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Home • Recipe • Donut • Fudge Donuts
Published by Amy
Scottish Fudge Donuts, freshly baked and finished with a decadent homemade fudge icing. Iconic and instantly recognisable, regardless of what you call them.
Oh boy, have I got an indulgent recipe for you here! One I have been plotting, planning and practicing for quite some time, determined to get just right.
The famous Scottish Fudge Donut!
Although I say famous…apparently they never actually existed. Have you heard of this before?
Last year a woman went into Greggs and asked for a Fudge Donut, only to be told there was no such thing. Not only that, she was advised that there had never been a cake called a “Fudge Donut” available at Greggs.
Cue everyone in Scotland (myself included) wondering if we had imagined that, or if it was one of those mad things where we all just have a universal understanding of it being called something else North of the Border. Like always pronouncing supermarkets ending in an “s”, even when they don’t (eg. Tescos, Asdas, Adlis).
To confuse matters more, Greggs had previously come out and said that they were never called Fudge Donuts, always Caramel Custard Donuts. What the…?!
Thankfully, one man came to the rescue and settled the matter with Greggs on Twitter, who seemed just as confused by the fact they are called Fudge Donuts in Scotland, as the Scots were that it is called anything but a Fudge Donut.
Anyway, whatever you call them, Fudge Donuts are a real fan favourite here in Scotland. And like any good donut recipe, I think it’s worth trying to make them yourself at least once in your life. Nothing beats a freshly baked doughnut after all!
Fudge Donuts are a bit of fan favourite here in Scotland. They are a simple yeast-dough donuts, which are fried before being filled with sweet, creamy custard. To finish, the tops of the donut are dipped in a beautifully golden, tooth-achingly sweet fudge icing. And if you want to create that familiar chocolate stripe on the top, simply drizzle with a little dark chocolate.
In terms of skill level, fudge donuts are very simple to make. However, like most yeast dough recipes, there is a bit of a time commitment. That’s not to say you’ll be spending hours making these fudge donuts, but you do need a day where you know you will be able to let the dough rise and be able to come back to it. The steps around the time waiting are actually very simple.
The only thing to be cautious of is the need to use hot oil when frying the donuts. This step is best carried by adults only, for obvious reasons.
Yes! In theory. Many bakeries here in Scotland sell fudge donuts, with some subtle differences depending on where you go. The most famous kind of fudge donut is of course the ones you get at Greggs. However, they seem to have rebranded them as Caramel Custard Donuts at some point, despite them still being the same thing.
So next time you’re in Greggs and fancy a Fudge Donut, ask for a Caramel Custard Donut, whilst wondering why they ever felt the need to change the name.
A regular plain flour can be used in a pinch, but you will need to knead it a lot more, to help make the most of the lesser amount of gluten.
Caster SugarAgain, with a rich dough a little bit of sugar is a must. And donuts are a sweet treat, so let’s make that dough extra indulgent! Caster sugar is preferable, as it’s finer texture mixes well with the other ingredients.
Instant YeastThere was a time when you could buy various types of yeast but nowadays, Instant Yeast is the most accessible. It also works brilliantly in many recipes but especially in Fudge Donuts, as no extra measuring or preparation is required to activate it.
Free-range EggAn egg adds the final bit of richness you want in a squidgy little donut. The size of the egg is not crucial, just be sure to use free-range.
CustardWhen it comes to filling a fudge doughnut, you of course need some custard! There’s a few ways to approach this… You can of course make your own custard from scratch, using eggs, milk and sugar. Alternatively, you can cheat a little and use a custard powder and make your custard this way. Or you can take my preferred route and use a ready-made custard! This can be “fresh” custard from the fridge at the supermarket, or simply a good old fashioned tin of custard.
Brown SugarsI did a lot of experimenting to get the perfect homemade fudge icing for donuts, let me tell you! And I believe I have cracked it. You want a combo of both light and dark brown sugar, for that perfect golden hue and delicious caramel flavour. Only got one or the other? Don’t worry – you can of course use only a light brown sugar, or only a dark brown sugar; you’ll just end up with a paler, less flavourful icing, or a darker, most intensely flavoured one. But for that perfect balance, use half and half.
Icing SugarDespite already having two types of brown sugar, icing sugar is still needed for the fudge icing – hey, I never said it was healthy! Icing sugar binds it all together and takes the mixture from being a caramel-like consistency, to a decadent icing.
Dark Chocolate (optional)For that iconic chocolate drizzle over the top to finish, a little bit of dark chocolate is all that is needed. Not essential but will certainly make them a good dupe for homemade Greggs Caramel Custard Donuts.
• For evenly sized donuts, weigh your dough after knocking it back post-first-rise (step 5), then divide that number by twelve. Then weigh out each donut to that number, before rolling them into their balls.
• In the recipe, it suggests placing your dough-balls onto individual squares of greaseproof paper. This is a game changer!! You will then be able to move your donuts from tray/board to fryer with ease, and without compromising the structure of the now-perfectly risen dough.
• If you don’t already have a sugar thermometer, I highly recommend investing in one. This will allow you to closely monitor your oil temperature and ensure success whilst frying your donuts. Plus you can then use it to make our Scottish Tablet too!
• You can of course use a deep-fat fryer, if you have one.
• Using chop sticks to flip your donuts during frying is by far the easiest technique I have found.
• I cannot stress this enough… When working with hot oil, please please please be extremely careful. It is also worth having an awareness on how to deal with an oil fire before you start.
• When you make your fudge icing, be sure to use it straight away, as it will continue to thicken as it cools down.
OMG!! My fav. Need to try these❤️
I got to try i
Oh my goodness, the biggest disaster and waste of ingredients I have ever had! First attempt and I think I over proved the dough and misread the temperature as Fahrenheit not centigrade. Absolute disaster. Gutted!!
Oh no, sorry to hear that Caroline! I would definitely recommend giving it another go. These fudge donuts are definitely worth it.
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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.
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