Classic New Orleans Beignets

Classic New Orleans Beignets

These Classic New Orleans Beignets will transport you to Decatur Street without leaving your kitchen. Deliciously crispy on the outside pillowy soft on the inside. Easy to make and ready in just 40 minutes, get ready to meet your new favorite pastry.

Classic Beignets on plate with cup of coffee

For nearly a hundred years, tourists have come to New Orleans from all over to try the classic beignets. In fact, in the 1920s, several newspapers wrote features on the beignets (then called doughnuts) of the French Market stands around town and said that to eat them was “to remember them a lifetime.” Now that’s an impressive pastry!

It wasn’t until 1958 when the doughnuts were officially rebranded as beignets, a French-style doughnut which is what the famous pastries in New Orleans were modeled after. Since then, beignets have gained international attention and have attracted tourists worldwide to taste them for themselves.

But what if you didn’t have to book a flight to try the classic New Orleans beignets? And no, I’m not talking about that beignet mix you can buy in a box. This easy beignet recipe will allow you to experience the real thing without leaving your house. These beignets are pillowy soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, with a mouth-watering flavor you won’t be able to get enough of.

Whenever I can’t make it to Café du Monde, I just whip up a batch of these easy beignets and I’m instantly transported to Decatur Street back home in New Orleans. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking to try out a new (and delicious) treat, these classic New Orleans beignets will blow you away.

Classic Beignets on a plate and cup of coffee

Classic New Orleans Beignets Ingredients

To bring these New Orleans beignets to life, you will need the key ingredients listed below.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Feel free to swap this flour out for a 1:1 gluten-free version of all-purpose flour if needed for gluten-free beignets. 
  • Yeast: Without yeast, we wouldn’t have the fluffy beignets like those they serve at famous New Orleans beignets cafés like Café Du Monde and Morning Call.
  • Shortening: Shortening gives these beignets an amazing texture and tenderness. You can use solid refined coconut oil in its place if needed.
  • Evaporated Milk: Using evaporated milk adds sweetness and color to the beignets, helping them achieve that impressive golden brown exterior.  
  • Frying Oil: I like to fry in peanut oil because it’s one of the healthiest oils to use for frying. However, feel free to use canola or vegetable oil if someone in your family has a nut allergy.    
  • Cinnamon: This isn’t a classic beignet ingredient, but it’s the secret weapon that increases the depth of flavor and makes this recipe stand out above the rest.
  • Powdered Sugar: It’s not a beignet without the signature powdered sugar that gets dusted in abundance all over the top!

Classic Beignets without powder sugar

How to Make New Orleans Beignets

This beignet recipe is light, fluffy, crazy delicious, and easier to make than you might think. It only requires a few simple steps and about 40 minutes of your time. Here’s how to make New Orleans beignets:

In a large bowl, add the boiling water, shortening, sugar, kosher salt, and evaporated milk, then stir until the sugar melts.

In a small bowl, mix yeast and warm water together. Stir the eggs into the yeast mixture, then add to the shortening mixture. 

With a wooden spoon, stir 1 ½ cups of flour and cinnamon into the yeast mixture, then add ½ cup flour at a time until soft dough forms. 

Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and pop in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  

Add oil to a 5-quart pot and bring it to 350°F over medium-high heat. While oil is heating up, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. 

Cut the dough into squares and fry 4-5 at a time for 1:30 minutes, flip over and cook for 45 seconds, then drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. 

Add powdered sugar to a fine mesh strainer and liberally cover the beignets with powdered sugar. Enjoy immediately with a cup of coffee.

Classic Beignets on a plate

Recipe Tips for Success

Here are some of my top tips for the best New Orleans beignets every time:

  • If you can’t find evaporated milk, you can use whole milk or non-dairy milk in its place.
  • Make sure you have a food thermometer so you can check that your oil is at exactly 350°F before you dunk your beignets into the pot. 
  • Be generous when showering the beignets with powdered sugar; this is not the time to skimp! You want it to look like a snowstorm hit those pastries. 
  • Refrigerating the dough for 15 minutes before frying allows the yeast to develop slowly without the dough rising—minimum yeast development is key here.
  • Beignets are best served hot, so try to serve them immediately if possible. While you can store them for later, they’ll never be as good as they were right out of the fryer. 
  • Wondering what to serve with beignets? You don’t need much. Serve them as an after-dinner treat or go the traditional route and serve them with a cup of coffee for a decadent breakfast.

Storage

  • While beignets are best served right away, you can store them in the fridge or on the counter for up to 2 days. If you plan on refrigerating them, let them cool and place them in an airtight container or storage bag without dusting with powdered sugar. 
  • If you want to store them at room temperature, you can dust them with powdered sugar and keep them in a freezer storage bag.
Savory Seasoning Wide Ad

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the most common questions about New Orleans beignets:

What is a beignet?

A beignet is a square-shaped pastry that is deep-fried and sprinkled generously with powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar). It’s originally from France and is known for its light and pillowy interior. French culture has deep roots in New Orleans that dates back hundreds of years, so it’s no wonder that this classic French pastry made its way over.

How long do homemade beignets last?

While beignets are best served right away, you can store them in the fridge or on the counter for up to 2 days. If you plan on refrigerating them, let them cool and place them in an airtight container or storage bag without dusting with powdered sugar. 

If you want to store them at room temperature, you can dust them with powdered sugar and keep them in a freezer storage bag.

Overhead view of Classic Beignets on a plate and cup of coffee

What’s the difference between a doughnut and a beignet?

There are a few key differences. Beignets are square-shaped and don’t have a hole in the middle, for starters. Additionally, doughnuts are much more dense and cakey on the inside, while beignets are meant to be light and fluffy. If your beignets are doughy inside, then this means you let your dough rise before frying.

Latest Recipe Video:

close up side view of Classic Beignets on plate
Southern Creole Banner Ad-1

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

Looking for the best Southern dessert recipes to try? Check these out:

So there you have it, my friends. The secrets to making some of the most delicious beignets that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of New Orleans. And if you’re looking for other ways to jazz up your beignets, try my Chocolate Beignets or King Cake Beignets recipes. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try – and don’t forget to let me know how they turn out by leaving me a 5-star review!

Classic Beignets on plate with cup of coffee

Classic New Orleans Beignets

Kenneth Temple
Experience the taste of New Orleans Beignets without leaving your kitchen. A breeze to make at home. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole, French
Servings 30 beignets
Calories 142 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter flavored shortening
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 package active yeast
  • ¼ cup warm tap water
  • 1 large egg slightly beaten
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • peanut oil for deep frying
  • 1 lbs. powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add the boiling water, shortening, sugar, kosher salt and evaporated milk, stir until sugar melts.
  • In a small bowl mix yeast and warm water together. Stir in the eggs to the yeast mixture. Then add to the shortening mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 ½ cups of flour and cinnamon to yeast mixture, then add ½ cup flour at a time until soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with a towel and pop in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven 200°F. Turn on the heat to medium-high, in a 5-quart pot bring oil to 350°F. While oil is heating up, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick, cut into squares and fry 4-5 at a time for 1:30 minutes, flip and cook for 45 seconds. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Keep cooked beignets warm until your finished cooking. Add powdered sugar to a fine mesh strainer and liberally cover with powdered sugar. Enjoy immediately with a cup of coffee.

Video

Notes

Recipe Tips for Success
  • If you can’t find evaporated milk, you can use whole milk or non-dairy milk in its place.
  • Make sure you have a food thermometer so you can check that your oil is at exactly 350°F before you dunk your beignets into the pot.
  • Be generous when showering the beignets with powdered sugar; this is not the time to skimp! You want it to look like a snowstorm hit those pastries.
  • Refrigerating the dough for 15 minutes before frying allows the yeast to develop slowly without the dough rising—minimum yeast development is key here.
  • Beignets are best served hot, so try to serve them immediately if possible. While you can store them for later, they’ll never be as good as they were right out of the fryer.
  • Wondering what to serve with beignets? You don’t need much. Serve them as an after-dinner treat or go the traditional route and serve them with a cup of coffee for a decadent breakfast.
Storage
  • While beignets are best served right away, you can store them in the fridge or on the counter for up to 2 days. If you plan on refrigerating them, let them cool and place them in an airtight container or storage bag without dusting with powdered sugar.
  • If you want to store them at room temperature, you can dust them with powdered sugar and keep them in a freezer storage bag.

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 46mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Keyword , New Orleans beignets, beignet recipe, beignets, doughnuts
Cooked this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating