Rosemary and Lemon Baked Doughnuts

I will use literally any excuse to try a new recipe. I find that cooking with the kids allows me to spend quality time with them creating those all important memories that will keep me smiling long after the kids are in bed or when they are driving me insane. In addition to the aforementioned, the reasons for this recipe are two-fold; we have a surplus of rosemary in our garden and I wanted some new and interesting ways to use it and secondly 12-19 May 2018 in the UK is National Doughnut Week in aid of The Children’s Trust. So we made a donation and doughnuts!

Now I need to underline, I am not a professional baker and these were our first attempt at baked yeast doughnuts so they are not perfect. I am sure every home baker would say that they taste better than they look at some point. This is generally exacerbated when children are involved in the process as mine were in this one. That said, I was happy that the rosemary could be tasted in the doughnuts and think the lemon glaze was a good contrast.

Seb really enjoyed making up the dough with me and talking about yeast makes dough rise. We talked about kneading the dough to make the yeast ‘friendly’ (or activate it in grown up talk). He had so much fun with the doughnut cutters and the fact that he could pop the centre of them out and then re-roll the dough had him chuckling during the process.

Atticus was my glazing and decorating helper. He did keep on trying to eat the glaze as we made it. He enjoyed giving the doughnuts a dunk, but definitely preferred sprinkling the stars over them.

I would say, these are softer and more doughnut-like when they aren’t overbaked. So cooked in a preheated oven at 180°c fan and cooked for 7-8 minutes as for the large ones and 4-5 minutes with the smaller ones. They may look a little pale, but they will have the lovely soft texture inside. If you do decide you want a firmer doughnut, you can always return it to the oven for another couple of minutes. It unfortunately doesn’t work both ways so keep an eye on them! We did overbake some of ours and they lost some of their doughnutiness, but they still tasted nice.

I did make another half batch without the kids and managed not to overbake any of them and they we soooooooooo good that I wished I had made a full batch as I just wanted to stay up and eat them! Although it is probably best that I decided in my wisdom to reduce the quantities otherwise I think the kids would have to push me out of the door!


For the doughnuts

  • 1 sachet of fast action yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar (depending how sweet you want them to be)
  • 3tbsp softened margarine
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups of flour (you may need the extra half cup if your dough is very, very sticky and won’t come together)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups of icing sugar
  • Juice 1.5 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles of choice (we used gold stars and some chocolate strands)


  1. Wash and dry the rosemary and place in a food processor with the lemon zest and pulse. Add 1 cup of the flour and pulse again. Transfer this to a Tupperware tub and leave for an hour if you have the time. This will allow the rosemary and lemon to infuse into the flour.
  2. Put the warm water into a large bowl or that of a food mixer. Stir in the yeast until it has dissolved. Add the warm milk, the sugar, margarine, salt and the rosemary and lemon infused flour. Mix well with the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the eggs and the rest of the flour and combine until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead for 6-8 minutes by hand or 3-4 in the mixer.
  5. Place in a greased bowl to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. We use the oven to prove by setting its timer for two minutes and switching it onto 150°c fan. We then boil the kettle fill up a bowl and once the timer pings, switch the oven and its light off and put the bowl of boiling water into the oven along with the item which needs to prove and close the door.
  6. After an hour, turn it out onto a floured surface and stamp out doughnuts with a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter and then cut the centre out with the reverse side of a piping nozzle. Once you have used all the dough, leave to prove again for another 40-minutes to an hour or doubled in size. (Once again I used my oven, but I did end up reheating it and putting fresh boiling water in it.)
  7. Place in a preheated oven at 180°c for 7-8 minutes for large doughnuts and 4-5 for small ones. ( I left the doughnuts in the top oven while the bottom oven heated up)
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before glazing.

To make the glaze

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a medium-sized bowl and add the lemon zest and juice. Mix and add the milk. You may need more milk. We went for a thin glaze, but if you want a thicker glaze use less liquid.
  2. To coat the doughnuts, dip them in the icing bowl and place on a cooling rack so the excess drips off (if you are wise, you will cover underneath the rack with a tea towel or newspaper to reduce clean up time. I didn’t do this and wished I had).
  3. Add sprinkles before the glaze sets and enjoy!

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