Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Homemade lemon poppy seed donuts are quick to make, baked not fried, and full of citrus flavor. Topped with a lemon glaze that sets, these easy donuts are a sunshine sweet treat to start any morning.

overhead image of lemon poppy seed donuts

Lemon and poppy seeds are quite the duo. We love them together in lemon poppy seed bundt cake, orange lemon poppy seed muffins, lemon poppy seed pancakes, and in today’s lemon poppy seed donuts. This quick and easy breakfast treat screams warm weather and sunshine– no matter what time of year you make them!

lemon poppy seed donuts on a blue plate

Why You’ll Love These Baked Donuts:

  • No electric mixer required
  • Baked, not fried
  • Moist and buttery
  • Bursting with lemon flavor
  • A little crunchy from the poppy seeds
  • Sweet and tart in each bite
  • Topped with lemon glaze

pouring wet ingredients into a glass bowl full of dry ingredients

Two Parts to Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

  1. Donuts: We’re using my standard baked donut recipe as the base. It’s what I use for my baked maple donuts, baked cinnamon sugar donutscrumb cake donuts (doubled for that recipe), and chocolate frosted donuts. It’s a very thick batter that produces tight-crumbed, buttery donuts. We use a handful of basic ingredients like flour, egg, leaveners, and milk. I like to add a little sour cream to the donut batter for a moisture punch (Greek yogurt works too) and sweeten these with granulated sugar. For bright, citrus flavor, use lemon juice and lemon zest, plus poppy seeds for an extra crunch.
  2. Lemon Glaze: This glaze is like authentic donut glaze that sets after a few minutes. All you’ll need is melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, a squeeze of lemon, and a little vanilla extract. The melted butter is what helps “set” the glaze because it cools down and slightly re-solidifies. I love making glazes with it!

overhead image of lemon poppy seed donut batter in a glass bowl with a whisk

Quick Overview: How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

These baked donuts are super simple– make the batter and bake the batter!

  1. Make the donut batter. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Whisk to combine both. It’s that easy.
  2. Fill the donut cavities. Transferring donut batter into the donut pan can be tricky, so I always suggest using a zipped-top bag to pipe the batter. (You can see me doing this below.) Just spoon the batter into a large zipped-top bag, trim off a bottom corner, and squeeze the batter into the pan. The donut batter is thicker than you’d expect, so it pipes pretty neatly.
  3. Bake. They bake up VERY quickly!
  4. Make the glaze. I usually do this as the donuts bake. Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together. For a slightly thicker glaze use 1 Tablespoon of milk (I typically use 2 Tablespoons).
  5. Dip into glaze. Dip the warm donuts into the glaze. Place on a cooling rack so the excess icing drips down. And don’t be afraid to do a double dip!

piping lemon poppy seed donut batter into a donut pan

Lemon will always be a favorite flavor for sweets. There’s something about its delightful and refreshing tang and when paired with sugar, a little poppy seed crunch, and lots of buttery sweet glaze, it’s irresistible!

lemon poppy seed donuts on a blue plate

More Donut Recipes

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
lemon poppy seed donuts on a blue plate

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 donuts
  • Category: Donuts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Baked and so easy! These deliciously glazed lemon poppy seed donuts are full of flavor and ready in a snap.


  • 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 (60gsour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) 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 to 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.


  1. Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tool (affiliate link)Donut Pan

Keywords: lemon poppy seed donuts


  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. Oh my gosh, made these this morning and just sat down to try one. Perfect amount of lemon and poppyseed and perfect texture! This is going on the make again list!

    1. I’m so glad you tried these, Sue!

  4. Aliya Durnez says:

    Sally, do you think this recipe could be used to make a lemon poppyseed loaf?

    1. I don’t think there would be enough batter for a loaf. You can try reaching for one of my lemon poppy muffin recipe and baking one of those in a loaf pan!

  5. I baked these this morning and they are fantastic! Love the lemon glaze!

    1. I’m glad you liked them, Hayley!

  6. Is it possible to freeze glazed donuts for up to a week or two? and how do you prepare them before serve? Thank you.

    1. Hi Panita! 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.

  7. This recipe was absolutely amazing! I made it with orange and it was SO delicious!
    Definitely making this recipe again.

  8. Saw these shared on Facebook and posted it to my wall immediately so I wouldn’t forget. I went grocery shopping the next morning and Aldi has donut pans on sale! So of course I bought two. Trying them in the morning and I cannot wait!

    1. Let me know when you try them!

  9. I love making donuts ever since I tried your baked apple cider ones! I can’t wait to try these. If I’m using a mini donut pan, how would you recommend adjusting the baking time? Also, in the place of sour cream, would European style plain yogurt (not greek) work?

    1. Hi Avani! Yes, yogurt works just fine. The bake time for mini baked donuts is actually pretty similar to the regular sized donuts– sometimes about 1 minute less. Keep your eye on them. Enjoy!

  10. Bailey Green says:

    Hi Sally! Love your recipes and cannot wait to try these! Approximately how many donuts does this yield? Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Thanks Bailey! 9 donuts. 🙂

  11. Can i make these in a muffin pan?

    1. Hi Mary! Yes, absolutely. Fill the muffin liners all the way to the top with batter. The muffins should take about 20 minutes, same oven temperature. Top with glaze.

  12. Made this for the veterans center at school! They LOVED them! Thanks, Sally!

  13. These turned out wonderful . Wish I could add my photo.

  14. Hi Sally,

    If I don’t have a donut pan, couldn’t I bake them on a baking paper?


    1. Hi Alex, I suggest baking them in a muffin pan. Fill the muffin liners all the way to the top with batter. The muffins should take about 20 minutes, same oven temperature. Top with glaze.

  15. Another great recipe! So quick and simple! They were a fan favorite. Thanks

  16. Hey Sally! I wanted to know if you could fry these the old fashioned way. If so, how would I do that?

    1. Hi Ella! I don’t recommend frying this batter. Here are my fried glazed doughnuts if you’d like to try those instead.

  17. Hey Sally, I just finished making the Lemon Poppy and the Banana Chocolate, delicious! A huge hit in our family. I am wondering if you can you double recipe. If so any special instructions?

    1. Hi Sharon! This recipe can easily be doubled by doubling each ingredient. So glad you enjoy these donuts– the banana chocolate version is also one of my favorites. That can be doubled as well.

  18. Great recipe! I made these for my mom and they were perfect! great for citrus lovers. I used my own glaze which is just lemon juice, lemon zest, and powdered sugar until it is the right consistency. you can do it with any citrus. I will make these again!

  19. Another great one. Easy to make and oh so tasty. I made a double batch today and they came out perfect. Thanks!

  20. I made these dairy-free (my partner is allergic) by subbing the butter for Earth Balance and the 1/4 cup each of sour cream and milk for 1/2 cup unsweetened vegan vanilla yogurt. They turned out great! I like that the donut itself is not super sweet because the glaze adds enough sweetness. Thanks for a great recipe!

1 2

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally