Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Sugar Coating

Bright, zesty, and perfectly sweet, these baked lemon donuts are a delightful treat for any occasion. The lemon sugar coating adds an extra layer of flavor and texture that makes them irresistible.


For the Donuts:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • ¾ cup sour cream (or full-fat Greek yogurt, room temperature)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

For the Lemon Sugar Coating:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (or vegetable, canola, or olive oil)
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest


  1. Prepare the Oven and Donut Pans: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease your donut pans thoroughly using butter or a nonstick spray.
  2. Make the Batter: In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugars and lemon zest using your fingertips, infusing the sugar with lemon flavor. Add the vanilla extract, sour cream, lemon juice, and oil to the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
  3. Gradually fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture using a spatula. Stir until just combined, ensuring not to overmix.
  4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or a ziplock bag. Snip off the end (or corner for a ziplock bag) and pipe the batter into the donut molds, filling them about ¾ full. Alternatively, you can also spoon the batter into the molds.
  5. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean. Allow the donuts to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Lemon Sugar Coating: In a shallow dish, combine the sugar and lemon zest. As done previously, use your fingertips to massage the zest into the sugar, enhancing the lemony aroma and flavor.
  7. Generously brush each cooled donut with melted butter or your choice of oil. Dredge each donut in the lemon sugar mixture, ensuring all sides are coated. Set the sugar-coated donuts on a wire rack.


  • Transferring the batter into a piping or ziplock bag ensures even and mess-free filling of the donut molds.
  • These baked lemon donuts are best enjoyed fresh on the day they’re made. If storing, keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days or in the refrigerator for a week.

Enjoy these bright and zesty donuts with your morning coffee or as a delightful afternoon treat!

content team

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