Creme Brulee Crunch Donuts



Oh mahhhh gosh.

These donuts are CRAAAAAZY good, y’all.

Despite the fact that I have never had creme brulee, I can somehow attest that these donuts totally freaking RULE.  And I’ve only never had creme brulee because I have this weird thing with custard (as in, I’m irrationally afraid of it) and also because one time a weird relative ordered it and ate it kind of grossly, so I will forever have that image scarring my mind and impairing my need to try creme brulee.  One day, hopefully with extensive therapy, I will be able to enjoy it.

Maybe that same therapy session can help me come to peace with flip-flops and porkchops, but I’m not holding my breath.

Anyhoooot, I love me some donuts and consider myself an Equal Opportunist Donut Eater/Lover.  While I’m slightly more partial to cake donuts (blueberry are my favorite!) I would never turn my nose up at a maple bar, a crueller, or a fritter of any kind.  Creme filled aren’t my super-fave, but even those have a special place in my heart.

We used to have a donut shop by our old house and my grandma would take us there frequently to get some breakfast before school.  While my brother went crazy over the donut holes (overrated), I would go bonkers for CRUMB donuts.  They were SO awesome.  That mysterious crumb — was it struesel? coconut? magic? — was absolutely intoxicating.  It lent the already puffy cake donut an extra je ne sais quoi –that little crunch that cake donuts sometimes lack.  I love(d) them so much that they–along with the good ol’ standby chocolate–were my lunch on the daily in high school.

DSC_1475ABut dooooood, when I searched for crumb donuts on the webiverse, I was none too pleased with the results.  Most of it resulted in dipping the donuts into the crumb prior to being baked which didn’t sound authentic.  And others didn’t have the right idea of “crumb” going on.  Was I going to invent the modern, homemade crumb donut to everyone?  Probably not.  But ermahgerdddd, these crumb crunch donuts are BAWWWWWMB.  And the crumb of my eye.

Puhhhleeease make them.  And then therapize me so I can eat creme brulee for realsies.


*slightly adapted from my Coffee Caramel Buzz Donuts recipe  

5.0 from 2 reviews
Creme Brulee Crunch Donuts
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
One of my favorite recipes to date! These crunchy, sweet donuts are INCREDIBLE.
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (can use full-fat or Greek)
  • ½ cup creme brulee coffee creamer (liquid)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease a 6-cavity donut pan with cooking spray; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until blended. Add in the egg, vanilla, and yogurt to combine.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the salt, spices, powder, soda and flour. Alternately add in the flour (about 1 cup) and the creme brulee coffee creamer to the butter mixture until the batter comes together; it will be thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into a gallon-sized Ziploc; seal out the air and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe the batter about ⅔ full.
  4. In a small bowl, cut together the crumb ingredients until small clumps form. Sprinkle a little of the crumb mixture on top of the batter in each cavity.
  5. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until the donuts are set. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan, about 5 minutes, before turning over to a wire rack. Allow the donuts to continue to cool completely before serving. Makes about 10 donuts.

DSC_1485APretty please promise me you’ll make these?  They’re INCREDIBLE.  The crumb caramelizes in the oven, creating these little crispy pockets of brown sugary goodness, very similar to the irresistible crust on a creme brulee.  Liiiike, words. cannot. describe.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Hayley, Years ago I was asked to create cake donut recipes for a local restaurant. My apartment building smelled of oil and donuts (80 kinds) for a 2 week period. The fact that your donuts are baked sounds so much more healthy. Yes, I believe that donuts are healthy. By the way, I love creme brulee! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I can hardly wait to try them. First I need a donut pan. What kind do you recommend? I really wish that I could just reach my hand through the screen and grab one of your donuts, as the photos look delicious!

  2. Whoa!! Crazy, but crazy good!! Oh my gosh! Love these!

  3. Let’s talk donut pans. I need one!
    Also == Crumb? Suuuuuper important!
    My dad always took us for donuts when I was little. Chocolate frosting and peanuts on a cake donut is almost like having a hot fudge sundae for breakfast! And I promise I’ll try these. P.R.O.M.I.S.E.

  4. Yes. Please. Get in my face.

    I’ve never had creme brulee either. It’s like…warm pudding? No.

  5. These look great. I sure wish I had one or two right now. *SWOONS*.

    Totally into the fear of flip flops too.

  6. Holy crap – this is AH-MAZING! Can you send over a dozen please, because 11 just won’t cut it.

  7. WOW! These look incredible! I bet they even taste better….yummy!

  8. I might just have to go buy a donut pan JUST for these donuts!

  9. Oh my god is right! These are amazing!!!

  10. What are the odds that I was craving donuts tonight and then flitting about WordPress and BAM! There you are. Thank you!


  12. I love the fact that these are baked! I’m always intimidated by hot oil, so my doughnut repertoire is pretty sparse. These look totally delicious!

    Oh, and you have to get your hands on some creme brulee! It is like a sweet, creamy, crunchy dream dessert 🙂

  13. I’ve also never eaten creme brulee, and now I don’t think I have to – I can just inhale these donuts and call it even. DUDE Hayley these are perfection!

  14. These are so genius! I adore creme brulee for as a crunch donut, I seriously must try this!

  15. These do sound amazing! I love making donuts but I love eating them more! 🙂

  16. These donuts look AMAZING! I’m a huge fan of custard, but crème brulee can be super hit or miss — sometimes it has a weird watery texture. Blech. When done right, it’s AMAZING though.

  17. These look insane!!! Yum! Also. Love the new look of the site!

  18. asklfj!akdd#ksdji$! I’ve lost the ability to talk – these donuts look fanfreakingtastic! Bless you for creating the perfect donut crumb. I want, I need, I have to have these!

  19. Donuts like these need to end up in my DF series Im thinking… and although I can imagine how scarring that image is lol, you need to have creme brulee one day soon! It is supah good!! 😉

  20. These look seriously delicious! Donuts never looked this good!!!

  21. Mmm these look gorgeous I’m thinking I need to by myself a donut pan, also you’re blog layout is looking rather snazzy 😀

  22. I love these, especially that crumb topping!

  23. Hello, happiness 🙂

  24. This looks amazing. My son n I were abt to make them when we realized we don’t have a donut pan. All suggestions are welcome. We are very excited abt making these!!! Thanks!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Ivy! Unfortunately, without a donut pan these babies would be pretty hard to make as actual round donuts. However, you could always drop the batter into greased muffin cups and bake them like donut muffins — easy peasy and it’ll have the same flavor and texture, just in a muffin shape 🙂

  25. Thanks Hayley! We actually did in a muffin pan and although they didn’t turned out crunchier they were tasty. It took a little longer to bake abt. 16-17 min. We are getting a donut pan and will,try them again. A question for you, do you add sugar after baking them? thanks again for sharing 🙂 Have a great day!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Ivy! So glad to hear they were just as tasty! And I’m sorry–I neglected to mention a slightly longer baking time with the muffins, eek! Glad you’re a smarty and figured it out–sorry!! As far as the sugar goes, I’m a more is more kinda sugar girl, so I added a little extra after they were done baking to give it a little extra crunch, but it’s up to you! You can either roll the still warmish/hot donuts/muffins in sugar, or dunk them in butter and roll them in sugar 🙂

  26. How useless to have recipe pages that block a person from saving them with the photos. I won’t be back.


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