Did I ever tell you all about how I found a GIANT lilac bush???
All spring, I called around to dozens of different stores looking for fresh lilacs but each time came up with nothing. Oh how I wanted to use some lilacs in my photos, but eventually I gave up. Then, towards the middle of June, I suddenly realized that the giant pretty bush up at my parent’s house, the one giving off incredible smells, was actually a bush full of the prettiest purple lilacs. When I realized this, I cannot even begin to explain how excited I was.
Apparently lilacs are actually supposed to bloom in the spring, but since my spring was more like a cold winter, the bush in the yard never bloomed until mid June. Hey, I’ll take them whenever they bloom, I was just so happy to have some lilacs to use.
The ideas kind of came flooding into my head, but me being me, I could not decide on just one.
SO I waited, and waited, until basically I realized that my lilac bush was beginning to die. So right then and there, I decided that day, I was making strawberry jelly doughnuts with lilac sugar.
I had to use those pretty and edible flowers before it was too late.
I also feel I should mention that I asked my dad to plant four more lilac bushes outside the barn…which he did, so next year lots of lilac recipes! I’m thinking something with lilac syrups for breakfast and definitely a lilac cocktail. Already excited!
Anyway, I kind of realized that most of you probably won’t have access to fresh lilacs this late into the summer, but the good news is, you can totally swap the lilacs for fresh or dried lavender. They obviously are not the same, but they work in the same way, and both give off a great floral flavor that pairs perfectly with the strawberries in these doughnuts.
And speaking of the doughnuts…they are brioche…but done a little easier and in a little less time….and SO flipping light, airy and GOOD!!!
I actually think these doughnuts are one of my easier doughnut recipes, and the brioche dough recipe is probably the best ever for doughnuts. I could not believe how light and perfect they turned out.
For the filling, I really wanted to use strawberries. I have been using a lot of berries and stone fruits lately, but just not enough strawberries. I also wanted a little bit of rich creaminess inside to make the doughnuts just that much more awesome. Plus, I feel like strawberries and cream is a combo one can never go wrong with with…it’s true, so I went with it.
I did not make an egg based cream though, as I really wanted to keep the work for these doughnuts minimal. Personally, I love the whipped cream. I think it keeps the recipe, light, but still decadent, you know?
OK, but here’s the nitty-gritty. I know it’s summer and doughnuts may not be number one on your list of things to eat today, but they should be. I don’t have a whole lot of reasons for this, other than that balance is the key to life and I can’t think of a more delicious balance than strawberry jelly and vanilla cream brioche doughnuts with Lilac Sugar as a beautiful, sweet summer treat!
Lastly, I just have to say, aren’t these doughnuts so stinkin’ cute?!? Flowers make everything better.
Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar.
Servings: 12 Doughnuts
Calories Per Serving: 374 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 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh lilac pedals fresh lavender or dried lavender*
- 1 vanilla bean seeds removed
- 1 quart fresh or frozen strawberries diced
- 1/4 cup coconut or granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoons vanilla bean seeds removed (or 2 vanilla)
- In a bowl, combine the sugar with the lilacs and vanilla bean seeds. Pour the sugar into a glass jar and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. The longer it sits, the more flavor the sugar will have.
- In a large mixing bowl (I like to use my stand mixer), combine the warm milk with the yeast and sugar. Allow the mixture to sit 5-10 mins or until the mix is foamy and smells like bread.
- To the bowl, add the butter and egg, mix a little to combine and then add 3 cups flour and the salt. Knead the dough using a dough hook or your hands until the dough comes together and is smooth, about 3 minutes with a mixer and 5-10 by hand. If the dough seems too sticky, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour. The dough should come together, but be slightly sticky to touch. Grease a large bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place while you work on the jelly, but at least 15 minutes.
- To make the jelly, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a small sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cook over high heat, mashing the strawberries as they cook down until the jelly is thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before mixing with the cream.
- To fry the doughnuts, line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using doughnut or cookie cutters, cut out 1 1/2-inch-diameter rounds. Arrange the doughnuts on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between doughnuts. Cover the doughnuts loosely with plastic wrap while the oil heats.
- In a heavy-bottomed large pot or deep fryer, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. When done, transfer to a wire rack to cool. Make sure to return the oil to 350 degrees F. between batches. Let the doughnuts cool completely before filling.
- To make the cream, add the heavy whipping cream to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the cold jelly and gently fold it into the cream to create swirls.
- Spoon the jelly and cream into a pastry bag fitted with a tip or just use a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off. Pierce the base of each cooled doughnut with piping tube and pipe a little filling into each doughnut. Generously sprinkle each doughnut with lilac sugar. Serve with cold milk. Enjoy!
*I believe that you can only find lilacs in the spring, so if you cannot find them, fresh or dried lavender can be used in their place. **Alternately you can fill one piping bag with jelly and one with cream. Then pipe jelly on one side of the doughnut and cream on the other.
Plus, do you see the inside?? It’s totally what all Friday dreams are made of, right? YES!