French Cruller Recipe

French Crullers are impossibly light and airy donuts made from pate a choux batter. The warm pastries are dunked into vanilla glaze for a sweet finish.

a hand holding a french cruller donut.

What’s the difference between a regular donut and a French Cruller?

French Crullers are made with pate a choux, the batter used to make cream puffs, eclairs, gougères and churros. 

French crullers are actually easier to make than regular donuts. There’s no kneading or rising required and the batter comes together very quickly.


ingredients for making french crullers in glass bowls.

How to make French Crullers

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

three side by side photos showing how to cook the base for pate a choux
  • Heat the water and milk with the butter. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously.
  • The dough is ready when it forms a ball that clears the sides of the pan.
two photos showing before and after eggs are added to batter for french crullers
  • Transfer the dough to a food processor, or to a large bowl. Add the eggs and whites.
  • Process until smooth. If working by hand stir vigorously until the eggs are incorporated.
  • Chill the batter.
three side by side photos showing how to pipe french crullers
  • Spray or brush the parchment paper with a film of oil and cut into 4″x4″ squres.
  • Pipe the batter onto the parchment squares. Use a 1/3″ star tip for piping.
  • The piped crullers can be frozen and defrosted before frying.
a photo showing the setup for frying french crullers. Batter, oil and draining rack lined up.
  • The setup for frying the crullers.
  • Heat the oil and have a drain rack nearby.
two photos showing how to fry french crullers
  • Use the paper to lower the batter into the oil. The paper will float away and can be removed.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Flip the crullers and brown on both sides.
three photos showing how to glaze french crullers
  • Lift the cruller out of the oil and set on a rack until cool enough to handle.
  • Dip the top into the glaze and put it back on the rack to set.

Work Ahead

The choux batter can be made and held in the refrigerator for a day before piping. The piped donuts can be frozen on the parchment squares. Defrost before frying.


French Crullers are best within a few hours of frying. They will keep at room temperature for a day. Leftovers can be frozen.

a french cruller donut on a plate.

More Donut Recipes

a hand holding half a cruller donut.

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a french cruller on a plate
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French Crullers

A French Cruller is an impossibly light donut made from traditional Pate a Choux batter.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time6 minutes
 Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 6 minutes
12 donuts
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Choux Paste

  • 4 oz water (½ cup)
  • 4 oz whole milk (½ cup)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 oz all purpose flour (1 cup, see note)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites (whisked together with eggs)
  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)


  • 4 oz confectioner’s sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 oz whole milk (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Combine 4 oz water, 4 oz whole milk, 4 oz unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon table salt and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add 5 oz all purpose flour all a once. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to vigorously stir the batter until the flour is absorbed and there are no lumps.
  • Return the pan to medium low heat and continue stirring for 3 minutes. The batter will come together and form a smooth, cohesive ball.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the batter to a food processor fitted with a blade (if mixing by hand transfer to a mixing bowl). With the processor running, add 3 large eggs and 2 egg whites in a steady stream. Mix until the batter comes together. (If mixing by hand add the eggs in three batches. After each addition, stir vigorously until the batter comes together.)
  • Transfer the batter to a clean bowl, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat 1 quart vegetable oil to 375 °F in a large heavy pot. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan and set it up near the stove.
  • Spray a sheet of parchment paper with pan spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil. Cut the parchment into 4"x4" squares.
  • Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (⅓"). Pipe a ring of batter onto each parchment square. At this point the piped crullers can be frozen to finish later. Defrost them before frying.
  • When the oil is up to temperature, place a parchment square onto a slotted spoon and lower it into the oil. After a minute, use a pair of long-handled tongs to remove the parchment square which will release from the batter as soon as it starts frying.
  • Depending on the size of the pot, you can fit 2-3 donuts in at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pot. When the first side is well browned (after 3-4 minutes) flip the cruller over and fry another 3-4 minutes on that side. As the cruller fries it will puff up and some cracks may form. Continue frying until both sides are well browned in the cracks that form. Total frying time is about 6-7 minutes.
  • Lift the cruller out of the oil with the slotted spoon and place on the rack to drain. Continue frying the remaining crullers. Monitor the temperature of the oil to keep it close to 375°F.


  • In a small bowl combine 4 oz confectioner’s sugar1 oz whole milk 1 oz whole milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to form an icing with the texture of pancake batter.
  • When the crullers are cool enough to handle but still slightly warm, dip the top of each one into the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip back into the bowl then set the cruller onto the baking rack until the glaze is set.
  • Crullers are best eaten shortly after frying.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 1donut | Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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