These lemon donuts are super soft cake donuts and full of fresh lemon flavor. They are topped with a lemon icing. They are homemade donuts with a refreshing lemon flavor! What more could you ask for?
These homemade lemon donuts are the perfect way to get your sweet donut fix for lemon lovers. They are soft, delicious, and simple to make! These are baked donuts, so you do not need to use a pot of hot oil, either. These are a sweet treat with a bright lemon flavor that goes great with a cup of coffee!
Why This Recipe Works
- Fresh donuts- Homemade donuts made fresh taste better than any other donuts!
- Fluffy donuts- These fluffy lemon donuts are soft in your mouth and the simple lemon glaze is the perfect complement to them.
- Lemon flavor- These lemon donuts have a strong lemon flavor through the dough and glaze due to being flavored the best way, with lemon zest and lemon juice. The natural ingredients taste better than a lemon extract.
- Easy recipe- The best part is that these homemade doughnuts are super simple to make and only have a few simple steps to make them. Easy enough to make first thing in the morning!
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Flour- Be sure to sift this to avoid flour clumps. Also don't compact it when measuring to avoid dry donuts.
- Sugar- You can use regular granulated sugar for these.
- Eggs- Pull these out 2 hours before baking to get to room temperature.
- Milk- Pull this out 2 hours before baking to get to room temperature.
- Sour Cream- Pull this out 2 hours before baking to get to room temperature.
- Unsalted butter- Melt this before you need it so it can cool.
- Fresh lemons- After you get your fresh lemon zest you can juice the same lemons for the fresh lemon juice.
- Powdered Sugar- Be sure to sift this to avoid gritty icing.
Step By Step Instructions
Here is how to make and bake these lemon doughnuts.
STEP 1: Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, spray 2 donut pans with baking nonstick spray.
STEP 2: Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
STEP 3: Wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix them until just combined.
STEP 4: Pipe dough. Add the batter to a pastry bag and pipe the batter into each donut pan. Be sure to only fill the pans halfway to not overfill them.
STEP 5: Bake donuts. Bake them for 9-11 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
Note: You can bake two baking sheets at the same time if your oven has room.
STEP 6: Cool. Let the donuts cool in the hot pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not ice them until they are completely cooled.
STEP 7: Mix icing. Mix the powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk in a small bowl. Whisk it until it is a smooth icing. It should be runny enough to drip off the donuts, but thick enough to not be translucent.
STEP 8: Dip donuts. Dip the donuts in the icing. Top them with extra lemon zest. Let the icing set before you serve them.
Expert Baking Tips
- Flour- Make sure the flour is spooned and leveled. If you stick the measuring cup directly into the flour, it will compact the flour. Compacted flour can cause the donuts to be dry.
- Make sure to thoroughly spray the donut pans with baking nonstick spray first. Cooking spray does not have flour like baking spray, so use a baking one!
- When you are piping the donut batter into the pan, it can be still a little uneven. To prevent this, use your finger to smooth out the batter.
- Place a cookie sheet under the wire rack to catch any glaze that drips off.
You can make these into muffins. Use a muffin pan with muffin liners. Bake for the same amount of time. Dip the muffins into the glaze.
Yes you can. Freeze the cooled donuts and wrap in cling wrap. Freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before glazing.
I have not recipe tested this. If you make these with no eggs, let me know.
Storing and Freezing
Store these lemon donuts in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
These donuts taste best fresh. The donuts can have the glaze melt a little in an airtight container.
Once you have cooled the baked lemon donuts you can freeze them before decorating them. Thaw them for 1 hour before glazing them.
Other Breakfast Recipes To Try
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ⅔ cup White granulated sugar
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup Milk room temperature
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 2 Lemons zested
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 2 Lemon zested
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoon Milk
- Lemon zested extra lemons zested
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray two donut pans with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the batter into the donut pan. It is really easy to over fill the pan. It should only be half full.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If your oven has room, you can bake both at the same time.
- Let the donuts sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
- In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk. Use a whisk to mix until smooth. It needs to be runny enough to drip off the donuts, but not too runny that the batter is translucent.
- Dip the donuts into the icing. Top with extra lemon zest. Let the icing set before digging in.