Strawberry Cream Donut Cones
When you work in the food world, it’s inevitable that people will ask you if you’re a good cook or baker. I think this is the question I’m most often asked (except maybe whether I get a lot of free food, to which my response is “not really”). The truth is that while I fancy myself a good cook because of all the food reading, talking, and watching I do, I don’t actually spend much time in the kitchen.
This means that when I get an idea for something fun or delicious, I immediately assume it can be done easily, exactly the way I imagined it! No need to work out the details.
I’m a big donut person, just not a big jelly donut person—a reality that’s plagued me through my years of Chanukah parties and December school treats. Who doesn’t love sugary fried dough? I just don’t love the squirt of jam that you get when you bite into them. I’d much prefer a generous helping of whipped cream. And while, sure, you could stuff a donut with some whipped cream, why not increase your cream to donut ratio by making the donuts cone shaped?
The cone isn’t just pretty—it allows you to fit more cream in the donut. In my opinion, it also makes for neater eating. So I decided to experiment.
I started with a basic yeast donut recipe. You can use any yeast dough recipe for this—including challah dough or frozen pizza dough. Once the dough had risen once, I took a segment and rolled it out into a long snake. Then I wrapped the dough around a metal cream horn mold, slightly overlapping the dough while winding it from the bottom to the top.
It doesn’t need to be perfect. Gaps here and there will be fine. I placed my donut cones standing up on a lined baking sheet, and then let them sit for the second rise in my donut recipe. (At this point I actually froze mine to fry at a later time. You can freeze them on the baking sheet, and then once frozen, keep them in a zip top bag. Then, when you’re ready to fry, defrost them standing up until they are fully defrosted).
If you’re ready to go right away, bring a pot of oil to 375°F—you can buy an oil thermometer for relatively cheap (around $10), and it really makes the difference when you’re frying. If the oil is too hot, your food will burn and might not be fully cooked on the inside. If the oil is not hot enough, your food will absorb more oil and will taste and feel oily when you bite into it.
When the oil reaches the right temperature, carefully drop one of the donut cones in. It’ll fry for about 2-3 minutes, and need some help rotating. I actually used chopsticks to rotate the cones, but you can use tongs, a couple of forks, or a spider tool. Once they are golden brown, lift them out of the oil, careful to let the oil inside the cone drain out over the pot before moving them to a drying rack or paper towels. When they are cool enough to touch, gently grasp the bottom of the mold and release it from your donut cone!
Now on to the filling! I decided to keep the spirit of the jelly donut by flavoring my whipped cream with strawberry. In a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer, or a whisk if you’re ready for a workout), whip a pint of whipping cream until it reaches stiff peaks, adding about 4 tablespoons of sugar while it’s still in the liquid phase.
For the strawberry flavoring, I used store-bought dehydrated strawberries, and pulsed them in a small food processor (you can also crush them by hand in a zip top bag) until they were a fine powder. I put about 4 tablespoons into the whipped cream while it was whipping, tasting as I went of course, until it was light pink and lightly flavored. Feel free to add more strawberry if you want it extra flavored!
Once the strawberry whipped cream was ready, I filled it into a piping bag with a star piping tip, and piped it into my cones. You can also spoon it in and pile it as high as you like. Dust with powdered sugar for some extra sweetness (and who are we kidding, it looks pretty too). Serve it to impress guests at your Chanukah party, or hey, keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell!
This whipped cream can also be used to fill round donuts. Simply put the piping nozzle into the donut and squeeze until cream starts coming out. Or for an even easier version, cut them in half and make whipped cream sandwiches!
Have your own take on jelly donuts? Let us know in the comments.
Still figuring out what to make for Chanukah? Check out our ultimate Chanukah menu!