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Lightened-up with Greek yogurt, these glazed Lemon Baked Donuts come together in minutes — thanks to help from a boxed cake mix! Add fresh or frozen blueberries for a bright burst of flavor, if you like. The baked glazed donut recipe is sure to become a staple in your breakfast lineup!

Close up front shot of a baked donut on a plate

Donuts have always been (and will always be) my favorite food. And while I’m proud to say that I’ve finally mastered the art of the homemade Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donut, it’s a time-consuming process that I’m not always willing to undertake. Instead, when I want a quick donut fix without much effort, these baked donuts come to the rescue!

Do baked donuts taste the same as fried?

No! I won’t lie to you and tell you that these baked glazed donuts taste exactly like their deep-fried counterparts from the local bakery. Instead, baked donuts are more like a muffin in the shape of a donut! Since these baked donuts are made with cake mix, they actually taste a lot like a cross between a glazed lemon Bundt cake and a lemon muffin. Absolutely delicious, but not a classic fried donut!

Are baked donuts healthier than fried?

Yes! While they don’t taste the same as the fried version, baked donuts tend to be lower in fat and calories since they are baked instead of deep-fried. That said, there’s still plenty of sugar in these treats, making them a good option to enjoy in moderation. Each donut (without glaze) has about 172 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of protein and 16 grams of sugar. It’s hard to estimate exactly how much glaze you’ll use on each of your donuts, so that would need to be taken into account as well. Of course, you can skip the glaze and enjoy your donuts plain. They’re still delicious!

Overhead shot of a lemon baked donut on a blue and white plate

How to make Baked Donuts at Home:

Making baked donuts is really quick and easy! You only need a few basic ingredients (no yeast), and a donut pan (<– affiliate link).

Ingredients for Healthy Baked Donuts:

  • Lemon cake mix
  • Plain Greek-style yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Egg
  • Optional blueberries

Ingredients for baked donuts with cake mix

Step 1: Prepare the Batter

Combine the cake mix, yogurt, water and egg in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until the batter is smooth.

Batter for lemon baked donuts

Step 2: Transfer the Batter to the Donut Pan

Evenly distribute the batter into the cavities of the donut pan. I like to use a large Ziploc bag to pipe the batter into the pan, but you can just spoon it in as well.

Process shot of filling donut pan with batter

Donuts in a donut pan before baking

Step 3: Bake the Lemon Donuts

Bake the donuts in a 400 degree F oven for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 4: Prepare the Glaze

Once the donuts are completely cool, prepare the glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt. You want the glaze nice and thick so that it really clings to the donuts.

Donut glaze with a whisk in a bowl

Step 5: Glaze the Baked Donuts

Dip each donut in the glaze, then set the donut on a wire rack to allow any excess glaze to drip off. The donuts need about 20 minutes for the glaze to set, and then it’s time to eat!

Glazed baked donuts on a wire rack

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • Allow the donuts to cool for at least 15 minutes before glazing. If you dip them in the glaze when they’re too hot, the glaze will just slip right off. The donuts will then need about 20 more minutes for the glaze to set.
  • How to store Baked Donuts: Homemade donuts are best when enjoyed the same day that they are prepared. If you have leftover donuts, you can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  • To reheat a donut, warm in the microwave for just 8-10 seconds. Don’t let it get too hot, or the glaze will melt right off.
  • How to freeze Baked Donuts: Wrapped tightly, you can freeze these doughnuts for up to 3 months. When thawed the consistency of the glaze will be thin and runny, so I recommend freezing the plain donuts before glazing. Then, when ready to enjoy, simply thaw the donuts and glaze as necessary.

Baked donut on a plate with lemons in the background

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • This recipe yields six donuts, since most donut pans have six cavities. If you have a 12-cavity pan (or two separate pans), you can easily double the recipe and prepare twice as many donuts.
  • Don’t have a donut pan? This recipe will also work in a standard muffin tin. You may need bake the muffins a bit longer (closer to 15-20 minutes).
  • Other flavors to try: The options are really endless, so use your imagination and create a variety of baked cake donuts. For instance, use chocolate cake mix to make Chocolate Baked Donuts, use a strawberry cake mix and diced fresh strawberries to make Strawberry Donuts, or use a spice cake mix to make Spiced Baked Donuts.
  • It’s important to spray the donut pan really well with cooking spray so that your donuts don’t stick. I like to use this Pam baking spray, which has flour in the mix. It works really well!

Close overhead shot of a baked donut on a blue and white plate with a lemon nearby

More breakfast recipes that you might enjoy:

Close up front shot of a baked donut on a plate

Lemon Baked Donuts

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Inactive Cooling Time 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 17 minutes
Servings 6 donuts
Calories 172 kcal
These glazed Lemon Baked Donuts come together in just minutes with help from a boxed cake mix!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ cups lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt (or sour cream)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • Optional: ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the Glaze:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 6-cavity standard donut pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cake mix, yogurt, water and egg until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries, if using. Evenly distribute batter into the cavities of the donut pan and smooth out the tops. I like to pipe the batter into the donut pan by transferring the batter to a large Ziploc bag and then snipping a hole in one corner.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out mostly clean, about 12 minutes.
  • Cool donuts in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely (about 15 more minutes).

PREPARE THE GLAZE:

  • Once the donuts are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt until thick and smooth. Add a small amount of additional milk to thin, as necessary, or add a small amount of powdered sugar to make it thicker (if necessary). You want it nice and thick so that it clings to the donuts.
  • Place a wire rack over paper towels or foil (for easy cleanup). One at a time, dip the donuts in the glaze, allowing most of the excess to drip off. Place on the wire rack and allow the icing to set for about 20-30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe yields six donuts, since most donut pans have six cavities. If you have a 12-cavity pan (or two separate pans), you can easily double the recipe and prepare twice as many donuts.
  • Don't have a donut pan? This recipe will also work in a standard muffin tin. You may need bake the muffins a bit longer (closer to 15-20 minutes).
  • Other flavors to try: The options are really endless, so use your imagination and create a variety of baked cake donuts. For instance, use chocolate cake mix to make Chocolate Baked Donuts, use a strawberry cake mix and diced fresh strawberries to make Strawberry Donuts, or use a spice cake mix to make Spiced Baked Donuts.
  • It's important to spray the donut pan really well with cooking spray so that your donuts don't stick. I like to use this Pam baking spray, which has flour in the mix. It works really well!
  • Allow the donuts to cool for at least 15 minutes before glazing. If you dip them in the glaze when they’re too hot, the glaze will just slip right off. The donuts will then need about 20 more minutes for the glaze to set.
  • How to store Baked Donuts: Homemade donuts are best when enjoyed the same day that they are prepared. If you have leftover donuts, you can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  • To reheat a donut, warm in the microwave for just 8-10 seconds. Don’t let it get too hot, or the glaze will melt right off.
  • How to freeze Baked Donuts: Wrapped tightly, you can freeze these doughnuts for up to 3 months. When thawed the consistency of the glaze will be thin and runny, so I recommend freezing the plain donuts before glazing. Then, when ready to enjoy, simply thaw the donuts and glaze as necessary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut (before glazing)Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 29.7gProtein: 3.5gFat: 4.5gSaturated Fat: 1.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 35.2mgSodium: 257.7mgPotassium: 66.5mgSugar: 16.3g
Keyword: baked donuts, baked donuts with cake mix, lemon donuts
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2015. It was updated in May, 2020.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Blair these are just gorgeous. I can almost smell the delightful aroma all the way in Hong Kong. Just pinned!

  2. Be still my heart with this receipt. yum delicious and seemingly easy to make. I just need a donut pan. I am really like Food & Fitness Friday to get some great ideas.

    1. Hi, Shonda! You can totally make these without a donut pan! Muffin tins are fine…they just won’t be shaped like donuts. 🙂 BUT, I do love my donut pan and I use it all of the time. Definitely worth the $6 or $7!

  3. Oh my gosh, these look absolutely delicious! I’m definitely pinning these! And I’m stopping by to let you know that these were my pick for Rockstar of the week at the Creativity Unleashed link party, so thank you so much for linking them up! Voting is now open at the party for the MEGA Rockstar of the week, so stop by and cast your vote, and tell your friends and readers to vote for you too! I hope you win this week! https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/creativity-unleashed-link-party/

  4. WHAT MAKES IT LAVENDAR? THE BLUBERRIES AND LEMON? JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I’M NOT MISSING AN INGREDIENT. THANK YOU!

    1. Hey, Ruth! I think you must have seen an older version of the recipe, which included lavender essential oils in the glaze. You can certainly include that if you like, but it’s not necessary. 🙂