Celebrating Mardi Gras with the Easiest Cinnamon Buttermilk Beignets. Light and airy homemade beignets flavored with hints of both cinnamon and vanilla, fried, and dusted lightly (or generously) with powdered sugar. These are the simplest to make, require only pantry staples, and very minimal hands on time. Simply mix the dough, let it rise, roll it out, cut into squares, and fry until the beignets are puffed and golden. Dust each warm beignet with powdered sugar and serve with a steaming cup of coffee or cocoa.
If you guys follow on Instagram, then you probably know we had the biggest snowstorm over the weekend and into Monday. So much snow! In fact it was the most snow we’ve seen all winter with snow piling up pretty much all day on Sunday. The highway was closed, my brother’s flight out cancelled, and by mid-afternoon on Sunday, school for Monday was cancelled too. Basically we could do two things, head outside into the snow to play, or stay inside and be cozy.
Can you guess what I did?
Yeah, I stayed inside and made you all beignets. Once I realized that today is Mardi Gras, I just knew beignets were the right thing to do.
Beignets are one the first sweet things I ever made for my mom. They hold many great memories for the two of us. I think I’ve told this story before, but back when I was in 7th grade Mom and I headed to our local outdoor shopping mall in Westlake, Ohio. I can’t really remember what our mission was (did we really need one?). But we ended up at the beignet cart with a plate full of beignets and ideas brewing in our heads. This is the moment where we began to plot our move to Colorado.
I remember it like it was yesterday. And it’s still one of my favorite moments. Because it was one where I was able to spend time with just mom. With five brothers, it was a rare event to get mom all to myself. The beignets were just the icing on the cake.
Or maybe I should say the powdered sugar on the beignet??
Anyway, point is, I’m glad I made these, even more excited to share them, and happy I was able to make a spur of the moment recipe thanks to a whole lot of snow.
Now, the details.
I know beignets might seem like a scary thing to make, but essentially they’re just doughnuts, yet soo much easier. The trickiest part is frying, which yes, is annoying, but also worth it.
And before you all ask, yes, you can bake these. But I found them to be kind of dry and boring. Sometimes you just have to jump all in when it comes to sweets. None of that half way stuff, you know?
I like to make my beignet dough with buttermilk. I’m not sure if this is traditional, but the buttermilk is what really makes these light and airy. It gives them a bit of a slight tang too. In addition to the buttermilk, I also like to add a touch of both cinnamon and vanilla. The cinnamon adds a really nice warmth that I’ve found especially nice. It’s not even that you notice a cinnamon flavor, but more of a subtle warmth and depth of flavor.
And the vanilla? Well, vanilla should be in all sweets. Fact.
Once the dough has had some time to rise, it’s time to roll it out and fry. The best thing about beignets is that unlike doughnuts, you don’t need any fancy cutters. Just roll the dough out and use a knife to cut squares.
Then fry the dough in a bit of oil and dust each beignet with powdered sugar. You can go as light or as heavy as you’d like with the sugar. I like to toss the beignets in a bowl of powdered sugar, and then vigorously shake off the excess. I know this may seem counter productive, but it just works.
Most important? You must, must serve these with either coffee or hot chocolate. Coffee is a bit more traditional, but we much prefer a thick and creamy hot chocolate over here. Also delicious? Warm beignets smeared with your favorite jam…or just go all out and smear with a bit of Nutella.
All of the above work. So pick your favorite and enjoy some beignets this week. And happy Mardi Gras!
If you make these cinnamon buttermilk beignets, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Easiest Cinnamon Buttermilk Beignets.
Servings: 12 beignets
Calories Per Serving: 1126 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- hot chocolate, for serving
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- 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, honey, buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Knead until the dough comes together, about 1-2 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, add an additional 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a smooth ball.2. Cover the bowl and let sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about an 1/4 inch thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into 3×3 inch squares (about 25 squares). Cover with a damp kitchen towel while the oil preheats.4. Place a deep, heavy bottom pot on the stove and add enough oil to fill the pot about 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep. Turn the burner to medium and preheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Fry 4-6 beignets at a time depending on the size of your pot. Use a slotted spoon to flip them over every 30 seconds. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Remove with the slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining squares.5. Dust each beignet generously with powdered sugar. Enjoy warm, with a side of hot cocoa.