughnuts look and sound out-of-this-world!!!!



  6. I've never made donuts before, but these look so good!

  7. These look so amazing! I would have to butcher your lovely recipe and omit the bourbon if I were to make them, but peanut butter and chocolate is still a total winner! Love your styling, as always.


  8. They remind me a bit of German Fastnachtskrapfen, which are also fried and can have a liquor-filling. These look so amazing that I will give them a try although I am a little afraid of the frying-process! They seem to be the perfect treat to reward myself next week, after my wisdom teeth removal surgery this Saturday and the following days of just soup and ice-cream...

  9. I have been dreaming of a doughnut like this for some time! So happy you've read my mind. :) I cannot wait to give these a go. Beautiful!

  10. These doughnuts do indeed sound magical! Excuse me while I clean the drool off of my keyboard!

  11. OMG, these look SO good! Can you come over for breakfast tomorrow? ;)

  12. i am going to dream of these tonight. they look AMAZING.

  13. These look delicious , I love that its got a surprise filling .

    Meghan Silva's Blog

  14. I've always wanted to attempt doughnuts, and I will definitely have to try these! Incredible, as always :)


  15. These are insane! Where did you get the napkins from?

  16. These look positively amazing! I kind of just want to dive into that filling :)

  17. i love everything peanut butter and add donuts to it - oh sweet mother of sweets - delicious!

  18. YES!! Girl these look amazing!! Stunning and delicious and I need one!

  19. Thanks for the warning about the multi-step process for these! But as you said, you made sure the recipe yield is worth the effort! YUMMMM :-)

  20. Oh my God, these look and sound incredible! Love the addition of the bourbon.

  21. These look absolutely amazing, i'm obsessed with peanut butter and donuts are definitely my favorite sweet!

  22. Amazing how doughnuts completely changes a work environment, so true!
    Holy MOTHER, killer recipe!!

  23. peanut butter pastry cream?
    oh heather, you are a love.
    let's runaway together ok?

  24. Um, I'm pretty much floored by these doughnuts. I am a bourbon FANATIC and peanut butter is like... sacred, so I need these. Also need to check out that spot for brunch!!

  25. Oh, donuts & bourbon, every manly man's dream!

  26. Heather they are just amazing! From the PB filling the the bourbon!! To the chocolate to the fact that the dough itself looks incredible! Pinned!

  27. You are so smart! I normally brought cookies into work, which normally got a few smiles out of people, but it never sparked conversation between terse coworkers... Now I know the secret is donuts, we'll never have that problem again!

  28. I wanted to let you know I featured this today in my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post - stop by and see!

  29. OMG these are some of the most beautiful doughnuts I've EVER seen. Ever. And I can definitely see how they'd help anyone win friends... Can I be your friend?? :)


  30. delicious overload! this is all kinds of perfect

  31. This is everything I want and more... Thank you for this wonderful creation!

  32. Oh my gosh, wow. They're gorgeous.
    I just came by your blog, and I'm already in love. @0@

    joyjoii+ {food, fashion, lifestyle} 

  33. How insanely good do these sound?

  34. OMG!! This looks insanely gooooooddd!!!

  35. You have to be a genius to come up with something like that!

  36. I need a donut this weekend for realz!

  37. Made these last night huge hit! Just follow the instructions for the dough don't be intimidated. Thanks for the challenge. I can now check donut making off the list :)

  38. That's about as close as you can get to a literal party in your mouth.

  39. If I want to make these for an early-ish breakfast, can the dough sit in the fridge over night? I note that you say to refrigerate it for "at least" 2 hours-- would 8 ruin them?

  40. Hi Ellie!
    You should have no problems with 8 hours of refrigeration. Go for it!

  41. These look awesome! Sharing with our facebook peeps today. @bevmo

  42. I'd love to make these for a brunch as the peanut-butter bourbon mix would be a hit, but one of my guests is allergic to chocolate. What do you think would be a good substitute for the chocolate glaze? I can just omit the chips from the streusal but I'm having trouble thinking of a well coordinated glaze...

  43. My first thought is maple - a maple glaze made with maple syrup or an extract. I think you could get away with a simple milk glaze - confectioners' sugar, a little milk and extract. You could also do a toffee glaze made with brown sugar like the one on my sweet potato bars - link below


    It might be a little runny at first, but it does solidify over time...

  44. I made the peanut butter pastry cream from this recipe and put it into a pie and topped it with homemade marshmallow fluff. It turned out amazing, and the cream is simply delightful. I'd love if you'd check out my post: http://piesandplots.net/fluffernutter-pie/


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