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.
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!
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- 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!