We can't think of anything more luscious than Donal Skehan's recipe for Irish blackberry jam and custard donuts... You're welcome! 

Thanks to Irish celebrity chef Donald Skehan for these little balls of childhood happiness.

Picking blackberries always brings back fond memories for me and although I am extremely fond of a good old apple and blackberry pie, every year I try and come up with new recipes.

This year it’s all about the doughnuts; the perfect tender and warm vessel to guzzle sticky blackberry jam! Just in case they weren’t indulgent enough already, I’ve added a sweet vanilla custard to make them completely irresistible!

Donal's Irish blackberry jam and custard donuts recipe

Makes 12 doughnuts


  • 1 1/4lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 4/5oz caster sugar
  • 2 x 1/5oz sachets of easy blend dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 4/5oz butter, melted
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • For the filling:
  • 4/5 cup milk
  • 1 4/5oz caster sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Blackberry jam, strained through a sieve


To make the doughnuts, place the flour, caster sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.

Add the milk, eggs, and butter to the bowl together with 1/2 cup of water and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients until you have a dough. It is a little sticky to work with but resist adding too much extra flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 8–10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm, dark place to rise for about 50 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal pieces and shape it into balls. Transfer them to a baking tray dusted with a little flour, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the custard filling. Place the milk in a saucepan and gently heat until it just boiling, then remove it from the heat.

Whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until they are pale and then mix through the cornflour. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking until it is all incorporated.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer over low heat, whisking until thickened. Remove from the heat and rub the top with a little butter to prevent a skin forming, allow it to cool, and cover with cling film.

Firm up in the fridge.

Cook the doughnuts in batches in a deep-fat fryer or a large saucepan filled with sunflower oil at 356°F for 2–3 minutes on either side or until golden brown.

Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and allow to cool.

Transfer the custard to a piping bag fitted with a plain 5mm nozzle and inject it into the side of each doughnut. Repeat this process with the blackberry jam. The doughnuts are best eaten straight away!

*Originally published in 2015. Updated in June 2023. 

Donal Skehan is a home cook, food writer, and television presenter who has written five cookbooks. He presents the TV show Kitchen Hero on RTÉ One in Ireland, Grandma's Boy on FOX International, and is a judge on BBC's Junior MasterChef. Check out Donal's FacebookTwitter, and website, and make sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel for more culinary tips, recipes, and food travels.