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Baked Beignets Recipe – Classic New Orleans Donuts Made Healthier

If you are looking for a classic recipe to make to celebrate Mardi Gras or to indulge in on Fat Tuesday, you will love these Baked Beignets. They are a healthier version of the classic deep fried pastries that you will find all over New Orleans.

Fluffy and pillowy squares of dough dusted with a generous serving of powdered sugar. Then they are typically served with a cup of chicory coffee or hot chocolate.

However, they are also delicious when served with a glass of cold milk, espresso or even a glass of wine for an after meal dessert. No matter how you choose to serve them, with just one bite you will fall in love with these little tasty treats.

baked beignets
The most famous place to get beignets is at Cafe De Monde which is located in the French Quarter, the heart of New Orleans.

Although the traditional way to cook beignets is not in the oven. Instead, they are deep fried in hot oil until the dough balloons up and the exterior turns golden brown.

Then when they come out of the oil they are immediately dusted or shaken in a bag of powdered sugar. The oil helps the powdered sugar adhere to the surface, ensuring that you will get it all over your hands and face with every bite.

What Is A Beignet?

If you have never been to France or New Orleans, you may have never heard the term beignet. So exactly what is a beignet? In my own words it is the most delicious, light and airy donut that you will ever try.

Ok, to be more technical, a beignet is a French pastry that is deep-fried and typically made from a rich dough with ingredients like eggs, butter, and milk. The dough is rolled and shaped into either squares or rectangles.

Then they are deep-fried (or in this case baked) until the beignets becomes golden brown and puffy. The beignets are dusted in a thick coating of powdered sugar, creating a sweet and fluffy pastry with a crispy exterior.

The word “beignet” itself translates to “fritter” in English. While beignets have French origins, they have become a beloved pastry in various regions, especially in Louisiana and the surrounding areas.

inside beignet donut
Beignets are light and airy square pastries without the traditional donut hole.

Tips When Making Baked Beignets

I use the same recipe to make baked beignets as I do when I fry them. Although the fried beignets will puff up larger than the ones in the oven, they are still absolutely delicious and healthier.

However, in order for the dough to rise perfectly, there are a few recipe tips that you must follow.

1. Use Super Fine Sugar

To help the yeast activate be sure to use a super-fine sugar. Standard granulated sugar tends to gather together and the yeast will have a difficult time feeding from it.

If you do not have super-fine sugar in your pantry, it is easy to make your own. Place double the amount of granulated sugar listed in the recipe below in a standard coffee grinder.

Pulse until the sugar breaks down into fine crystals. Although be sure not to grind it too long. Otherwise you will end up with powdered sugar!

2. Use Fresh Yeast

If your yeast mixture doesn’t bubble it’s recommended to start over with fresh yeast and ensure that all conditions are optimal for yeast activation. There are a few reasons why your mixture may remain flat and stagnant.

Inactive Yeast: The yeast may be expired or inactive. Check the expiration date on the yeast package and make sure it has been stored properly.

Water Temperature: The water used to dissolve the yeast should be at the correct temperature. Too hot or too cold water can affect yeast activity. The ideal temperature is typically between 105°F to 115°F (40°C to 46°C). I use my instant read digital thermometer to test the water so I know exactly when to add the yeast.

Sugar: Sugar is added so that the yeast can feed off of it and begin to ferment. Make sure that you use the exact amount of sugar listed in the recipe.

rising dough
Proofing the dough is made quick and easy by using a pre-heated oven.

3. Proof The Dough

It is vital when making baked beignets that the dough has adequate time to rise. However, all environments are different, and it can be difficult to give an exact time that it will require.

Although there is one secret to proofing dough that is consistent and will speed up the process. Proof your dough in a turned-off, pre-heated oven.

Start by preheating your oven to the lowest setting. Then when the dough is ready, cover the top of the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap.

Turn off the oven and place the bowl in the oven. The closed, warm environment will help the dough proof more evenly and quickly.

Some people also proof dough by only turning the oven light on, however I find the preheated oven trick to work much better and have more consistent results.

Baked Beignet Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3⁄4 cup lukewarm water, approximately 110°F
  • 1⁄4 cup super fine sugar, see note
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3⁄4 cup flour, more as needed
  • 1⁄8 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted for brushing
  • 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
plain baked beignets
Baked beignets ready for the coating of powdered sugar.

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, combine water, sugar, and yeast and stir to combine. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it starts to get foamy on the surface.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

To the mixing bowl add egg, buttermilk, 3 tbsp butter, salt and vanilla and whisk to combine. If available, replace whisk attachment with a dough hook.

Slowly add in the flour and stir on medium-low speed until the dough begins to remove itself from the sides of the bowl. If needed add in additional flour in 1 Tbsp. increments until the dough pulls itself away from the bowl.

Knead dough on medium speed for 5 minutes. Then transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl.

Proof The Dough

Turn off the preheated oven and place the bowl in the oven with the door slightly ajar to rise for 15 minutes. *Cover bowl with a towel that has no danger of touching the heating elements of the oven.

Remove bowl from the oven, close the door and then preheat the oven again to 200°F. On a lightly floured surface roll dough out into a rectangle or square, about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter then place dough on prepared baking sheets.

Turn off the oven and then place the baking sheets in the oven with the door slightly ajar to rise for 30 minutes. *Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with baking spray.

Remove baking sheets from oven, then close the door and preheat to 375°F. Brush the tops lightly with milk.

powder sugar in colander over donuts
No Baked Beignet would be complete without a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Bake Time Required

Bake individual baking sheets for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes then brush the beignets tops lightly with 1 Tbsp. melted butter and generously dust with powdered sugar.

If you plan to eat them on the next day, skip brushing them with butter and dusting them with powdered sugar and then store in an air tight container. Once ready to eat, brush them with melted butter and warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Then generously dust them with powdered sugar and serve.

Beignets are best eaten warm and fresh.
Enjoy! Mary

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Other French Quarter Recipes That You Will Enjoy

Baked Beignets

baked beignets

Light and puffy French Beignets sprinkled in powdered sugar made a little healthier by being baked, but just as delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water, approximately 110°F
  • 1/4 cup super fine sugar, see note
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cup flour, more as needed
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted for brushing
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, combine water, sugar, and yeast and stir to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes until it starts to get foamy on the surface.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. To the mixing bowl add egg, buttermilk, 3 tbsp butter, salt and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. If available, replace whisk attachment with a dough hook. Slowly add in the flour and stir on medium-low speed until the dough begins to remove itself from the sides of the bowl. If needed add in additional flour in 1 Tbsp. increments until the dough pulls itself away from the bowl.
  5. Knead dough on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Turn off preheated oven and place bowl in the oven with the door slightly ajar to rise for 15 minutes. *Cover bowl with a towel that has no danger of touching the heating elements of the oven.
  7. Remove bowl from the oven, close the door and preheat to 200°F.
  8. On a lightly floured surface roll dough out into a rectangle or square, about 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Cut 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter.
  10. Place dough on prepared baking sheets. Turn off preheated oven and place the baking sheets in the oven with the door slightly ajar to rise for 30 minutes. *Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with baking spray.
  11. Remove baking sheets from oven, close the door and preheat to 375°F. Brush the tops lightly with milk.
  12. Bake individual baking sheets for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes then brush the beignets tops lightly with 1 Tbsp. melted butter and generously dust with powdered sugar.
  13. Beignets are best eaten warm and fresh.

Notes

  • If you plan to eat them on the next day, skip brushing them with butter and dusting them with powdered sugar and store in an air tight container.
  • Once ready to eat, brush them with melted butter and warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 78mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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