Filled with tart and sweet lemon curd and tossed with lemon sugar, this recipe for homemade Lemon Filled Donuts is a lemon dessert lover’s dream!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRIED AND BAKED DONUTS?
Baked donuts have more of a cakey, muffin like texture than traditional donuts. They are baked in a special donut pan and don’t require as much time since they’re not made with yeast. They are super simple to make and are delicious, but sometimes you still crave a good, old fashioned fried donut!
WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF DONUT?
I’m a fan of all types of donuts- from baked to fried. I can’t really say which one is best since they are all good! Some fried donuts are made with baking powder instead of yeast which makes them a bit easier to whip up. These Ricotta Donuts and Sour Cream Donuts are two great fried, non yeasted donuts!
This is my first recipe for classic yeasted donuts! They were not as hard, time consuming or messy as I imagined. They WERE however as fresh, soft, and delicious as I imagined!
These donuts are delicious as is but are even more delicious when tossed with lemon sugar and filled with from scratch lemon curd! Silky, tangy, perfectly sweet lemon curd makes the best filling!
THREE PARTS OF THESE LEMON FILLED DOUGHNUTS:
- Homemade Lemon Curd: Like homemade donuts, making lemon curd can also seem intimidating. Honestly though, lemon curd is super simple to make and so worth it. It has a tangy taste, the perfect amount of sweetness and a silky texture.
- Fried Donuts: They’re soft, fresh and delicious! There’s something so satisfying about making your own donuts and they are so much better homemade!
- Lemon Sugar: You’re welcome to toss them in plain sugar, but stirring in a little fresh lemon zest adds a little color and lemon flavor to the coating. The sugar adds a little extra sweetness and texture!
HOW TO MAKE THESE DOUGHNUTS
This is a basic recipe for soft, fluffy donuts. The process is pretty simple. Here are the basic steps:
- Make the lemon curd: I like to make this first so that it has plenty of time to thicken and cool before I fill my doughnuts with it.
- Make the dough: I prefer to make the dough using my stand mixer. It’s possible to make make the dough by hand, but using the mixer is much easier.
- Let the dough rise: Transfer dough to a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and clean kitchen towels. Leave dough to double, .
- Roll out dough and & cut into rounds: Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts using a 3-inch donut cutter. Line a baking sheet or two with a silicone mat or parchment paper or sprinkle the baking sheets with flour. Transfer donuts to the baking sheets, leaving space between the donuts. Use a clean kitchen towel to lightly cover the donuts and let rise in a draft free, warm/room temperature room until slightly puffed (about 30 minutes).
- Prepare the oil: Heat the oil about fifteen minutes before donuts are ready to be fried. Add about three inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-duty pot and heat on medium until the oil reaches 350 F. Place donuts on a baking sheet lined ith paper towels.
- Fry the donuts: Fry two donuts at a time. Fry 1 minute per side. Carefully remove from the oil and place on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
- Toss donuts in lemon sugar: Stir together lemon zest and sugar in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Toss warm donuts in the sugar to coat. Allow donuts to cool before filling with lemon curd.
WHAT TO USE TO FILL DONUTS?
I could eat lemon curd by the spoonful. I could also eat these donuts without any filling. That said, these donuts are incredible when you fill them with homemade lemon curd!
In addition to homemade lemon curd, here are some other delicious suggestions for filling donuts:
- Store bought lemon curd or other flavors of fruit curd
- Homemade or store bought jam or jelly
- Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Ganache
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS LEMON CURD RECIPE
- Lemon zest
- Unsalted butter
- 3 Large eggs
- Lemon juice
HOW DO YOU MAKE LEMON CURD FROM SCRATCH?
This recipe for lemon filled donuts features a simple lemon curd filling. Lemon curd has an ultra silky texture and is full of lots of delicious lemon flavor!
Homemade lemon curd is very easy and can be made right on the stovetop. You whisk the ingredients together on the stovetop while it cooks and thickens, then let it cool.
Because it needs time to chill and thicken, I recommend making the lemon curd before we start making on the donuts. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your curd:
- Use organic lemons. Since this recipe calls for both lemon zest and juice, I recommend using organic lemons, if possible. Regular lemons are covered in a wax coating and when you zest your lemons, the wax mixes in with the lemon zest and can dilute the flavor. Organic lemons are free of this coating, so the they have a much stronger lemon zest flavor. That said, using regular lemons is okay, but I definitely recommend organic if possible.
- Consistency: Before placing the curd over heat, use a whisk to fully whisk all of the ingredients together. This will prevents any lumps from forming while cooking. Switch over to using a rubber spatula once it’s placed the heat. Using a spatula will help you better you to scrape down the bottom and corners of the pan, which is typically where a whisk can’t reach. If you use a whisk to stir and find there are some little clumps leftover after cooking, you can pour your lemon curd through a strainer after cooking and before pouring it into a container to cool.
- Temperature: The process of making lemon curd will take around 20-30 minutes, It takes a little while for your curd to reach 170F. This will make sure that your lemon curd sets into the thick consistency we want.
Once cooled, lemon curd should be the consistency of thick pudding. If it’s too runny, try chilling for another hour. If, after that extra hour, it’s still too runny, try returning the mixture to the saucepan and heat it further.
HOW TO PUT FILLING IN DONUTS?
Once the donuts have cooled, use the back of a spoon to make a small hole in the side of the donut. Move the back of the spoon from side to side inside the donut to create a bit of space inside the donut for the lemon curd.
Spoon the lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Carefully pipe some lemon curd into each donut.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You should add about 3 inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to fry the donuts.
Set the temperature to medium heat and heat the oil to 350 F.
One way to check that donuts are done inside is to measure the internal temperature. Donuts should be around 200 F when fully cooked inside.
If you love lemon donuts, consider these Lemon Filled Donuts a must-make recipe! They have all the doughy deliciousness of classic fried donuts with the added fresh taste of lemon curd. I just can’t decide if they’re better for breakfast or dessert. I will take that to mean they are perfect for both!
Lemon Filled Donuts
FOR THE LEMON CURD
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¾ cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup lemon juice*
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
FOR THE DONUTS
- 1 cup whole milk room temperature
- 2 ¼ teaspoons one package active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons warm water 105 F- 115 F
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 egg yolks room temperature
- ⅓ cup butter room temperature, sliced into tablespoons
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 ½ -4 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling out the dough
- About 6 cups vegetable oil for frying
- granulated sugar mixed with lemon zest, optional for coating
FOR THE LEMON CURD
- Separate the yolks from the whites. Zest and juice the lemons.
- Use a wire whisk to whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Stir in the lemon zest then gradually stir in the lemon juice and salt.
- Place pan on low heat and stirring constantly with a wire whisk (or use a rubber spatula) until mixture thickens (it should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon) and has reached 170 F. Turn heat up to medium and continue to whisk or stir constantly if mixture has not thickened enough after about ten minutes.
- Remove pot from heat, then add the cold, cubed butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
- Pour curd into a sealable, heat safe container such as a jar with a lid or a bowl. If you've poured it into a bowl, place some plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming.
FOR THE DONUTS
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and a pinch of sugar. Stir til yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.** Once foamy, add the yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk, butter, egg and egg yolks, sugar, salt,cinnamon, and flour. Beat on low until a soft dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and beat 2-3 more minutes. Stop the mixer and check the dough. It should be sticky, but if it's too sticky to handle, add 1/4 cup more flour. If it's still too sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup ( you want the dough to be somewhat sticky so be careful not to add too much flour.
- Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with oil or butter and transfer dough to that bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a draft free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
- Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin til dough is 1/2 inch thick. (Lightly flour both your rolling pin and donut cutter). Use a 3 inch donut cutter to cut out as many rounds as possible. Place donuts on a large lightly floured large baking sheet, being careful not to place them too close together.***
- Cover donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft free room at room temperature until they appear slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the donuts finish rising, add about 3 inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and heat it to 350 F. While the oil warms, line baking sheets with paper towels and take out a slotted spoon.
- Fry donuts (about 2 at a time) for around 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Recheck the temperature of the oil periodically as you go, so as not to let the oil get too cool or too hot. Adjust temprature of oil as needed. Drain on paper towels. Roll the donuts in granulated sugar or granulated sugar mixed with lemon zest while donuts are still warm. Cool to room temperature before filling with lemon curd.
- To fill donuts, transfer lemon curd to a pastry bag with a wide tip. Insert the end of a spoon (not the end you eat with) into the side of a donut to create some space for the curd.
- Gently squeeze lemon curd into the donut. Enjoy!
Please note that nutritional values are created by an online calculator and should only be used as an estimate.