Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts

5 from 2 votes
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Soft and fluffy Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts are the best morning breakfast treat! Stuffed with vanilla-infused pastry cream and topped with a generous dip in bittersweet chocolate glaze, this gluten-free donut recipe will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth. Plus, they are made easy in the air fryer!

Gluten-free bismark donuts are shown together with chocolate glaze and pastry cream.

Easy Gluten Free Bismark Donuts

Pour me a cup of piping hot coffee and hand me a gluten-free donut and you’ll make my morning. is there anything better than a fresh donut, preferably gluten-free? I’ll take one at any time of the day! These gluten-free Bismark donuts hit all my requirements: they’re soft and fluffy, filled with the most luscious vanilla-scented cream, and slicked with a shimmering chocolate glaze. Yes, please.

You’ll need to make three components to this recipe but it’s not difficult to put together. The donuts are cooked in the air fryer, which helps them to turn out extra light and never oily.

I love any kind of donut but filled donuts have a special place in my heart. You can take this recipe and adapt it to your personal preferences – add raspberry jam, try vanilla icing, or anything else you can think of. Keep this gluten-free donuts recipe in your recipe arsenal and make it when donut cravings strike.

A close-up of a cut-open, chocolate-glazed donut filled with cream.

Why You’ll Love This Gluten-Free Donuts Recipe

Donuts are one of my not-so-guilty pleasures, and I’m excited to share this one with you. Here are a few reasons why I love these gluten-free Bismark donuts:

  • It’s easy. It actually is very easy to make this recipe despite the long-ish instructions list. You can keep the gluten-free donut dough in the freezer until you want to use it, or make it in advance and keep it in the fridge for a few days. And the pastry cream filling and chocolate glaze recipes are neither complicated nor overly time-consuming to make.
  • The air fryer. Yes, I love using the air fryer for making dinner and also dessert. I especially like making donuts in the air fryer because it eliminates the whole deep frying aspect to making donuts that can be so messy. These air fried donuts turn out light and not at all greasy every time.
  • Adaptable. As you’ll learn below, the name “Bismark donut” refers to any kind of filled donut. So you can riff on this recipe and make jelly donuts, maple cream-filled donuts, Nutella-filled donuts … the possibilities are endless.
  • Gluten-free. I truly love it when I can make gluten-free versions of my favorite recipes, and this gluten-free donut recipe is no exception. I think it’s hard to tell these are gluten-free donuts and you may not even need to mention it.

What is a Bismark Donut?

A Bismark donut, also called a Bismark, is a filled donut. Yes, that’s it! A Bismark donut can be filled with pastry cream or jelly, topped with a glaze, served plain, or dusted with sparkling sugar. The name Bismark just refers to any donut that’s been filled with something sweet before it’s deep-fried. The donut is of German, specifically Berlin, origin dating back to the 1800s.

So what’s the difference between a Bismark donut and a Boston cream donut (these are inspired by the classic dessert cake called a Boston cream pie), a pastry-cream-filled donut that’s slicked with a bittersweet chocolate glaze? In essence, they are the same. Since a Bismark donut refers to a broader category of filled donuts, a Boston cream pie donut is simply a type of Bismark donut.

Gluten-free bismark donuts are shown together with chocolate glaze and pastry cream.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you’ll need to make these gluten-free Bismark donuts. Don’t forgot to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.

Ingredients needed to make gluten-free donuts are shown, including  eggs, yeast and butter.

Bavarian Cream

  • Milk: You can use whole milk or 2% milk in this recipe.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: Vanilla bean paste gives a deep vanilla note to the cream, but if you don’t have the paste you could use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
  • Sugar
  • Salt: Use fine table or sea salt in this recipe rather than Kosher salt.
  • Eggs
  • Heavy Cream: In a pinch, you could substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream although your end result won’t be quite as rich.
  • Powdered Sugar

Chocolate Glaze

  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips: Chocolate labeled bittersweet may also be used.
  • Heavy Cream: Again, you can swap in half-and-half for the heavy cream if needed.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted butter will work here.
  • Corn Syrup: Using corn syrup rather than granulated sugar will produce a smoother glaze.

How to Make Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts

Follow along with my method below to make gluten-free Bismark donuts. Have everything prepared in advance so you can get these in the air fryer quickly and have wonderful, warm donuts in minutes.

To Prepare the Bavarian Cream

  • Heat the milk and vanilla. Combine milk and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until just simmering, about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt. While the milk is cooking, add eggs, sugar and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Temper the eggs. Once the milk has cooked, pour a small amount of hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking to avoid cooking the eggs.
  • Add in the milk to the eggs. Continue to add the milk a little at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Place the mixture back on the stove. Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan.
  • Cook the egg mixture. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, taking care to place the plastic directly on the surface of the custard so no skin can form.
  • Make an ice bath. Fill a second large bowl with ice and cold water.
  • Cool the custard. Transfer the bowl of custard into the water bath to cool for 30 minutes prior to refrigerating.
  • Refrigerate the custard. Place the custard in the fridge and chill for about 2 hours until cooled.
  • Then, make the whipped cream. Combine the cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  • Combine the custard and whipped cream. Add the chilled custard to the whipped cream and whisk on medium speed until evenly mixed.
  • Chill the mixture. Chill in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

Prepare the Donuts

  • Make the donut dough according to the recipe directions. Prepare the donut dough as indicated in the recipe.
  • Form the donuts. Divide the doughnut dough into 12 equal pieces and gently form them into a ball about 2½ inches in diameter. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and set aside in a warm place to proof.
  • Heat the air fryer. Once the donut dough has proofed, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the donuts. Place 4-6 donuts inside of the air fryer, leaving a little space between them. Brush the tops with melted butter. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool the donuts. Remove the donuts from the air fryer and let them cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Make holes in the donuts for filling. Poke a hole in the center using a chopstick, straw or knife.
  • Pipe the cream filling into the donuts. Transfer the bavarian cream to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the hole in the donut and squeeze in the filling just until it starts to come out of the top.

For the Glaze

  • Prepare the chocolate. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl that is wide enough to fit a donut.
  • Melt the chocolate. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for about a minute. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the butter and corn syrup. Add the butter and corn syrup to the chocolate chips. Whisk it all together until smooth.
  • Glaze the donuts. Dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate one at a time. Gently shake the chocolate to let any excess drip back into the bowl. Set aside on a cooling rack to allow the chocolate to dry.

Tips for Success

The more I make donuts the more comfortable I am working with the dough and the method. I hope you’ll feel like you can also make great gluten-free donuts! Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use fresh yeast. Use a fresh yeast package when making the donut dough. If the yeast is old, your donut dough won’t rise enough, and the finished donuts won’t be puffy and light. Make sure to check the expiration date on the package before you start and if it’s expired, toss it and use a new one.
  • Proof the dough properly. It’s also important to let the dough rise long enough in a warm place, so be sure to save plenty of time to let it proof. You can check on the dough about halfway through the proofing process and if it seems like it’s not rising well, you can move it to a warmer spot in your kitchen to help it rise fully.
  • Dip the donuts in the glaze while it’s still warm. This may sound obvious, but you want the glaze to be nice and warm so the chocolate is smooth for dipping in the donuts. If you see that the glaze is slightly firming up, you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up.
  • Keep it simple. To try another kind of Bismark donut, substitute your favorite jam for the pastry cream. Skip the chocolate glaze and dust the donuts with granulated or powdered sugar for a sweet finish.
Gluten-free donuts filled with cream are shown on a wire rack.

How to Store Homemade Donuts

Like most donuts, gluten-free Bismark donuts taste the best on the day they’re made. But if you want to keep any leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring the donuts to room temperature before serving.

Gluten-free bismark donuts are shown together with chocolate glaze and pastry cream.

Things You’ll Need

  • AIR FRYER: I use the Cosori 5.8 Qt air fryer for donuts, veggies, and so many other things.
  • STAND MIXER: Definitely a worthwhile investment for making gluten free doughs that have to be mixed for a while.
  • PIPING BAGS: You’ll need them for filling the donuts.
  • COOLING RACKS: These will come in handy for multiple steps of this recipe and so much more.
Gluten-free bismark donuts are shown together with chocolate glaze and pastry cream.
5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts

Soft and fluffy Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts are the best morning treat! Stuffed with vanilla-infused pastry cream and topped with a generous swipe of bittersweet chocolate glaze, this gluten-free donut recipe will satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Chilling and Proof Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 donuts

Ingredients

Bavarian Cream

  • 1 cup/240 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ cup/50 grams sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup/300 ml heavy cream, cold
  • ¼ cup/30 grams powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze

  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup

Instructions

To Prepare the Bavarian Cream

  • Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until just simmering, about 10 minutes.
  • While the milk is cooking, add eggs, sugar and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Once the milk has cooked, pour a small amount of hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking to avoid cooking the eggs.
  • Continue to add the milk a little at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken (about 5 minutes)
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, taking care to place the plastic directly on the surface of the custard so no skin can form.
  • Prepare a second large bowl with ice and cold water.
  • Transfer the bowl of custard into the water bath to cool for 30 minutes prior to refrigerating.
  • Refrigerate the custard for about 2 hours until cooled.
  • After refrigeration, prepare the whipping cream. Combine the cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chilled custard to the whipped cream and whisk on medium speed until evenly mixed.
  • Chill in a covered container until ready to use.

To Prepare the Donuts

  • Prepare the donut dough as indicated in the recipe.
  • Divide the doughnut dough into 12 equal pieces and gently form them into a ball about 2½ inches in diameter. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and set aside in a warm place to proof.
  • Once proofed, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Place 4-6 donuts inside of the air fryer, leaving a little space between them. Brush the tops with melted butter. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove the donuts from the air fryer and let them cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Poke a hole in the center using a chopstick, straw or knife.
  • Transfer the bavarian cream to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the hole in the donut and squeeze in the filling just until it starts to come out of the top.

For the Glaze

  • Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl that is wide enough to fit the donut.
  • Heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter and corn syrup to the chocolate chips. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate one at a time. Gently shake the chocolate to let any excess drip back into the bowl. Set aside on a cooling rack to allow the chocolate to dry.

Notes

Store leftover donuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Note: This Bavarian cream doesn’t have a stabilizer, so it is only suitable for filling pastry.
Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Bismark Donuts
Amount Per Serving (1 donut)
Calories 94 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Trans Fat 0.05g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 65mg2%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 173IU3%
Vitamin C 0.03mg0%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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