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.
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!
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
Two Parts to Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts
- 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 donuts, crumb 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.
- 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!
Quick Overview: How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts
These baked donuts are super simple– make the batter and bake the batter!
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake. They bake up VERY quickly!
- 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).
- 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!
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!
More Donut Recipes
- Banana Donuts
- Chocolate Frosted Donuts
- Baked Sprinkle Donuts
- Berry Fritters (fried)
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Pumpkin Donuts
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 (60g) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1–2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- 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.
- Special Tool (affiliate link): Donut Pan
Keywords: lemon poppy seed donuts