Lemon Poppy Seed Old Fashioneds

Sour cream and a bit of nutmeg give these donuts that old fashioned taste we all know and love. 100% guaranteed to make your coworkers love you.

March 2, 2020


Ashley Fungone

Lemon Poppy Seed Old Fashioneds

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Lemon Poppy Seed Old Fashioned Donuts



For the Donuts

  • 240g granulated sugar
  • 90g egg yolks, beaten (about 56 large)
  • 36g butter
  • 380g sour cream
  • 600g cake flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 12g kosher salt
  • Nonstick spray, as needed
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the Glaze

  • 320g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 3/4 Tbsp poppy seeds


  1. Combine the sugar, egg yolks, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until the color of the mixture lightens and increases in volume, about two minutes. Stop the mixer and add the sour cream. Mix on medium speed until the smooth and evenly incorporated, about one to two minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients and whisk them together. With the stand mixer set to low, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, one large spoonful at a time. Wait a few seconds between spoonfuls, stopping the mixer when the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.

  3. Coat the inside of a medium mixing bowl with nonstick spray and line it with plastic wrap. Press the wrap into the inside of the bowl and coat it again with the nonstick spray.

  4. Transfer the dough to the bowl and spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray; cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure to press it directly onto the dough. Chill for at least an hour.

  5. When the dough is almost done chilling, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.

  6. With the dough still in the bowl, dust the top with flour and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with more flour and, working quickly to keep the dough chilled, roll out to about half an inch think.

  7. Brush off any excess flour from the surface of the dough. Use a 3 in (75 mm) and a 1 1/4 in (30 mm) ring mold to cut out your donuts and donut holes, dipping the bottoms of the molds in flour before every cut.

  8. Transfer the doughnuts to the lined sheet pan, brushing off any extra flour from the bottoms as you go. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap doesn’t come into contact with the doughnuts, and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the dough chill.

  9. In a large pot over medium heat, bring at least two inches of canola oil (or another neutral oil) to 340 °F. Stir occasionally to keep the heat even. I like to use a thermometer to make sure the oil is the exact temperature, and highly recommend it if you want perfect donuts.

  10. Set a timer (or your phone) to the stopwatch function. Starting with one donut at a time until you feel comfortable, place a donut into the hot oil. Cooking one at a time until you get the hang of it, place a donut in the fryer. It will sink to the bottom, but don’t be alarmed. Once it rises to the surface, let it fry for 40 seconds. Then use a spider strainer, slotted spoon, or even a fork to flip it. Let it then fry for about 80 seconds, until it develops a golden brown color on the bottom. Flip it one more time and fry for another 80 seconds. Transfer to a cooling rack over a metal tray or onto a paper towel-lined plate.

  11. Once all the donuts are done and cooling, fry the donut holes. Place them a few at a time into the hot oil. Once they rise to the surface, fry for one minute. Turn over and fry for an additional minute, or until golden brown and puffed. Take out of the oil to cool on a wire rack or paper towel lined plate.

  12. While the donuts are cooling, prepare the lemon poppy seed glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds, whisk together. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Cover and set aside.

  13. Once the donuts have cooled for at least 15 minutes, dip them in the lemon poppy seed glaze about about halfway in. Pull them out of the glaze and transfer onto a cooling rack, dry side down. The glaze should run down enough to cover the last half of the donut. For the donut holes, drop into the glaze one at a time and use a spoon to cover them completely in glaze. Take them out to dry with the donuts.

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