Cook the Book: Dewey Buns

Chapter: Doughnuts and Fritters – Recipe: Dewey Buns

These are by far the best thing I’ve yet made out of Marion’s book. The only description about these delights is “Dewey Buns are plump squares of light dough filled with vanilla cream. A Dewey Bun business could make someone rich.” With a description like that, how could I not have a Dewey Bun breakfast party? So that’s exactly what I did.

I didn’t have to do much to entice Brooke, Pat, Katie and Ben to come over for breakfast a couple of Saturdays ago, and we all agreed that these were absolutely amazing. I filled half of them with her vanilla cream and the other half with lemon curd. I think the lemon ones were the favorites, just by a hair. This was my first time truly deep-frying something (I had some practice here) and I must say, it was much easier than I would have suspected. So long as you have a thermometer to keep you on track, I promise there is nothing to worry about. Also, this recipe is great for the morning, because you can make the yeast dough the night before and let it proof overnight – perfect for a Dewey Bun breakfast party!

The only thing I would change next time is to perhaps make some sort of vanilla custard rather than the vanilla cream. The cream was good, but very very sugary. Nonetheless, these were overall a huge winner! Be sure to check out the other Doughnuts and Fritters with Rachel, Aimee, Natasha, Sammy and Claudie.

Dewey Buns from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, 1986


  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying

Mix the warm milk with sugar, salt and oil and stir to blend.

Stir together 2 cups flour, dry yeast, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture and beat for about 3 minutes. Add the egg and remaining cup flour and beat for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hour , or overnight.

Lightly dust a board with flour and turn dough onto it. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into squares that are 2 1/2 by 3 inches. Heat oil to about 365 degrees farenheit. Fry the squares, a few at a time, until golden on both sides (it takes about 1 minute on each side). Put the buns on paper towels and pat free of excess oil.


  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temp
  • 1 tbsp nonfat dry milk, to stabilize cream (I omitted this and I thought it still turned out fine)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (this is a lot so make sure it’s good quality)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Make the Dewey Cream by putting the egg white, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat 3 minutes on high-speed until smooth. Stir the nonfat dry milk, vanilla and salt into the cream and add to sugar mixture. Beat until smooth and creamy.

To assemble and fill the buns, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out a small shallow pocket from the inside of one half (mine puffed up and most had a hold in them already, so i didn’t have to scoop out much, if any). The pocket should be large enough to hold 1 1/2 tbsp filling. Fill with Dewey Cream and thinly spread the cream out to the edges. Put the two halves together and gently press the bun edges so that the halves with bind. Sift confectioners’ sugar over each side of the bun.


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