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+ servings
an overhead shot of crumb cake doughnuts on a cooling rack with a bowl of crumbs nearby

crumb cake brioche doughnuts

Rebecca Eisenberg
These fluffy yeast-raised brioche doughnuts are topped with a powder sugar glaze and crunchy crumb cake topping.
Yield: 18-20 doughnuts, 18-20 doughnut holes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 doughnuts


Brioche donut dough

  • 560 grams all-purpose flour (approx 4⅔ cups, loosely scooped)
  • 50 grams sugar (4 TBSP)
  • 5 grams instant yeast (1⅔ tsp)
  • 3 grams diamond crystal kosher salt (1 tsp, use 2x as much of another brand)
  • 3 grams ground nutmeg (freshly grated, about ⅛ tsp)
  • 250 grams whole milk (lukewarm)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 113 grams Very soft room temperature unsalted butter (½ cup)


  • 240 grams powdered sugar (2 cups, you may need a bit more)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 6 tablespoon whole milk (you may need an additional 1-2 TBSP)

Crumb Cake Topping

  • 120 grams flour (1 cup, loosely scooped)
  • 100 grams brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 30 grams powdered sugar (¼ cup, plus more for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 80 grams butter (6 TBSP, melted)

For frying

  • Neutral oil (deep enough for the doughnuts to float and be flipped without splashing or hitting the bottom)


Brioche Donut Dough

  • Whisk milk, egg, and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine, then sprinkle yeast on top.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the warm milk mixture (should take about 30 seconds). Continue mixing on low 2-3 minutes, until the dough has mostly come together (there might still be some dry bits, that's okay). Increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 more minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • Return the mixer to low speed and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece fully incorporate before adding the next. This can take several minutes so, be patient and don't rush it. Once all of the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and knead for another 5 minutes until the dough is very smooth, stretchy, and soft.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl to rise in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight (12-14 hours).
    (This is a good time to make your crumb topping!)
  • When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean counter top. Deflate it gently with the pads of your fingers, then use a rolling pin to roll it out until it's ½" thick.
  • Use a big and a small round cutter to cut doughnut shapes out of the dough. Transfer doughnuts and doughnut holes to a lined sheet pan to rest. Use the smaller cutter to punch additional doughnut holes out of the scrap dough.
  • Cover the doughnuts on the sheet pan and let rise until slightly puffy. They should spring back with you poke them. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on temperature, so be patient. You've got a pretty big window of time to get them fried once they're ready, and you can always pop them back in the fridge if they get too puffy.
  • Bring a pot of oil to 350°F. Arrange a cooling rack over a sheet pan and set aside.
  • Start by frying the doughnut holes as testers. 3-4 minutes total. Then fry the doughnuts, 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer finished doughnuts to the cooling rack. They will be quite dark and the outsides will seem very crispy when they come out of the oil, but they'll soften up as they sit.
  • Let cool completely before glazing.

Crumb Cake Topping

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Break up any lumps in the brown sugar with your fingers or a fork. Pour half of the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until it starts to form crumbles. Then add remaining butter and continue mixing with a fork until the biggest crumbles are the size of raisins.
  • Spread the crumbs on the sheet pan in an even layer. Bake 8-10 minutes, then let cool completely. The crumbs will still be soft when they come out, but will harden as they cool.
  • Place crumbs in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the biggest ones are the size of peas. Pour the crumbs through a wire spider if needed to sift out the smaller ones and continue pulsing only the large ones.
  • Transfer crumbs to a wide shallow bowl, toss with 1-2 tablespoon powdered sugar, and set aside.

Doughnut Glaze

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and milk until well combined. Add additional 1-2 tablespoon milk as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Crumb Cake Doughnut Assembly

  • Dip each doughnut in the glaze. Use two fingers inside the doughnut hole to lift it out of the glaze, allowing as much glaze as possible to drop off into the bowl. Give it a few shakes if you need to.
  • Dip the doughnut into the shallow bowl of crumbs, pressing firmly and moving it around a bit to get fully coated. Transfer the doughnut back to the cooling rack and let the glaze set.


  • Brioche dough recipe adapted from Cloudy Kitchen.
  • Doughnuts are best enjoyed same day.
  • Fry up your doughnut holes and dough scraps first to check the oil temperature and times before you fry your whole dougnuts. 
  • See blog post for notes on safe frying.


Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!