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Buttermilk Doughnuts with Lemon Sugar Recipe

Freshly made, bite-sized doughnuts rolled in sugar perfumed with Meyer lemon are divine. Evaporated cane sugar is sometimes labeled as “organic sugar” and resembles slightly coarser granulated sugar with an appealing light-caramel hue.

For the lemon sugar

  • 1?2 cup (4 oz/125 g) evaporated cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 Meyer lemon

For the doughnuts

  • 2 cups (10 oz/315 g) all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting
  • 3?4 cup (6 oz/185 g) evaporated cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1?2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Canola oil for frying

Makes 30 doughnuts

  1. To make the lemon sugar, in a wide, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon zest until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. In a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. With the motor running, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and process until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out until 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a 11?2-inch (4-cm) round pastry cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Knead the scraps, roll out, and cut more rounds.
  4. Pour the oil to a depth of at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) into an dutch oven with at least a 5 qt (5 l) capacity. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set near the stove.
  5. Working in batches, carefully slide the doughnuts into the hot oil and cook, turning once with tongs, until dark golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust the heat if the doughnuts are turning brown too quickly. Transfer the doughnuts to the rack and let drain. Return the oil to 350°F before cooking the next batch.
  6. Toss the warm doughnuts in the lemon sugar and serve right away.

Appears with permission from Cooking in Cast Iron. Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith; photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright 2010 by Weldon Owen Inc.

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