Best Beignets Recipe

There is nothing better than a beignet, and these are the Best Beignets around! Light, airy doughnut pillows dusted with powdered sugar and best served warm with a cup of joe, beignets are considered the official doughnut of Louisiana.

Cafe du Monde style beignets and coffee with one beignet less a bite.

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Whenever I travel I make a long list of the foods I need to try while in a destination along with the best place to find them. I read hundreds of threads and reviews to find the best of the best.

During my trip to New Orleans back in 2017, my list of foods to eat was long!

Lou and I would walk from place to place on my list checking boxes of the next culinary delight to consume. Cafe du Monde, known worldwide for having the best beignets, was one of the top places on my list and did not disappoint!

A stack of two New Orleans Style Beignets on a plate

Cafe Du Monde is in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, right down the street from the famous Bourbon street on the waterfront of the Mississippi. It is a huge covered outdoor venue with a long line.

But here is a tip… only the tourists wait in line. Just wait for a table to open up, sit and a server will greet you and take your order.

But, don’t waste their time. Know what to order, order once, order fast and move on for the next person to sit. My suggestion is a basket for each person (there are 3 beignet donuts per basket) at your table and a cup of chicory coffee. The perfect combo!

What Makes Buttermilk Beignets So Great?

  • Fluffy and Light Texture. The buttermilk in the dough creates a lighter, fluffier texture that melts in your mouth, making these the best beignets ever.
  • Simple Ingredients. You don’t need any fancy or hard-to-find ingredients to make this beignet recipe. All you need is everyday items like warm water, yeast, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, butter, and all-purpose flour.
  • Easy to Make Ahead. You can prepare the dough in advance, storing it in the fridge for up to a week or freezing it for up to a month. It’s a convenient treat that’s ready to fry whenever you crave those delicious beignets pastries.
  • Authentic New Orleans Flavor. Inspired by the famous Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter, these beignet donuts bring a taste of New Orleans to your home.
The ingredients needed to make the best beignet recipe on a white table

Ingredients For This Easy Beignet Recipe

  • Warm water – A temperature between 105 – 110 F. Too hot and you will kill the yeast, too cool and the yeast won’t wake up.
  • Active yeast – When combined with water and sugar the yeast will be activated or brought to life and give rise to the dough. The yeast uses the sugar as food and expels gas (yeast farts) which when added to the flour creates airy pockets causing the dough to rise.
  • Sugar – food for the yeast and adds sweetness to the dough.
  • Buttermilk – Has a lower fat content than regular whole milk and higher acidity which helps to tenderize the gluten in the flour giving the dough a lighter, fluffier texture as well as a tiny tanginess that blends well with the sugar. If you don’t have buttermilk whole milk is an excellent substitute.
  • Eggs – 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Eggs are a binding agent to keep ingredients together but yolks also help to reduce the formation of gluten in flour creating a lighter fluffier dough.
  • Unsalted butter – Fat creates flavor but also helps to accelerate yeast growth.
  • Sea salt – Salt in general is a flavor enhancer.
  • All-purpose Flour – Because you can’t have doughnuts without all the carbs!
  • Grapeseed Oil – or any other neutral flavored high smoke point oil. Peanut or safflower oil are other good choices.
  • Powdered sugar – To toss the beignets in at the end.

See the recipe card below for exact quantities.

How to Make The Best Beignets

  1. Place the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl and whisk to activate the yeast. Wait 7-10 minutes until a “raft” of yeast starts to form at the top. If the yeast does not become foamy looking like this toss it out and start again.
  2. Add in the melted butter, eggs, the rest of the sugar and the buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.
A bowl of water with active yeast on a white table with a whisk nearby
A bowl of eggs and milk with a whisk on a white table
  1. Add the salt and flour to the liquid and mix with a dough hook using a hand or stand mixer until the dough becomes smoother and pulls away from the edge of the bowl.
  2. I don’t have a stand mixer so once the flour is mixed into the dough I transfer the dough out of the bowl and knead by hand until a smooth ball forms. It takes about 5 minutes of kneading. A little workout before you dive into a plate of homemade beignets!
A clear bowl of Beignet dough on a white table
  1. Then cover the dough with saran wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes. The dough should double in size.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a rectangle that is a 1/2″ thick.
Rolled dough for a New Orleans style beignet recipe
  1. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the dough into 2″ X 3″ rectangles.
Dough for an easy beignet recipe rolled and cut into small triangles.
  1. Fill a large saucepan to about 2″-3″ deep and bring to 350F.
  2. Drop about 5 or 6 pieces of beignet dough into the oil once heated being sure that they have lots of space.
the best beignets frying in oil.
  1. Let them cook until golden brown flipping with tongs halfway through. About 2 minutes per side. They will puff up like pillows and float.
  2. Once done remove from the oil and let them rest on paper towels. Continue the process until they are all cooked.
Homemade beignets fresh out of the oil, ready to be tossed in powdered sugar.
  1. Pour the powdered sugar into a large plastic bag and then add 2 or 3 beignets at a time. Seal the bag and shake gently to coat each of these buttermilk beignets with powdered sugar.

Serve warm with a coffee and you will be transported straight to Louisiana! Another great recipe I like to eat with my coffee (and a fellow doughnut lookalike) are these Banana Pancake Bites.

Tips

  • Warm water temperature. Use a candy thermometer to ensure your warm water is 105 – 110 F to activate the yeast.
  • Stay organized. After you slice the dough, put the uncooked beignets on a platter separated so you can easily drop them in the hot oil. These cook up fast so you want to be organized before you start.
  • Give them space. If you are using a smaller pot or pan, you may need to make small batches to make sure the beignets don’t get crowded.

Storage

Store: You’ll want to eat them right away for the best beignet experience, or at the very least same day. You can, however, make the dough for this easy beignet recipe ahead of time and store it in a fridge for up to a week after it has risen.

Freeze. You can also freeze the dough for up to a month. I recommend rolling the dough and cutting it first and then freezing individual pieces on a cookie sheet before transferring to a tightly sealed container. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then toss in the oil when you need a treat!

A pile of homemade beignets covered in powdered sugar on a white table.

Homemade Beignet Recipe FAQs

How to pronounce beignet?

It is not “beg-net” or “beignet”. Remember the Cafe du Monde Beignets are served in the French Quarter of New Orleans so put on your beret and channel your inner Parisienne. Now try… “Ben-yay”.

How to reheat beignets?

Beignets are best served fresh, but you can reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, or in the oven at 350 degrees F for 3-5 minutes. Just like any doughnut, they loose their fluffy texture the longer they sit and the powdered sugar seeps into them, so you may need to toss them in more powdered sugar.

What is the best oil for frying beignets?

You can use any neutral flavored high-heat oil for making this beignet recipe, but I recommend grapeseed oil or cottonseed oil.

What is the origin of beignets?

It is actually believed that the beignets pastries were first made in Rome, but the technique was perfected in France and then traveled to Louisiana in the 18th century.

The best beignets on a platter on a white table with a cup of coffee

Try These Other Delicious Breakfast Recipes:

A stack of two New Orleans Style Beignets on a plate

The Best Beignets Recipe

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
Beignets are light airy doughnut pillows dusted with icing sugar and best served warm. Considered the official doughnut of Louisiana.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert, Treat
Cuisine American, French
Servings 40 Beignets
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

  • Stove
  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • whisk
  • Hand-mixer or stand mixer
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp knife or pizza cutter
  • Measuring tape
  • Large deep pan or deep fryer
  • Tongs
  • Resealable plastic bag

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm water heated to 105 – 100 F
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1.5 litres grapeseed oil or neutral flavoured frying oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Whisk to blend and let sit for 7-10 minutes until a "raft' forms on the top of foamy-looking yeast.
  • Add the remaining sugar, melted butter, egg, egg yolk and buttermilk to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour and salt and using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a hook attchment blend until the flour is combined with the liquid and the dough begins to become smooth looking and pulls away from the edge of the bowl. If using a hand mixer I find I need to remove the dough from the bowl once it is blended and then knead by hand for about 5 minutes until the ball of dough becomes smooth and less sticky.
  • Spray the bowl with cooking spray and let the dough rise in the bowl covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel for about 90 minutes. The dough should double in size.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a rectangle that is a 1/2" thick.
  • Using a measuring tape and a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2" X 3" rectangles. Place the individual pieces on a platter so they are separated and ready to fry quickly.
  • Fill a large deep pan with grapeseed oil or neutral frying oil of your choice. The oil should be about 2-3" deep. Bring the oil to 350F and then gently add 5-6 pieces of beignet dough to the oil. Let cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until they puff up and turn golden brown. Flip halfway through for even cooking. Remove them with tongs and set on paper towels to catch the excess oil. Continue the process until all the beignets are cooked.
  • Add the powdered sugar to a resealable bag and add 2-3 cooked beignets. Seal and shake the bag gently to coat the beignets. Remove and serve immediately!

Nutrition

Serving: 1beignetCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 14.8gProtein: 1.85gFat: 5.8gSaturated Fat: 1.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 25mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 4.4gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.7mg

Notes

Buttermilk Beignets are best served immediately and warm.
Storage:
The dough can keep after rising in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.
To freeze, cut the dough into the beignet rectangles and freeze individually on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Once pieces are frozen transfer to a sealed container for up to a month.  Thaw overnight before frying.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love beignets! I’ve never tried to make my own, but I am definitely going to now. These look incredible!

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love beignets but have never attempted making them myself. You make the recipe look so easy! I’ll have to try it for brunch this weekend.

  3. 5 stars
    These are amazing fresh out of the fryer, and so much easier to make than I thought. Thank you!

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