Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans institution and what makes them so famous is their amazing Beignets. This amazing recipe allows you to have that Big Easy Beignet any day in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Even if you have never visited New Orleans you have probably heard of Cafe du Monde and their exceptionally delicious Beignets. These fried and sweet treats are the type of food people plan vacations for, but don’t pack your bags just yet. With this easy-to-follow Beignet recipe, you can have exceptional New Orleans flavor any day of the week!
What You’ll Love About Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets
Big Easy Flavor!
It might sound like an exaggeration to say that Cafe du Monde’s Beignets are worth traveling thousands of miles for, but it's true! These sugary sweet and beautiful fried sweets are a truly unique and special dessert that everyone should experience at least once.
Fortunately, you don’t need a plane ticket or passport for these tasty treats! This recipe uses easy methods and common ingredients so you can convert your home kitchen into a Bayou bakery!
If you want to impress your family with a fun and tasty weekend recipe, these sweets are just right. They make a lovely brunch or breakfast or even a simple sweet snack. They take a little while to rise, but the actual prep and cooking portion of this recipe is face and easy to manage. It’s a wonderful way to bring the family together over something tasty this weekend!
Delicious for any Event!
Beignets are beautiful anytime and anywhere. They make a sweet and satisfying brunch but they can also be a fun and flirty party treat. Serve these beignets with fruity dipping sauces at your next soiree and everyone will be asking for your recipe.
Checking the temperature of the water for this recipe is essential. The water helps the yeast to bloom and if it is not at the correct temperature you may not get as much activity out of your yeast as you would like.
The ideal water temperature for this bake is anywhere between 105°F and 110°F.
Active Dry Yeast
Yeast is a living thing and this convenient pantry staple helps to make that loving thing last longer. Active dry yeast suspends the yeast in a dormant stage and when it is introduced to warm water it wakes back up and gets to eating! The more the yeast eats the better, because when it eats it passes gas that becomes delicious air pockets in these light and fluffy Beignets.
Granulated white sugar is one of yeast’s favorite foods. Not only does sugar feed the yeast so the dough can rise, but it also sweetens the dough so you end up with delicious Beignets.
Whole milk adds fat, texture, and creamy flavor to the recipe. If you do not have whole milk you can optionally swap this ingredient for lower fat-content milk.
The egg adds even more fattiness and binds the dough together. Beating the egg first ensures that it incorporates easily without over-developing the gluten structures in the dough.
Everything that is sweet needs a little salt. Choose fine-grain sea salt or fine-grain kosher salt for this dish.
All-purpose flour has just the right protein content and neutral flavor in this recipe. Sadly for gluten-free eaters, it is best not to substitute this ingredient because bread is a delicate thing, and changing the ratios can throw off the whole texture.
Vegetable shortening adds some richness and structure to the dough. Use a melted form of this ingredient.
The oil in this recipe is used for deep-fat frying. Cottonseed oil is a common choice in New Orleans cooking, but you can use your favorite high-smoke point cooking oil. A few great substitutions are vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil.
Powdered sugar is the signature decoration for these delicious bites. Have plenty on hand for generous dusting.
Mixing Bowls and Stirring Tools
For this recipe, you will want to use either a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to stir or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. After mixing the dough for a little while it will become workable with your hands, so you can also mix this dough by hand.
A thermometer is key to any bread-making recipe. You need to ensure that your water is at the right temperature to bloom the yeast; too cold means the yeast won’t bloom and too hot will scorch the yeast.
To calibrate your kitchen thermometer, place it in a cup of iced water. Wait for the thermometer to read. It should say 32°F, but if it does not, adjust the dial accordingly.
If you have a countertop deep fryer that’s great, but most people do not so don’t panic! Just fill an extra large pot with high sides with a few inches of water. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pot so you can monitor the oil’s temperature.
Paper Towel-Lined Cooling Rack
There is nothing worse than an overly oily or soggy Beignet. To avoid this catastrophe, take the fried treats straight from the oil to a paper towel-lined cooling rack. Place the rack on top of a baking sheet to catch the mess.
Lining a rack with paper towels instead of a plate allows the oil to drip down when there is a lot of excess so you never have to worry about a greasy Beignet!
Powdered Sugar Sifter or Strainer
The signature way to serve these crispy bites is completely coated in powdered sugar. To help make this dusting easy, grab a sifter or strainer to give the Beignets an even coating. If you have a mesh tea strainer that will also do the job very well, in a jam!
How to Make the Beignets
Mix the Beignet Dough:
- In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let the mixture bloom and become frothy.
- Add the milk, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture and whisk together.
- Mix in half of the flour.
- Mix in the shortening.
- Add the remaining flour and mix until it forms a workable dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead just until smooth. Don't over-knead or the dough will get too tough. (If using a mixer, swap out the paddle for your dough hook and knead just until the dough is smooth.)
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot to rise.
- When the dough has doubled in size it is ready to fry.
Fry the Beignets:
- Preheat the cottonseed oil in a pan or deep fryer.
- On a heavily floured surface, roll the dough out to a uniform thickness.
- Use a pizza slicer, bench scraper, or knife to cut the dough into square pieces.
- Fry a few pieces at a time in the oil.
- Immediately after dropping the dough into the oil use a large spoon to gently splash hot oil over the top of each piece.
- Flip all of the beignets occasionally over and continue to baste with the oil.
- Continue to cook the beignets until they are a deep golden brown.
- Let them drain on the paper towel-lined cooling rack.
- Be sure to allow the yeast to bloom for about 10 to 15 minutes. This gives it time to wake up and activate so you have airy Beignets!
- Be careful not to over-knead the dough or you will have tough pastries.
- Turn your oven into a proofing box by placing the dough inside and turn on only the oven light. This isolated and well-lit area has just enough warmth to encourage a speedy rise!
- Have plenty of extra flour on hand when working with this dough.
- Always check the temperature of your frying oil before dropping it. If the oil is not at the temperature it can make the bread soggy and excessively oily.
How to Serve Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets
To mimic the serving style of Cafe Du Monde, place three beignets on a plate and dust them generously with powdered sugar. Pair these treats with a hot cup of coffee or a rich hot chocolate. You can even dip these delicious Beignets in your hot chocolate for an indulgent treat!
If serving these for a crowd, stack them on a platter and surround them with fresh berries. You can also have preserves and honey on hand for anyone who wants to try dipping these sweet treats!
Another great party option is to make these beautiful Beignets part of your breakfast board. Build a board with bacon, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, toast, and of course Beignets. People will love the pick-and-mix nature of this serving style and they will go nuts for these pretty pastries!
How to Store Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets
The Beignets can be stored in an airtight, paper towel-lined container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Can Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets be Reheated?
It is not suggested. Reheating these pastries in the oven might dry them out and the microwave can make them soggy. Enjoy the Beignets while they’re still hot, but don’t despair if there are leftovers. These treats are delightful at room temperature, as well!Print
Cafe du Monde’s Beignets
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 20 beignets 1x
- ¾ cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 18 ounces (3 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
- Cottonseed oil for frying
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes and it will become foamy.
- Whisk in the milk, egg and salt. Then mix in half of the flour with a large spoon. If using a mixer, use a paddle attachment on low to medium speed.
Mix in the shortening.
- Add the remaining flour and mix with the spoon until you can use your hands, then turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead just until smooth. Don't over-knead or the dough will get too tough. If using a mixer, swap out the paddle for your dough hook and knead just until the dough is smooth.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap or a towel in a warm spot to rise for 2 hours. The dough will double in size.
- Preheat 3 to 4 inches of cottonseed oil in a pan or deep fryer to 370 degrees F.
On a heavily floured surface, roll out the dough until it is ¼-inch thick. Use a pizza slicer or knife to cut the dough into 2 ½-inch square pieces and fry 3 to 4 pieces at a time in the oil. Immediately after dropping the dough into the oil use a large spoon to gently splash hot oil over the top of each piece. after 30 to 45 seconds, flip all of the beignets over and continue to baste with the oil. After another minute or so, flip the beignets again, and continue to cook until the beignets are a deep golden brown. Continue flipping the beignets over to brown them evenly on both sides. After about 3 minutes, they should be done. Let them drain on a cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate for a minute, until you can handle them.
Serve three beignets on a plate with a very heavy dusting of powdered sugar on top.
- Serving Size: 3 beignets