These keto boston cream donuts are simply otherworldly with their pillowy-soft texture, silky vanilla custard and ultimate chocolate glaze! Honestly hard to beat… at just 2g net carbs.
Keto Boston Cream Donuts 🍩
So if you’ve whipped up my (1g net carb) keto donuts you already know the drill: one of the best recipes on the site, with the choux pastry method approach gives the almond flour mix an unbelievably fluffy (and donut like!) texture. And, surprisingly perhaps, its actually super easy to whip up.
And so for this boston cream twist, we’re filling them up with a silky smooth vanilla custard– with the texture of the donuts allowing for a *very* generous fill.
Needless to say, chocolate glaze is not optional 🙃
Bonus points: do better than me and get a hold of some actual vanilla beans or paste to up your custard up a (fairly significant) notch.
Pretty please watch the video in the recipe card, but mostly so you see how simple the methodology is 😉
The batter for these keto donuts is essentially a choux pastry (used to make anything from eclairs to gougeres). But this is just a fancy way of saying that you first boil together water with sugar, butter (or coconut oil) and salt. Adding in the flour and cooking it until it forms into a ball. And step three, mixing in the eggs off the stove. I also add a bit of baking powder at the end for extra rise!
Now, when you mix in the eggs the dough will be very stiff, and given that we’re also adding in baking powder, the job is best done with a hand-mixer here. The final dough should be very elastic (courtesy of the eggs and xanthan gum).
For the shaping you’ll need a pastry bag (disposable ones are terrific) or simply use a thick plastic bag. You don’t need a tip here: just pipe it out onto a sheet pan as smoothly as you can into 4″/10cm flattish-rounds (so they rise evenly).
My Top Tips For Success!!
As many of you seasoned bakers know, choux pastry is light, absolutely delicious and honestly very easy… but it is a bit finicky and known to deflate under certain circumstances, so be sure to check out these tips!
- The most common reason for deflating choux pastry is excess liquid. This can come in the form of too large eggs (since we aren’t using a donut pan 2 is enough here!), be sure you’re cooking your dough long enough that it actually forms into a ball (see video), and make sure your oven is calibrated to the correct temperature (or just get a cheap oven thermometer- like most pros do anyways!).
- You also want to be sure your dough is below 125°F/52°C before beating in the eggs. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your room temperature. Otherwise you could be curdling your first egg (or two), leading to a lack of structure = deflating donuts.
- Allow your final choux dough to come to room temperature before transferring to a piping bag. I’ve come to realize this is a very important step to keep your donuts from deflating a bunch post bake (because they don’t rise *that* much!).
- And last, but not least, be gentle! Refrain from opening your oven for the first 20 minutes… and if possible don’t open it at all! Definitely be careful to not slam your oven door (I know mine has a tendency to do that), and be gentle when taking them out of the oven. Don’t have your A/C blasting, keep doors closed, etc… i.e. ensure there are no drafts!
What to do if yours deflate?! i.e. worst case scenario: turn them into French toast (for real!). During my latest experiments to see what was causing the pastry to deflate, I ended up with a lot of ‘mistakes’… and it turns out that they make the most delicious French toast bites ever (and you’ll come back raving about it either way lol!).
I like a mixture of super fine almond flour (Anthony’s is awesome) and coconut flour (again Anthony’s, best taste and texture by a mile!). Add a touch of psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum, and we’re golden.
Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking. And there’s absolutely no skipping it here!
In all honesty, no substituting anything here. You really do need the full combo of grain free flours to get the choux just right.
This choux pastry to make the keto donuts is very lightly sweetened (and fairly bland solo), think just a couple tablespoons. But this is really to accommodate for the glaze or topping of choice.
And if just grain free, coconut sugar is your best bet here. And of course, raw sugar works great too.
If you’re opting for the glaze, which comes highly suggested, you can use any of the sweeteners from above- but they must be powdered.
So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.
Or you can always grab a bag of Powdered Lakanto (just keep in mind its twice as sweet).
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕
And… The Video Story!
(2g net carb!) Keto Boston Cream Donuts 🍩
For the pastry cream
For the keto donuts
For the chocolate glaze
- pastry bag or plastic bag
Make the pastry cream
- Heat up heavy cream in a medium saucepan until simmering. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks with sweetener of choice and salt in a medium bowl until fluffy and pale in color (super fast to do with an electric mixer!).
- Temper in the heavy cream- i.e. add it little by little to the yolk sugar mixture, while whisking rapidly (you know, so as to not scramble the eggs!). Return the mixture to the saucepan, make a slurry with your thickener (i.e. mix it with a little cold water) and whisk it into the mix. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 5-7 minutes as the mixture thickens. Increase heat to medium high and whisk vigorously for about a minute as the mixture bubbles up.
- Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until combined. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, cover at the surface with cling film and refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).
Make the donuts
- See recipe video for guidance!
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Grease and flour (with coconut flour) a donut pan. Alternatively, line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw circles 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk and xanthan gum. Set aside.
- Heat up water, butter, sweetener and salt in medium pot (or Dutch oven) until it just begins to simmer. Lower heat to low and add in flour mixture, mixing constantly to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir until the dough pulls away from the pan and forms into a ball, 1-3 minutes.
- Transfer dough back to the bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. The dough should still be warm, but not hot enough to scramble the eggs. And if you have an instant thermometer, temperature should be below 125°F/52°C.
- Add in one egg at a time, mixing with an electric mixer at medium/high speed until fully incorporated (if using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment). Be sure to mix the dough for 2 minutes after adding in the last egg; the final texture should be very elastic. Mix in vanilla extract and baking powder. .
- Allow the dough to rest until it comes to room temperature (about 15-20 minutes). I've come to realize this is a very important step to keep your donuts from deflating much post bake; the donuts will rise a bit less but hold their shape better.
- Spoon dough into a piping bag or plastic bag (no tip needed). Cut out bottom of piping bag 2 cm (3/4 inch) wide. Pipe out dough onto prepared parchment paper as smoothly as you can into 4″/10cm flattish-rounds (so they rise evenly). Wet your finger tip and smooth out where the ends meet (for a more even rise).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F/220°C, lower temperature to 350°F/180°C and continue to bake for 17-20 minutes until deep golden. Do not open your oven door before the first 20 minutes (or at all if possible!), as choux pastry is notoriously sensitive to drafts. Allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Note: if your donuts are browning too much, feel free to tent them with aluminum foil (just be sure it isn't resting directly over them!).
Make the glaze
- Sift powdered sweetener and cocoa powder onto a bowl. Add in vanilla extract, butter and milk-of-choice (as needed) until desired consistency is reached. The glaze should be thick, but pourable (I like to use our fingertip here to test for thickness!).
To assemble 🙂
- Fill up your donuts with pastry cream once at room temperature using a bag with a metal tip- and be generous, pretty please!
- Glaze donuts by dunking them onto the glaze (if your tops came out a bit wonky, you can always use the rounder bottoms as your new 'tops'!).
- These are best enjoyed freshly filled and glazed- because otherwise they need to be refrigerated and everything becomes a bit mushy.