Milk Bread Nutella Donuts

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 23/11/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 2 hours
Cook 20 minutes
Total 2 hours 20 minutes
Homemade milk bread nutella donuts are hands down the pillow soft and hands down the most delicious donuts you will ever make! These nutella stuffed donuts are made with simple pantry staple ingredients and are a lot easier to make than it looks.
Milk Bread Nutella Donuts

Homemade milk bread Nutella donuts are hands down the pillow soft and hands down the most delicious donuts you will ever make! These Nutella stuffed donuts are made with simple pantry staple ingredients and are a lot easier to make than it looks.

Up close of a milk bread nutella donut on a parchment paper.

Making homemade milk bread Nutella donuts is a lot easier than you think. You can make these bakery-style indulgent nutella-filled donuts coated in cinnamon sugar from scratch with this easy-to-follow recipe!

There is nothing better than waking up and enjoying fresh, soft, sweet, sugar-coated, and nutella-stuffed donuts with a cup of coffee. They are as indulgent and decadent as they sound and are absolutely delicious.

These donuts with Nutella, do take a bit of time and patience but the end result is definitely worth the effort. If you loved these milk bread Nutella donuts, check out my apple cider mochi donuts, milk bread cinnamon rolls, and my black sesame marble milk bread!

Looking down at a tray full of milk bread nutella donuts.
Someone tearing a nutella milk bread donut in half.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Fluffy and Soft. By using milk bread as the dough for these stuffed donuts it yields the softest and most airy dough. Pair that with a rich creamy hazelnut Nutella spread, which is the most delicious combination.
  • Easy to follow. This donuts recipe will guide you step-by-step with photos, tips and tricks section, and a FAQ section to ensure you’ll create foolproof homemade Nutella donuts.
  • Instant crowd pleaser. Soft fluffy doughnuts, covered in granulated sugar and stuffed with Nutella—I mean what is there not to love?
Looking down at a tray full of nutella milk bread donuts.

Kitchen Equipment

You will need the following kitchen equipment to make foolproof donuts with Nutella.

  • Kitchen scale: when it comes to baking, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements and the best results.
  • Small skillet: you will need a small skillet to heat up and cook your tangzhong starter.
  • Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment: using a stand mixer will make kneading the milk bread dough a breeze. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can always knead the dough by hand!
  • Rolling Pin: a rolling pin is needed to roll out your soft fluffy milk bread dough.
  • Mixing Bowls: you will need a few different-sized mixing bowls for this nutella-filled donuts recipe. I like to use my glass nesting mixing bowls for all my baking recipes.
  • Heavy Bottomed pot: you will need a large heavy-bottomed pot for frying.
  • Candy Thermometer: a candy thermometer is a key to getting the perfect cook for your donuts. Too hot and the donuts may burn on the outside without cooking enough on the inside, too cold and the donuts may become overly greasy.
  • Spider Strainer: a spider strainer or a large slotted spoon will be helpful to lift the donuts out of the frying oil.
  • Wire Rack: a wire rack is necessary to cool and to let the excess oil drip off the donuts to prevent them from becoming soggy.
  • Baking Sheet: you will need a baking sheet to lay out the pre-cut donut dough on for the second proof.
  • Piping bag and round tip: you will need a piping bag and a medium to large round piping tip to pipe the Nutella into your nutella-filled donuts.

Ingredients

This soft milk bread nutella stuffed donuts recipe uses all pantry staples. It does require a bit of patience and dedication to yield such perfectly soft and delicious results.

  • Bread Flour: has a higher protein level to lighten the milk bread cinnamon roll texture it is also used in the Tangzhong method. The higher protein produces more gluten which provides a slightly chewy, soft texture.
  • Milk: I always recommend using whole milk for a rich moist crumb texture.
  • Milk powder: milk powder gives the nutella stuffed donuts more rise and allows it to be fluffier.
  • Granulated Sugar: sugar sweetens and coats the nutella filled donuts.
  • Instant Yeast: I generally always use instant yeast because it allows the dough to rise quicker than active dry yeast. I always bloom the instant dry yeast ahead of time which acts as a foolproof way of checking if the yeast is still alive.
  • Salt: salt adds a subtle amount of flavor to the donuts with nutella and controls the yeast.
  • Egg: the egg binds the donut dough together, aids in the rise and the soft texture. Make sure it is at room temperature before adding it into the dough.
  • Unsalted Butter: makes the dough soft and moist
  • Vegetable Oil: vegetable oil has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor which makes it perfect for frying.
  • Nutella: nutella makes the best filling!

Substitutions

This nutella donuts recipe only uses a few pantry staple ingredients. I’ve listed a few alternative ingredients for you below.

  • Neutral oil: you can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil, or canola oil.
  • Active Dry Yeast: you can use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. I like to bloom my yeast either way to double check if the yeast is still active.
  • Alternative Fillings: instead of nutella filled donuts, you can fill your donuts with any jam, custard, or lemon curd!

How to Make Milk Bread Nutella Donuts

These milk bread nutella filled donuts are definitely worth the work. They are so soft and fluffy on the inside and the creamy nutella filling makes it the most decadent treat.

Tangzhong. 

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the tangzhong ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until no lumps are left. Then heat over medium heat while mixing constantly until the mixture thickens into a paste, about 2 minutes.
Preparing the tangzong on the stove in a large skillet.
  1. Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Make sure plastic wrap is touching tangzhong to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate until it has cooled to room temperature. Alternatively, you can refrigerate overnight, and leave at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Milk Bread Dough. 

  1. Bloom the yeast. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix together warm milk (100-105°F or 38°C) and yeast. Let it bloom for 5-10 minutes or until it has risen a thick foam.
  2. Make the dough. In the bowl of your stand mixer with a dough attachment, mix on low speed the bread flour, granulated sugar, milk powder and salt until combined. Next, add in the yeast mixture and tangzhong and egg. Continue mixing until the mixture forms into a dough for about 2 minutes.
Mixing together the dough in a stand mixer.
  1. Add butter and knead. When the dough has just formed, add the softened room temperature butter and knead on low until combined about 1 minute. Then increase the speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, 7-8 minutes. The dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it’s TOO sticky (meaning it’s sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 1-2 tablespoons of bread flour.) The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Placing the dough into a bowl to prepare for proofing.
  1. 1st Proof. Shape the dough as a ball and place in a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm place for about 1-1 ½ hours or until puffy and almost double in size. This may more or less time depending on the humidity and temperature in your home.
  1. Cut 8-10 parchment squares. Cut about 8-10, three inch parchment squares and lightly grease them.
  2. Shape the dough. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut out the donuts with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place each cut out onto a parchment square onto a baking sheet.
  1. Cover and 2nd proof. Cover with a kitchen towel or with another baking sheet and proof in a warm space for another 30-45 minutes or until double in size. Once it doubles in size, refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes. This will make the dough more manageable in the fryer.

Fry the Donuts

  1. Heat oil to 350°F (180°C). While the dough is in the refrigerator, heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 350°F (180°C). Use a candy thermometer or fry oil thermometer to measure the temperature!
  2. Prepare your station. Place a paper towel over a wire rack over baking sheet. And in a shallow mixing bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined.
  3. Fry. Once the oil has reached 350°F, place 2-3 donuts into the oil to fry for 2 minutes on one side or until gently brown. Flip the donuts and fry on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Then using a spider strainer carefully remove the donuts and place them on top of the wire rack to cool for a few seconds.
  1. Mix with sugar. After the donuts have cooled for a few seconds, quickly toss them in the sugar bowl. Make sure the donuts are still hot/warm to make sure the sugar sticks. Repeat until all the donuts are cooked and coated.
Dusting the fried donut with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Fill the Donuts

  1. Make a hole. Poke the side of the donuts with a chopstick or wooden skewer about 1/2 way deep and gently jostle it around side to side to create room for the filling. Make sure to not poke too deep to the other side.
Creating a hole in the fried milk bread donuts to pipe nutella into.
  1. Fill with nutella. Place nutella into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. Then place the piping tip into the hole and fill the donut with your desired amount of filling. You know there is enough filling when the filling starts to ooze out of the donut.

Tips for the Best Nutella Donuts

  • Do not overheat the milk and kill the yeast! The ideal temperature for activating yeast is 100-110 degrees F. (My sweet spot is usually 105 degrees F) Anything hotter will instantly kill the yeast and the yeast will not rise. Measure the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is at the right temperature.
  • Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. Using softened room temperature butter will allow even mixing into the dough without making the dough overly wet. Moreover, if you use melted butter for the filling it will cause the filling to leak out before baking. Room temperature eggs will keep the dough at perfect room temperature for optimal yeast activity.
  • If the dough is too wet, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. The dough should be fairly tacky and may stick to your hands but it should come off cleanly. However, if you feel like the dough is too wet to be manageable knead in 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.
  • Test to see if dough is proofed. After the second proof test, use the poke to test to see if the dough is ready. If the dough bounces back straight away then they aren’t ready yet. If your finger leaves a little indentation in the dough which slowly bounces back, you are good to go.
  • Use a candy thermometer! This kitchen tool is essential to getting the right cook for your donuts. Make sure the oil temperature is at 350°F or 180°C for best results. If the oil is too hot it may risk burning the outside of the nutella stuffed donuts while the inside remains raw. If the oil is too cold, the donuts may absorb too much grease and become overly oily. Make sure to check the temp between batches too.
Up close of a milk bread nutella with a bite out of it.

Storage Instructions

You can store these donuts with nutella lightly covered at room temperature. These nutella filled donuts are best served the day they are made.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

Can I make these nutella donuts in advance?

These nutella stuffed donuts are best served the day off. However, you can make the dough in advance and proof the first round covered in the refrigerator overnight.

Can I make this filled donuts recipe by hand?

Yes of course! If you do not have a stand mixer you can mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl by hand until it forms into a dough and then knead it until it all comes together on a floured surface.

Why are my nutella filled donuts dense?

A dense donut occurs when the milk bread dough is not proofed enough. To check if the dough is properly proofed use the poke method. If the dough bounces back right away then it isn’t ready yet. If the indent slowly bounces back, then you are good to go.

Why are my donuts with nutella raw?

Your oil is probably too hot. If the oil is too hot, the donuts will brown more on the outside before they are fully cooked on the inside. Make sure to carefully monitor the oil temperature to stay around 350°F or 180°C.

Why are my nutella donuts oily?

If your donuts are oily and taking longer than 2 minutes per side to cook, then your oil is too cold. Make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of your pot to give a false reading and carefully monitor the temperature while the donuts cook.

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Recipe

Looking down at a tray full of milk bread nutella donuts.

Milk Bread Nutella Donuts

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Homemade milk bread nutella donuts are hands down the pillow soft and hands down the most delicious donuts you will ever make! These nutella stuffed donuts are made with simple pantry staple ingredients and are a lot easier to make than it looks.
Servings: 12 donuts
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Tangzhong (starter)

  • 2 ½ tablespoons (21 g) bread flour
  • ¼ cup (60 g) water
  • 3 tablespoon (45 g) milk

Milk Bread Dough

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (133 g) whole milk warmed at 105°F or 40°C
  • ½ tablespoon (7 g) yeast instant or active dry
  • 2 ¾ cup (331 g) bread flour
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (7 g) milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 4 tablespoon (57 g) unsalted butter softened at room temperature

Frying and Finishing

  • vegetable oil at least 4 inches deep 350°F or 180°C
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Nutella

Instructions

Tangzhong

  • In a small saucepan, combine the tangzhong ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until no lumps are left. Then heat over medium heat while mixing constantly until the mixture thickens into a paste, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Make sure plastic wrap is touching tangzhong to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate until it has cooled to room temperature. Alternatively, you can refrigerate overnight, and leave at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Milk Bread Dough

  • Bloom the yeast. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix together warm milk (100-105°F or 38°C) and yeast. Let it bloom for 5-10 minutes or until it has risen a thick foam. This can be with either instant or active dry yeast. If using instant you will only need to bloom it for 1-2 minutes. This is to check if your yeast is still alive.
  • Make the dough. In the bowl of your stand mixer with a dough attachment, mix on low speed the bread flour, granulated sugar, milk powder and salt until combined. Next, add in the yeast mixture and tangzhong and egg. Continue mixing until the mixture forms into a dough for about 2 minutes.
  • Add butter and knead. When the dough has just formed, add the softened room temperature butter and knead on low until combined about 1 minute. Then increase the speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, 7-8 minutes. The dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it's TOO sticky (meaning it's sticking to the edges of the mixer, add in 1-2 tablespoons of bread flour.) The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  • 1st Proof. Shape the dough as a ball and place in a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm place for about 1-1 ½ hours or until puffy and almost double in size. This may more or less time depending on the humidity and temperature in your home.
  • Cut 8-10 parchment squares. Cut about 8-10, three inch parchment squares and lightly grease them.
  • Shape the dough. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut out the donuts with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place each cut out onto a parchment square onto a baking sheet.
  • Cover and 2nd proof. Cover with a kitchen towel or with another baking sheet and proof in a warm space for another 30-40 minutes or until almost double in size. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes. This will make the dough more manageable in the fryer.

Fry the Donuts

  • Heat oil to 350°F (180°C). While the dough is in the refrigerator, heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 350°F (180°C). Use a candy thermometer or fry oil thermometer to measure the temperature and make sure the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pot.
  • Prepare your station. Place a paper towel over a wire rack over baking sheet. And in a shallow mixing bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined.
  • Fry. Once the oil has reached 350°F, place 2-3 donuts into the oil to fry for 2 minutes on one side or until gently brown. Flip the donuts and fry on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Then using a spider strainer carefully remove the donuts and place them on top of the wire rack to cool for a few seconds.
  • Mix with sugar. After the donuts have cooled for a few seconds, quickly toss them in the sugar bowl. Make sure the donuts are still hot/warm to make sure the sugar sticks. Repeat until all the donuts are cooked and coated.

Fill the Donuts

  • Make a hole. Poke the side of the donuts with a chopstick or wooden skewer about 1/2 way deep and gently jostle it around side to side to create room for the filling. Make sure to not poke too deep to the other side.
  • Fill with nutella. Place nutella into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. Then place the piping tip into the hole and fill the donut with your desired amount of filling. You know there is enough filling when the filling starts to ooze out of the donut.

Notes

  • Do not overheat the milk and kill the yeast! The ideal temperature for activating yeast is 100-110 degrees F. (My sweet spot is usually 105 degrees F) Anything hotter will instantly kill the yeast and the yeast will not rise. Measure the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is at the right temperature.
  • Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. Using softened room temperature butter will allow even mixing into the dough without making the dough overly wet. Moreover, if you use melted butter for the filling it will cause the filling to leak out before baking. Room temperature eggs will keep the dough at perfect room temperature for optimal yeast activity.
  • If the dough is too wet, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. The dough should be fairly tacky and may stick to your hands but it should come off cleanly. However, if you feel like the dough is too wet to be manageable knead in 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.
  • Test to see if dough is proofed. After the second proof test, use the poke to test to see if the dough is ready. If the dough bounces back straight away then they aren’t ready yet. If your finger leaves a little indentation in the dough which slowly bounces back, you are good to go.
  • Use a candy thermometer! This kitchen tool is essential to getting the right cook for your donuts. Make sure the oil temperature is at 350°F or 180°C for best results. If the oil is too hot it may risk burning the outside of the nutella stuffed donuts while the inside remains raw. If the oil is too cold, the donuts may absorb too much grease and become overly oily. Make sure to check the temp between batches too.
  • Storage: You can store these donuts with nutella lightly covered at room temperature. These nutella filled donuts are best served the day they are made.

Nutrition:

Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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