Bismarck donuts are filled with pastry cream or fruit-based pastry fillings. You make them the same way as regular donuts except that you don’t cut the centers out and you fill them after they cool.

How to Make Bismark Donuts

If you can make donuts, you can make filled or bismark donuts. You make them the same as normal donuts, but you don’t cut the holes out. Instead, you take a long thin tip from a decorator set, stick it into the center of the donut, and press until you feel the donut start to bulge. That’s all there is to it.

If using a pastry filling, the packaging is also firm enough on its own that you can use a clipped corner to poke into the donut.

What You’ll Need to Make Bismark Donuts:

The Donut Dough

When we make raised, yeasted donuts, it’s usually with a bread mix. Just stick it in the bread machine and set the cycle to “dough.” And any light, white bread will do. If you want it a little sweeter, add a couple tablespoons of sugar, but we usually don’t bother; the glaze or the filling makes them sweet enough.

If I had to pick a mix, it would likely be the Sour Cream Potato Rolls Mix. The sour cream makes them a little richer and the potato flour makes them moist.

You can also use any of our favorite donut mixes.

We’ve also included a recipe below that you can use to make the donuts.

A Donut Cutter

What do you cut them out with? You can use a tin can but a donut cutter is nicer. We like the stainless steel donut cutter with the removable center piece so that we can make regular or filled donuts.

A Thermometer

For heating the oil, try a deep-fry thermometer. If you use a pan on the stovetop, you’ll need a clip-on thermometer so that you can keep your oil at 375 degrees.

The Pastry Filling

You can’t have bismarcks or filled donuts without the filling, of course. We have plenty of pastry fillings to choose from, whether you want a creamy filling like Bavarian cream or a fruity filling like lemon. Those are my go-to flavors, anyway.

When I was a kid and my mother asked me what kind of pie I wanted, it was always lemon with a big cloud of meringue on top. So yes, when I reach for a filled donut, it has to be lemon. And this lemon filling is very close to my mother’s lemon meringue pies.

Bismarks (Filled Donuts) Recipe



  1. Place about two cups of the flour in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the yeast. Add the water. Mix the water with the flour with a dough hook for 30 seconds or until the yeast is dissolved and the ingredients begin to combine.
  2. Add the salt, dry milk, sugar, shortening, and egg and continue mixing. Add most of the remaining flour and continue mixing at medium speed for at least four minutes adding more flour as needed to reach a soft dough consistency. (It is important that the dough be mixed for four minutes to develop the gluten.) The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but will be soft, not firm, to the touch.
  3. Once the dough is mixed, place it in a large greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double, about one hour.
  4. Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured counter. Let it rest for ten minutes. Finish rolling the dough to one-half inch thick. Use a floured circle cutter to cut out the donuts.
  5. Cover the donuts and let them rise until they are very light, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Add the donuts, a few at a time, to the hot oil being careful not to splash oil. Fry for about one minute and then turn the donuts with tongs. Fry for another minute. The donuts should be golden on both sides. Remove the donuts to drain on paper towels.
  7. Once the donuts have cooled, you can fill your donuts quickly and easily with the pastry filling of your choice. The pastry filling comes in a two-pound plastic package. Snip a 1/4-inch corner off the bag with a pair of scissors. The plastic is stiff enough that you can press the corner right into the donut penetrating a half-inch or so. Gently squeeze the bag and you will feel the donut become plump and firm as it fills. Extract the tip of the bag. Repeat with the rest of the donuts. When you are through, fold the open corner over and secure it with a paper clip. The remainder of your filling will keep in the refrigerator for six months.
  8. To glaze your donuts, mix 2 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Dip the donuts in the glaze. Instead of a glaze, you may dust the donuts with powdered sugar.

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