New Orleans Beignets Recipe

New Orleans beignets are a beloved treat that holds a special place in the heart of Louisiana. These light and fluffy fried doughnuts are a quintessential part of New Orleans cuisine, with a history as rich and flavorful as the beignets themselves.


To make authentic New Orleans beignets, you will need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating the perfect beignet, from the yeast that helps the dough rise to the evaporated milk that adds richness and flavor.


  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Add beaten eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and evaporated milk to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Gradually add flour, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and roll it out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares or rectangles.
  8. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Fry the beignets in batches for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove the beignets from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  11. Dust the warm beignets with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally, New Orleans beignets are served hot and fresh, dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar. They pair perfectly with a cup of café au lait or hot chocolate. For a unique twist, try serving beignets with a side of fruit compote or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

History and Culture

Beignets have been a part of New Orleans cuisine since the city’s founding in the early 18th century. The French-inspired pastry quickly became a favorite among locals and visitors alike, with iconic establishments like Café du Monde serving up these delightful treats around the clock.


While the classic beignet recipe remains a favorite, there are several variations to explore. Some recipes call for the addition of spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, while others incorporate ingredients like chocolate or fruit into the dough. Regional variations also exist, with some areas of Louisiana offering savory beignets filled with seafood or meat.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil stays at the correct temperature for frying.
  • Don’t overcrowd the fryer or pot, as this can lower the oil temperature and result in soggy beignets.
  • For a lighter texture, let the dough rise for the full 2 hours.
  • Dust the beignets with powdered sugar while they’re still warm to help the sugar stick.

Health Considerations

While beignets are undeniably delicious, they are also high in calories and fat due to being deep-fried. To make a healthier version, you can try baking the beignets instead of frying them or using a lighter dough recipe.


New Orleans beignets are more than just a sweet treat; they’re a symbol of the rich culinary heritage of Louisiana. Whether enjoyed at a bustling café in the French Quarter or made at home, these light and airy pastries are sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the heart of New Orleans.


What is the best oil for frying beignets? The best oil for frying beignets is one with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil.

Can I make the dough ahead of time? Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before frying.

How long do beignets stay fresh? Beignets are best enjoyed fresh, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Reheat them in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

Can I freeze beignet dough? Yes, you can freeze beignet dough. Simply shape the dough into squares or rectangles, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the dough pieces to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To fry, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and proceed with the recipe as directed.

What is the history of Café du Monde? Café du Monde is a famous café in New Orleans that has been serving beignets and coffee since 1862. It is located in the French Quarter and is known for its open-air patio and iconic green and white striped awnings.

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