Glazed Lemon Doughnuts

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If there ever was a doughnut recipe that you needed to make, its these Glazed Lemon Doughnuts! A simple doughnut with added lemon zest to give it just a little bit of flavor, then fried to golden perfection, and dipped in the easiest two ingredient lemon glaze. There’s just so much to love about these doughnuts. Every bite is tangy, sweet, and oh so delicious! Serve warm, while the glaze is still sticky and messy, for the perfect Friday (or any day!) treat.

angled shot of lemon doughnuts in antique cake pan with parchment paper. Cheesecloth, white flowers, and lemon halves around on marble surface.

About The Recipe

While looking at our popular recipes from last year, we noticed a recurring theme. You all seem to LOVE doughnuts. Didn’t seem to matter if they were filled or plain. Baked or fried. Doughnuts were a go-to recipe for so many of you last year!

That, and lemon recipes. So, we thought we would combine the two and create the ultimate doughnut!

These glazed lemon doughnuts are based on our classic vanilla doughnuts recipe, but with added lemon zest to give them just a little bit of flavor. Then, dipped in the simplest lemon glaze (literally just powdered sugar and lemon juice!), which is where most of the flavor comes from.

They’re bright, sweet, sticky, and sooooo freaking good. Honestly, they’re kind of like little bites of sunshine, which is great during these cold winter days.

The best part? These doughnuts are ready to eat in just about 2 hours (and this includes rising time)!!

lemon doughnuts stacked in old cake pan on top of a white cheesecloth with cake knife beside and doughnut hole. Three dipped doughnuts on white cake stand behind with lemon halves and flowers.

Honestly, I could just make these on repeat. They’re SO good and so simple.

Reasons You Will Love These Lemon Doughnuts

  • Easier to make than you might think!
  • Ready in about 2 hours.
  • The perfect breakfast treat for lemon lovers.
  • Sweet without being TOO sweet.
  • Every doughnut makes doughnut holes, as well! A total win-win.
close up front shot of lemon doughnuts piled in cake pan.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Doughnuts:

  • All-Purpose Flour – No fancy flours needed for these doughnuts! Just regular unbleached all-purpose flour gives these doughnuts the perfect texture.
  • Instant Yeast – We use SAF Gold Yeast for this recipe.
  • Baking Powder – Provides just a little extra lift.
  • Granulated Sugar – We add just enough to give the yeast something to feed off of, as well as very lightly sweeten the dough.
  • Kosher Salt – An essential ingredient in any dough!
  • Lemon Zest – Just enough to give the doughnuts a little hint of lemon flavor.
  • Whole Milk – Make sure the whole milk is at room temperature, as it’ll be easier to mix in!
  • Large Eggs – Room temperature large eggs are perfect for these doughnuts.
  • Vanilla Extract – Just a splash to add some undertones.
  • Unsalted Butter – Remember to set out the butter before you’re ready to make these doughnuts!
flour, butter, lemon zest, sugar, vanilla, milk, eggs, baking powder, salt, and yeast on marble surface.

For The Glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar – Be sure to sift the powdered sugar for a smooth glaze!
  • Lemon Juice – This gives the glaze just the right amount of lemon flavor.
powdered sugar and lemon juice on marble surface in separate glass bowls.

How To Make Lemon Doughnuts

Step 1: Make the dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.

Add milk, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Knead on low speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. Increase speed to medium high. Knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Let prove

Place in a covered container that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise at warm room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 3: Roll out and cut

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll to ½ inch thick.

Use a doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts. Cover.

doughnuts cut from rolled out dough on marble surface.

Step 4: Fry

Fry doughnuts in hot oil (350°F) 3-4 at a time, cooking 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

fried doughnuts and doughnut holes on paper towel lined sheet pan.

Step 5: Make the glaze

In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

Step 6: Dip

Dip doughnuts into glaze, flipping to coat. Place on cooling rack placed over a sheet pan to dry.

– Doughnut Troubleshooting –

The butter won’t mix into the dough!
The most important thing you need to make sure of is that all your ingredients are room temperature. If anything is cold, it won’t mix like it’s supposed to.

My dough isn’t smooth after kneading!
Make sure you’re using a dough hook when mixing! It also could be that it wasn’t kneaded enough.

The dough didn’t rise in the times stated in the recipe card.
This could be caused by a few different things. It might be too cold in your kitchen, the yeast could be inactive, etc. We recommend investing in a dough proofer to help control the climate and keep your doughs rising as they should.

Dough browned but didn’t cook in the middle!
This is because your oil is too hot! Turn down the temperature and try again. Also, use a thermometer if you have one. It’s a good way to keep an eye on the oil and make sure it doesn’t get too hot again.

My doughnuts don’t have ANY flavor!
The doughnuts in this recipe are meant to be pretty simplistic, as you don’t want them to become bitter by adding too much lemon zest. Instead, the majority of the flavor comes from the glaze, as this way ensures a sweet lemon flavor without being too much!

piled lemon doughnuts in cake pan with top doughnut missing a bite.

What Type of Yeast To Use

You need to use an instant yeast. In this recipe, we used SAF Gold!

How To Store

These doughnuts are best eaten fresh and don’t store very well. We found after letting them sit overnight, almost all of the lemon flavor dissipated. Though, that doesn’t mean you can’t store them. If you’re okay with the flavor loss, you can store these doughnuts in a zip top bag or container and keep in the fridge for about a week. 

You can also freeze these in a freezer safe container or sealable bag!

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Honey Doughnuts, Vanilla Doughnuts, Strawberry Jam Filled Brioche Doughnuts, Old Fashioned Chocolate Doughnuts

close up of two stacked doughnuts with more behind.

Expert Tips

  • Check your yeast and make sure it’s in-date.
  • Make sure the butter, milk, and eggs are all at room temperature before beginning this recipe.
  • Don’t have a big enough lidded container to allow the dough to rise? You can put the dough in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap!
  • You can actually re-roll the dough scraps. Just don’t add any extra flour! The doughnuts from the dough scraps won’t be quite as pretty and may be a little tougher.
  • If dough is difficult to work with when re-rolling, cover it, and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Use a thermometer to keep oil at a steady temperature.
  • If there are a lot of bubbles in your glaze, the doughnuts will dry with bubbles!
  • To glaze the doughnuts, place the doughnut in the bowl of glaze and use a fork (or your fingers) to flip it over. Then, place glazed doughnuts on sheet pan with a cooling rack to dry.

When you make these Glazed Lemon Doughnuts, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

angled shot of lemon doughnuts in antique cake pan with parchment paper. Cheesecloth, white flowers, and lemon halves around on marble surface.

Glazed Lemon Doughnuts

Traci
These Glaze Lemon Doughnuts are the perfect way to start your day! Every bite is sweet without being TOO sweet, bright, lemon-y, and are truly melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Proofing Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 274 kcal

Ingredients
 

Doughnuts

  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1⅛ teaspoons kosher salt
  • teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Instructions

Doughnuts

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
  • Add milk, eggs, vanilla, and butter.
  • Knead on low speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium high.
  • Knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 10 minutes.
  • Place in a covered container that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (Alternately, place uncovered in a proofing box with water tray set to 78 °F.)
  • Allow to rise at warm room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
  • Roll to ½-inch thick.
  • Use a doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts. (You can use a small cookie cutter to cut doughnut holes from the leftover dough.)
  • Cover.
  • Pour 2 inches of vegetable oil in bottom of dutch oven.
  • Heat over medium heat to 350 °F.
  • Fry doughnuts 3-4 at a time, cooking 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels.

Glaze

  • In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  • Beat with a whisk until smooth.
  • Dip doughnuts into glaze, flipping to coat.
  • Place on cooling rack placed over a sheet pan to dry.

Notes

  • Check your yeast and make sure it’s in-date.
  • Make sure the butter, milk, and eggs are all at room temperature before beginning this recipe.
  • Don’t have a big enough lidded container to allow the dough to rise? You can put the dough in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap!
  • You can actually re-roll the dough scraps. Just don’t add any extra flour! The doughnuts from the dough scraps won’t be quite as pretty and may be a little tougher.
  • If dough is difficult to work with when re-rolling, cover it, and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Use a thermometer to keep oil at a steady temperature.
  • If there are a lot of bubbles in your glaze, the doughnuts will dry with bubbles!
  • To glaze the doughnuts, place the doughnut in the bowl of glaze and use a fork (or your fingers) to flip it over. Then, place glazed doughnuts on sheet pan with a cooling rack to dry.

Nutrition

Serving: 1doughnutCalories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 362mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 339IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

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