Star Anise Donuts with Poached Plums and Yogurt Jelly

Star Anise Donuts with Poached Plums and Yogurt Jelly
Star Anise Donuts with Poached Plums and Yogurt Jelly

This holiday season, I thought I’d share one of my favourite donut recipes that I’ve ever made. And it’s a very festive one. Previously I shared the recipe for my chocolate peppermint donuts, but if you’re not into chocolate, or if you prefer more grown up flavours, this one’s for you. These star anise donuts with poached plums and yogurt jelly will hit all the right spots.

Before getting started, I have to warn you that this recipe is the most time consuming donut recipe I’ve ever made. The donuts themselves are quite easy and quick to prepare and bake. However the yogurt jelly and poached plums require a little bit more time.

Moreover, you also need a couple more “unusual” ingredients for this recipe such as:

  • lemongrass
  • plums
  • ginger
  • lemon
  • star anise spice
  • cream
  • yogurt
  • gelatine

If you don’t eat gelatine, you can replace it with agar agar, a vegan alternative. But you should experiment with it first. Agar agar doesn’t have the same strength as gelatine, so you will require more of it (double to triple the quantity of gelatine).

Although they require a few extra steps, these donuts are well worth the effort. If you want to make them for a party, you can make them in advance and assemble them on the day of the party. Or, for optimum freshness, you could bake the donuts the day of the party and prepare everything else a day before.

If you’d like to save some for later, the donuts and yogurt jelly may be frozen separately. The donuts may thaw at room temperature (take around 10-15 minutes), but the jelly should thaw in the fridge to preserve it’s structural integrity.

See more donut recipes here.

And finally, here’s the recipe for the star anise donuts with poached plums and yogurt jelly:

Star Anise Donuts with Poached Plums and Yogurt Jelly

Servings 12 donuts


For poaching the plums:

  • 2 cups (400 g/ 14 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml/ 17 oz.) water
  • 3 whole medium plums, peeled
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 piece ginger root (approx. 1 inch), peeled and sliced
  • zest and juice from one lemon

For the batter:

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup (150 g/ 5 ¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
  • ½ stick (60 g/ 2 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml/ 4 ¼ oz.) cream (35% fat content)
  • 1 tsp ground star anise seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature for greasing the pan

For the yogurt jelly:

  • ½ cup (120 ml/ 4 ¼ oz.) yogurt (3% fat content)
  • 4 tbsp. (50 g/ 1 ¾ oz.) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/ 2 oz.) poaching juice (from previous step )
  • 1 sachet (5 g) gelatine


For poaching the plums:

  • In a medium saucepan add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger slices, and 2 cups water. Trim the ends of the lemongrass stalk and cut it in half lengthwise. Discharge the tough outer layers. Dice the two halves and add them to the saucepan. Over medium-low heat bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, add the whole peeled plums. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside, remove the plums to a plate, and allow them to cool. Strain the poaching juice and set aside to cool.

For the yogurt jelly:

  • Dice the poached plums. In a small bowl add about 2 tbsp. cooled poaching juice and the gelatine, and mix to hydrate the gelatine. Gently heat 60 mL poaching juice with 4 tbsp. granulated sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Once ready, pour the hot mixture over the gelatine and mix to dissolve. Let aside 5 minutes to cool.
  • In another bowl whisk the yoghurt. Add the diced poached plums, gelatine mixture and mix. Refrigerate 4-5 hours. This can be made one day in advance and kept in the fridge.

For the batter:

  • Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  • In a bowl sift the flour and star anise, then add the baking powder. Mix them with a whisk and set aside.
  • Gently melt the butter over low temperature. Make sure the butter does not bubble. Once melted, set it aside and allow it to cool a little.
  • Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer. The mixture is ready when almost triple in volume and light in colour. Add the vanilla extract, salt, cream and whisk until incorporated.
  • Using a spatula, add the flour mix to the egg mix in 2-3 steps, mixing gently after each step. Make sure the flour is well incorporated, but do not over mix. Once the flour has been incorporated, fold in the melted cooled butter. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Grease the doughnut pan with butter. Pipe the batter into the pan ¾ full and bake for 10 minutes, or until doughnuts spring back when gently pressed.Once baked, take the pan out of the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool in the doughnut pan 2-3 minutes at room temperature. Transfer them to a rack and let them sit until completely cooled.
  • Place a scoop of the yogurt jelly onto doughnuts right before serving.
  • Optional: drizzle some of the remaining poaching juice.