Beignets from Haute-Savoie
Place of originFrance
Main ingredientsDough, powdered sugar

Beignet (/ˈbɛnj/ BEN-yay, also US: /bnˈj, bɛnˈj/ bayn-YAY, ben-YAY,[1][2][3][4] French: [bɛɲɛ]; lit.'bump') is a type of fritter, or deep-fried pastry, made from pâte à choux, but may also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough.[5] In France there are at least 20 different versions. They can vary in shape, the flour used for the dough, and the filling. They are popular in French, Italian, and French-American cuisines.


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The term beignet can be applied to two varieties, depending on the type of pastry. The French-style beignet in the United States has the specific meaning of deep-fried choux pastry.[5]

Beignets can also be made with yeast pastry,[6] which might be called boules de Berlin in French, referring to Berliner doughnuts, which lack the typical doughnut hole, filled with fruit or jam.

In Corsica, beignets made with chestnut flour (beignets de farine de châtaigne) are known as fritelli.

In Canadian French, doughnuts are referred to alternately as beigne or beignet.

In former French colonial empire in West Africa, a beignet is a small ball of fried dough, in Senegal sometimes made with millet flour rather than wheat, equivalent to a Puff-puff.[7]


Beignets from the Café du Monde in New Orleans
Preparing beignets in Café du Monde (New Orleans)

Louisiana-style beignets are square or rectangular fried pastries made from leavened dough rather than choux pastry. In New Orleans, they are best known as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top.[5] They are traditionally prepared to be eaten fresh and hot before consumption. Variations of fried dough can be found across cuisines internationally; however, the origin of the term beignet is specifically French. In the United States, beignets have been popular within New Orleans Creole cuisine and may also be served as a dessert. They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists,[6] from "the old mother country",[8] also brought by Acadians,[9] and became a large part of home-style Creole cooking. Variations often include banana or plantain – popular fruits in the port city – or berries.[10][11] It is one of only two official state donuts—the only other one being the Boston cream doughnut, the state donut of Massachusetts.[12][13]


Ingredients used to prepare beignets traditionally include:

See also


  1. ^ "beignet". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Beignet". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  3. ^ "beignet"[dead link] (US) and "beignet". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2020-03-22.
  4. ^ "beignet". Dictionary. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Davidson, Alan (1999). Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780192115799.
  6. ^ a b "Beignet History and Recipe". 21 April 2015. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Beignets dougoub (beignets de mil soufflés)". Senecuisine. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  8. ^ Schneider, Wendi (1989). The Picayune's Creole Cook Book. New York: Random House. p. 385.
  9. ^ "Beignets". Café du Monde. Archived from the original on August 24, 2018.
  10. ^ McKnight, Laura (November 16, 2007). "Beignets: More than Just a Doughnut". Archived from the original on June 29, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  11. ^ "Of Interest to Women: Banana Served In Appetizing Forms". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 1, 1907.
  12. ^ Anderson, L. V. (2014-08-24). "The United Sweets of America". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  13. ^ "Beignet State Doughnut | State Symbols USA". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 2022-02-16.

Further reading