Crab doughnuts

Crab doughnuts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(3 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 15 mins plus rising and overnight proving

A challenge

makes 20

Savoury doughnuts are a delicious deep-fried treat. Decorate these perfect party nibbles with lemon zest and a few sprigs of cress

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per doughnut

  • kcal173
  • fat11g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre0g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.3g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 freshly cooked crabs (or 250g white crabmeat)


    A crustacean that has its skeleton on the outside protecting a soft, flavoursome flesh. There…

  • juice ½ lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the mayonnaise

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

For the dough

  • 30g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 75ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 60g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

To decorate

  • zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • microherbs or cress


  1. First, make the dough. Gently warm the butter with the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat until the butter has just melted (but don’t let the milk boil).

  2. Put the flour, sugar, yeast, egg and 1/ 2 tsp salt in a freestanding mixer with dough hook attachment. While the machine runs on a slow speed, pour in the warm milk and butter. Knead for 5 mins until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Using floured hands, transfer to a lightly floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to prove overnight. (If you don’t have a free-standing mixer, mix the ingredients in a large bowl and knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 mins until smooth.)

  3. To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolk, mustard and some seasoning in a small bowl. Very slowly, drop by drop, gradually pour in the oil, whisking continuously so that the ingredients emulsify. If your mayonnaise begins to look a little thick, add a drop of water to loosen it. Add the vinegar, then season again to taste. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge. The mayonnaise and dough can be made the day before

  4. The next day, briefly knead the dough on a floured surface to knock out the air. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and shape into balls. Put on a baking tray, cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove for 3-4 hrs in a warm place until doubled in size.

  5. Next, prepare the crab. You need only the white leg and claw meat, but save the brown meat in the body of the crab for another time (see above). Use a sharp knife to crack open the claws and legs, and prise out all the white meat.

  6. Line your work surface with cling film. Tip out the crabmeat and pick through it to check for shell fragments. If there is any shell, it should get stuck to the cling film.

  7. Put the crabmeat in a small bowl, add the mayonnaise and lemon juice, then season to taste. Cover and put in the fridge until needed.

  8. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to 180C or until a piece of bread browns in 20 secs. Working in batches, fry the doughnuts for 2-3 mins until cooked through and deep golden-brown. Drain them on kitchen paper.

  9. When cool enough to handle, split the doughnuts nearly in half, leaving them attached at the base (this makes them easier to eat). Fill with the crab mixture and decorate with lemon zest and microherbs or cress. For further info about how to deep-fry safely see our guide

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
26th Aug, 2019
My doughnuts came out perfect, So happy because I had been looking for a savoury doughnut recipe. I didn't add the crab, I just lightly salted them.
18th Sep, 2016
As these are savoury doughnuts, would it work with a small amount of sugar just for the yeast, and the addition of salt instead of the remaining sugar?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Sep, 2016
Thank you for your question. Despite the sugar content, these are savoury doughnuts and we can vouch for the fact that they are utterly delicious. Changing the dough quantities will affect the overall results and so we would suggest sticking to the quantities as is to achieve a good flavour and texture. If you do decide to experiment, let us know how you get on!
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?