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Homemade Italian Donuts With Hazelnut Filling

Get ready to bring some fancy Italian flair right into your kitchen with these dreamy Homemade Italian Donuts! Picture this: soft, fluffy doughnuts, each one a perfect golden sphere, rolled in sugar and bursting with a creamy hazelnut filling that just melts in your mouth. It sure melted in mine!

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a curious newbie, this recipe promises fun, mess, and an irresistibly delicious outcome. Ready to dive into donut heaven? Let’s get frying, filling, and most importantly, EATING!

FAQs for Making Homemade Italian Donuts

Can I use instant yeast instead of active yeast? Absolutely! Just keep in mind that instant yeast doesn’t need to be proofed first, so you can mix it directly into your flour.

What’s the best oil for frying? Vegetable oil is great because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, making it perfect for frying donuts to golden perfection.

Can I fill these donuts with something other than hazelnut cream? Of course! Feel free to get creative—jam, custard, or even a chocolate ganache could be delightful alternatives.

Ingredients and Their Roles

  • Milk – Acts as a hydrator for your dough, making it soft and workable.
  • Active yeast – The magical ingredient that makes the dough rise and become fluffy.
  • Bread flour & All-purpose flour – Provides the structure; bread flour for elasticity and strength, all-purpose for tenderness.
  • Sugar – Sweetens the dough and also helps brown the donuts when fried.
  • Salt – Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the donuts.
  • Eggs – Adds richness and color, and helps to bind the dough.
  • Butter – Brings moisture, flavor, and tender texture to the donuts.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a hint of vanilla flavor, enhancing the sweet profile.
  • Vegetable oil – Used for frying, giving the donuts a crispy exterior.
  • Hazelnut chocolate bars & Hazelnut extract – Provide the nutty, chocolatey filling that complements the sweet dough.
  • Heavy cream – Gives the filling a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Unsalted butter – Adds richness to the filling, making it extra indulgent.

Fun Places to Serve Homemade Italian Donuts

Brunch Gathering: Imagine the joy these donuts will bring to a lazy Sunday brunch. Pair them with a strong espresso for a true Italian touch.

Children’s Parties: Watch the kids’ eyes light up when they see a platter of these sugary, creamy delights.

Dessert Night: Spice up your usual dessert routine at family dinners by serving these warm, right out of the kitchen.

Holiday Festivities: Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or any festivity, these donuts make a festive and welcome addition to any holiday table.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat briefly in the microwave or oven for best results.

Tips for Making This Recipe with Kids

Kid-Friendly Tasks: Let the little ones help with measuring and mixing the ingredients. Rolling the dough into balls and filling them can be a fun, hands-on activity.

Supervision is Key: Always supervise when it’s time to fry the donuts, ensuring safety around hot oil.

Creativity Corner: Have different fillings and toppings ready. Kids love customizing their donuts!

Why This Recipe Works

This Homemade Italian Donuts recipe hits all the right notes—it’s a delightful blend of textures and flavors, from the soft, pillowy dough to the rich, nutty filling.

The combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour ensures the donuts are soft yet able to hold their shape, while the simple yet indulgent hazelnut cream filling provides a luxurious surprise inside each bite. Perfect for any occasion or just a special treat, these donuts are sure to impress and bring a little piece of Italy into your home!

Here are some more amazing donut treats to try:

Homemade Italian Donuts with Hazelnut Filling
Yield: 10-12 donuts

Homemade Italian Donuts with Hazelnut Filling

Indulge in the sweet delight of Homemade Italian Donuts, featuring fluffy, sugar-coated dough filled with a creamy hazelnut chocolate center. Perfect for any special occasion, these treats bring a taste of Italy right into your kitchen.


  • Doughnuts
  • ½ cup milk, warmed and divided
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup white sugar (rolling doughnuts in after frying)
  • Hazelnut Cream Filling
  • 16 ounces hazelnut chocolate bars, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract


  1. In a small bowl add ¼ cup of the warm milk and yeast, and stir together. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  2. In a large mixing bowl that can be attached to a stand mixer with a hook attachment, add the 2 cups of bread flour, the sugar, and the salt. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, activated yeast mixture, butter, and vanilla extract. Use the hook attachment to knead the dough together on low to medium speed for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowls throughout the process if necessary. 
  5. After about 5 of the 10 minutes of kneading, add in the other 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour to the bowl.
  6. Let the stand mixer continue kneading the dough for the rest of the time. The dough should be thoroughly combined and slightly tacky to the touch.
  7. Place out on a clean surface and knead 2-3 times with your hands to create a nice round shape.
  8. Place in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough proof and triple in size for 2 hours.
  9. While the dough is proofing, make the hazelnut filling.
  10. Heat up the heavy cream in the microwave or over the stove until steaming, but not boiling.
  11. In a bowl, add the chopped chocolate bars. Pour ½ of the warm milk over the chocolate. Let sit for a couple minutes. 
  12. Stir the chocolate together like a ganache, mixing until everything begins to melt together.
  13. Pour the rest of the milk in along with the hazelnut extract, butter, and salt.
  14. Continue whisking the chocolate mixture until everything is melted and combined.
  15. Let cool at room temperature and then cover this bowl with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for an hour and a half.
  16. Once the dough is done proofing, start heating a large frying pan with oil on medium heat.
  17. Roll out the risen dough on a clean, floured surface about ½ inch thick.
  18. Cut out squares of parchment paper to lay each round doughnut dough on for easy frying.
  19. Use a circular 2.5 inch cookie cutter to cut out the donuts from the rolled out slab. Place each on a square of parchment paper as you go. Take an excess and reroll out, repeating the process for extra donuts.
  20. Prepare a plate with a paper towel and a bowl with the sugar for dipping the donuts after they are fried.
  21. Test the oil with a small piece of dough to see if it begins frying when added to the oil.
  22. Once hot, drop in 4-5 doughnuts in the oil at a time, less or more at once depending on the size of your pan. Let cook on each side until they begin to puff and turn golden brown.
  23. Transfer the fried doughnuts onto the prepared plate to let excess oil drip off.
  24. While the doughnuts have a slight amount of oil left, dip each side into the sugar, coating thoroughly.
  25. Repeat this process with the rest of the doughnuts.
  26. Let these cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.
  27. Remove the chilled hazelnut filling from the fridge and place in a piping bag and cut the tip.
  28. Stick a knife into the side of each donut to fill with the hazelnut filling. Squeeze a generous amount of filling into each doughnut, until chocolate begins oozing out of the hole created.
  29. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 864Total Fat 62gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 38gCholesterol 134mgSodium 195mgCarbohydrates 65gFiber 6gSugar 23gProtein 17g

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