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Did I ever tell you all about how I found a GIANT lilac bush???

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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.

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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.

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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!

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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!!!

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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.

Total heaven.

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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?

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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!

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

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 | @hbharvest

Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
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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Lilac Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lilac pedals fresh lavender or dried lavender*
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds removed


Strawberry Jelly

  • 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)


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla bean seeds removed (or 2 vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt


Lilac Sugar

  • 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.
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Strawberry Jelly and Vanilla Cream Brioche Doughnuts with Lilac Sugar | @hbharvest

Plus, do you see the inside?? It’s totally what all Friday dreams are made of, right? YES!

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  1. I’m not a fan of donuts, and even I have to admit that not only do these look beautiful, but they look insanely delicious! That strawberry filling?!
    Amazing recipe as always, girl!
    xx Sydney

  2. So so pretty! I love the idea of lilac sugar with donuts. I never would have thought of that. I am also a major fan of brioche, and I never knew you could use that kind of recipe for donuts. Learnin’ so many things over here, and you are blowing my mind! Haha. Gorgeous recipe. Thanks for making this before the flowers died! Worth it.
    Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

    1. THANK YOU!! So happy to be teaching you something just a little new! 🙂
      Hope you are a having a great weekend!

  3. OMG these look incredible!!! Can I order a dozen, please!? Or make that two! What a great use of brioche!!!

  4. Yay for lilacs! I made some lilac sugar donuts a while back and loved them; the strawberry jelly and vanilla cream addition looks delicious though!

    1. Haha!! That is awesome! Loving all things lilacs right now, but my plant just dies, so I am sad! 🙁

      Thanks Michelle! Hope you are having a great weekend! 🙂

  5. These are gorgeous and so decadent! I love the idea of a “quick” brioche and everything about thing – from the strawberries, the lilacs, the idea of eating a donut right now …. sounds amazing!

  6. I had not idea that lilacs were edible. Awesome! They are one of my favorite plants, too. The fragrance is just to die for. These donuts = killer!

    1. Thanks Liz!! And I know, a lot people didn’t know that, but they are!!
      Hope you are having a fun weekend!

  7. Ok Tieghan, these look crazy good! Probably before your time, but wish I had a “scratch and sniff” computer screen not only for the lilacs (one of my favorite flowers!) but for that unbelievable looking jelly in these donuts!!! Enjoy the weekend!

  8. Wow, lilac sugar. It’s like fairy dust. Something rare and elusive. So, of course, I’ll be craving it now. Like these donuts. Have a great weekend, Tieghan. Cheers, Ardith

  9. Your donut recipes always have me swooning, but this is sooooo fancy! I can barely contain my excitement!

  10. These look incred, Tieghan! That’s so cool that you have lilacs in your yard and so brilliant to use them like this!

  11. These look amazing, Tieghan! When I studied abroad in south of France, I noticed how many products they had with lilac – syrups, cordials, sweets, etc. I feel like in America we definite underutilize a lot of edible plants! I love the creative way you’ve added lilac here. I’m so jealous of the beautiful lilac bushes you’ll have at the barn next season! 🙂

  12. This looks beautiful! I absolutely love lilacs! And lavender. I think I have a thing for purple flowers…