If you, like so many of us, spent a lot of time on Instagram during the COVID lockdowns, the likelihood is that you have come across milky cheese donuts. These donuts that combine salt and cheese with the sweetness of donuts were one of the pandemic food trends, but unlike some of the other trends, we think milky cheese donuts are here to stay.
For this article, we have researched some of the best milky cheese donut recipes to share with you. We have also found some variations we would like to recommend to you, including a sugar-free recipe that is just as tasty as the others. But first, where did milky cheese donuts originate from?
A bit of background on milky cheese donuts
These sweet yet savory delicacies originate from the Philippines. When you go to a city like Manila, you will find donut stores lined up along the streets. Many Filipinos buy donuts as pasalubong, which means as a gift or a souvenir.
There are many local variations of donuts in the Philippines, including donut balls, classic-shaped donuts, long and slender ones, and ones that are twisted. Different regions have their own names, such as bicho-bicho, shakoy, lubid-lubid, and piliput, for the local variations.
Milky cheese donuts are another variation. It is not certain who made the first one or when, but it is certain that they have become firm favorites in the Philippines and with the help of social media across the world as well.
What are the Filipino milky cheese donuts?
Milky cheese donuts are basically long pieces of bread that have been filled with melted cheese. They are coated in sweet milk powder and powdered sugar. They are a bit like bicho-bicho, which is like a regular donut in taste but braided rather than round. Some people say that milky cheese donuts are like bicho-bicho combined with cheese bread.
What do you need to make milky cheese donuts?
For this recipe from Yummy you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon of instant dry yeast
- 3/4 cup of water, or as needed
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup flour for kneading or as needed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup of full-cream powdered milk (you can use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk if you prefer)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 440-gram block of cheddar cheese, cut into sticks
- 1 large egg
For the coating:
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 cup of powdered milk
This recipe will take around two hours and ten minutes to prepare. However, that includes the time when the dough is left to rest. The cooking time is around twenty minutes. This recipe is enough for fourteen doughnuts.
The instructions for this recipe might seem long with sixteen steps, but it is not as complicated as it looks. Once you have made this recipe a few times, you’ll be able to make your milky cheese donuts without the instructions.
We will share links to alternative recipes, including the promised sugar-free treat, after the step-by-step instructions to this recipe.
Step-by-step instructions on how to make milky cheese donuts
step1: Start by mixing flour and yeast in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the mixture and set it aside.
step2: Add water to the powdered milk until you have one cup of milk. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe jug or a bowl. Add the butter, salt, and sugar and microwave on a high setting for 30 seconds. If you do not have a microwave, you can create the mixture in a saucepan instead and heat it on a stove. When the butter has melted and the sugar and salt have dissolved, give the mixture a good stir.
step3: Let the mixture cool to 120-130 F° or 48-54 C°. It is important to get the mixture to the right temperature, so use a thermometer to check. If it is above 130 F° (54 C°), then it will be too hot for the yeast.
step4: Add the egg into the milk mixture and whisk it in. Once the egg is fully mixed in, pour the whole mixture into the well you created in the flour and yeast mixture.
step5: Using a spatula, mix the dough until just combined and with some dry spots remaining. Turn the dough onto your kitchen counter and begin kneading the dough. You might like to add a dusting of flour on the kitchen counter first, to stop the dough from sticking.
step6: Keep kneading the dough for about five to eight minutes until it is no longer sticky and has become moderately smooth. While kneading, you can add flour if needed.
step7: Take a large mixing bowl and oil it lightly. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the greased bowl. You will need to cover it with a towel or plastic wrap before leaving it to rest for about one hour.
step8: The dough needs to be in a warm place while resting, so if your kitchen is not that warm, you can leave the dough to rest in the oven. To do this, set the oven on its lowest setting for five minutes and place the dough in the oven.
step9: When the dough has been proofing for an hour, take it out of the bowl and place it back on your kitchen counter. Roll the dough into a log and portion dough into fourteen balls of approximately 50g each.
step10: Keep the dough balls you are not working with covered under a kitchen towel to stop them from drying out and forming a skin while you roll each ball with your palm against the kitchen counter.
step11: With a rolling pin (if you don’t own one, a wine bottle makes a good substitute), flatten a piece of dough into a long oval to fit a stick of cheese. Place the cheese stick in the center and fold the dough over the cheese. Pinch the dough closed to seal the cheese. Ensure the seams are properly closed so the cheese can’t leak out as it melts.
step12: Set aside and cover again with a kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining thirteen dough balls and cheese. Leave them to prove again under the kitchen towel for another twenty minutes.
step13: While the cheesy donuts are proofing, heat enough oil to deep fry the donuts in a large pot or a wok over low heat.
step14: Mix the powdered milk and the powdered sugar to make the coating on a shallow plate. Set aside to wait for the cooked donuts.
step15: When the oil is hot, place the doughnuts in the oil. You might have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding. Once the donuts are brown on one side, flip them over. Note that you might have to hold the doughnuts down because the weight of the cheese can make them flip back over.
step16: When the donuts are golden brown on both sides, remove them from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them immediately into the powdered milk and sugar mixture. Roll in the sugar-milk mixture until completely coated.
Other recipes you can try
This recipe from My Low Carb Recipes Journey uses mozzarella instead of cheddar, and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour and they are sugar-free.
If you don’t have two and a half hours to spare to make the donuts, you might like to try this recipe from The Maya Kitchen. It yields a similar number of donuts to the recipe from Yummy, but only takes half the time.
Now that you know how to make milky cheese donuts, do you think you will try making these delicious donuts at home? As we mentioned, the recipe might seem complicated at a first glance, but it really isn’t. And afterward, you will be rewarded with homemade treats.
We hope to have covered any questions you might have had about milky cheese donuts. However, if you have further questions, we recommend you to check out the frequently asked questions. If you still can’t find an answer, write your question in the comments section.
How many calories are in a milky cheesy donut?
The amount of calories in a milky cheese donut varies depending on the ingredients you use. For example, the Milky Cheese Keto Doughnut from Dear Diet only has 157 calories. Unfortunately, there is no recipe available for them.
On the other hand, this recipe from Pagkaing Pinoy TV says 829 calories. However, it is not clear if it is per serving or for the recipe. You might like to try this recipe if you dislike the idea of cooking with a pot of hot oil. This recipe explains how to cook them in the oven instead.
What does the milk do in donuts?
Most regular donut recipes use milk because it helps to achieve the right texture and taste. In milky cheese donuts, the powdered milk with sugar also gives it its delicious taste.
I can’t have milk products, what can I do?
You could try substituting the dairy milk with, for example, rice, soy, or almond milk and use icing sugar on its own for the coating.