Traditional New Orleans Beignets Recipe

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Please read our privacy policy here.

These New Orleans beignets are so soft, pillowy and light! An authentic take on the classic southern fritters. They are easy to make and will not disappoint! A little, fried pastry that is covered in powdered sugar and perfect for brunch, served with our New Orleans iced coffee.

Ever since our trip to New Orleans, I’ve been dreaming about the deep fried, fluffy, piled-high-with-sugar beignets recipe at the legendary Café Du Monde.

The historical French Market has been serving up delicious French-style beignets and coffee since 1862. Traditional New Orleans Beignets are the only food they serve, so they definitely do it right. And the place is almost always packed.

beignets recipe

Since we live about 1,900 miles from New Orleans, I figured I’d try a few recipes out so I can make them from scratch at home.

They’re really not that difficult to make, but we’ll keep them as special treats for holidays or birthday requests. And the pile of powdered sugar makes them pretty charming and delicious!!

If you’re looking for a super-easy way to make these beignets, check out our store-bought dough version in the video below. Personally, we love our homemade ones but they do take longer and you can make a version using pre-made dough.

Where Do Beignets Come From?

The word beignet (pronounced ben-YAY) comes from the early Celtic word being meaning “to raise.”  It is also French for “fritter.” Beignets have been associated with Mardi Gras in France since at least the 16th century, and many recipes for beignets appear in French works around the same time.

How To Make New Orleans Beignets

Ingredients

  • Active Dry Yeast – Helps leaven the beignets and provide an airy, light texture.
  • Warm Water – Activates the yeast.
  • White Sugar – Sweetens the beignets.
  • Salt – Enhances the flavors in the recipe.
  • Eggs – Used to stablize the recipe.
  • Evaporated Milk – About 60% of the water is removed from the milk to create a shelf-stable evaporated milk. 
  • Shortening – A solid vegetable fat.
  • Vegetable Oil – Used to fry the beignets.
  • Confectioners Sugar – A sweet, powdered like sugar that is sprinkled all over the top of the beignets for added sweetness.
making dough for homemade beignets

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast and stir. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a standalone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, and salt and beat until combined.
  • With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.
  • Then add in 3 cups of the bread flour and mix on low.
  • Add the shortening in and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3 1/2 cups of bread flour. DON’T over mix!
  • Knead the dough until smooth (it shouldn’t be stiff). Then place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Set the bowl in a warm area and let it rise for 2 hours.
cutting dough with a pizza cutter
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Then slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Or you can be like me and just wait until it’s pretty hot.
  • Then place a few dough squares in the hot oil and watch the magic happen! Turn them so they don’t burn on one side.
  • When you remove them, dust with a light layer of powdered sugar, until all of them are done, then pile powdered sugar on top.
frying beignets in hot oil

Tips For Making New Orleans Beignets

  • Beignets are best prepared right before consumption and served warm.
  • Beignets are best served fresh, but you can fry them 2 hours ahead of time and reheat.
  • Don’t skimp on the powdered sugar.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut up the dough, it really saves time.
golden brown beignets in hot oil

What Is A New Orleans Beignet?

Traditional French beignets are part of the French choux pastry family, which are raised in steam and have a hollow center. This method gives French beignets a light and pillowy texture.

New Orleans beignets vary from the traditional French choux pastry beignet because they’re raised with yeast instead of steam.

They are fried, raised pieces of yeast dough, usually about 2 inches in diameter or 2 inches square. However, New Orleans’s beignets are still an utterly delicious and extremely popular form of fried dough!

What is the difference between a donut and a beignet?

Beignets are small, fried pastries that are shaped as a square or a rectangle. They are airy and light inside and are covered in powdered sugar. They’re also made with yeast dough, which gives them a distinct flavor. The difference between a beignet and a donut is the active ingredients, the shape, and the texture. 

What do beignets taste like?

They have a similar taste to a donut and funnel cake. However, the texture of a beignet is much more airy and soft. They are sweetened with powdered sugar and the dough is not as sweet as a donut.  

the best recipe for homemade beignets

What To Drink With a Beignet

For brunch pair them with a classis French 75 or Prosecco Mimosa.

To balance out the sugar, try drinking coffee with chicory, which offers the perfect amount of bitterness, in addition to some extra New Orleans authenticity. 

Here are some more drinks and cocktails you can serve with beignets:

Try our great cocktail recipes our favorite brunch recipes, the best-mixed drinkstequila cocktails, gin cocktails, vodka cocktails, and cheap drinks to make at home!

When to Serve Beignets

Enjoy these fried pastries as a weekend breakfast or make them for any of these special occasions:

Garden Party 

Mother’s Day Brunch

Easter Brunch

Fall Harvest Party

Baby or Bridal Shower

Check Out These Delicious Homemade Recipes

If you love these, then you must check out these recipes!

Homemade White Chocolate Matcha Donuts

Homemade Pumpkin Filled Donut Holes

How to Make the Best Waffle Bar

Chocolate Chip Biscuit Smore’s

The Best Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Fried Cherry Pies

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

New Orleans Styles Beignets

If you try this New Orleans Beignets recipe, then please rate it and let us know how it turned out in the comments below! We’ve been making them for years and would love to know your thoughts.

You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes and entertaining ideas!

Traditional New Orleans Beignets Recipe

You will love this traditional recipe for beignets!
4.23 from 36 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 2 hours
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 beignets
Calories: 404kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a standalone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk and salt and beat until combined.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.
  • Then add in 3 cups of the bread flour and mix on low.
  • Add the shortening in and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour. DON’T over mix!
  • Knead the dough until smooth (it shouldn’t be stiff). Then place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Set the bowl in a warm area and let it rise for 2 hours.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Then slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Or you can be like me and just wait until it’s pretty hot ; )
  • Then place a few dough squares in the hot oil and watch the magic happen! Turn them so they don’t burn on one side.
  • When you remove them, dust with a light layer of powdered sugar, until all of them are done, then pile powdered sugar on top! And don’t be shy!!

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @sugarandcharm or tag us #sugarandcharm!

Related Posts

Stay up to Date

Join our Newsletter to Keep up on Latest

33 thoughts on “Traditional New Orleans Beignets Recipe”

    • Hi Lisa – Not sure if that would work, we didn’t try it. However it might change the outcome of them since the dough should be room temp.

      Reply
  1. 5 stars
    These were amazing! Our dough made about 40 beignets… which was a little more than expected for our family of four. Really great taste! Definitely a keeper recipe for our book! 🙂

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome! I made this the other day and the end result was so delicious it was worth it! My kids enjoyed the beignets and are asking for more.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




AS SEEN ON: