Gluten Free Brazilian Cream Donuts – Doughnuts (Sonho)

In Brazil, donuts are referred to as “sonhos” meaning “dreams”. The typical Brazilian donut recipe is more of a cake donut and yeast-risen. After making two different yeast-risen batches, I decided on skipping the yeast altogether. This recipe is light, airy, and tender.  They get additional sweetness from a dusting of sugar and cinnamon as well as pastry cream filling. The rich filling makes these gluten free Brazilian cream donuts (or doughnuts) famous for its richness. They are so good, Christmas morning wouldn’t be the same without them in many countries. I’m thinking Easter brunch as well.

The dough I used for this recipe is called pate a choux. However, this particular recipe contains baking soda as well as the traditional ingredients. Baking soda creates a lighter, crisper, and browner donut.

Gluten Free Brazilian Cream Donuts – Doughnuts (Sonho)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 32 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 donuts

Gluten Free Brazilian Cream Donuts – Doughnuts (Sonho)

Tender gluten free Brazilian sonhos/donuts (dreams) filled with rich pastry cream. Truly a dream come true.



  1. Set out a plate lined with paper towels. Whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk (or water), sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the flour mixture and immediately and quickly, using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough removes itself from the sides of the pan.
  4. Transfer to the bowl of your mixer and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes, just long enough to allow the steam to escape and slightly cool. Add eggs one at a time, and mix thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes, covered. (Chilling the dough aids in the browning process.)
  6. When the dough has 15 minutes left to chill, preheat at least 1 quart of oil in a deep-fryer, Dutch oven/deep pot, or deep pot to 350°F or over medium-high heat.
  7. Perform a test on just one donut. Scoop up a large spoonful of dough and drop it into the oil by scraping the dough off using another large spoon. (Never over-crowd the oil it cools the oil when you do.) Fry on one side until it reaches your desired crispness and color, about 30 seconds. Flip it over and cook until golden brown.
  8. Remove using metal tongs or a metal slotted spatula or spoon, allowing excess oil to drip into pan or deep-fryer. Set on the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  9. If desired, once slightly cooled, but still warm, roll the donuts in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Taste one to see if it is cooked to your liking.  Shorten ithe frying time if it is too dry and lengthen if too wet.
  10. Just prior to serving, slice donuts in half and fill with pastry cream. Dust the tops with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
  11. Store leftover donuts, unfilled, in a resealable storage bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture for up to 24 hours. Freeze any that you will not consume within one day. Allow donuts to defrost at room temperature..

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