New Orleans Beignets are pillowy-soft, light, and airy. These French doughnuts are generously covered in powdered sugar and so scrumptious! Go on and whip up a batch of these vanilla-scented beignets right at home with this amazing recipe!

beignets on white platter with cup of coffee on the side

No trip to Louisiana- New Orleans, more specifically, is complete without making a stop to one of their beignet spots. This deep-fried, powdered sugar-covered piece of dough is a real stunner to say the least. With its slightly crisp outer shell and a super plush interior, then finished with enough powdered sugar to make you gleefully choke, the beignet. Grab a hot mug of something!

The Best Beignets Recipe!!! 🙌🏾

No lies, whenever I think of beignets, I think of my all-time favorite Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. Aside from that movie featuring the first Black Disney princess, the story of Tiana dreaming of opening her own restaurant is heartfelt. Anyways, I’m so excited to finally share my best beignets, ever!

What is a beignet? The beignet (pronounced: ben-YAY) is dubbed as the official state doughnut of Louisiana. It’s a cross between a doughnut and a fritter; a fried, extra tender, rectangular-shaped piece of dough that’s dusted with powdered sugar. You’ll love this homemade beignet recipe to enjoy without stepping foot in Louisiana, ha! They’re a big-time fave over here!

⇢ Southern vibes to tap into: collard greens, these peach hand pies, creamy black-eyed peas, definitely chicken po’ boys, my sweet potato pound cake, cozy cabbage and sausage, crowd faves like chicken and waffles, and gumbo– yum!

black hand dipping a beignet in chocolate sauce

What You’ll Need For Homemade Beignets

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Granulated sugar: Activates the yeast and for sweetness in the dough.
  • Active-dry yeast: Beignets are made from yeasted dough.
  • Large egg: Adds the right amount of richness and tenderness.
  • Evaporated milk: This shelf-stable, highly concentrated type of milk has 60% of the water content evaporated from the milk, making it extra rich and creamy. Evaporated milk helps to yield a softer texture and most called for in Café Du Monde-inspired beignet recipes. Def more luscious than regular milk.
  • Butter: No yeasted dough is complete without richness from butter.
  • Vanilla essence: I almost exclusively use vanilla bean paste whenever I make these homemade beignets, but you can use vanilla extract. These beignets are vanilla-scented through and through, making them so swoon-worthy!
  • Bread flour: You will find bread flour sold in most grocery stores. Bread flour contains a higher protein content than traditional all-purpose flour and a higher protein content helps to create more gluten in the dough. Therefore, yielding ultra-soft, chewy, and tender beignets. Trust me on this.
  • Salt: To provide some balance in the yeasted dough.
  • Oil: Used for deep-frying the beignets, I use peanut oil (my preferred choice for anything deep fried). Fun fact: Café Du Monde uses cottonseed oil for their beignets. However, feel free to use vegetable or canola oil, too.
  • Powdered sugar: Aka confectioners’ sugar, the sweet finale dusted all over!

Deep Frying Equipment For The Home

  • Deep fry thermometer: A handy tool to monitor precise temperatures.
  • Dutch oven: These enameled cast-iron pots are perfect for conducting and evenly distributing heat. They are the most used types of vessels in the BBR kitchen and what I consider to be my holy grail pieces of cookware!
  • Kitchen spider: This tool allows for getting things easily out of the hot pot.
  • Baking sheet with cooling rack: You’ll need to set the fried beignets onto something after they’re done frying. Plus, these vessels are great for dusting the powdered sugar onto the beignets (keeping any mess contained).

How To Make Beignets At Home

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Activate the yeast. Combine warm water, half the granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir the mixture and let sit until foamy and fragrant.
  2. Bring the dough together & knead. Then add in the egg, milk, butter, vanilla, flour, and salt. Knead the dough until it comes together with a smooth texture and forms into a cohesive mass.
  3. Let it rise. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a greased bowl. At this point, place the bowl into a warm environment for it to double in size OR place it into the refrigerator to do the same for at least 2 hours.
  4. Prep & heat the oil. Set a large baking sheet aside fitted with a wire rack or lined with paper towels. Then heat the oil in a large pot to 360°F.
  5. Shape the beignets. Once risen, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 3″ rectangular-shaped pieces.
  6. Fry them up. Working in batches, fry the beignets until puffy.
  7. Cover in sugar. After frying, sprinkle them all over with powdered sugar.
  8. Serve! Go ahead and serve these beignets immediately alongside a hot cup of coffee or tea and your favorite dipping sauces, if desired.

You might look at these beignets and think that making them will be challenging or a headache. Friends, I assure you, making these beignets is so easy, seriously! This recipe is super straightforward with no stress at all. The final result is worth any and all labor involved here with a high-reward, epic-tasting treat!

beignets covered in powdered sugar on gold baking sheet with wire rack

What To Serve/Pair With Beignets?

In New Orleans, fresh beignets are often boo’d up with a cup of café au lait, coffee with hot milk. Listen, a beignet fresh out the fryer with a piping hot cup of coffee is just chef’s kiss, y’all. If you don’t drink coffee, serve with your favorite hot drink (hot chocolate, chai, tea, etc). In addition, we love having some sweet dipping sauces on deck for even more fun! Sauces like:

  • chocolate sauce/drizzled nutella
  • caramel sauce/dulce de leche/butterscotch
  • fruit sauces (raspberry or strawberry)

Why You’ll Love This Beignet Recipe ♡

  • EASY + SIMPLE. These beignets are super simple to make. The dough comes together quickly with a few ingredients. I like to compare the process to that of making cinnamon rolls (with no filling or icing to worry about).
  • FLAVORFUL bb’s. The best beignets you’ll ever have because the flavor of these babies is on point! Vanilla-scented and richly flavored little pieces of pillowy-soft and tender fried dough, gahhh.
  • PERFECT FOR ANY OCCASION. Whether it’s a Sunday, a holiday, or any other special occasion, add these beignets to your lineup. They’re such a fun treat to whip up for birthdays, anniversaries, and all that’s in between!
black hand reaching for beignet on white platter with cup of coffee on the side

Tips + Tricks, FAQs, & Plenty More For The Best New Orleans-Style Beignets 😛

As with many recipes, you may have additional questions regarding things to do (or change) for these homemade beignets. Like other BBR recipes, I always recommend sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card, below. However, here’s some extra tidbits in case you need ’em:

  1. Can I make these beignets ahead of time? Yes! Make the beignet dough as directed and then place it into a lightly greased bowl and cover. The beignet dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Woohoo.
  2. Can I use all-purpose flour? I *highly recommend* using bread flour, friends. This goes for the overall texture that these beignets will have. If you cannot access bread flour then all-purpose flour can be used, if needed.
  3. Can I use other kinds of milk? Once more, I recommend evaporated milk as the milk of choice here. A close alternative would be whole milk (we wanna keep the richness!). No other milks have been tested.
  4. Can you bake beignets? Nah, this is a fried yeasted dough recipe, homie.
  5. How much oil do I need? Just enough for the oil to come halfway up the pot, enough for them to float. Splattering may occur with too much oil.
  6. How do I get rid of oil? After frying, let the oil cool all the way back down to room temperature. Afterwards, use a funnel to strain the oil back into the same container it came from. Boom. Also, beignet oil is relatively clean and can be reused for other purposes. Team no waste!
  7. How to keep beignets warm? Keep freshly made beignets in a 200°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through. Otherwise, you can warm them up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  8. How to store leftover beignets? These beignets are best served fresh and right away for the best beignet experience. Keep leftovers stored inside of an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days.
black hand dusting powdered sugar over beignets

Peeps, these homemade New Orleans-Style Beignets are the bee’s knees. They’re definitely a treat that all will enjoy! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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beignets on white platter with cup of coffee on the side

The Best Beignets (New Orleans-Style)

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Rising Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 beignets 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Deep Frying

Description

New Orleans Beignets are pillowy-soft, light, and airy. These French doughnuts are generously covered in powdered sugar and so scrumptious! Go on and whip up a batch of these vanilla-scented beignets right at home with this amazing recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cups warm water (110-115°F)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and lightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
  • chocolate, caramel/dulce de leche, or raspberry fruit sauce for dipping & serving- optional

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer: combine the warm water, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir the mixture well to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast- or until the mixture gets bubbly and fragrant.
  2. Once the yeast mixture is foamy: add in the egg, milk, butter, vanilla, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, flour, and salt. Secure the dough hook attachment to the mixer and knead the dough on lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough becomes cohesive and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased, large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it into warm environment to rise for 2 hours. Alternatively- transfer the bowl into the refrigerator to proof for the same 2 hours or for up to 24 hours.
  4. In a large, deep pot over medium-high heat with a candy thermometer in place, heat a couple inches of oil to 360°F. Then grab a large baking sheet fitted with a wire rack in place (or top with a generous layer of paper towels), set the baking sheet aside.
  5. Once the dough has risen: on a lightly floured surface or pastry mat, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Using a sharp knife, bench scraper/pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch pieces.
  6. Once the oil temperature is reached, add the beignets into the oil, working in batches (about 3-4 at a time). Fry the beignets until they get puffy on the bottom with a golden color, about 1 minute- then flip the beignet over for a golden color on the other side. Use a slotted utensil to remove the beignets and set onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining beignets.
  7. Dust the beignets all over with the powdered sugar immediately. For less mess, you can place them into a large bag and dust. Serve the beignets as is or alongside some chocolate, caramel/dulce de leche, or raspberry fruit sauces for dipping. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.