If you are obsessed with all things lemon like me, you are going to LOVE these lemon donuts. These are a cake-based donut, meaning they are baked, not fried, with lemon zest in the batter, and a sweet lemon glaze. They are PERFECTION.
What are lemon donuts?
There are two key components of these donuts. The batter and the glaze.
Let's start with the batter! Donuts can either be baked or fried. Fried donuts are what we consider to be a "classic" donut that is made with yeast like my Nutella Donuts. But if you are looking for a quick recipe, a baked donut is probably more up your alley. Baked donuts are cake based so they have more of a cake-like texture, rather than a fried donut which has more of a bread-like texture. The base contains lemon zest, so it is PACKED with lemon flavor.
The glaze is the second component - I LOVE a donut with a good glaze. This glaze is made with only two ingredients: powdered sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It is super easy to make.
For the donut
- All purpose flour is the flour of choice for these donuts. Since they are a baked donut, all purpose flour provides the perfect texture
- Baking powder is needed to help the donuts rise
- Salt is a flavor enhancer, so we added it here!
- Unsalted butter is my go-to when it comes to butter in baked goods. I like being able to control EXACTLY how much salt goes into my recipes, so that's why unsalted butter is the best option
- Egg is added for moisture and to bind the ingredients together
- A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar is my favorite for this type of donut
- Whole milk and yogurt are used to loosen up the batter and add moisture. I like to use full fat yogurt for these donuts. I used greek, but regular works, too!
- Lemon zest is an obvious ingredient! Like I mentioned, these donuts are packed with lemon flavor. In order to achieve that, we need to add lemon zest
For the glaze
- Powdered sugar and lemon juice are mixed together to make the perfect glaze
How to zest a lemon
Zesting a lemon is super easy. Make sure to wash your lemon and then, well, zest! If you don't have a zester, you can use a fine cheese grater or microplane.
Scrape the lemon against your zester (CAREFULLY - I have cut my hands many, many times) until you see the white part of the lemon. Rotate the lemon while repeating this until you have gone all the way around.
Make sure not to zest any of the lemon pith. The lemon pith is that white layer in between the peel and the fruit. It has a very bitter flavor, so try not to get any of that while you are zesting!
This donut recipe yields 14-16 regular-sized donuts.
Other donut recipes you may like
Lemon Glazed Donuts
- 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk room temperature
- ½ cup (120 grams) full-fat yogurt room temperature, either regular or greek works!
- 3 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and grease a donut pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted and cooled butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, yogurt and lemon zest until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until a batter forms. It will be thick.
- Gently spoon the batter into the donut cavities, or pipe them in using a piping bag/ziplock bag with the tip cut off (preferred method). Bake for 11-12 minutes until they are golden brown. To test, gently press your finger into the donut. It is ready if the donut bounces back.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While your donuts are baking/cooling, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. It will be a thick glaze.
- Once the donuts are cool, dip them into the glaze and let sit until the glaze has set. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!