These Nutella Donuts are a Nutella lover’s dream! Follow this simple donut recipe to create one dozen of the most decadent, crowd pleasing chocolate treats. These are the real deal; traditional yeast dough fried donuts.
Besides vanilla, chocolate is one of the world’s most favourite flavours. While it is delicious in savoury applications such as mole and barbecue, it is most popular as a sweet flavouring. This ingredient really shines in Chocolate Avocado Mousse and this outstanding Chocolate Carrot Cake.
Is there anything better than the combination of roasted hazelnuts and rich chocolate? Some people might prefer chocolate combined with fruit but I go nuts when chocolate and nuts (especially hazelnuts) are paired together. The toasty nuttiness of the hazelnuts pairs so well with the earthy richness of chocolate.
Believe me when I say these donuts are DELICIOUS. The rich brioche-like yeast dough creates the texture everyone looks for in a yeast donut…they are perfectly light and airy. A platter of these Nutella donuts will disappear in minutes, guaranteed!
PS. You can use this plain fried donut recipe and decorate them as you like. However I highly recommend slathering the donuts with Nutella and sprinkling them with roasted hazelnuts!
Yeast vs. Cake Donuts
Yeast donuts are the granddaddy of the donut world simply because yeast has been around much longer than chemical leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. Though it takes more time to create a rise, yeast dough will always have a lighter, more airy texture than baked goods leavened with baking soda or powder.
However, using baking powder and/or baking soda is quicker, which means you don’t have to wait so long to enjoy fresh donuts. Cake donuts tend to be denser and chewier in texture. They have a wetter ‘batter’ instead of malleable dough and are great for dunking. Baked donuts also use chemical agents to create lift in the batter so I consider them to be a ‘cake style’ donut.
Both types of donuts have their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to donuts, are you team yeast or team cake?
Nutella Donut Ingredients
This donut recipe is a classic yeasted dough requiring dry yeast. The ingredients work together to give the dough a consistent rise, resulting in light textured donuts.
- Active Dry Yeast
- Brown Sugar
- Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
Active Dry Yeast has larger granules than instant yeast and remains dormant until it is dissolved in a warm liquid (about 110F). It must be proofed, or active before you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
The Brown Sugar adds sweetness and also acts as an energy source for the yeast. This makes the yeast happy and when you have happy yeast, you’ll get a great dough rise!
Butter and Eggs give this donut dough a beautiful richness and flavour. There are no substitutions for these ingredients.
Ideally for deep frying, you want a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point (temperature at which the oil begins to burn and smoke).
Highly refined oils such as light olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, or safflower oil tend to have the highest smoke points (as impurities are removed) and a neutral or clean taste.
How to Toast Raw Hazelnuts
Toasted chopped hazelnuts are an optional, yet highly recommended topping for this decadent donut. To toast whole raw hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 400 F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast them for around 15 minutes, moving them around periodically so they don’t burn on one side.
When they are done toasting, place the hazelnuts in a clean dishcloth and roll them around a bit, rubbing with the towel. The skins should just fall off. Chop the roasted hazelnuts and use as desired.
How to Make Yeast Donuts
Firstly, let’s activate the dry yeast. To do this, combine the dry yeast, brown sugar, and warm milk in a small bowl. Allow to activate for 20 minutes or until there is a smooth layer of bubbles on the surface. Now the yeast is ready to be mixed into the dough.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the melted butter and yeast mixture. Combine these three ingredients well. Next, mix the plain flour into the yeast mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Transfer the flour mixture to a lightly floured surface and continue to mix by hand.
Knead the dough with you hands for a few minutes until it is soft and slightly sticky. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour, if needed. Finally, gather the dough in a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow to proof in a slightly warm, draft-free spot for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
Let the dough double in size, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead it slightly to soften and remove bubbles. Next, use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough outward until it is a uniform 1/2 inch thick.
Use a 3 inch donut cutter to cut out as many donuts as you can. If you don’t have a donut cutter, you can use a similar sized biscuit cutter, then use your hands to pinch and stretch a hole in the middle of dough.
Gather the leftover dough and re-roll. Cut more donuts out until you have 12. Place a clean towel over the donuts and allow them to rise while the oil heats up.
How to Deep Fry Donuts
Pour vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven to equal a depth of 1/2- 3/4 inch depth. Heat it on medium high heat until it reaches 375F. You want to keep the oil temperature as even as you can to ensure best results.
Carefully add a few donuts to the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the donuts for 30-45 seconds per side or until the donut is a nice golden brown colour. Remove fried donuts from the hot oil and place on a wire rack or paper towel lined baking sheet.
Fry up the remaining donuts and allow them to cool slightly. Spread Nutella (or use a piping bag) over the donuts while they are still warm (not hot). Sprinkle roasted chopped hazelnuts over the Nutella. Decorate with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, if using.
PS. If you prefer filled donuts, you can cut the dough with a biscuit cutter and leave it whole. Allow to cool after frying and use a piping bag to fill the center with pure Nutella filling or a bit of Nutella mixed with whipped cream.
Storing Leftover Nutella Donuts
Fried donuts are always the best when fresh so it’s best to eat them the day you make them. However, they will keep for a few days when stored in an airtight container.
If you make these Decadent Hazelnut Nutella Donuts, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please, tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 3 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 large eggs; room temperature
- 3 ounces butter; melted
- oil for frying
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates (optional)
- Combine the dry yeast, brown sugar, and warm milk in a small bowl. Allow to activate for 20 minutes or until there is a smooth layer of bubbles on the surface.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and yeast mixture. Combine.
- Mix in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is soft and slightly sticky. Add 1-2 more Tablespoons of flour, if needed.
- Gather dough in a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow to proof in a slightly warm, draft-free spot for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead it slightly to soften and remove bubbles.
- Use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough outward until it is a uniform 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut as many donut shapes out with a 3 inch donut cutter as you can. Gather the leftover dough and re-roll. Cut more donuts out until you have 12.
- Place a clean towel over the donuts and allow them to rise while the oil heats up.
- Pour vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven to equal a depth of 1/2- 3/4 inch depth. Heat it on medium high heat until it reaches 375F.*
- Carefully add a few donuts to the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 30-45 seconds per side or until the donut is a nice golden brown colour.
- Remove donuts from the hot oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Fry up the remaining donuts.
- Spread Nutella over the donuts while they are still warm (not hot). Sprinkle roasted chopped hazelnuts over the Nutella. Decorate with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, if using.