Lemon Filled Donuts
Your classic fried donuts filled with a sweet and tart lemon curd!
Life is short, let’s start frying things up shall we?!
Well, not all the things but yeasted donuts are special.
You all know I am a fan of baked donuts …which are pretty much sweet muffins for breakfast. They are amazing but there are times when a girl needs the real deal… fried donuts!!
I was craving some good ole fried yeasted donuts for a whole week and decided to make some myself since the bakeries around Syracuse failed me. I started with a small batch of lemon filled donuts as a precaution because these things can be dangerous (for the hips!).
There are a few different kinds of fried doughnuts (or donuts!) out there but my favorite by far is the yeasted soft kinds. The fluffy jelly-filled fried donuts are always a treat with a surprise inside. I decided to fill mine with lemon curd since I am citrus obsessed at the moment and I am glad I did because they were just the perfect amount of sweet and tart that I needed with my morning tea.
I now think I should have added some strawberry jelly in there too with the lemon, what do you think? Maybe next time! Oh and there will be a next time 🙂
Lemon Fried Donuts
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- a pinch of salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons warm water (~110 degrees F)
- 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly nutmeg
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Granulated sugar or powdered sugar for rolling
For Lemon Curd:
- Set a medium saucepan with water to simmer. In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs until well combined.
- Add in the butter pieces and set the bowl over the simmering pot of water. Whisk the mixture continuously (don’t ever stop whisking!!) while cooking until it’s thick, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover the curd with plastic wrap, directly on the curd and let cool. Chill for a few hours or overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Mix until yeast dissolves and let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy. (If yeast is not foamy, do not continue. Start again with new yeast and save yourself the heartbreak.)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the flour, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and yeast mixture on low speed until dough comes together. Knead dough for 3-5 minutes until elastic and smooth. (Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a medium bowl with a wooden spatula until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a well floured surface and knead for 7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.)
- Transfer dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and sprinkle lightly with flour to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise until double in size, about 2 hours in a draft-free place at room temperature. (Alternatively, you can let dough rise in refrigerator for 8-12 hours or overnight).
- Lightly flour a surface and turn out the dough. Roll dough out to about half-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter (mine was 3-inches in diameter), cut out as many rounds as possible. Transfer the donuts to a lightly flour baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet loosely with a kitchen towel and let donuts rise at room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30-45 minutes. (Don’t re-roll the scraps. You can fry them up if you like)
- When ready to fry, heat up the vegetable oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. The oil should be at least 2 ½ inches. If you like you can check the oil with a thermometer, should be about 350 degrees F. This is where you need to be very CAREFUL, it’s hot oil.
- Fry donuts, 3-4 at a time, until puffed and golden brown about 1-2 minutes. Make sure you turn the donuts occasionally as they fry. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Let donuts cool completely. To fill donuts, use a long-tipped pastry bag to poke a hole in each donut and fill with lemon curd. Roll donuts generously in granulated sugar or powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Adapted from Flour Child
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More homemade donuts from across the web:
Homemade Jelly Doughnuts– Heather’s French Press
S’mores Donuts – Buns in My Oven
Peanut Butter Cream Filled Donuts – How Sweet Eats
haha!! yes! life is short! Bring on ALL the FRIED doughnuts!!!! These look sooooooo good!!!!
Let’s fry ALL THE THINGS, please!! I love homemade donuts and Warren will flip for this lemon filling 🙂
You and me both! Next up is your fried goat cheese salad 🙂
OMG I just adore donuts seriously. And that lemon filling is so delightful. I would definitely try strawberry filling next yummo!
Right? I think strawberry and the lemon curd will make a great combo.
These look incredible! Love the idea of adding strawberry to them!
You’re killin me this morning Zainab, these look amazing!!
Hahah that was my intention!
Cannot get yeast to foam.. is 2 tablespoons of warm water enough?
Hi Shirley, yes it is usually enough. You may have bad yeast. Sorry.
Ooh… I could stand one of these RIGHT NOW!! They look fabulous!
I want ALL the donuts! They look perfect!
Same here!! ALL!
My coworkers walked by as this was open on my phone and they all stopped in their tracks to have a 10-minute discussion about how good these donuts looked. And I joined in enthusiastically because YUM.
Hahhah! Thanks Medha!
These look SO good! I love me some donuts and the lemon creme filling is so special 🙂
Yes, sometimes you just want to fry something (not to mention eat that fried something)! These look incredible and I love the flavor and texture from a good yeast dough. What really cinched the deal was the lemon curd – oh my! : ) PS- congrats on your great news!
I know!! Thanks Monica 🙂
You are killling it with these lemon recipes. And yes I definitely think you should add some strawberry filling in there too 🙂
Hahha you know I go in waves with flavors 🙂
I haven’t tried making fried doughnuts yet! But now I’m definitely going to have to try! I love that these are filled with lemon rather than the traditional jam too 🙂 Yum!
You should!! At least once Amy 🙂
Oooh these look wonderful! My baked donut pan has been getting a lot of use, but there’s just something about a fried donut that tastes so indulgent and perfect. Plus with the lemon curd – yum!
It’s just so indulgent indeed!!
These kick jelly donuts to the curb! I love that you filled them with lemon curd — frying is something I don’t do often because of the mess, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice for these!
Hahha they so do!!
Oh I would die to get at least one of these 😀
These donuts are just calling my name! I love that they’re filled with lemon. Sounds perfect!
Thanks Gayle! U should respond to the call 🙂
I am a fan of baked donuts too but these are just too tempting.
Me too..I love baked donuts but fried once in a blue moon is a treat!
These look perfect! I have actually never made yeast donuts but I NEED to! Pinned 🙂
Yes you do…even if it’s just once!!
Omg I am drooling looking at that first picture with dripping lemon filling from the warm doughnuts! Wish I had these for breakfast with coffee!
Ok you need to come visit me for rooftop cocktails and then I’m coming to visit you for fried donuts!! I’m terrified to deep fry but these look SOOOOO good. I love baked donuts, but we all know that fried are just much better! These look perfect!!!
It’s a deal!!
Oh, that first shot had me – the lemon oozing out. Man these look so good!!
If I could live on doughnuts alone I would be a happy woman! And strawberry is a great idea – there’s a german bakery down the road from our house that makes them that way – they are to die for!
Oh I would love to try those from that bakery!!
I fall in love with lemon. So delicious <3
If I didn’t say I was swooning hard over these, I’d by lying. Here I sit at my desk at work (heh heh) thinking about these donuts, and wishing one was on a plate in front of me. LOVE these, Zainab!
Hahha thanks Julie!!
I just made these for my husband’s valentine’s day surprise and they smell AMAZING! He guessed what my surprise was as soon as they hit the frying oil 🙂
About how long do I have to wait for them to cool? Does it take a few hours, or can I fill them pretty soon out of the fryer?
Hi Allison, so glad to hear these turned out great for you and your husband’s excited!! I waited about an hour for them to cool before filling as the curd could melt in very hot center of the donuts. But I am sure it would still taste delicious if you didn’t want to wait.
Hi!! Tried making them and they are delicious! Although Some of the bigger looking donuts are hollow on thhe inside and some aren’t. What did I do wrong> I followed the recipe to the T.
It is a sign!!
Thank you for the amazing quarrantine find! I was just reading the comments to see if you had storage suggestions and my husband laughed at me thinking they will last more than a few hours in this house.
Bahaha I will laugh too. These never last a day in my house. But I would store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just like you would donuts you buy at the store.
Anyone ever try these in an Air Fryer? Wonder how well they’d turn out.
Lemon not only enhances the taste but also has many benefits.