brown butter-hazelnut doughnuts


I can’t think of a better way to kick off December than with doughnuts. After all, we’ll need our doughnut + coffee fuel to get us through the whirlwind of cookie baking, holiday party hopping, and impromptu family gatherings. However, not just any doughnut will do – this is the time for brown butter doughnuts dipped in Frangelico glaze and sprinkled with candied hazelnuts, because if we’re going to eat a doughnut, we might as well go all in.

Brown Butter-Hazelnut Doughnuts

Made with Red Star Yeast, these doughnuts are simple to make – the dough comes together easily in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, no kneading or mixer required. After the dough rests and chills, it’s time to bake instead of fry (which is my definition of guilt-free!). The resulting doughnuts are nice and light, giving you all the more reason to make doughnuts whenever a craving strikes (on Saturday mornings, perhaps?).

Brown Butter-Hazelnut Doughnuts

Brown Butter-Hazelnut Doughnuts

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Brown Butter-Hazelnut Doughnuts

  • Yield: 14 doughnuts



  • 3/4 cup (168 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) lukewarm buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Red Star Active Dry or PLATINUM Yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups (455 g) flour

Candied Hazelnuts

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar


  • 1 Tbsp (14 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp Frangelico (hazelnut liquor)
  • 3 Tbsp milk


  1. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a large mixing bowl and cool to room temperature. Whisk together brown butter, buttermilk, yeast, salt, eggs, and brown sugar until combined. Add flour and mix in with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic and let rest at room temperature for two hours, then chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours or up to five days.
  2. When ready to bake, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and flour board or counter well. Use a floured bench scraper to scrape dough out onto board. Dust dough with flour and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Use a floured 3-inch cutter to form 14 rounds; cut out the center of each round with a floured 1-1/2-inch cutter. Place doughnuts on prepared baking sheets and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  3. While the dough rests, make the candied hazelnuts. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together sugar and hot water in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add hazelnuts and turbinado sugar; toss to coat. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then chop with a sharp knife.
  4. Bake doughnuts for 18 minutes, until golden. Place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, salt, Frangelico, and milk until smooth. Set rack with doughnuts over a piece of wax paper. Dip doughnut tops into glaze, sprinkle with candied hazelnuts, and let set on rack before serving.


  • Calories: 230
  • Carbohydrates: 31

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This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions expressed are my own.

  1. I totally agree with you Laura – what a perfect way to kick off December (how is it December already?)! These are stunning – love the brown butter and hazelnuts! Can’t wait to make these. 🙂

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