Super Easy & Delicious Donuts with Lemon Crème Filling

I love donuts! And these ones are some of the best homemade donuts ever.

The simplicity of the recipe for the dough as well as the custard really makes this something you should try. The donuts are super soft and fluffy, fragrant, and sweet. The custard is simple, yet delicious and smooth. The two work together perfectly. You can fill them with jam or ganache if you prefer that. The main part is the dough itself.

This recipe makes 12 donuts. Multiply the amount of ingredients to make more.

Oil temperature is extremely important for this to work. I recommend heating it up on a low heat setting as this will prevent it getting too hot. If your oil is hotter than 160C (320F), then I would recommend waiting until it cools down a bit.

Also, keep in mind that placing a lot of donuts in the oil at once will cool it down. The best practice is to fry one donut to see how it goes, and only then start dropping in more at once.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

300g (10.6oz) strong white bread flour

30g (1oz) sugar

2g (0.07oz) salt

4g (0.14oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

1 egg yolk

30g (1oz) butter

5g (0.17oz) vanilla paste

160g (5.6oz) cold milk

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For the filling

200g milk (7oz)

100g double cream (3.45oz)

2 egg yolks

40g sugar (1.4oz)

20g corn starch (0.5oz)

5g (0.17oz) vanilla paste

1 lemon worth of zest

50g (1.75oz) extra double cream to finish the filling


150g (5.3oz) sugar mixed with 1 lemon worth of zest for rolling the donuts in


Neutral oil for frying


  1. Make the filling by mixing the egg yolk, vanilla paste, sugar, and cornflour in a bowl until smooth. Boil the milk and cream in a pot, turn down the heat and slowly pour in the egg yolk mix whilst whisking vigorously. Keep cooking for around 2 minutes on low heat. Take off the heat and whisk in the lemon zest. Scrape the filling into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and let it cool down completely. Once cooled, whisk the remaining 60g (2oz) of double cream until just thickening and mix with the custard. Scoop it all in a piping bag ready for filling the donuts.
  2. In a bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar, vanilla, butter & egg yolk. Mix well to dissolve the sugar & hydrate the yeast.
  3. Add the flour mix to a dough. Tip it out on the table and knead it for 6 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25 – 26C (77-79F). If your dough is cooler it may take longer to ferment. If it is warmer it will take less time. Adjust the proofing time accordingly.
  4. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  5. Fold.
  6. Ferment for 1 hour.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces & preshape.
  8. Rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Final shape. Place the dough balls on a greased tray.
  10. Cover and ferment for 1 – 1.5 hours or until doubled.
  11. Carefully fry the donuts in 160C (320F) hot oil. They should take around 90 seconds per side.
  12. Toss the donuts in the lemon sugar as soon as they come out of the oil. Leave to cool down completely.
  13. Pipe in the filling and enjoy!

Watch the video here

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