Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 5th August 2011

Bomboloni, fluffy pillows of rich and tender fried pastry dough rolled in sugar and filled with velvety Crema Pasticcera {Italian Pastry Cream}, fresh and warm out of the oven.  Have I enticed you to indulge?  One thing’s for certain – one Bombolone is never enough.

A photo of a Bombolone, an Italian Cream Filled Donut.

How did I achieve a puffy bombolone? – Patience, a little elbow grease and a “whole lotta love”.

A photo of Italian Donuts, Bomboloni in a baking tray filled with sugar.

I was on a mission to get an answer to that very question, “Which preparation produces a puffier, lighter and tastier bombolone? – “By hand?” or “Stand mixer?”  After performing a taste test “by hand” won by a landslide.

A photo of Bomboloni, Italian Donuts rolled in sugar and filled with Crema Pasticcera.

It really comes as no surprise, I’m sure Italian Mamas and Nonnas from the old country (mine included) never used a stand mixer to prepare their dough.  To quote my Mom, “passion, love, touch and feel and most importantly patience makes tender dough”.

A photo of a Crema Pasticcera filled Italian donut rolled in sugar.

The bomboloni dough is very sticky and I found when preparing the dough using a stand mixer I needed to add flour more than once to get the dough to come together into a ball so the mixer could properly knead the dough.  Unfortunately the more flour you add the heavier the bombolone.

A photo of Italian Donuts, Bomboloni also referred to as Krapfen displayed on a wooden board.

Preparing the dough “by hand” gives you more control, you can feel the dough and often times it only needs a light dusting of flour to knead to a soft dough therefore producing a fluffier bombolone.

A photo of an Italian Pastry, Bomboloni also referred to as a Berliner displayed on a red cloth napkin with a glass of milk.

Bomboloni have a distinct look, golden on both sides with a band lighter in colour in between.  Achieving this look can be a little more difficult than you think; a bombolone has a mind of its own.

A photo of Italian Pastries, Bomboloni displayed on a white rectangular dish.

It increases in size as it’s cooking, sometimes more so on one side than the other.  The mystery for me, how is it possible to use the same size cutter for all of your bombolone yet after frying none of them are the same size?

A photo of Italian Pastries, Bomboloni, Italian Cream filled donuts rolled in sugar.

Bomboloni are sometimes referred to as Krapfen but there is a visible difference between the two.  How do you distinguish between a Bombolone and a Krapfen?  A Bombolone is filled from the top rather than the side and the filling is visible.  What a tease for Crema lovers like me.

A photo of Italian Desserts, Bomboloni - fried Italian pastry rolled in sugar and filled with Crema Pasticcera.

Bomboloni are not only filled with cream, they are just as mouthwatering filled with jam or one of my favourites, chocolate.

A photo of Italian Filled Doughnuts rolled in sugar.

Like any donut Bomboloni are best enjoyed on the day they are made.  Very rarely an issue for us, we love donuts!

A photo of Bomboloni alla Crema, Italian Cream-Filled Donuts.


A photo of Italian Cream-Filled Doughnuts, Bomboloni alla Crema displayed on a wire cooling rack.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci Fritti, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fried Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Yeast Breads & Yeast Dough

Comments (96)

96 Responses to “Bomboloni alla Crema – Krapfen {Italian Cream-Filled Donuts}”

  1. Kristina @ spabettie Says:

    these are STUNNINGLY beautiful! perfect and impressive – well done.

  2. Evan Thomas Says:

    These look incredible. They remind me of Boston Cream Donuts, except obviously more elegant. Great job!

  3. Grace Says:

    Thanks Evan!

  4. Paula @ Dishing the Divine Says:

    My husband would weep tears of joy and give me diamonds if I made these for him. I do so love diamonds. Will give these a shot!

  5. Grace Says:

    Oh Paula you are so funny!

  6. Curt Says:

    I agree, one would never be enough. Those look so nice and sugary and soft!

  7. Qt Says:

    Are you sure about the temperature of warm milk in Celsius ? Over 200° C seems to be a little too hot

  8. Grace Says:

    Thanks for catching my mistake, put the temp number in the wrong box of my calculator.

  9. Aggie Says:

    oh my goodness what I would do for one of these tonight! Looks so delicious! Your pictures always make me hungry!!

  10. Sandra Says:

    How do you not gain weight with all these amazing desserts around?

  11. Grace Says:

    Sandra because of my meds I was extremely thin for a long while and it didn’t matter what I ate I couldn’t gain an ounce, thankfully in the last year I’ve finally put on a few pounds but believe it or not not as much as I would like, I think I just have fast metabolism.

  12. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    These look like they are worth all the effort! They look better than any store-bought donut I’ve ever had.

  13. Carolyn Says:

    Incredibly gorgeous, Grace. I love my standmixer but I can understand how a light touch is needed for these!

  14. Carrie Says:

    Approximately how many does this recipe make? They look to die for…

  15. Grace Says:

    Carrie I must have been half asleep when I was posting the recipe, first I listed the milk at I think it was 200 degrees celsius and now I’ve forgotten the yield. One batch makes between 28 and 32, the kids started eating before I counted, both times.

  16. Tres Delicious Says:

    So brilliantly prepared! I love the way it’s fried. A must for me to have one of these.

  17. Memoria Says:

    WOW WOW! I must make these soon. They look amazing and challenging. I love that! What fantastic photos!

  18. Angela FRS Says:

    Those are quite beautiful. I haven’t had a real cream-filled donut in years–looks like a labor of love, but worth it!

  19. Sharanya Says:

    These look quite hard to make, but I’m up to the challenge. I think I’ll try making these this weekend :)

  20. Grace Says:

    A few steps Sharanya but really not that difficult to make, most important thing to watch out for, don’t roll out the dough too thin. I usually roll it out a bit to get it started and then pat down with my hands, this helps a great deal. Let me know ahead of time when you plan on making and I will make sure I am available to answer any questions.

  21. Kita Says:

    Oooh my don’t those look beautiful.

  22. Sharanya Says:

    Thank you so much! I will definitely let you know if I need help. :) I just realized that we don’t get bread flour here in India. Any substitute I could use?

  23. Grace Says:

    Sharanya your flour may be termed differently I know in Italy it is referred to as Manitoba Flour, you are looking for a flour that contains a little higher gluten 13% to 14% and it also contains a small amount of malted barley flour which helps the yeast work. If you can’t find anything that resembles this you can go ahead and use all-purpose flour.

  24. Elyse @The Cultural Dish Says:

    Mmmm I love these… they are so dangerous! The pastry cream on top is so cute too – love your photos!

  25. Marly Says:

    I’ve been on vacation so just now catching up and I see I’ve missed some good stuff on your site…including these bombolonis. Can I just say it? These Bombolonis…are the bomb!

  26. Roxana GreenGirl Says:

    oh my goodness Grace. These bomboloni look amazing. Love your mother saying “passion, love, touch and feel and most importantly patience makes tender dough” so so true.

  27. Julia @DimpleArts Says:

    These doughnuts look delicious! I wanted to bite right into the screen!

  28. Karly Says:

    What can I use as a substitute for vanilla beans? I can’t find them anywhere.

  29. Grace Says:

    I feel your pain Karly, Costco used to carry them for a fabulous price here in Canada 10 beans for about $11. I went the other day because I ran out and they no longer carry them. I’ve been struggling to find them too and when I do they are about $7 for 2. I think I’ve found a really good supplier on Ebay. My brother is coming in from the US in September for my niece’s wedding and I am going to ask him to check his local Costco, if they have them there I am going to ask him to buy me about 100 beans – lol. You can substitute the beans with pure vanilla extract, when making the dough add the vanilla with the eggs, and you can also use the extract in the crema, 1 teaspoon for the dough and then 1 teaspoon for the crema.

  30. Mireill Says:

    They look fabulous! I am going to give them a try today, even though i have never fried anything. Ever.
    For the vanilla beans in Canada, have you tried Bulk Barn? They usually have them by the cash, next to the saffron. I can’t remember the exact price but i think it was about 5$ for two.

  31. Grace Says:

    I’ve checked the bulk barn but not at cash, I assumed when I didn’t see them by the vanilla extract they didn’t carry them. They must keep the good stuff hidden. Will have to take a trip. I was cleaning out my baking cupboard yesterday and I found 2 hidden tubes, I couldn’t believe it, I’ve never been so excited about a baking item before – lol. hanks for the tip!

  32. Stephanie Says:

    I love this. My uncle had a pastry shop in Queens when I was a kid and this really takes me back. Beautiful photos. Thanks for adding me to your blog circle!

  33. Warren Says:

    Looks delicious!!

  34. thelittleloaf Says:

    This recipe takes me straight to italy where we used to spend every summer when I was a child. So pleased to find a recipe for crema pasticceria so I can now make my own – I love the slightly greasy crumble of sugar against smooth cream as you bite into them. Yum!

  35. Grace Says:

    I love that as well. I am so envious summers in Italy I would love that. My parents came to Canada to give us children a better life because at the time it was so difficult to get ahead, in so many ways I wish they hadn’t. I love Europe the life style everything about it.

  36. Celebrate This: Cream-filled Donut Day | Life of the Party Says:

    […]  La Mia Vita Dolce is in fact living one sweet life with blogger Grace's recipe for these pillowy, cream-filled Bomboloni. From the heart of Italia to our kitchens, these authentic pastries mix old world quality with modern class. Pair with a nice frothy cappuccino for the ultimate indulgence. […]

  37. Sailu @ Indian Recipes Says:

    I chanced upon your absolutely gorgeous website today and am hooked to it. Love how the name of those cute donuts ‘bomboloni’. Feel so blessed to be able to learn about different cultures and cuisines. :)

    Will drop by more often.

  38. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much Sallu and welcome!

  39. Paula Crofts Says:

    Hi Grace. What a pleasure to find you on the internet persuing the beautiful art of baking! I have pre-ordered your cookbook from Barnes & Noble. I hope that you have included some old family recipes. I remember that your mom and grandmother were both amazing cooks.
    Best wishes for more continued success!

  40. Grace Says:

    Hi Paula, so sorry for the late reply. I just returned from Sonoma Wine Country and my computer crashed over the weekend. I’ve borrowed my daughter’s to catch up on mail. I can’t believe you reached out this week of all weeks. Nancy Brooks and I were just talking about you wondering where you were and how you were doing. I hope things are going well would love to catch up. I hope you enjoy the book the experience has been amazing and the journey has brought back all kinds of wonderful memories. I only wish Dad was still here to share with me.

  41. Barbara | Creative Culinary Says:

    I just made a noise when I saw that first photo…one of those ‘oh my’ noises. Not a grunt, but more of a sigh. Yum…what else can I say Grace?

  42. Megan Says:

    I nearly died when I stumbled upon this recipe! I fell in love with Bomboloni when I went to Italy this last spring. My favorite pastry for breakfast at an Italian “bar” by far! I can’t wait to try out this recipe to see if I can even get close to what I had in Italy!

  43. Laura Rees Says:

    Wow is all I can say. And also I want to eat 12 of these.

  44. Paula Crofts Says:

    Hi. I’m sorry to hear about your dad. My father passed away four years ago. Please send my hellos to Nancy. I’ve thought about both of you over the years. I would love to catch up too. I’ll be in London at the end of the month. Lets all get together. Paula

  45. Grace Says:

    I would love that Paula, let me know when you’re coming in and how to reach you and I will reach out to Nancy too.

  46. cooking rookie Says:

    Gorgeous doughnuts. I could use one right now with some hot chocolate – that would be perfect… a girl can dream :-)

  47. Cheng Says:

    Just want to say thank you for posting the recipe, we absolutely love this! I have been asked to make this a few times by my son and his friends when they come over, it was even suggested that we should make this a weekend “thing” but since I make this by hand that suggestion was turned down. Thank you again.

  48. Grace Says:

    You’re very welcome Cheng, it’s a favourite here in our home too. Sounds like your weekends are like mine, a place for the boys to gather.

  49. Cheng Says:

    If the boys in your home are like mine, they all have hollow legs and are always hungry. This one batch is just for the “3” of them. They even ask if they can take it home with them. We actually tried a couple of the recipes that you have posted and they are both instant favorites, this is my son’s and the Pesche Dolci is my stepsons and his girlfriends favorite, the pesche is a little more involved so it’s been a while since I made some but I think this Thanksgiving I will.

  50. Grace Says:

    We usually save the Pesche for special occasions because they do take longer than the average cookie but definitely worth the larger ones are my downfall. I’m so happy you enjoyed. It definitely sounds like we could be talking about the same boys.

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