Recipe courtesy of Erin Jeanne McDowell

Heart-Shaped Biscuit Doughnuts

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling and setting times)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 doughnuts
Deep-fried biscuit dough makes an incredibly delicious doughnut: crisp and golden outside and fluffy and soft inside. These doughnuts are extra decadent thanks to a chocolate filling and a creamy glaze. Here, they’re cut into a heart shape for Valentine’s Day, but you can use any shape you like – circles, squares, stars, even trees – and adapt them for the small-batch holiday breakfast of your choice. 


Biscuit Dough:

Chocolate Filling:



  1. For the biscuit dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. Mix with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and is uniform, but not sticky to the touch. If needed, add additional buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time to bring the dough together.  
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  
  4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate filling and glaze. 
  5. For the chocolate filling: Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, then stir with a silicone spatula until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  6. For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla together until a dippable glaze forms. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.  
  7. Fit a medium pot with a deep-fry thermometer and pour in 3 inches of oil. Heat over medium until the thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels. 
  8. Pat the dough out into an even layer about 1 inch thick. Use a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut out 4 hearts (if your cutter is larger or smaller, you may get fewer or more). You may only get 2 to 3 hearts at first. If that happens, just bring the dough back together, pat it out again and cut out more hearts. 
  9. Fry the doughnuts, in batches if needed, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared paper towel-lined plate. Let cool for 5 minutes. 
  10. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole in the side of each doughnut, wiggling the handle around to form a pocket. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, disposable pastry bag or quart-size resealable plastic bag with the cooled chocolate sauce filling. If using a disposable pastry bag or zip-top bag, cut a 1/2-inch opening. Squeeze the chocolate sauce into each doughnut. 
  11. Dip one of the doughnuts into the glaze on one side letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then place it glazed-side up on a wire rack and top with some of the sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
  12. Let the glaze on the doughnuts set for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note

a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter