Homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts are soft, fluffy, and sunshiny sweet! Baked, not fried, this lemon donut recipe is ready in just 20 minutes.
Baked Lemon Donuts
Hello hello! Today’s recipe is inspired by my grapefruit poppy seed doughnuts. ← A wintertime favorite! I simply ditched the grapefruit and added some perky lemon in its place. To me, lemons just feel like Spring.
The results of my simple baking experiment?! Bright, vibrantly flavored baked donuts bursting with lemon and poppy seeds in every bite. These lemon poppy seed donuts are definitely a new Springtime favorite and perfect for the breakfast table. Bake up a batch for yourself and see why 🙂
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:
- A donut pan is required for this recipe. If you don’t own one, you can click here to check out the amazing and affordable one I’ve been using for the past 5 years!
- Be sure to generously grease your donut pan with non-stick spray. I suggest using one that is made specifically for baking, since they typically have flour in them, which helps the donuts come out of the mold effortlessly. If you can’t find non-stick spray, you can butter and flour the mold the old-fashioned way, just be sure to get every little nook and cranny.
- Don’t over bake you donuts! I see this happen all the time and it makes me so sad because over baked donuts come out of the oven tough and dense… not moist and fluffy as they should be. Just be sure to set a timer for 10 minutes and keep an eye on them. Once they’ve risen and slightly spring back when touched, they’re done!
- Be sure you use fresh lemon juice and zest! You’ll want to zest the lemons first, then cut them in half and juice them. I suggest buying 3 or 4 large, heavy lemons so you have enough on hand.
- Lemon extract is not an optional ingredient. I tested this recipe several times and found that without the lemon extract, the flavor was too subtle and almost flat. I love Watkins pure lemon extract because it’s 100% natural, doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or additives, and just tastes like pure lemon. What more could you want from a lemon extract, right?! (not getting paid to say that; it’s just true!)
- These donuts are best eaten the day they are made. I find the texture and taste decrease significantly after 24 hours.
More Lemon Poppy Seed Recipes:
If you try this recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day ♥
Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts
For the donuts:
- 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 cup milk (whole, reduced fat, skim, or almond should work fine here)
For the glaze:
- 1 and 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if needed
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
For the donuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Generously grease a doughnut pan; set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds; set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest; mix together with your fingers until zest is evenly distributed in the sugar. Add in the melted butter and beat until combined. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract; beat well. Stir in milk.
- Add in the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture together using a rubber spatula, stirring only until mixture is evenly combined.
- Spoon or pipe the thick batter into the molds of your prepared pan, filling each mold up 2/3 of the way. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until firm and lightly golden on the tops.
- Remove pan from oven and allow doughnuts to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tray before transferring to a cooling wrack to cool completely.
- Once cool, dip each doughnut in glaze and serve! The glaze does take a few minutes to set, so you may want to wait about 5 minutes after glazing to dig in... but it's hard!
For the Glaze:
- In a wide, shallow dish combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and milk; whisk to combine - the mixture will be a little clumpy at this point. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest; whisk smooth. If the glaze appears too thick, add in a little more lemon juice; if the glaze appears too thin, add in a little more confectioners' sugar. Carefully dip cooled doughnuts in the glaze, and let rest for 5 minutes - if you can wait - before serving.