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.

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© 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.

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. Sally, if we don’t have lemon zest, how much lemon juice do you recommend subbing? 

  2. Just made these and they were a huge hit!! Love the extra lemony glaze. This recipe is a keeper!

  3. Is their a donut shape alternative if you don’t own a donut pan? For example could I use a mini cupcake pan?

    • A muffin pan or mini muffin pan work instead. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. (Or gently poke with your finger– the the donut muffin springs back, they’re done!)

  4. Hi Sally,

    Been search your site to make a final decision on a few of my Easter selections. These Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts look so great but was wondering if I could bake in the Nordic Ware Bundtlette pan instead? I’m guessing should be fine and just fill no more than 2/3 as in the donut directions. I’ve only used my bundtlette pan once and I think tricky to fill them just right. I also am planning to make bunnies with the Nordic Ware Bunny pan. I tested that pan out the other day using a regular cake mix but adding appropriate ingredients to make a pound cake (supposedly). I filled them about 2/3 but they did rise above more than they should have. I also didn’t think the little bunny cakes were pound cake like and much more light weight. They came out of the pan fine but I think I will may use this lemon recipe or your Mini Vanilla Pound Cakes recipe. Thanks for your thoughts! Happy Easter!

    • Hi Laurie! You can use either this recipe (yum!) or the mini vanilla pound cake recipe for your bunny pan. Whichever you use, only fill the pan 2/3 full with batter.

  5. These look amazing–I don’t have sour cream in the house though and want to make them. I made your maple glazed donut recipe this morning, and they were a huge hit! Can I use Greek yogurt instead in these and end up with a slightly denser final product, or do you think it will mess them up entirely?

  6. Hello, Sally, thank you for another amazing recipe! Do you think I could add 2 table spoons of poppy seeds instead of 1? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *