Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets

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These beignets are officially the bane of my existence…..

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets. Okay, that’s being a little dramatic, but it’s ridiculous that they have been such a pain. Don’t get me wrong, taste and recipe wise they are 100% dope, but photogenically I think they were a fail…..both times that I made them. That’s right, I made and photographed these 2 separate times and neither time did I like the results! Somethings are just way harder for me to make look good.

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (2) The real kicker is that at the end of the day I decided that the first pictures were by far better than the second, how dumb is that? I’ve got serious issues. When I reach a point of perfect photographer’s confidence I’ll let you know. Well, no I won’t but you’ll figure it out when I stop ratting on my own pictures. Hey, don’t scoff at me! It could happen, someday.

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (8) You know, sometimes I think that I probably shouldn’t be so open with the fact that photography is not a talent of mine because then I make you focus on the flaws in my pictures that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I should just play it cool like I know exactly what I’m doing (ha!), but then I start thinking about how much I don’t like the pictures I’m writing about and I that little voice that we all have inside our heads forces me to come clean and be honest about it. They say honesty is the best policy, but they also say less is more and if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. So which is it? Clearly I’m conflicted about this.

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (4) I trust you guys to keep my secret though, cause we’re friends and that’s what you do for your friends. Something else you do for your friends is make them yummy food that they know they shouldn’t but do anyways because they get to use your friendship as their excuse. These fall into that category.

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (5) These are doughnut’s cousins with a snoody French name, but they are basically just squared doughnuts. My grandma likes to make natural lye soaps and recently our friend brought her this huge bag of lavender to use in them. It was more than she needed so, of course, my first thought was to use the extra for something edible! And what better to pair with it than vanilla bean, yum!

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (6) I’ve always liked the smell of lavender in lotions and things but I’ve never tasted it, so I was very pleasantly surprised that it’s delicious, especially with a beignet and a load of vanilla frosting! If you aren’t a big fan I guess you could skip it but I think it really sets these off. At the very least you should try adding just a tiny bit. It is very strong and if you add too much it will probably make you feel like you’re eating shampoo, but if you get the right balance it’s so good with these.

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (3) So don’t look at these pictures. Okay yes, look at them, but only a glance to get an idea how amazing these are and know that they taste better than they look. I say that a lot don’t I?

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets (7)  

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets

Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 32 beignets

Lavender Vanilla Bean French Beignets


    Lavender Vanilla Bean Icing:
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
  • scrapings from 1 large vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 cup powdered sugar
  • Lavender Vanilla Bean Cream:
  • 2 ounces (1/4 block) cream cheese,softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup prepared icing
  • Beignets:
  • 1 cup warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (about 6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • oil for frying


  1. First make your icing and filling, Whisk together the ingredients for the icing in a medium bowl until smooth. and set aside. Combine cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat together until creamed and fluffy. Add cream and 1/2 cup of icing then mix until combined. Cover and place mixture into the fridge until ready for it.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Beat in eggs and sugar, then butter and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together and pull away from the sides. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight.)
  3. When dough is ready divide it in half. Roll one half out into a square, roughly 10x10, and cut into 16 squares. Place the squares on a tray and allow them to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large high-sided pan to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line a plate with paper towels. Drop dough squares, a few at a time, gently into oil and fry on each side for about 30 seconds or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on prepared plate.
  5. Now fill a pastry bag fitted with a long narrow tip with the lavender cream and pipe into the centers then spread about 1 tablespoon of icing on top of each. Serve asap.

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  1. says

    I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS. I’ve done the 2 shoots-only-to-like-the-first-better thang. IRRITATING. BUT, I think these photos are GORG!
    My hubby and I first fell in love with beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, of course, but I’ve not had them since. That needs to change, ’cause I’m loving the lavender her! Pinned!

    • Tori says

      That’s such a cool thing to have in your love story, beignets in a cafe in New Orleans. So sweet! Thanks a bazillion for the pin love girl!

  2. says

    They also say, “We are our own worst critic”. The beignets look absolutely delicious!

    Being open is admirable. Food photography is tough – it takes a lot of hard work and practice. Cut yourself some slack. <3 Your photos look great! Hope the next shoot goes smoother!

  3. says

    NO these look GORGEOUS! Don’t doubt your photography – that rustic painted white table, the lavender stems, purple cloth and vanilla bean, your tea cups… I love it. Infusing the cream cheese and icing with lavender is such a good idea – and aren’t crispy edged, warm beignets the best? This post has really made me want to make them!

  4. Tina says

    I think the photos are actually really pretty. I always feel that my photos don’t capture the beauty of my food, so I get what you mean. You needn’t worry though, i think your photos are lovely.
    What is the difference between a doughnut and a beignets? Is it just the shape?

    • Tori says

      Thanks, Tina! I’m glad that at least you like them. Um, yeah I think the only difference between the two is the shape. Personally I think the shape of a beignet makes more sense as it’s way easier to make at home.

  5. Gabriela says

    Tried the recipe, one word: F A B U L O U S!
    I am throughly addicted to lavender so I found this recipe delicious! The beignets are powder soft and the taste…mmmm!
    Girlfriend, the pictures are magazine style worth! Simply GORGEOUS!


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