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Italian Bombolini

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Bombolini are little, perfectly sized Italian donuts (or doughnuts) that are very easy to prepare at home. I use a different method than most other recipes. First, I use the double rise method. It produces a finer crumb, less air holes and a better flavor because of the extended fermentation. Second, I roll the bombolini out into little balls as opposed to stamping them out with a cutter. This allows me to utilize all the prepared dough with zero waste.

There’s a few additional steps in my bombolini recipe, but the payoff is well worth it. Give it try and feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts on the recipe!


Milk130g (.5 cup)
Dry Yeast4g (1 tsp.)
Whole Eggs1 each
Egg Yolk1 each
Lemon Zestfrom 1 lemon
Kosher Salt5g (.5 tsp)
AP Flour285g (2 Cups)
Frying Oilas needed
Sugar #2400g (2 cups)
Cinnamon, ground1 tsp. (2.5g)
Sugar100 grams (1/2 cup)
Vanilla Bean1 each
Milk #11 1/2 Cup (12 fl. oz.)
Cornstarch33 grams (1/4 cup)
Egg Yolks3 each
Milk #21/2 Cup (4 fl. oz.)
Cold Butter, unsalted14 grams (1 tbsp)


Start by making the Bombolini dough. Add lukewarm milk to a mixing bowl and sprinkle your yeast on top. In 4 to 5 minutes little bubbles will start to form on the surface. Once this happens add your eggs, lemon zest, sugar, salt, flour and butter.

Knead the ingredients for 10 minutes or until they form a smooth, tacky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If your dough is too wet, add flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it is the proper consistency.

Turn your bombolini dough onto a flat surface. Use both hands to work it into a nice compact ball. Unlike other baked goods, keep your work surface dry and flour free. In this situation the tackiness of the dough is going to help you with this step.

Once you formed a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl covered with plastic film. Let the dough rest for an hour to an hour and a half or until it’s doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, go ahead and make the vanilla pastry cream. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the paste out of it. If you prefer to use vanilla extract, substitute 2 teaspoons per vanilla bean.

Add milk and sugar to a pot, then bring the mixture to just below a simmer over medium-high heat. While the milk is heating up, grab a small bowl and whisk together the cornstarch, egg yolks and a little bit of milk to form a slurry. This thickens up the pastry cream and bring it to the proper consistency.

Once the milk is hot, whisk in the slurry and drop the heat to low. Continue to whisk until the pastry cream is the consistency of pudding. If you desire a richer tasting pastry cream whisk in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to this recipe.

Pro Tip: Do not let your pastry cream come to a vigorous boil.  The yolks will curdle and you’ll to left with a lumpy pastry cream.

When the pastry cream has thickened, transfer it to a bowl. Place plastic film over the surface to keep the cream from forming a skin. Place your it in the refrigerator until the pastry cream is completely chilled.

Take the total weight of your dough and divide by twelve.  You’ll yield one dozen perfectly sized bombolini without leftover dough. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut chunks of dough equal to the calculated weight. Work it in a circular motion between the flat work surface and the palm of your hand until a compact ball is formed.

Place each bombolini on a parchment paper lined and flowered sheet tray, then cover them with plastic film. Let the dough rise again until doubled in size.

Place the frying oil into an appropriately size pot and heat it to 350 degrees. Once your little donuts have double in size add them one-by-one to the hot oil. Do not crowd the pot. Fry the bombolini in manageable batches.

Remove the donuts from the oil when they a golden brown in color.  Place them on a baking rack to cool slightly. The total cook time for your donuts is about 4 minutes.

The next step is to dust the bombolini with some cinnamon and sugar. It’s best to do this while they’re still hot because the mixture will stick to the outside of the donuts better.

Finally, fill each bombolino with the chilled vanilla pastry cream. The easiest way to do this is to place the cream in a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Make a small hole on the side of each donut and inject a tablespoon of the pastry cream into each donut.

Of course, these delightful confections are best enjoyed while warm, but you could prepare them about 12 hours in advance.


  1. Jess says:

    Wooooow!! I will try to do this recipe this month! and if you don’t mind, I will try to published in my website, of course saying it’s yours!

    Have a great day and happy new year!

  2. Amin says:

    I don’t see the ingredients list for the pastry cream.

  3. Hazel Eubank says:

    Can you please convert to American cooking measurement. Thanks

  4. Maria Bertone says:

    Hello Tim,

    I have a bone to pick with you!! Tried your bomboloni recipe – heavenly but completely irresistible!! Not good at all for my waistline. I let my husband think I am making them for him but, well secretly it eases my conscience somewhat to believe this.

    I followed your recipe and fried them but the second time I made them, I baked them which I would say I prefer both for taste and ease – love throwing something in the oven and freeing myself for other things. Would say they also kept better. Anyway, wanted to say thanks for the recipe and the great accompanying video.

    Kind regards,


  5. El says:

    I liked your YouTube video so I came here to check the receipt out to make this. but here the information is very unclear and ingredients weren’t even categorized so I had to go back and forth between here and YouTube to follow a simple receipt. It was very hectic and chaotic for an audience who just try a new recipe. This website certainly is lacking many little details you had on your YouTube channel. I dunno if I would like to try your recipe again.

  6. Linda says:

    I wish you would have talked slower and put ingredients in writing as you entered them into your bowls. Your bombolini look wonderful and I am sure are delicious. I hope I can replicate.

  7. Your Bombolini recipe omitted the ingredients amount for the cream. Cornstarch and amount omitted.

  8. Lauren baxa says:

    Does ap stand for all purpose flour?

  9. mystery says:

    how many eggs do i use bro? i dont understand wat “1 each” means!! hurry!! I need to make this for my classs its due at the end of the hour!!!!!!!!

  10. Ilham says:

    These were absolutely amazing!! They were a huge hit. Although I took too long to stuff them and I couldn’t stuff them all the way :P. Ended up just eating the custard on the side haha, was still amazing anyways. I was a bit hesitant to do this because I’ve never made doughnuts, let alone Bambolinis before; however this is a fool proof recipe for sure, so don’t let intimidate you !!!

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  12. nyital27 says:

    Do you use unsalted butter for the dough also?

  13. leonidas stavaris says:

    you said we are frying in 350 degrees….What degrees celsious kelvin …. ?

  14. Maybel says:

    How do i know when to stop kneading?manual kneading

  15. Mona ElShazly says:

    The bombolini was amazing and the dough was perfect, filled it with Nutella though and they were savoured within a minute ? want to share a picture but cant upload it!

  16. Sam says:

    Does it matter what type of oil you use for the frying? I assume it would be Canola oil, but I just want to double-check. Thank you!

  17. Icha says:

    Hi, i like to try this recipe, anyway what do you meant by this?

    “you could prepare them about 12 hours in advance”

    Can we prepare the dough in advance, where should I keep it? Refrige or freezer?

    Thank in advance ?

    • tbereika says:

      If you prepare the dough in advance, keep in bulk and stored in the refrigerator. You can also make the donuts 12 hours in advance and fill them just before serving. They’re always better fresh though.