Guys, it’s still winter.
There’s a slush-fest of snow outside my door and the furnace is still roaring…but, my mind is on spring and sunshine and vibrant berries. And, while I’m a weirdo who actually likes cool temps and a winter wonderland…I can’t help but get anxious for the next season while the current one wanes away. It’s just my nature.
Since I’ve had berries on my brain and lemons are currently in season, I whipped up these blueberry-studded, baked cake doughnuts. These donuts appeal to both late winter and springtime produce—bright lemon and juicy blueberries. I’m always a little heavy-handed with lemon, I like it tart and intense. There’s a good bit of zest in the batter and glaze, as well as lemon juice for extra tang. The berries turn into juicy, purple gems once baked and their sweet nature pairs perfectly with the bracing lemon. Both are folded into a just-sweet, vanilla batter. The baked doughnuts are cakey, tender, and only benefit from a generous slathering of creamy-tart glaze. Cream cheese glaze just makes sense when we’re talking berries and lemon.
Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon + Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes about 8 doughnuts.
Adapted from Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home by Lara Ferroni
These are baked doughnuts. I use a standard, easy to find doughnut pan for this recipe (this one). If you don’t have/want a doughnut pan, go ahead and make these into doughnut muffins. They will be a different shape, but just as delicious. The recipe makes about 8 doughnuts, though I yielded 10 as I filled the pan a bit less than I should have. Don’t be like me.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup (be generous) blueberries (washed and dried well) + 1 tablespoon flour
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate, small bowl rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant. Whisk the lemon-sugar into the flour mixture. Rub the butter into the flour mixture—like you would for making pastry dough—until it resembles a coarse meal.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk and lemon juice and allow to sit for a minute or two—introducing acid to the milk will make it curdle and thicken, that’s okay! (if a recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any, acidulated milk will work in a pinch). Whisk in the vanilla and the egg, to combine well. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and fold to until just combined. Toss the washed and dried blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour, shaking off excess, and fold into the batter.
Using either a plastic zip-top bag or a piping bag, fill the bag with the batter, cut a hole at the tip (or corner), large enough to allow a blueberry through, and pipe batter into the prepared pan, about halfway up each doughnut-well. Bake in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a doughnut comes out clean and the edges are lightly golden. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan before turning out. Repeat with remaining batter. Allow to cool to room temperature before glazing.
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
2 ounces cream cheese, softened (cut from an 8 ounce block)
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-3 tablespoons lemon juice
Using a wooden spoon, beat the cream cheese until creamy (if it’s already soft, this will be a breeze), stir in the confectioner’s sugar until combined, stir in the lemon zest, and begin thinning out the glaze with the lemon juice—beginning with 1 tablespoon and adding more until you reach your desired consistency.