Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Baked and so easy! These deliciously glazed lemon poppy seed donuts are full of flavor and quick! Recipe on

It’s technically still summer, so this is allowed right? While I’ve been brainstorming Fall baking recipes all week, I also whipped up a breakfast treat that screams warm weather, no-stress, and sunshine. Whatever you’re doing this long Labor Day weekend, make sure you relax and soak up every last bit of summer that you can. And I know just how you can do that.

And by the way, I’ve got some new photos over on my photography blog today if you want to take a peek at my August!

Baked and so easy! These deliciously glazed lemon poppy seed donuts are full of flavor and quick! Recipe on

I’ve gotten pretty used to making donuts with yeast and frying them over the past several months. And while they taste every bit as wonderful as all the donuts from adorable and innovative donut shops (maybe I’m biased?), fried donuts aren’t quite as simple to prepare as baked donuts. Which is all of 2 steps: make the batter, bake the batter. Baked donuts really are that easy. It had been awhile since I used my trusty $10 donut pan– in fact, I hadn’t even used it in the new house yet!– so I dusted it off and put it to work.

Lemon will forever be a favorite flavor for sweets and I know 97% of you agree. There’s something about its delightful and refreshing tang and when paired with sugar, maybe a little poppy seed crunch, and lots of buttery sweet glaze, that number jumps up to a solid 99%. For the other 1%, here are chocolate donuts for you. (I need to make those again ASAP btw.)

How to make glazed lemon poppy seed donuts on

The donut batter is, you guessed it, really easy. I started out with my baked cinnamon sugar donuts and switched up a few things as needed. You’ll need a handful of ordinary ingredients and absolutely no mixer at all. Just 2 medium bowls, one for wet and one for dry. Also a whisk and maybe a cute rubber spatula like the one pictured below? That’s optional. (I couldn’t find the exact one, but here’s basically the same one from Amazon!)

How to make glazed lemon poppy seed donuts on

I typically make baked donuts with a little Greek yogurt, but I had sour cream leftover from all my vanilla cupcake testing. Just like the cupcakes I posted earlier this week, I LOVE how light-textured the sour cream made these. They aren’t quite as dense as previous baked donuts on my site– and I think you’ll really love the difference. A smidge of melted butter brings these lemon poppy seed donuts up to the next level. I’ve accidentally left it out in batches before and you can taste a difference. The donuts are a little rubbery and dry without the fat.

We’re using Sunkist lemons to flavor the donuts. Truly the citrus of all seasons!! Fresh and tangy, which is why we can’t get enough of ’em. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the buttery sweet donut batter which only gets prettier when poppy seeds are thrown in.

How to make glazed lemon poppy seed donuts on

Fancy donut tip: Use a plastic bag to pipe the donut batter into the donut pan. 😉 Spoon the batter into a large zipped-top bag, trim off a bottom corner, and squeeze the batter into the pan. The easiest way to do it, trust me.

The glaze is like authentic donut glaze that sets after a few minutes– you know the kind? It’s sticky glorious sweetness made easy. All you’ll need is melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, a squeeze of Sunkist lemon ♥ ♥, and a little vanilla extract. I was temped to use almond extract in the glaze but realized I was all out! Give that a try and let me know though. The melted butter is what helps “set” the glaze because it cools down and slightly re-solidifies. I love making glazes with it!

Baked and so easy! These deliciously glazed lemon poppy seed donuts are full of flavor and quick! Recipe on

Go locate your donut pan and enjoy this long so-long summer weekend!

More lemon treats:

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts


  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any works)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Sunkist lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Sunkist lemon zest

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Sunkist lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk the melted butter, egg, sugar, milk, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest until completely combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.
  4. Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for about two minutes then transfer to a wire rack set on a large piece of parchment paper. Bake the remaining donut batter (there is usually enough batter for 1-2 more donuts) and once baked, transfer to the wire rack. Allow donuts to cool down until you can handle them.
  5. Make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together. I usually use 2 Tablespoons of milk, but for a slightly thicker glaze you can use 1 Tablespoon. Dip each donut into the glaze and place back on the wire rack as the glaze sets. (The parchment paper can catch the glaze dripping down.)
  6. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Make ahead tip: You can freeze the donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap 'em for a couple seconds, even with the glaze on.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
[show_shopthepost_widget id=”1904287″]

Donut Pan | Spatula | Lemon Juicer | Zester & Grater | Glass Mixing Bowls

Today I’m working with Sunkist. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Baked and so easy! These deliciously glazed lemon poppy seed donuts are full of flavor and quick! Recipe on


  1. completely fine; i’m not even thinking about fall until sept 22 (the first day of fall, and when i go back to school). and agree 100% about piping the batter instead of spooning it in! whenever i try to spoon it in, the batter gets everywhere and they’re more like blobs than doughnuts!

  2. Sally, wake up with a new post from your website gives me all the bake-love energy, and make me a funny beginning for my day…as you guess this have been a great week, because you´ve shared every single day…I love your work! and I am really really crazy by your photos…
    Thanks for share the link to buy the spatula! (Since I saw it, it´ becomes in a need). Have a nice day!

  3. Oh my gosh, Sally, I want to make these!!! You know my love for lemon, haha 😉 And a tart glaze is probably my favorite drink ever, haha. I might try with coconut instead of poppyseed for a tropical taste…

  4. Yum!! All I need is a donut pan now! I’m honestly so intimidated by making donuts in a fryer or by frying them, so thank you for making these baked! 🙂

  5. Never a bad time for these! I need to get a donut pan ASAP so these can happen! One of my favourite combos. I’ll just take the whole batch 😉 !!

  6. These doughnuts look like a summer dream and are making me long for July days like crazy! I can`t believe it`s already September 2nd (and it`s pouring rain outside my window right now too…), but hey school and a normal work schedule doesn`t start for a few days more so you`re right – lets soak up every bit of summer we can. I LOVE lemon and most of the best fruit desserts contain a punch of lemon. I haven`t used my doughnut pan in a while either so I should put to work with this recipe (and the chocolate doughnut recipe because, well, I`m a chocolate girl at my core) 😉 

  7. I’ve got a new donut pan that I haven’t used yet. This will be the first recipe I’m going to try. Thanks!

  8. I have never had lemon donuts. It looks so bright!! I could almost feel the tangy sweetness just by looking at them:)

  9. I sadly don’t own a donut pan… ideas how these would bake up in mini bunts? Should I just make the glaze and bake them like muffins?

    • You can bake these as muffins, yes! Fill the muffin liners all the way to the top with batter. The muffins should take about 20 minutes. Top with glaze. Unsure about the bake time with mini bundts though.

  10. Sally, I adore the flavor combo of lemon and poppy seeds, but I’ve never had lemon poppyseed donuts before – and yours look delectable – your photos capture so well how soft and delicious they are!

  11. Unfortunately, the weather here in California is going a little crazy. It already feels like fall, and I’m trying to hang on to the last remnants of summer! This Labor Day weekend is the only time I’ll be able to make this before summer fades away to fall! 🙂

  12. I think I need to get a donut pan ASAP! Side note: I do appreciate your approach to any sponsored posts/affiliate links, I never feel like they are overwhelmingly “sponsored” and your voice and opinions are always well-represented. Sometimes blogs can read like giant ads (though I fully understand bloggers gotta get that paper too haha), but I never feel that way about your posts and appreciate you sharing with us only the brands you truly like.

    • Thank you so much Sam! I never want to compromise a reader’s experience and have always taken feedback seriously, so I really appreciate it. Running this business is very pricy, so the affiliate links and sponsorships really help!

  13. i love your bread recipes.i made your oatmeal honey bread and the honey butter rolls, i think your bread recipes are the best. they never fail, no matter how i make them. i have not made any other rolls recipe since ive made thise honey butter rolls. and the pizza! always always perfect. 

  14. Sally,
    I just bought two of the donut pans! I will be making these Monday when it says the pans will be here-I love poppy seed and I love lemon. This looks so yummy!!

  15. Thank god I don’t have a doughnut pan in my vicinity – the damage I could do!


  16. Lemon and poppy seed is such a classic combination – to make the flavours into a doughnut is genius!

  17. These look gorgeous and I love anything lemon flavoured too. This recipe is definitely making me want a donut pan!

  18. Baked up a batch of these lemon & poppy seed donuts this morning and they were a big hit at my house! Loved the addition of sour cream in the batter…texture was so moist and light. Thank you Sally!

  19. Hi I tried these doughnuts, they are more than awesome.. So soft and yummy and I did it in less than 30 minutes.. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe

  20. I don’t have a donut pan. could these be mini muffins? They look delicious.

  21. Lemon Poppy Seed is my favorite muffin, so I know the donut form might turn into my favorite donut flavor. Krispy Kreme better watch out!

  22. Made these over the weekend, loved the flavor & texture Sally! Always have loved lemon + poppy seed but yet it seems either banana, pumpkin, blueberry, chocolate, zucchini ( all of which I’m also very fond of!) etc., baked goods get baked more often. Not fair to the lemon poppy seed dynamic duo! I did have almond extract & put 1/4 tsp in the glaze along with the vanilla extract & really liked the slightly almond-y dimension it brought to the plate, worked beautifully! Thanks Sally, have a great week! 

  23. Hi Sally, thankyou for the recipe esp the glaze! Made ’em today and it was delicious. The sour, sweet and slight buttery flavor is all balanced which I loved. Anyw, I am making donuts often nowadays for the whole family and thinking if we can keep leftover glaze for next use. Overlooking some donut shops storing glazes in huge containers as if they could use ’em anytime. Can I really reheat the glaze as the butter used in this recipe (I think) ‘ll harden too fast but is it okay to melt the sugar too?

  24. I hope i will make this on coming holiday. its look good & yummy. 🙂

  25. Hi! Would it be possible to make these donuts a night before I serve them and then glaze them in the morning?  

  26. WOW! These look amazing! I love lemon poppyseed and it’s even better when it’s in donut form! Yum!

  27. These look so delicious. Do you prefer the large donut pans rather than the ones that make mini donuts, or would either work fine with this & your other donut recipes? If we use the mini-donut pans, would we change the cooking time? I haven’t bought donut pans yet, and I’m trying to decide which size to buy. (I don’t think my kitchen cabinets can handle BOTH sizes!)

    • Bake time for mini donuts will be a little less. I don’t have a preference– I love both sizes! The mini size is fun to eat because they’re so little!

  28. Im a new discoverer of your ig and blog! I haven’t tried any recipes but look forward to after we complete this round of Whole30. I am working on a wedding shower gift and wanted to create a donut making basket and thought adding your cookbook in with it but didn’t know if and what donut recipes were included.

  29. Hello sally.
    Can I do without the milk and sour cream..if not what can I substitute

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