Lemon Donuts are bright and citrusy baked donuts with a zesty lemon icing. They are great for a lemony start to your day, as a sweet treat to go with afternoon coffee or tea, or as a zingy dessert. If you love lemons, you will love these lemon glazed donuts!
These easy baked donuts are nearly mess-free thanks to the use of donut pans instead of frying them in oil. Baking donuts is one of my favorite shortcuts to delicious, fluffy donuts in about 30 minutes! With these, there's no need to let your dough rise or deal with dangerously hot oil. Filled with zesty lemon flavor, these baked lemon donuts do not disappoint!
This recipe is sponsored by Lifeway Kefir. Their organic whole milk kefir is up to 99% lactose-free, gluten-free, and comes in so many delicious flavors! I love using their lemon kefir in these donuts and my Lemon Snack Cake for extra flavor and fluffiness!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Triple lemon flavor from lemon juice, zest, and Lifeway Organic Lemon Whole Milk Kefir.
- You'll learn how to make lemon glaze with just 3 ingredients.
- No pot of hot oil needed for these baked lemon donuts.
- Fluffy, citrusy baked cake donuts.
- This recipe uses both the lemon zest in the donut batter and lemon zest and juice in the glaze.
- Lifeway Organic Lemon Whole Milk Kefir adds moisture, tang, and lemon flavor.
- Vegetable oil makes the donuts rich and moist.
- Baking powder keeps the donuts light and fluffy.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- Instead of the lemon glaze, brush melted butter on the donuts and dip them in a lemon sugar mixture made by rubbing lemon zest into granulated sugar.
- Bake the batter in a muffin pan and fill the muffins with lemon curd.
- For a sweeter version, drizzle the donuts with white chocolate in place of the lemon glaze.
- Add a teaspoon of poppy seeds into the batter before baking for a lemon poppy seed donut.
- If you absolutely can't find Lifeway Lemon Kefir, their Plain Whole Milk Kefir can be used instead. You can also substitute it with buttermilk.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
How to Make Lemon Baked Donuts
Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, lemon zest, egg, Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Lemon Kefir, and vanilla together to fully incorporate.
Step 3: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no ribbons of flour remain.
Step 4: Pipe the batter into a greased donut pan and bake at 350°F. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Step 5: To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Step 6: Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze or drizzle it on top of them and allow the icing to dry.
Expert Baking Tips
- Bake time and donut quantity may vary based on the size of donut pan used. Fill donut pan about ⅔ of the way up. Remove the donuts from the oven when they spring back with a gentle poke.
- Don't overmix or overbake your donuts to ensure they come out light and fluffy.
- If you use a silicone donut pan, I recommend placing a baking sheet underneath it in the oven so that it doesn't bend while handling it.
Lemon zest is the yellow, outermost rind of the lemon, surrounding the white pith. It contains oil which has an intense lemon flavor.
No. This batter is designed to be baked and will not work fried.
This can be found at lifewaykefir.com or in the dairy section of most grocery stores.
Best enjoyed the same day they are made, unglazed lemon donuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Store leftover donuts with icing in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freeze fully cooled, un-iced donuts in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Defrost and glaze donuts.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ review below and tag @brokenovenbaking and @lifewaykefir on Instagram!
Baked Lemon Donuts with Icing
- Donut pan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Piping bag optional
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour weighed in grams or spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup Lifeway Organic Lemon Whole Milk Kefir room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or water more/less depending on consistency preference
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a donut pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, and lemon zest really well. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon kefir.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until the flour streaks disappear.
- Pipe or spoon batter into the prepared donut pan so that they're each about ⅔-¾ full.
- Bake on the middle rack until the donuts spring back after a gentle poke (about 10-15 minutes). Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk/water until smooth. Dip the cooled donuts in the icing or drizzle it over them.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.