I love baking (if you can’t tell), and I would much rather recreate treats at home than buy them in stores. So when the wee ones started begging for donuts, of course I made baked lemon donuts from scratch.
Of course, I had promised to make them this week, and Friday became “the” day to make them. Little did I know that today was actually National Donut Day, so of course I couldn’t weasel out of making these little beauties. The wee ones helped, and they turned out fantastic. Granted, I like my baked lemon donuts lemony, so there is lemon juice and lemon zest in both the donuts themselves and in the glaze on top. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My daughter, of course, is complaining because we only have mini donut pans to make our baked lemon donuts, and she wants BIG donuts. I pointed out that we make the same quantity of donuts whether we use a mini pan or a big one, but she’s having none of it. On the plus side, I think a full size donut pan will make the perfect birthday present for her in a couple months. Someone remind me when it’s July 30 and I can’t figure out what to buy her.
Whether you make these baked lemon donuts as mini donuts or regular donuts, the prep is the same. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time, but that is about the extent of the difference.
If you don’t own a donut pan, buy one. Now. Making donuts (ok ok or doughnuts) from scratch is fun and surprisingly easy. (Affiliate link: if you buy a pan to make these baked lemon donuts using this link, I’ll earn some pennies off it, but you pay no more than you would have otherwise.) I love this pan for my mini donuts that gives me more flexibility in overfilling the pan, and this is my favorite regular size donut pan. Go ahead…
Homemade Baked Lemon Donuts Recipe
Preheat your oven to 375, then add your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest of one lemon into a bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl (ok, so I just use a large measuring cup because that means making less of a mess overall – fewer dishes = winning!), add the milk, mayonnaise, quarter cup of lemon juice, melted butter, and eggs. Whisk until thoroughly beaten together. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed together.
Grease your donut pans. This made about six dozen small donuts, so plan to do multiple batches of baking. Scoop your batter into a gallon size zip top bag and seal. Snip off a small piece from the corner, maybe a half inch wide. Carefully add the batter to each donut hole, ensuring that you fill them no more than 2/3 of the way full.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. These will not turn very brown, so don’t use color as an indicator. Once you can gently press them and they spring back, remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
While the donuts are cooling, mix up your glaze. In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and the zest from your second lemon. Add a quarter cup of lemon juice and use a fork to stir. Add a little more lemon juice if you would like it a little thinner.
Dip the donuts into the glaze to a depth of half the donut and twist as you remove it, shaking off the excess.
Place the donut right side up onto your cooling rack for the glaze to harden. Enjoy immediately or place into an airtight container to store on your counter for up to two days. You can also freeze them for up to a month, but… go ahead, share a few and enjoy the rest!
- 2 c flour
- ½ c sugar
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ t salt
- zest of one lemon
- ½ c milk
- ¼ c lemon juice
- ¼ c mayonnaise (or sour cream)
- 3 T butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 t vanilla
- 1¼ c powdered sugar
- zest of one lemon
- ¼ c lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease donut pans
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest to a bowl and stir.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, lemon juice, mayonnaise, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated and frothy. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Scoop batter into a gallon-size zip top bag and seal. Snip off a small section from the corner. Add batter to donut pans, filling to no more than ⅔ full.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, until donut spring back when you gently press it. Cool in pans for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Mix the glaze while donuts are cooling. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, and remaining quarter cup of lemon juice to a bowl and stir together with a fork.
- Dip cooled donuts into the glaze, twisting as you lift, then shake off excess. Return donut to cooling rack for the glaze to harden.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days.