These lemon donuts need just 2 ingredients for the donut dough. The donuts don’t need any eggs or butter and take only a few minutes to prepare. The donuts are topped with an easy zesty lemon glaze.
These lemon donuts are an easy recipe when you are craving homemade donuts. If eaten right away, they even have a wonderful crunchy exterior.
- Self-Rising Flour
Lemonade: You can use store-bought or homemade lemonade. I recommend choosing a brand with a very concentrated lemon flavor. The lemonade will give these donuts a light citrus lemon flavor.
Self-Rising Flour: Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour that is already mixed with baking powder and salt. I always have self-rising flour in my pantry because it does save a few extra steps and time. However, if you don’t have self-rising flour, you can easily make your own by mixing together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
Texture and Taste
These donuts have a slightly firmer texture than your typical donut hole. It is similar to a fritter-type texture. The donuts will have a crunchy exterior if eaten soon after they are fried. If you want a softer, fluffier donut, make the dough with lemon Greek yogurt instead.
The donut dough will have a very light subtle lemon flavor. Like many other donuts, most of the lemon flavor comes from the glaze. However, if you prefer to make these without any glaze, you can add more lemon flavor to the actual donut dough by adding fresh lemon zest to the dough, replacing half of the lemonade with fresh lemon juice or making a concentrated homemade lemonade with just lemon juice and simple syrup (leaving out the water that is usually added).
These donuts are best fried. They will taste more like bread if you attempt to bake them. If you prefer baked donuts, I do have a baked donut recipe.
I used a super easy zesty lemon glaze to add a lot of lemon flavor to these donuts. The glaze just needs lemon juice and powdered sugar. You can customize and make it as thick or thin as you like. You can also add some fresh lemon zest on top of the donuts once you glaze them.
More Easy Donut Recipes
2 Ingredient Lemon Donuts
- 1 cup (125 g) self-rising flour
- 3 oz (89 ml) lemonade
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Add 2 inches of oil to a medium saucepan. Bring to medium heat, between 335°F (168°C) -350°F (177°C).
- While your oil is heating, make the donut dough. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour and lemonade. Stir with a spatula until a dough forms and flour is fully incorporated. Your dough should be sticky to the touch but not so sticky that you won't be able to scoop and release it with a cookie scoop. If you find your dough is too sticky you can add a little more flour. If your dough is too dry, add a little more lemonade.
- Once the oil is ready, scoop dough using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop. Use a spatula to level and smooth the surface of the scoop. Gently release the dough ball directly into the hot oil. Repeat this with the remaining dough. The donuts will float to the surface so only add in as many donuts as can fit comfortably at the surface of your saucepan. I fried my donuts in two batches. Cook donuts until both sides are golden brown, flipping them halfway through. Remove donuts from oil and place onto a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
- When donuts are cool enough to the touch, you can add the optional lemon glaze or topping of your choice.
- Homemade Self-Rising Flour: To make your own self-rising flour, whisk together 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.
- Optional Lemon Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Stir until the powdered sugar is fully dissolved and you have a thick glaze. If your glaze is too thick you can add a little more lemon juice. If it becomes too thin you can add more powdered sugar. When the donuts are cool enough to touch, dip them in the glaze and then set them aside to let the glaze cool and set. (I used a spoon to place each donut hole into the glaze until it was coated, then shook off the excess glaze). If you want to add lemon zest on top, add it before the glaze sets.
- Homemade Lemonade: If you prefer to make your own lemonade instead of using store-bought, this is my homemade lemonade recipe. Please note this will yield a lot more lemonade than you need for the recipe. You can chill and drink the rest.
- Ingredients: 1/2 cup lemon juice (make sure to strain all pulp so it is just pure lemon juice); 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups water (divided).
- Directions: First, make the simple syrup. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan. Bring stove to medium high heat and keep stirring the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved. Do not let the mixture reach a simmer. You don't want it to get too concentrated. Once sugar is dissolved, turn off heat.
- Pour lemon juice into a large container. Add in simple syrup and 1 cup of water. Stir until fully combined. It is then ready to be used for the dough. As discussed in more detail in the post, you can leave out the added water for a stronger lemon flavor in the dough but I do recommend adding in the water with the leftover lemon juice that you plan on drinking.
- The donut dough has a light and subtle lemon flavor, with most of the lemon flavor coming from the glaze. If you don't want to add lemon glaze and want more lemon flavor in the donuts, I share several ways to add more lemon flavor to the dough in the post.
- These donuts are a bit firmer than typical donut holes. The outside has a wonderful crunchy exterior.
- The nutrition is calculated for the donut dough only and does not include oil absorbed during frying or the lemon glaze. It is only for the donut dough before it is cooked as it is difficult to determine the exact amount of oil that is absorbed by the donuts.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.