Kirbie's Cravings

3 Ingredient Lemon Donuts (No Yeast, Eggs or Butter)

These fluffy lemon flavored donuts are easy to make and only need 3 ingredients. They don’t require any yeast, eggs, or butter. The donut dough takes about five minutes to prepare. These donuts are great for breakfast, brunch or dessert.
half of a lemon donut.

My family loves lemon-flavored desserts so I wanted to share an easy lemon donut recipe. I especially love making lemon recipes this time of year.


  • Lemon Greek Yogurt
  • Lemon Zest
  • Self-Rising Flour

Lemon Greek Yogurt: This recipe works best with lemon flavored Greek yogurt. Lemon Greek yogurt is Greek yogurt that is already mixed with lemon flavoring and sugar. Using lemon-flavored yogurt adds lemon flavor and a little sweetness to the dough.

Lemon Zest: If you only use lemon yogurt, the lemon flavor is quite subtle. To add more lemon flavor, I added some fresh lemon zest. Make sure to only add zest. Do not add lemon juice. Adding lemon juice to the donut dough will make the donuts turn out very tough and chewy.

Self-Rising Flour: Self-rising flour is all purpose flour that already has baking powder and salt added to it. If you do not have self-rising flour on hand, you can mix your own with all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

How to Make Lemon Donuts

The yogurt and zest are first mixed together. The flour is then stirred in, a little at a time, until a dough forms. The dough should be somewhat sticky, but you should be able to roll between your palms to form dough balls.

The dough is then ready to be fried. These donuts work best fried. They will not come out as light and fluffy in the air fryer or oven. Instead, the air fryer and oven versions will make them turn out more like bread.
lemon donuts dusted with powdered sugar.

Donut Sweetness

The donuts are only very lightly sweetened on their own. Since donuts are often coated in sugar, I didn’t want to make the donut dough too sweet. I also didn’t want to make it too sweet for those who prefer desserts with less sugar. I coated the donuts in powdered sugar but you can also use regular sugar.

If you don’t want to coat the donuts and want the donuts to be sweeter, you can add lemon curd to the dough. You simply swap out some of the lemon yogurt with lemon curd. This will add some more sweetness to the dough and more lemon flavor. This version was actually my family’s favorite but I know not everyone has lemon curd available so I wanted to make it an optional variation. Please note that lemon curd is usually made with eggs, so the donuts would not be completely eggless if you add lemon curd (or use a lemon yogurt that has lemon curd added to it). If you don’t have any lemon curd, you can also make your own with this easy microwave lemon curd.

Lemon Donut Tips

Because different yogurt brands have different yogurt consistency, you will need to adjust the flour amount a little. This is why I don’t recommend adding the full amount at once.  You only want to add enough for a dough to form. Adding too much flour will make the dough dense.

If you can’t find lemon Greek yogurt you can make this with vanilla Greek yogurt, but make sure you mix it with lemon curd. Adding lemon juice will make the dough tough and adding lemon zest isn’t enough.

Other thick strained styles of yogurt should work, like Icelandic yogurt.
a plate of donuts.

More Easy Donut Recipes

3 Ingredient Lemon Donuts

Servings: 13 donuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Fluffy lemon flavored donuts that are just 3 ingredients and don't require any yeast, eggs or butter.
5 from 2 votes


  • 1/2 cup (124 g) lemon flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp (3.5 g) lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) self-rising flour see note regarding flour amount
  • canola or vegetable 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). 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add yogurt and zest (and lemon curd if using). Stir until evenly mixed. Add in 1/2 cup of self-rising flour. Do not add the full 3/4 cup amount. Stir it into the yogurt until a thick dough forms. The dough should be a little sticky. To see if the dough is ready, break off a piece and roll it between your palms. If you are unable to form a loose ball, then add a little more flour (1 tbsp at a time), until the dough reaches the desired consistency. Because different yogurt brands have different yogurt consistency, the amount of flour needed will vary. If you use up all your flour and you still find the dough too sticky to work with, you can add another 1-2 tbsp of self-rising flour but keep in mind the more flour you add, the more dense your donuts will be. I usually have 1-2 tbsp of flour leftover when I make these.
  • Once dough is ready, scoop 1 tbsp of dough. Roll dough between palms to form a loose ball. Place dough ball on a counter or board lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Add dough balls into the preheated oil. The donuts will float to the surface so only put in as many donuts as can fit on the surface. You can do this in two batches if your saucepan is not big enough. Cook donuts until both sides are golden brown, flipping halfway through. Remove donuts from oil and place onto a plate lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  • When donuts are no longer too hot to touch, you can roll them in regular sugar or dust with powdered sugar. Donuts are best eaten within a few hours after they are cooked.


  • When measuring flour, make sure you spoon it into your measuring cup and then level off with a knife. Do not directly scoop the flour with the measuring cup because that will result in too much flour.
  • I used Lily's self-rising flour*
  • *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
  • Self-rising flour amount needed: There are 2 main kinds of self-rising flour sold in the US. One that is a lower protein (2 grams per 1/4 cup serving) flour and one that has a regular amount of protein (3 grams per 1/4 cup). Brands like King Arthur Flour and White Lily make the low protein flour. Brands like Gold Medal and Amazon Fresh contain a regular protein amount. The amount of protein affects how much liquid is absorbed. 
  • If you are making this recipe with a self-rising flour with a regular amount of protein you will need less flour. You may only need 1/2 cup or you may only need slightly more than 1/2 cup.
  • 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. Do not use the full amount in the recipe. Use only 1/2 cup and then add 1 tbsp at a time as needed. Please make sure your all purpose flour contains a regular amount of protein (3 grams per 1/4 cup).
  • I don't recommend cooking the donuts in the air fryer or baking them. They will be very dense and more like bread.
  • As discussed in more detail in the post (under Donut Sweetness section), there is another variation of this recipe you can make with lemon curd. This is actually my favorite one as the donut is a little sweeter (I don't even need the powdered sugar) and has more lemon flavor. If you want to make the lemon curd version, substitute 3 tbsp of yogurt with 3 tbsp lemon curd. Keep in mind, lemon curd does contain eggs so your donuts will no longer be egg-free.
  • This recipe works best with Greek yogurt. If you add lemon curd or lemon zest to regular yogurt, the mixture becomes too thin and you end up having to add too much flour to get a dough to form.
  • If you are using a lemon Greek yogurt that is not already blended, make sure to stir and mix evenly before measuring out the yogurt for the recipe.
  • I dusted the donuts with powdered sugar. You can also coat them in regular granular sugar.
  • You can also glaze the donuts with your favorite glaze or just leave them plain.
  • The nutrition is calculated for the donuts using Chobani lemon yogurt and does not include oil absorbed during frying or any optional toppings. 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.


Serving: 1donut, Calories: 33kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 86mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 1g, NET CARBS: 6

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.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

Subscribe to receive new post updates via email

don’t miss a thing!

Get new post updates via email:

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating

16 comments on “3 Ingredient Lemon Donuts (No Yeast, Eggs or Butter)”

  1. Sound delicious. Can i freeze Them?

    • We haven’t tried that – these donuts are best when they’re made and probably won’t taste as good after they’ve been frozen.

  2. So delicious

  3. These 2 and 3 ingredient donut balls were so good, my family asked if I’d make them everyday. Ty so much..

  4. Why can’t you use greek yogurt in your 2 ingredient donut  but this one you can? I only see the flour is reduced, is that all we need to do?
    I do make pan fried naans using this recipe of yogurt and self rise or non self rise flour 
    Thank you in advance!

    • I recommend regular yogurt for the 2 ingredient donuts because it creates a much fluffier donut texture compared to using greek yogurt which results in a denser donut. This lemon version uses lemon greek yogurt and lemon juice. The lemon and sugar in the lemon Greek yogurt makes it thinner in consistency compared to plain Greek yogurt. In addition, when you add the lemon juice, it thins out even more, so the consistency ends up being like regular yogurt.

  5. Wow…i tried out..all enjoyed…thanks a lot..i appreciate ….
    Do keep posting more recipies.

  6. Love it ?

  7. Would live to know if you have a recipe to bake donuts not fry

  8. Just curious- would  it work if you used plain greek yogurt with lemon juice/zest added?

    • You can probably make your own lemon greek yogurt with plain greek yogurt, sugar and lemon juice and zest but I wouldn’t know the amounts without testing and you do need to be careful on how much lemon juice to add because it makes the dough very chewy.