Bomboloni – Italian Donuts

Bomboloni – Italian Donuts Recipe

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YUM is the first thing that shoots into my head, just by looking at this picture!

I love my Bomboloni – They’re soft, airy, super easy to make and NOT fried! This is probably the fact I love most.

The dough is prepared really quick, you can either do that in the morning and bake it noon or simply do it the night before.

It’s also really easy to work with the dough, you won’t have any problems.

They get filled right after baking, as soon as you can touch them. For the filling you can be totally creative. Now for Christmas time I love to fill them with some eggnog cream (eggnog = instant vanilla pudding powder), then after Christmas with jam or chocolate spread.

How to Make the Bomboloni

We will need:

  • ¼ cup sugar (divided)
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ⅔ cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Jam, chocolate spread, eggnog cream etc. for filling


Mix the milk, yeast, two tablespoons of sugar, and two tablespoons of flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow this mixture to sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes slightly frothy.

Next, incorporate the rest of the sugar, egg yolks, butter, the remaining flour, and orange zest if using. Knead this mixture thoroughly for about 8 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a round ball, cover it with a cloth, and let it rise in a warm place. You can leave it for 2 hours or even overnight to fully develop the flavors and texture.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface and roll it into a log. Cut this log into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a neat ball.

Arrange these dough balls on a parchment-lined baking tray. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them proof for another 40 minutes.

While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 395 F.

Bake the bomboloni for 15 minutes or until they’re beautifully golden.

Remove from the oven, and while they’re still warm, brush them lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Let them cool slightly before piping in your favorite fillings like jam, chocolate spread, or creamy eggnog.


How can I ensure that the yeast activates properly for the Bomboloni dough?

Firstly, ensure the milk is warm but not too hot; it should be about 105°F to 115°F. Mix the yeast with warm milk, a little flour, and some sugar as instructed. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes. If it becomes frothy and bubbly, the yeast is active and ready for use. Otherwise, you may need to start over with a new yeast packet to guarantee a successful dough rise.

What are some suitable fillings for Bomboloni?

Traditionally, Bomboloni are filled with rich creams and jams. Popular choices include strawberry or apricot jam, chocolate spread, and eggnog cream. Essentially, any thick, creamy filling works well, so feel free to experiment with flavors like vanilla pastry cream or even nutella to find your favorite combination.

Is it necessary to include orange zest in the Bomboloni dough, and what does it add?

Adding orange zest to your Bomboloni dough is optional but recommended. The zest imparts a subtle citrus flavor that complements the sweet fillings and enhances the overall flavor profile of the doughnuts. However, if you prefer a more traditional taste, you can omit the orange zest.

How long should Bomboloni be kneaded, and why is this step important?

The dough should be kneaded for about 8 minutes. Kneading is crucial as it develops the gluten in the flour, giving the Bomboloni a light, airy texture. Proper kneading ensures that the doughnuts are soft and fluffy rather than dense and heavy.

What is the best way to store Bomboloni if they are not eaten immediately?

Bomboloni are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored for later use. Place them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, refrigerate them for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly in a microwave or oven before serving to recapture their fresh-baked warmth and texture.

Bomboloni – Italian Donuts Recipe

Bomboloni – Italian Donuts

Learn how to bake Bomboloni, the Italian donuts with a twist of orange zest, perfect for a sweet indulgence or a festive treat!
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12


  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
  • cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar divided
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp orange zest optional
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Jam, chocolate spread, eggnog cream etc. for filling


  • In a large bowl combine milk, yeast, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Let rest for 10 minutes
  • Add remaining sugar, egg yolks, butter, flour and orange zest
  • Knead for 8 minutes!
  • Bring into a ball shape, cover the bowl and let rest for 2 hours or over night
  • Now form the dough into a roll and cut off 12 evenly sized pieces
  • Form each piece into a ball like shape
  • Place balls on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let rest covered with a dish towel for 40 minutes
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 395 F
  • Bake Bomboloni for 15 minutes
  • Right after baking gently brush the Bomboloni with some melted butter and dust them with sugar or powdered sugar
  • Once they are cooled down a little you might want to fill them with jam or pudding!
Keyword Donuts

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