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  • Writer's pictureOllie Tarrant

Homemade rhubarb doughnuts

Updated: Jan 2, 2021


I’ve been wanting to make doughnuts from scratch for a long time. Having tried some fresh ones from various different places, and seen how much better they are when they’re fresh rather than from supermarkets, I was determined to try them. The dough recipe is a fairly standard mix, but the filling is where you can get a bit more creative. I’ve tried raspberry coulis, salted caramel popcorn, lemon curd, but in the end decided to go with rhubarb for my first go. They are a bit of work, but for any doughnut connoisseurs out there, I would strongly recommend it. Also, please be aware that you will need either an oil thermometer, or a frying machine, and a piping bag with a long nozzle. there may well be ways you can do it without these, but they make it a lot easier. Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients (makes 16-20 doughnuts, depending on size):

  • 500g strong white flour

  • 7g sachet of yeast

  • 4 tbsp caster sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 250 ml whole milk

  • 50 g butter, melted

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1.5 l veg/sunflower oil, to fry

  • 400 g caster sugar, to roll

For the filling

  • 500g rhubarb

  • 300ml water

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 tbsp caster sugar

  • Zest 1/2 lemon

  • Juice 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Equipment needed:

  • Oil Thermometer

  • Piping bag with nozzle


  1. Pour the flour, yeast, salt and 4 tbsp caster sugar into a bowl, making sure the yeast is separate from the salt and sugar. Mix well to combine. Add in the milk, butter and egg, and mix together until combined. Knead for about 5 mins until you have a smooth dough. Try not to add too much more flour, as it will dry out the dough. You can use a food processor with the dough hook attachment for this stage.

  2. Once the dough has been kneaded, leave in the bowl, and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for 45 mins.

  3. To make the filling, chop up the rhubarb, and add it to a saucepan, along with all the other filling ingredients. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 20 mins, or until the rhubarb has broken down, and the sauce has reduced and become one. Leave to cool, then add the mixture to a blender (or use a hand blender), and pulse once or twice. This will make the mixture easier to pipe into the doughnuts, but will keep some of the texture.

  4. Once the dough has proved, divide it into equally sized balls, about 50g each. Lay on a floured board, and cover again with a tea towel, and leave to prove for 45 mins – 1 hour. They should rise to be just smaller than a tennis ball.

  5. Heat up your veg/sunflower oil to 175C in either a very large sauce pot, with your oil thermometer attached. Pour out the 400g caster sugar on a large baking tray.

  6. Once the oil is up to temperature, carefully add in your doughnuts to the mixture, being careful not to add more than 5 at a time (so as not to lower the temperature of the oil). They should float, with half of the doughnut submerged, and half above the oil. Cook one side for 3-4 mins, or until a dark golden brown colour, then flip the doughnut over, and repeat the process.

  7. Once both sides are cooked, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, and allow any excess oil to drain off – this is important, so as to get a crispy (rather than soggy) outside. Immediately add the hot doughnut to the tray of sugar, and roll it around until coated. Repeat this process for all the doughnuts, and allow to cool.

  8. Once all doughnuts are made, take a long metal skewer kebab stick, and poke a hole into the side of the doughnut, moving the end of the stick into the middle portion of the doughnut. Waggle it around, but be careful to not pierce all the way through. We are essentially trying to make a pocket for the rhubarb compote to go into.

  9. Add the rhubarb compote to your piping bag, and squeeze in the mixture into the doughnut. Be careful not to add too much, as when you remove the nozzle, it may well squirt out. Repeat this for all the doughnuts, and serve.


I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and will give it a go. It is a bit fiddly, and requires some equipment, but the result is immense, and I can imagine they get better with practise. If you do try these, let me know on Instagram (@OTCooks_Eats). Best of luck guys!



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