We know what you’re thinking: “I’m never going to make homemade bread.” But before you pass, hear us out. This is the easiest brioche recipe that exists on the internet. We’d even venture to call these easy sweet brioche buns “cheater’s brioche.”
Here’s why: The recipe has far less butter than regular brioche, so you don’t have to make it ahead of time and chill it for hours. But surprisingly, it has the same light texture and buttery flavor.
Recipe developer Erin McDowell says that when you pour sweet glaze on top of them, they start tasting a lot like a doughnut. “These fluffy buns are ideal for breakfast, brunch or dessert. They’re airy, much like a yeasted doughnut, but without the mess of frying,” she says. “Finished with a thick layer of fruity glaze, they are the treat of tea-party unicorn fairy dreams.”
We’d also like to point out that the vibrant glaze is colored with fresh berries, not artificial food coloring. We wouldn’t do that to you.
Glazed Doughnut Cookies
1 cup (227g) whole milk
3¾ cups (452g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (10g) instant yeast
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large (56g) egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Egg wash, as needed
1 cup (170g) raspberries or blueberries
2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
2 cups (226 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Make the Dough: In a small pot, heat the milk until just warm to the touch (about 95°F).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt to combine, about 15 seconds.
3. Add the milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract to the mixer and mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 4 minutes more. The dough should appear even and smooth.
4. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size, about 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, Make the Glaze: In a small pot, mix the berries and sugar to combine. Cook over medium heat until the berries start to break down. Mash the berries with a potato masher or a large fork until they form a course puree. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to be sure all the juice is reserved. Transfer the juice to a medium bowl.
6. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar into the juice to form a smooth glaze. It should be thick enough to slowly drip off a spoon, so add more confectioners’ sugar if needed. Whisk in the vanilla.
7. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and form into even rounds. Place the buns in three rows of four on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until noticeably puffy, 30 to 45 minutes. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8. Remove the plastic wrap, brush the buns with the egg wash and bake until evenly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before drizzling on the glaze with a spoon.