Easy Lemon Baked Donuts
While a 20-person ugly sweater party may not be in the cards this year, holiday traditions can still take shape — just on a smaller scale. For couples who are usually debating whose family to spend the holidays with, use this year’s holiday at home to start a new tradition together: be it chopping down a real Christmas tree, sporting matching Hanukkah-themed PJs, or skipping cooking a big holiday meal in favor of ordering takeout and watching classic movies. For those celebrating solo, try out a new recipe you could bring to a larger family gathering next year — or even cook virtually with loved ones from afar. These donuts, for example, can keep fresh for a few days, helping you feel festive all week long. Be sure to have some extra eggs on hand so you can try new baking projects like this one.
Easy Lemon Baked Donuts
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1 packet
⅔ cup milk, warmed to 110°F
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided and softened
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, milk, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Let stand 5-8 minutes, until foamy. Whisk in 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar and 3 eggs. Add about half of the flour and 1 teaspoon salt to the bowl. Use a dough hook attachment to mix until dough comes together.
- Add the remaining flour to the dough and mix. Slowly add ½ cup butter and beat on medium speed, until a smooth dough forms, about 4 minutes.
- Prepare a bowl with nonstick cooking spray, then place dough in the center of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the lemon curd, place 3 eggs, ¾ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Whisk until combined, then place over low heat. Stir constantly, until mixture thickens, about 4-6 minutes. On very low heat, add ¼ cup butter and stir until smooth. Strain lemon curd into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.
- Flour a flat surface and roll dough about ½-inch thick. Use a 1½-inch round cutter to cut out donuts. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Roll remaining dough together and repeat the process to create a total of 32-36 donuts. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest about 30 minutes, until puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake donuts 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter, then brush onto donuts. Coat with sugar, then poke a hole in the side of each donut.
- Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a small piping tip, with lemon curd. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of curd into each donut.
- Serve and store leftovers up to 3 days.