New Orleans Beignets Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min./batch
The Big Easy is known for its fresh, doughy beignets. Here is our recipe for making these iconic doughnuts at home.

Updated: Jan. 02, 2024

Almost every big city has an iconic food. Philadelphia has the cheesesteak, Chicago has deep-dish pizza, Milwaukee has beer-battered cheese curds—and New Orleans has beignets. Popularized by Cafe du Monde in the city’s French Quarter, beignets are square-shaped doughnuts covered in a coat of powdered sugar. They were first associated with Mardi Gras, but today beignets are enjoyed all year long. They’re typically served alongside a cup of coffee.

Beignets Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast
  • Warm water (110° to 115°F)
  • Evaporated milk
  • Canola oil
  • Sugar
  • Large egg
  • Self-rising flour
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar


Step 1: Prep the dough

Start by dissolving the yeast in warm water in a large bowl,  then add the milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth (a stand mixer dough hook works great for this task). Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft, sticky dough. Do not knead. Instead, cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.

Step 2: Shape into squares

Once the beignet dough is well-chilled, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into a beignet’s signature 2-inch square.

Step 3: Fry and sugar

Now it’s time to fry the beignets! Heat oil in an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer until it reaches 375°. Place dough squares in oil, a few at a time, until both sides of the dough are puffy and golden brown. Remove squares from oil and drain on paper towels. Roll the warm beignets in confectioners’ sugar.

Editor’s Tip: We love serving them as-is, or with a big bounty of fresh berries.

How to Store Beignets

While beignets certainly taste best when served fresh, they should last for up to two days when stored in an airtight container.

Beignets Tips

How can you tell if the oil is hot enough for frying?

The oil is hot enough for frying once it reaches 375°. Make sure to use a thermometer to check before frying beignets.

Can you make beignets without self-rising flour?

If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, place 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup. Since you need 4-1/2 cups of self-rising flour for this beignets recipe, do this 3-1/2 more times to get the necessary amount of homemade self-rising flour.

Do you have to make the beignet dough ahead of time?

This beignets recipe calls for the dough to be refrigerated overnight. This slows the rise of the dough, so it’s ready to shape and fry the beignets in time for breakfast—making everything ultra-convenient. However, you can make the dough the same day. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it’s doubled in size. An hour or more is to be expected, since enriched doughs take longer to rise than regular yeast doughs.

What are some variations on beignets?

If you’re a fan of traditional beignets, try some variations—like no-yeast-needed banana beignet bites, savory crawfish beignets or sweet corn beignets.

How else can you put the confectioners’ sugar on beignets?

Rolling the beignets in confectioners’ sugar can get messy. For a cleaner approach, place the beignets in a bag (paper or zip-top) with about 1/4 cup powdered sugar, then close up the bag and shake lightly to coat. Working with a few beignets at a time—adding more powdered sugar if and when needed—is most efficient. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the sugar over top using a sifter or a sieve. This works well if you prefer a light dusting of sugar rather than a coating.

What can you serve with beignets?

Serve beignets with a cup of coffee or a cafe au lait! If you’re looking for a sweeter dip for the beignets than coffee, try dunking them in dulce de leche or chocolate sauce.

Watch how to Make New Orleans Beignets

New Orleans Beignets

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 5 min
Yield 4 dozen.


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Cut into 2-in. squares.
  3. In a deep cast-iron or electric skillet, heat 1 inch oil to 375°. Fry squares in batches until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners' sugar.

Nutrition Facts

1 beignet: 108 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

These sweet French doughnuts, inspired by the ones found in Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, are square instead of round and have no hole in the middle. They're a traditional part of breakfast in New Orleans. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana