Key Lime Donuts

Key Lime Donuts

In my constant efforts to always push myself to be an adventurous baker,  I am officially a de-flowered donut maker. In fact- this is the first time I have deep fried anything and I have to say I’m pretty hooked. I’ve always been a sucker for a crisp, fluffy, and sweet donut, but let me tell you *nothing* beats one freshly fried and glazed right there in your own kitchen. These are straight up to die for. I am hooked on making donuts and you’ll undoubtedly be seeing more soon. (Flavor suggestions are welcome!)

Key Lime Donuts

Key Lime Donuts

For my maiden voyage into donut-land, I made an easy, dreamy, yeasted dough, fried them up, filled them with the most glorious key lime curd, and then dipped them in a simple glaze. I’m always a fan of glazed donuts vs. sugared, but either option would work for topping these beauties. The curd is so tart and fresh, making it the most perect surprise as you bite in.

Yeasted Donuts

This is a wonderful base recipe for yeasted donuts I’m planning to keep around for future use and modify with different fillings/toppings. Since this recipe makes a nice amount of donuts, I made a few plain ones so Hugo could have a couple donut holes and I could further test the recipe. Then I wrote my neighbors in our facebook group and sent out boxes of still-warm donuts out onto our block for all to try. What can I say I always like to make friends with baked goods!

Anyway-  if making donuts has intimidated you in the past, be brave and try this wonderful recipe! Fresh donuts for Easter Brunch sounds pretty divine don’t you think?


Key Lime Donuts

Key Lime Donuts

Key Lime Donuts

Yield: 2 dozen donuts


For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) Red Star
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • oil for frying. (I suggest canola, vegetable, peanut or grapeseed,) plus more for oiling the bowl

For the curd:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons key lime zest
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice*
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons,) unsalted butter cut into cubes

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


    For the donuts:

    1. Warm the milk and combine it with the yeast, stirring lightly. Let it sit for 5 minutes or until it foams up a bit.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs, melted butter, sugar, and milk mixture. Mix on medium- high speed until well mixed and smooth.
    3. Add the nutmeg, salt, and 2 cups of the flour and mix until combined, then switch to the dough hook attachment.
    4. Add the remaining flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl. If dough feels sticky, add more flour, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until soft and smooth.
    5. Oil a bowl and place dough inside, cover loosely and allow to proof in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
    6. When dough has completed the first proof- punch it down a bit and roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out desired donut shapes. For filled donuts I used a 3.5 inch diameter biscuit cutter and then punched holes out with a large piping tip for regular donuts. You can re-roll the scraps, but try not to overwork the dough and let it rest for a few minutes between rounds to let it puff up a little bit.
    7. Place cut donuts on a lined cookie sheet an inch or so apart and cover loosely again, proofing in a warm place for another 45-60 minutes.
    8. While donuts are proofing make your filling and glaze

    For the curd:

    1. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, eggs, zest, and juice. Heat on medium-high and stir constantly, until mixture becomes thick, coating the back of your spoon, about 10 minutes.
    2. Remove from heat, add butter, and stir until smooth. Pour into a heat safe bowl or jar and pop it in the fridge until ready to use.

    For the glaze:

    1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, using more or less depending on how thick you'd like your glaze to be. If it gets too thick or hard before you're ready to use it, you can whisk it rapidly to smooth it out.

    Frying donuts:

    1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan. Clip on a candy thermometer if you have one and adjust your heat until the oil reaches about between 365F-375F** (While the oil is heating, prep some plates/cookie sheets with paper towels to place the donuts on after they are done.)
    2. When oil is ready, use a spatula to slide a donut into the oil. (You may want to fry one at a time until you get the hang of it. When the bottoms are deep golden (45 seconds or so,) use a slotted spoon to flip the donut and fry the other side. Place finished donuts on the paper towel-lined plates and continue frying the rest.
    3. When donuts are cool enough to handle, fill a pastry bag with key lime curd, make a little hole in one end of the donut using a chopstick and fill the donuts. Dip the tops into the glaze and let it dry on a wire rack.


    *If you can't find key limes, regular limes will work
    **I used a candy thermometer but any instant read cooking thermometer will work. When the oil is too cool, the donuts may end up greasy and oily. I found 370F to be the sweet spot.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own. Follow RSY on Instagram, Pintrest & Facebook for lots of baking inspiration!


    1. The idea of having two dozen donuts in my kitchen makes me absolutely weak in the knees! I’ve made donuts once and it was so much easier than I thought…weird that I haven’t made them again, but having Remy around with hot oil on the stove makes me nervous. Love the idea of this key lime curd filling, though. So heavenly.

    2. I chuckled at the phrase “de-flowered donut maker.” I didn’t realize how easy donuts are to make until I started making them at home. I love the flavor combo!

    3. These look like absolute heaven to me! Craving donuts hard now!

    4. You know what. I cannot stop watering. They make me feel so hungery.

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