Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts

Cover recipe- Homemade With Love, Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts: Copyright 2013

Cover recipe- Homemade With Love, Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts: Copyright 2013

Today’s recipe comes from a cookbook written by Jennifer Perillo, the author of the blog:  In Jennie’s Kitchen.   In Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen, Perillo focuses on sharing easier solutions to preparing homemade meals for your family. She cooks from scratch by buying local, shopping farmer’s markets and picking up ingredients in neighborhood shops. Jennie says, “home cooking is both better for you and less expensive,” and she shares some tips on budgeting to help you along. Homemade with Love displays icons for recipes that are freezer friendly, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, 30 Minutes or Less, Dairy Free, Egg Free, etc.

Recipes for Everyday Basics include things like an All-Purpose Baking Mix, DIY Granola, 20-Minute Marinara Sauce, Homemade Yogurt and Homemade Nut Butters. Other recipes included in the book span all meals of the day. I’m excited to try: Roasted Tomato Soup, Mushroom Bolognese, Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie, Orange- Balsamic Glazed Salmon, Pistachio Soda Bread, Molasses- Simmered Onions, 15-Minute Granola Bars, and Chocolate Tres Leches Cake. The cover recipe highlights Jennie’s Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts.

If you are looking for a cookbook that has a homey feel to it… and you enjoy seeking out make-it-from-scratch, more wholesome recipes to feed your family, then this cookbook is for you. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts

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Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts

Yield: 6 doughnuts

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 9 min

A "healthier" doughnut recipe from the cookbook: Homemade with Love.


1 scant cup (130 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) sea salt
Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
Scant 1/2 cup (110 ml) buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Confectioners' sugar (optional)


1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (220 degrees C). Grease a 6-count doughnut pan, and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.

3. In a measuring cup, use a fork to beat the lemon juice, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter until well-blended. Pour over the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir together until just combined. Evenly spoon into the prepared doughnut pan and bake for 8 to 9 minutes until the doughnuts are lightly golden and spring back when touched.

4. Let the doughnuts cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Unmold the doughnuts and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a small strainer to sift confectioner's sugar over the tops before serving, if desired.


*Variation suggestion (to make a chocolate version): Omit the lemon juice and lemon zest. Reduce the flour to 3/4 cup (97 grams) and add 1/4 cup (27 grams) dark cocoa powder to the flour mixture. Stir 3 tablespoons (45 ml) brewed coffee into the milk mixture, and proceed with the directions as listed in the recipe. Dip the doughnuts in a chocolate ganache for frosting, if desired (recipe in the book).
*I used a regular-sized doughnut pan (not minis).
*I happened to have natural cane sugar in my pantry, but I know that most people do not. I'm guessing you can use white sugar in its place.
*The recipe calls for mixing with a wooden spoon... I'm wondering if there is significance to this, or if using a rubber spatula is just as effective?
*These are best if eaten immediately, but we did munch on them the following day too.

The results:

This recipe was very simple to make- done in about 15 minutes. If you’re expecting “doughnuts,” you might be disappointed. These aren’t the kind of greasy, fat-laden doughnuts you find at the corner store. Instead they are a baked version with a light texture, and they’re a little easier on your waistline. There is a slight sweetness to the cake of the doughnut and the confectioners’ sugar adds a little more. They’re made healthier using whole wheat pastry flour, which I could definitely detect. I enjoyed them as a snack (and so did my 12-year old). My husband didn’t care for them, but then again… I think he heard the word “doughnut” and assumed he’d be getting the usual deep-fried treat.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes! Author Jennie Perillo shared with me that it was important to have the cover recipe reflect the same warm tone of the book. They shot it with three recipes—the doughnuts, chocolate chunk scones and sweet cherry pie pockets. In the end the doughnut photo was chosen. I agree that the doughnuts convey a warm, homemade feeling, and for me… a recipe like this is something that I can feel good about feeding my family (which, I believe, is part of the book’s theme).

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

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6 Responses to “Lemon- Buttermilk Doughnuts”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 29, 2013 @ 6:41 am

    When I make baked donuts, I generally follow a similar recipe of 1/2 c buttermilk to 1 c flour, 1 egg, and 1 tsp baking powder. I’ve never tried them with whole wheat flour and as you said, it’s a baked donut, not a Krispy Kreme ;) Thanks for the review of Jennie’s book!

  2. 2

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — April 29, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    These sound fabulous, Lori! I love baking with buttermilk so these need to happen soon! Jennie’s book is amazing!

  3. 3

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — April 30, 2013 @ 2:01 am

    I have yet to make my own doughnuts, but I would definitely try this recipe. Jennifer Perillo is someone I feel like I can trust. I can’t wait to check out her book and these doughnuts.

  4. 4

    Hani@haniela's — April 30, 2013 @ 5:12 am

    These sound really nice, light and lemony. I usually make real yeast dough doughnuts but I’ve tried some of the non fried kinds and they are yummy. I haven’t tried buttermilk ones though, I can totally see these on our table Sunday morning,especially since these only take 15 minutes to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  5. 5

    Things I've Gotta Share and You've Gotta See | Recipe Girl — May 7, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    […] Visit and find recipes that were shared for decadent and easy Caramel Pie, (healthier) baked Lemon-Buttermilk Doughnuts, gluten-free Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes and breakfast for dinner: Chicken & Biscuit Waffles! […]

  6. 6

    Joanne — May 9, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    I haven’t ever made my own donuts because deep frying in my kitchen makes me anxious so I love this baked version! And that I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating it for breakfast. WIN.

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