Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

Before we can begin to talk about doughnuts I have to tell you all something: It’s 1/2 cup flour.

For many of you that makes absolutely no sense, for those who preordered the book and attempted to make the Gougeres, I am so sorry.

Yes, I forgot to include the flour amount in a recipe for the Holi-date PDF. This is why the book has a fabulous editor (hi, Kristen!). There’s a new, updated PDF. I’ll be sending the link out to those who have already signed up very shortly. If you haven’t preordered and have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post. If you do preorder and download the PDF you’ll indeed have the amount of flour needed to make all the recipes! How novel.

Again, sorry about the mistake. But a real, hearty bear-hug thanks to all of you who have preordered. You put me at #3 in the Seasonal Cookbooks on Amazon for a brief moment and that moment made me sob on my computer. There’s still time to preorder! Remember, five bonus recipes (with photos!) if you do!!

Last time we talked about the book I told you about my nightmares of beige on beige. Guess what guys, no more nightmares! I have the book in my hands and it’s the stuff of dreams. Want to have a quick peak?

I’m going to assume you all said a resounding, YES!

Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt

I’m real happy with it. Like giddy, it hasn’t left my side, “is this real?!”, happy.

I’m also happy with doughnuts (I could host the Today show with a segue like that).

Vermont Creamery gave me the task of using crème fraîche in a recipe. This was a simple task for me since crème fraîche is a very regular member of my fridge family.

It wasn’t shortly after I got the assignment that my mind went to doughnuts because, well, my mind often goes to doughnuts (remember these?).

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

The recipe was adapted from one I found on I went into this particular recipe expecting more of a cake doughnut but what came from the fryer was very much an old fashioned; craggy top, deep crevices, crisp dark golden exterior with a tender and sweet interior. To that I add a browned butter glaze that is sweet, nutty and a touch salty.

Have you browned butter before? If you’ve been here long you probably have because I’m a big fan (see also the brownies in my book). You melt the butter in a pan until the milk solids separate and caramelize on the bottom of the pan. The butter is sufficiently browned when you get a waft of a deep nuttiness and when you gently swirl the butter you can see the color change of the milk solids. If you simply used melted butter in this glaze the magic would be lost.

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

To celebrate crème fraîche, Vermont Creamery is hosting a pretty fabulous giveaway. Check out their site to find out more, enter and click around on some of the other recipes from fellow bloggers, like this Kobocha, sage and crème fraîche pappardelle from Two Red Bowls.

*This post was sponsored by Vermont Creamery but the recipe, photos, and love of crème fraîche are all mine.



Crème Fraîche Doughnuts with Salted Browned Butter Glaze


adapted from


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled briefly

1 cup/ 8 ounces crème fraîche


4 ounces/1 stick butter

3 cups powdered sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4-5 tablespoons warm milk

flake salt

For the doughnuts: Whisk the first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until very thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Gradually beat in butter; beat in crème fraîche in 2 additions. Gently fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions (dough will be slightly sticky). Cover; set aside 1 hour.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out the dough on lightly floured surface to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on floured sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather all dough scraps. Press out dough; cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Set wire racks over two baking sheets. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until deep brown, turning once, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to wire racks. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to wire racks.

For the glaze: Add the butter to a small skillet set over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil, watching it very closely. Swirl the skillet carefully, if you see golden bits at the bottom of the pan you are done browning the butter. It will smell nutty too. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract to a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the browned butter while whisking. Add enough milk to make a pourable glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the doughnuts while they are still just warm. Finish with flake salt.

31 Responses to “Creme Fraiche Doughnuts + Vermont Creamery Giveaway”

  1. Jane

    Yay just pre-ordered the book! These donuts are lovely, and I adore Vermont Creamery’s products. Thanks for letting us know about giveaway! <3

  2. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog

    Can’t wait to get the updated pdf, I have a few of the wonderful recipes planned out for a date night with my hubby next week…AND I seriously can’t wait for the book 🙂 Congrats on being #3, that’s absolutely incredible (and well deserved!)

  3. thelittleloaf

    Ah, the joys of an editor! When I sent one of my recipes for testing, I completely forgot to include the sugar in the instructions (it was a recipe for fruit pastilles, pretty essential). The lovely tester made them without and said they actually tasted quite good – point being that everyone makes mistakes and I’m sure peoples’ joy at getting your gorgeous recipes and pre-ordering your stunning book will make them forget a teeny 1/2 cup of flour 🙂 Congratulations on the book, it’s gorgeous.

  4. cynthia

    Oh my goodness, these are the old-fashioned doughnuts of my dreams! I think I have just enough creme fraiche to give these a try and I’m psyched. And oh my goodness … this book. You must be so, so proud. It is absolutely breathtaking, and I can only imagine how much it is a dream come true. The theme and heart of your book resonates so much with me — I cannot wait to read it. The hugest of congratulations to you!!! P.S. “I’m also happy with doughnuts” made me laugh out loud. Amazing.

  5. Robyn


    It’s so beautiful! (and I’m just judging from the cover alone! 😉 Bravo, Ashley!

  6. Jessie Harrold

    I feel like I’ve been waiting for this cookbook just as long as you have! I’m thrilled and can’t wait to see it….it’s at the top of my Christmas wish list, just slightly edging out a king size bed, as we welcome #2 tiny bed-sharer into our family in a few short months.

  7. V

    Your photos are gorgeous and these creme fraiche donuts sound moist and delicious. I love this ‘Date Night In’ book, sounds cute and filled with great recipes. I’ll have to check it out.

  8. Kathleen

    Many congrats, Ashley! It must feel incredible to flip through your own book.

    So, if the thought of those doughnuts were to get me over my fear of deep frying, which I think might happen because they sound divine, what type of oil would I heat? I’ve never done it before but have seen rice oil used at The Pantry for chicken. 🙂 (Sorry if I missed it- I’ve scanned a few times but I’m tired…)

  9. Patricia Hagen

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made them and they were so tender they melted in my mouth. I am going to make them again today for my Bible study group!


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