Baked Lemon Doughnuts

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Baked Meyer lemon doughnut recipe with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganache glaze

I was meeting a friend for coffee and shop talk, and I asked her what her two favorite dessert flavors were so I could share some treats. She replied, “caramel and lemon.” Clearly, the two don’t typically pair together, which was just fine for me since I wanted to use some cute paper baking cups I had just acquired and “needed” to make cupcakes, but I was also finding the “need” to make doughnuts.

I really like my doughnut pan and the fact that I can make a half dozen doughnuts, with maybe a few extra doughnut “holes” in a mini-muffin tin and end up with just enough to share a bit, enjoy what I’d like, and not feel guilty about it. I never feel guilty about eating dessert, but I do feel a tiny bit guilty about baking an entire cake when really just a little bit would do. Mug cakes are not an acceptable substitute. I tried one once and it was a fantastic Pinterest fail.

Baked Meyer lemon doughnut recipe with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganache glaze

Doughnuts on the other hand, are perfect. Baked doughnuts have that lovely cake texture in a handheld size, they are frosted, and are acceptable as part of a meal. Baked lemon doughnuts have actual lemon baked into them for flavor and not extract, so technically they’ve also got something in there that’s good for you, right? 😉

I used Meyer lemons in the recipe because that’s what I had, but you can use whatever lemon you have on hand.

If you’d like a more opaque glaze, use just 2 tbsp of cream or dunk the doughnuts twice after the first layer of ganache sets. Personally, I felt the single thinner layer was just sweet enough.

Baked Meyer lemon doughnut recipe with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganache glaze

Baked Meyer lemon doughnut recipe with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganache glaze

Baked Lemon Doughnuts

Yield: 6 doughnuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Meyer lemon zest (approximately the yield from one lemon)
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (approximately the yield from one lemon)

Vanilla Bean Ganache Glaze

  • 3 ounces/86g white chocolate
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and butter or spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each well about 2/3 of the way with batter.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the doughnuts are baked through and bounce back to the touch. Don't over bake or they'll dry out.
  7. While the doughnuts are baking, make the ganache by weighing out the chocolate and heavy cream into a microwave-safe bowl.
  8. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute and stir. If the chocolate has completely melted into the cream and you have a nice smooth mixture, scrape out the vanilla bean seeds and stir into the ganache. If the ganache is not yet smooth, microwave at 50% power for additional 20 second increments as needed until smooth. Set aside.
  9. Remove the finished doughnuts from the oven and turn onto a cooling rack.
  10. Once they are cool enough to handle but still slightly warm, dunk the smooth side of each doughnut into your ganache to coat and return to the cooling rack to set.

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