These Strawberry Lemon Doughnuts are moist, with the zing of fresh lemon zest and juice and then covered with an all-natural strawberry glaze. I had fun figuring out the right recipe for these doughnuts. I wanted something soft like a cake, not too sweet and packed with flavor. Since they're baked you can easily make 6 - 12 at a time depending on how many doughnut pans you have. The recipe below makes 6 at a time, but the recipe can be easily doubled. Six is perfect for a special treat, and 12 is great for a party.
I love making doughnuts. I made my first ones in 2016 and couldn’t believe how easy it was. They were filled with a vanilla pastry cream and so much better than anything I had ever had from a bakery. Two things that I like about homemade doughnuts are they're not as sweet as most doughnuts you buy at bakeries and you can easily experiment with flavors.
The great thing about baked doughnuts is that they can be made in less than an hour and make a great breakfast treat. And there is no better way to than to impress your friends and family with homemade doughnuts.
How to Make Baked Doughnuts
First I had to learn how to make baked doughnuts. I checked one cookbook and three trusted recipe sites, and they were all different. When I'm trying to develop a new recipe I do look at multiple sources to get a basic understanding of how something is made. I create a spreadsheet of the ingredients and the amount from the different sources and start to look for commonalities. For instance, almost all the recipes used one egg for 6 doughnuts. But almost everything else was different - the amount of flour, sugar, liquid, etc.
In the end I experimented with five different recipes before I got the one I liked. Throughout the recipe testing, the oven temperature was 400 degrees for each trial. The final doughnut was moist, soft, squishy and the flavor of the spices was prominent.
The dough for the first batch was more like really wet bread dough. I started with almost two cups of flour and 1/2 cup of sugar. This doughnut was a little dry and not sweet enough for me. The next one I increased the sugar, but then it was too sweet and the final doughnut seemed a little tough or chewy. For the next batch, I increased the liquid, decreased the sugar and the batter was more cake-like and not too sweet.
However, the first three recipes all had something in common - they were a little gritty. I thought that maybe because the mixing and baking times are so short, the sugar didn't have enough time to properly dissolve.
For the fourth batch, I whisked the sugar with the liquid ingredients, which I hoped would be enough time to thoroughly dissolve the sugar. And then added the melted butter, by slowly pouring it into the other liquids and whisking the entire time. I think that was the trick because these doughnuts were not gritty at all. They were moist, soft and pillowy and the lemon flavor was sharp.
One final test recipe. I wanted to see if replacing half the butter with vegetable oil created a moister doughnut. The doughnut was slightly moister, but the flavor was a little flat. I decided to stick with the all-butter recipe.
The final doughnuts are a dark golden brown on the top side and pale on the bottom.
How to Make the Strawberry Glaze
The glaze is made with three ingredients: freeze-dried strawberries, powdered sugar, and heavy cream or whole milk. The heavy cream makes the glaze creamier, but whole milk will work too.
I put the glaze in a small deep bowl and once the doughnuts are cooled I dip the doughnut into the glaze, lift it up and allow some of the glaze to drip off the doughnut. Sprinkle the top with crushed freeze-dried strawberries to decorate the doughnuts and bump up the strawberry flavor.
I hope you try this recipe. If you do please leave a comment on the blog or post a picture on Instagram and tag me @bakesbybrownsugar.
Recommended Equipment: Zulay Kitchen Nonstick Doughnut Pan
Strawberry Lemon Doughnuts
- 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup (63 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 (50 grams) large egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Strawberry Glaze
- 1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup (6 grams) freeze-dried strawberries
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Freeze-Dried Strawberry Topping
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries, pulverized
- One non-stick 6 cavity doughnut pan.
For the Lemon Doughnuts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the sugar in a large bowl and zest the lemon on top of the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add the milk and the egg and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Add the melted butter it to the liquid ingredients in a steady stream and whisk constantly while adding it.
- Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold the ingredients until no bits of flour remain. The batter will be a little lumpy, but that is okay. Do not overmix the batter or it will be tough.
- Spoon the batter into an 18-inch pastry bag. Twist the top to close it and cut an 1/2-inch opening in the other end. Pipe the batter into the 6 doughnut wells of the doughnut pan.
- Bake the doughnuts for 10-12 minutes. Rotating the pan halfway through the baking. The doughnuts are done when the you press them with your finger, and they spring back. The tops will be lightly golden brown.
- Turn the doughnuts out on a wire rack and cool completely before adding the glaze.
For the Strawberry Glaze
- While the donuts are cooling place the freeze-dried strawberries in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to pulverize into a powder. Combine the powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberries and 1/4 cup of the cream or milk and stir together. Add the remaining liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Dip the doughnuts into the glaze and swirl to coat the tops and halfway down the sides. Place on a rack or parchment paper. Sprinkle with the pulverized freeze-dried strawberries. The doughnuts are now ready to eat. They are best the day they are baked.