Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze — These taste like the Starbucks lemon loaf, but in donut (or mini muffin) form!! Easy, no mixer recipe with a tart-yet-sweet lemon glaze that’s PERFECT! Lemon lovers will adore them!!
Easy Baked Donut Recipe
I took one of the most popular recipes on my site — my Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf — and turned it into donuts. They’re full of robust lemon flavor and are soft, fluffy, moist, and baked rather than fried so you can have extra, of course.
They’re ready in 25 minutes so there’s no excuse to not make them. They’re perfect for breakfast, brunch, or snacks.
I only have one full-size donut pan so I made donut holes too in my mini muffin pan. They’re adorable and highly poppable as mini food always is. I haven’t tried the recipe as full size muffins.
Make as written and you’re going to love these lemony gems.
What’s in the Lemon Donuts?
To make these lemon glazed donuts, you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon zest and juice
- Lemon extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Yellow food coloring (optional)
- Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make Baked Lemon Donuts
Gently whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Combine the two, then divide the batter between a six-count donut pan and a 12-count mini muffin pan.
Bake until the donuts and donut holes are cooked through, set, and springy to the touch. Let the donuts cool slightly while you make the lemon glaze (a simple combination of lemon juice and powdered sugar).
What Can I Substitute for the Lemon Extract?
Nothing, unfortunately. Because it took me years to perfect my Starbucks Copycat recipe, I have very specific instructions about the use of lemon extract and lemon juice.
Do NOT use lemon juice in the donuts in place of lemon extract because lemon juice isn’t flavorful enough and the acidity will negatively alter the overall results. Lemon extract is very inexpensive, far less than vanilla extract, and you do want to use a full tablespoon in this recipe for a big pop of lemon flavor.
Additionally, lemon extract and lemon oil are NOT interchangeable.
Tips for Making Lemon Glazed Donuts
I only have one donut pan at home, so I used a 6-count donut pan and a 12-count mini muffin pan for this recipe. Mix and match pans as needed, and adjust the bake time accordingly.
I dolloped the batter into the donut pan with a spoon, but you can transfer to a large zip-top back, seal, cut one of the corners with a scissors, and pipe into the pans if that’s easier. For the donut holes, I use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop filled with about 1 heaping tablespoon batter.
You don’t need to let the donuts cool completely before glazing them. The glaze will slide off the warm donuts a little bit, but that’s okay. Warm donuts are the best!
Pin This Recipe
Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Glaze
These taste like the Starbucks lemon loaf, but in donut (or mini muffin) form!! Easy, no mixer recipe with a tart-yet-sweet lemon glaze that's PERFECT! Lemon lovers will adore them!!
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat Fage, sour cream may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract, or to taste (not teaspoon; and not lemon oil and not lemon juice; see step 2 below for notes)
- a few drops of yellow food coloring, optional and as needed for desired shade
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 6-count non-stick donut pan and one mini muffin pan with cooking spray, or grease the pans; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the the egg, sugar, Greek yogurt, oil, lemon zest, lemon extract, optional food coloring, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pans, filling each cavity about 3/4 full. I dollop the batter into the donut pan with a spoon but you can transfer to a large ziptop back, seal, cut one of the corners with a scissors, and pipe into the pans if that’s easier. For the donut holes, I use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop filled with about 1 heaping tablespoon batter.
- Bake for about 13 to 16 minutes, or until donuts and donut holes are cooked through, set, and springy to the touch. The donuts baked for 15 minutes and donut holes for 14 minutes in my oven but all pans, climates, ovens, how full the pans are filled, etc. vary so bake until done.
- Allow donuts and donut holes to cool in the pans while you make the glaze.
- To a small bowl, add the confectioner’s sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined. You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts slightly as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.
- Dip the top of each donut and donut hole in glaze and allow to cool momentarily before enjoying.
For the Donuts:
Pan note: Alternatively, use the pans you have available including mini donuts, full-size muffins, etc. and adjusting baking times accordingly.
Lemon extract substitutes: Do NOT use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably because they’re not the same; oil is much more potent and intense. Don’t use lemon juice in place of lemon extract because it’s not flavorful enough and the acidity will alter the overall results.
Storage: Donuts and donut holes are best warm and fresh but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days.
Adapted from The Best Lemon Loaf (Better-Than-Starbucks Copycat) and Banana Bread Donuts.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 44gProtein: 7g
More Lemon Dessert Recipes:
The Best Lemon Loaf (Better-Than-Starbucks Copycat) — Took years but I finally recreated it! Easy, no mixer, no cake mix, dangerously good!!
Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze – An easy little cake with big lemon flavor!! Soft, fluffy, and foolproof if you like puckering up!
Glazed Lemon Pie Bars — Buttery soft crust with luscious lemon filling and a lemon glaze boosts the bold lemon flavor even more! If you like lemon pie, you’ll love these easy bars that are so much easier than making pie!
Lemon Lemonies – Like brownies, but made with lemon and white chocolate! Dense, chewy, not cakey and packed with big, bold lemon flavor!
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, fluffy, moist, very lemony cupcakes from scratch! Easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe for cupcakes that taste like they’re from a bakery!
The Best Lemon Bars – Truly the best lemon bars I’ve ever had!
Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies — Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!
Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies – Packed with big, bold lemon flavor for all you lemon lovers! They’re soft, chewy and not at all cakey!
These turned out great! The recipe made 10 in my Wilton donut pans. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks Averie, I am glad to have found your website.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad they turned out great and that you found my website! Hope you make lots more!
i’m writing this comment while eating one of these amazing donuts right after glazing them. they really do taste like the starbucks lemon loaf. thank you so much for an amazing recipe!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that these remind you of the Starbucks lemon loaf!
Love this recipe
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love this recipe!
quite simply … delicious!!!!!!many thanks
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad these were delicious!
Made a double batch of these I don’t think they’re going to last long. I can’t believe how light and just the right amount of lemon.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad to hear they were a hit!
hi, can i make this into chocolate and take out all the lemon ect….. and add cocoa powder these were incredible, the moisture of the cake.
I really am not sure how that would work. I have a chocolate donut recipe that I know works great https://www.averiecooks.com/baked-chocolate-donuts-with-chocolate-ganache-and-sprinkles/
Absolutely love, love, love these lemon doughnuts. So simply to make and so flavorful. Love anything lemon. Thank you!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you absolutely love them!
Yours is the first recipe I tried when I received my new Wilton 20-well donut pan. I also love the Starbucks lemon cake so the thought of lemon donuts based on that recipe made my mouth water. My first batch, I had a severe brain fart and forgot to add the oil and greek yogurt to the egg & sugar mixture. I realized this when I mixed the egg and sugar into the dry ingredients and of course it was way too dry. So then I mixed in the yogurt but in another brain fart forgot the oil. So then I had to mix in the oil last. I was afraid I’d ruined the batch, so I set the batter aside and started all over. I had no more yogurt so had to use sour cream for the second batch. The donuts were delicious – my husband and son loved them, too. I hate to see ingredients go to waste, so I baked up the first batch – they were fine, maybe not as tender and fluffy but still delicious. On a final note, I used Frontier brand lemon flavoring (I didn’t have any lemon extract) – it’s made with glycerin and oil rather than with alcohol, but worked fine, with tons of lemon flavor. This is a fantastic recipe, thank you.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you got to break in your new donut pan, a few times!
Thanks for sharing the type of extract you used because often people do ask about brand recommendations and I generally just use whatever store brand is on sale.
I tried the recipe 01/01/19 and they were a hit. I love the fluffy and moist lemon donut. I will this recipe again because i like the yogurt rather buttermilk. Thanks so much for a delicious donut.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you will make these again!
Can i sub 1/2 whole wheat flour with the rest being AP flour?
I have only made the recipe as written and really can’t say how it will turn out if you make substitutions.
Have you ever made this with Splenda, or any other sugar substitute?
Would love more recipes with those
I have not, only with regular sugar.
I did not have any yogurt on hand, so substituted with an equal amount of lemon pie filling. Delicious, light, & fluffy!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad the lemon pie filling worked out just fine!
These look amazing!! I am sensitive to both dairy and eggs so I have to adapt most recipes with vegan substitutions. I’ve had decent success so far when making baked donuts. I’m wondering for the Greek yogurt if it would be better to sub an equal amount of vegan buttermilk (almond milk curdled with vinegar) or vegan yogurt (Rippled brand is the closest in texture to Greek). I assume the yogurt is what lends the acid to activate the baking soda and powder. I’m not sure if the vegan buttermilk will add too much liquid or if the vegan yogurt won’t add enough acidity … any advice?
I’ve only made the recipe as written so can’t give specifics about what to do if you change things. My advice is to experiment on your own and see what happens. Good luck!
is there any way that i can print this without the video showing ? it blocks the recipe title/photo and uses too much ink!
Yes you click on the giant PRINT RECIPE button in the recipe card section and it only prints the recipe.
Yes! That’s what I do! (btw, I LOVE your new printer-friendly format!!!)
For some reason, the video still pops up at the top of the print preview and it prints with an image of whatever part of the video is playing when I clicked print recipe!
Hmm… maybe it’s something wrong with the settings on my computer ? I’ll see if I can find a solution
Hmmm….it only prints the recipe for and a tiny thumbnail image. No video. Hopefully you can figure it out with your settings.
I just made these delightful confections!! So easy yet so delicious . Why buy a fried donut when we can have these healthy donuts? Love the lemon fkavor!! I think I will try with orange also! My batter yielded 12 full size donuts. Thank you
Thanks for the praise and glad you loved these donuts! Agreed – why buy fried when you can make healthier donuts at home!
I Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love everything lemon. Thank you for all the wonderful lemon recipes.
Hope you enjoy these!
Could I substitute limoncello for the extract?
I don’t know and because I worked extremely hard to perfect the Lemon Poundcake that these donuts were adapted from, and it was one of those recipes where the slightest change seemed to result in a failure, I would make as written and not experiment.
The weekend is almost here and these sounds so perfect to go with morning coffee on a Sunday. So pretty much I have to make them! ?
Baked donuts are highly underrated, IMO! Love that you went with lemon; it’s perfect and light for these dog days of summer!
hey girl I love everything lemon! These look yummy!
Oh my. These look SO fantastic!! You know how much I love lemon!
We are on a lemony kick! I made your buttermilk lemon cake to take to a party on Monday. I wanted to make your sugar cookies with patriotic sprinkles, but I discovered I was out of sprinkles, so I punted. Not patriotic, but tasty. :)
Running out of sprinkles is a crime :) Glad you tried the buttermilk lemon cake! Maybe lemon donuts will be next!
This recipe is so versatile and delicious. We cannot WAIT to try it and devour them slowly here at HQ.
Such a wonderful idea, Averie!! I will definitely have to try using lemon extract instead of juice in my next lemony concoction. Pinning :)
It adds the flavor without all of the acidity of lemon juice which can change the batter, how it behaves in the oven, etc. so it’s really helpful and adds so much flavor!
I prefer iced or glazed cake donuts to yeast so a Starbucks loaf turned into them sounds pretty amazing! I’ve never had a lemon donut but it’s a nice flavor this time of year.
In San Diego there are a ton of ‘fancy’ donut shops and I’ve had everything from lemon to creme brulee!
Lemon extract is the best, and it’s so underused. I love that it makes a cameo in this recipe. And who would not love a lemon donut? Talk about the best, sunshiny way to start a day!