Living in Sugar

Lemon Pistachio Donuts

Hello hello! This week is more than half over — well it is for me! And the husband and I are headed to the coast this weekend for an early birthday present (for me!) and just some time to hang out in the sun before summer is over. We’re also taking our dog, Ajax, and it will be his first time seeing the ocean, so that should be fun! Check out my insta for travel details –>

But! Before we go, I wanted to drop this little bomb of delicious on you in case you wanted to make something special this weekend! Lemon Pistachio Donuts! Yasssss. The perfect thing to try when you’ve got a long leisurely weekend ahead. đŸ™‚

Now, these are fried cake donuts which means that they are leavened by baking powder or baking soda (or both) instead of yeast and the method in which the dough is brought together is very similar to that of a cake, the only difference being that you need to let the dough rest before frying. I rolled and cut these in order to make them look like cake doughnuts, but you could also make drop doughnuts or fritters out of the dough — your choice!

Also, something of note is that cake donuts are often more dense than yeast donuts, so don’t be alarmed if you think these donuts are a bit heavy, the lemon will help brighten them up.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that there’s no way that you could make donuts at home — I mean, you need specialty equipment right?! Wrong. It’s very easy to make them at home and I bet if you have a heavy pot, a thermometer and some good frying oil, you too can make homemade donuts.

Also, another benefit of making cake donuts, is that you can have them done in under an hour — verses a yeast donut that will have to rise multiple times! Perfect for an easy sunday breakfast. So I hope this has convinced you to give them a try! Happy weekend {early} and happy baking!


Lemon Pistachio Donuts

Chopped Pistachios add a salty crunch to these decadent cake donuts. Perfect for a weekend breakfast!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 Donuts


  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Grapefruit or Orange Juice
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter melted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • 2 Cups Pistachios Roasted & salted finely chopped

Lemon Glaze

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter melted
  • 2 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon or orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. hot water plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest



  1. For the Donuts:
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until creamy and pale. Add half the flour mixture and beat until just mixed.
  4. Add the milk, zest, melted butter, vanilla and almond extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the rest of the flour mixture, and mix until just combined and dough is soft.
  6. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchments paper & lightly spray with cooking spray.
  8. In a large pot, heat at least 2 inches of oil over med-high heat until oil reaches 360 deg F.
  9. On a generously floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10 inch circle, and cut out donuts using a circle cutter. Using a smaller circle, cut out the donut holes.
  10. Carefully lower 2-5 donuts or holes into the hot oil. Cook on one side for 1 1/2 minutes then flip and cook one more minute. Once golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.
  11. Once all of your donuts are cooked and cooled, glaze with the lemon glaze and top with chopped pistachios.
  12. Enjoy immediately.

For the Glaze:

  1. Ina large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Add more water as needed, until desired consistency is achieved.
  2. Glaze donuts and top with pistachios.



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