Lemon Doughnuts Recipe

Full of light yet robust lemon flavor, these sweet and sunshiny doughnuts are most, fluffy, and perfect for Sunday brunch, a spring or summertime tea, or a holiday breakfast. And because they’re baked rather than fried, you can feel free to indulge!



Nonstick cooking spray

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • cup buttermilk
  • cup whole milk
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup confectionary sugar
  • ½ cup toasted pistachios, chopped (optional)


  1. To make the doughnuts, preheat an oven to 375°F. Coat the wells of a doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk, whole milk and lemon juice.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar mixture and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just blended.
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared well. Bake, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the doughnuts comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then invert the doughnuts onto the rack and let cool completely. Meanwhile, wash and dry the pan and repeat to bake the remaining batter.
  6. To make the glaze, in a bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon zest and salt. Add the confectioners’ sugar and stir until smooth and well blended. Dip the doughnuts, top side down, into the glaze, sprinkle with the pistachios, and serve. Makes about sixteen 3-inch doughnuts.