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I didn’t have to share a doughnut recipe to know that everyone loves doughnuts. Of course, everyone does! But the response to my baked chocolate doughnuts surprised me a little bit. So knowing that you love doughnuts, I’m sharing another recipe with you, this time they’re sweet, tangy, vegan baked lemon doughnuts that can also be made gluten-free!
Ever since buying my now beloved (ha!) doughnut pan (I bought this one and I highly recommend it!), I’ve been thinking up so many different recipes. Since it’s spring, and since I seem to be on a citrus kick lately (have you seen the vegan key lime cups I shared not long ago??), vegan lemon doughnuts won out as the next recipe I wanted to share.
You can make these vegan and gluten free or if you don’t need them to be gluten free, you can just make them vegan. I’ve included instructions for both, you pick the one you need!
Now let’s talk about the doughnuts! Like my chocolate doughnuts, these took me a few tries to get. More tries than the chocolate doughnuts, actually. Have you ever heard the saying that says baking is a science? It’s so true. I originally wanted to use fresh lemon juice in the doughnut batter but they way the acid reacts with some of the other ingredients doesn’t always produce a great result. After many tries, I still couldn’t get the recipe to work the way I wanted it to with the fresh lemon juice. The doughnuts always tasted delicious and looked perfect, it was the texture that was always off. I didn’t want to share a recipe that I wasn’t 100% happy with, so I pivoted a little and tried lemon extract instead of the juice. Thankfully, this change gave me a result that I’m now happy to share.
To me, the lemon glaze makes these doughnuts, so don’t skip the glaze! The doughnuts on their own are delicious but the tangy, sweet, lemony glaze just takes them over the top. The lemon zest I added to the glaze is optional but it does give a little extra punch of lemon flavour.
Before you head to the recipe, I wanted to answer a question that I’ve been asked a lot since I published the last doughnut recipe. Readers who have never made or eaten baked doughnuts were curious to get a little insight into what they were in for when they made them. The most asked question I received?
What Do Baked Doughnuts Taste Like?
I went into this a little in the baked chocolate doughnuts recipe. One important thing to keep in mind is that baked doughnuts are nothing like fried doughnuts. Baked doughnuts are more like cake. Doughnut shaped cakes with sweet glaze on top! The texture is like cake, they’re light, fluffy, and they’re a nice alternative if you’re aiming to stay away from fried foods.
If you have any questions about baked doughnuts, let me know in the comments! I hope you love these as much as you love the chocolate doughnuts!
How to Make Vegan Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze
Tart, but at the same time, sweet! You and your family are going to love these vegan baked lemon doughnuts that can also be make gluten-free.
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (I used golden flax seeds, see note below)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup gluten free flour OR all-purpose flour (see notes below)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3/4 tsp lemon extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Grease your doughnut pan (if needed).
Prepare your flax egg by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest.
In a small bowl, mix the milk, melted coconut oil, lemon extract, and flax mixture together.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Don't over mix.
Using a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag (see note below), pipe the mixture into each cavity.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let the pan sit for a few minutes before removing the doughnuts.
Remove the doughnuts from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl and add the lemon juice, and lemon zest (if using).
Mix until everything has combined into a liquid glaze.
When the doughnuts have fully cooled (they don't take long!), dip the tops of each doughnut into the glaze. Repeat with all the doughnuts.
Place the doughnuts back onto the cooling rack for the excess glaze to drip off and for the glaze to firm up. (Place a piece of parchment paper under the rack to catch the drips!)
- If you are making the vegan gluten-free version, it's important to know that every gluten-free flour blend uses different ingredients and ratios. Results will always vary when different flours are used. I have never used any other brand of flour to make these doughnuts, other than Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour, so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with a different gluten free flour.
- I used golden flax seeds for this recipe but regular flax seeds can be used if you don't have golden seeds. They both work the same and your results will not be affected based on the type of seeds you use. You'll just have brown (tasteless) specks in your doughnuts!
- If you are making the vegan gluten-free version, the batter will be very thick. That's OK! Just pipe it into the pan as-is.
- A piping bag is recommended for getting the batter into the pan. If you don't have a piping bag, use a large Ziploc bag and snip off the end to stand in for a piping bag. If you don't have either, carefully spoon the batter into each doughnut cavity.
- It's best to eat the doughnuts the same day they were made. The glaze does not hold up well. If you have leftovers, refrigerate them but know that the glaze may melt into the doughnut if kept for too long!
- Calorie count listed is for the vegan gluten-free version. Calorie count for 1 doughnut using the vegan only recipe is 184 calories.