I love all things lemon year round, but especially in the warmer months. I also love donuts year round, so I knew I wanted to create a tasty summery donut, but lighten it up to make it a bit more diet-friendly (these lemon cake donuts are only 6 SP on WW, with the glaze!). The addition of Greek yogurt cuts down fat and calories while adding protein, but keeps the donuts light and fluffy. These are perfect for your next summer BBQ, birthday party, or just because!
The Lemon Cake Donuts
This donut base is made lighter in a number of ways. First off, it doesn’t use a crazy amount of flour or sugar (just 1/4 c sugar for 5 donuts!). Second, one of the most prominent ingredients is nonfat Greek Yogurt, which is low in calories but super high in protein. It’s one of my favorite baking swaps for good reason – it makes for moist, cakey baked goods while cutting down one some of the bad stuff.
Making the donuts is a breeze, especially if you have a donut pan. If you don’t, you can try to create a form with tin foil, or try this method. All you need to do is whirl your dry ingredients together, mix up the wet ones in a separate bowl, and then combine, pour, and bake. End to end, these take about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect to make in the morning for breakfast/brunch, but you can make them a few hours ahead too. If you do make them ahead of time, wait to glaze them until about an hour before you eat- otherwise, the glaze will melt if it sits too long.
So the world is really your oyster here. Since I made a lemon donut, I wanted a lemon glaze that would add sweetness while still keeping a tart flavor profile. However, you can top with anything – lemon glaze, vanilla glaze (replace the lemon juice below with milk and add a splash of vanilla extract), chocolate, etc. I finished my donuts with a big dollop of whipped cream and a little lemon wedge to dress them up a bit! You could also add sprinkles or colored sugar to make them even more festive.
Let’s Make Lemon Donuts!
Light Lemon Cake Donuts
- Medium Bowl
- Small Bowl
- Donut Pan
- Cooling Rack
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon extract
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- yellow food coloring (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 ybsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk together
- In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, lemon zest, lemon extract
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until fully combined (at this point, you can add yellow food coloring if desired)
- Pour batter into greased (or sprayed) donut pan and bake at 350 for 9-12 min (donuts should be springy and a toothpick should come out clean)
- Pop donuts out onto a cooling rack while you make your glaze
- Add lemon juice to powdered sugar and stir until you reach desired consistency
- Drizzle glaze over cooled donuts and let harden for an hour, then enjoy!