Lemon Cardamom Baked Doughnuts

These easy to make lemon and cardamom baked doughnuts are perfect for breakfast or just as a sweet treat with some coffee!

To recipe
Lemon Cardamom Baked Doughnuts
Recipe insights & TIPS

These baked doughnuts mean less mess and fuss-free! Soft and light on the inside with a sweet sugary coating on the outside, perfect with your breakfast espresso!

baked doughnuts on a wire rack with sugar

Why you need to making baked doughnuts

  • The batter for these doughnuts is made in one bowl and that's pretty much all you'll need to clean up afterwards.
  • Your kitchen won't stink of hot oil for days either and you stand less chance of burning yourself.
  • The flavors of lemon and cardamom really work well together. Go easy on the cardamom as it can be overpowering, you can always add more if you prefer.
  • These doughnuts can be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, warm from the oven!

What is the difference between baked doughnuts and fried?

It's hard to compare them to each other fairly. A fried doughnut is exactly that, fried, light and delicious. Baked doughnuts are still on the light side although they are a little more dense. The process is where you'll see the difference, baking doughnuts in the oven are so much easier to make than fried and well worth it of you are pushed for time and need something sweet on a Sunday morning for breakfast.

baked doughnuts tossed in sugar

FAQ's about making baked doughnuts

Are baked healthier than fried? Yes, they definitely are although they still are not nutritious they are lower in fat, calories and carbohydrates.

Can I freeze my baked doughnuts? Yes, pack them into a sealed container and freeze for up to one month. They will thaw quickly at room temperature and can be warmed in the oven before rolling in sugar.

Which side is the top? I like to turn them over from the side that shows when they come out of the oven just because they look better, but it's a personal choice and doesn't really matter.

Are doughnuts better with or without yeast? Yeast doughnuts are a little more work and time to make. They taste chewier than baked doughnuts which have a texture more like a muffin.  

baked doughnuts in a tray
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Delicious and light baked doughnuts tossed in cardamom sugar.

12 minutes
Total TIME:
17 minutes
5 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp lemon extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cardamom

Ingredient Swaps


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray your doughnut pan generously with a non stick spray.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil, vanilla, lemon extract and zest.
  5. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix gently until well combined and no lumps are visible.
  6. Fill each doughnut space in the pan leaving a small space from the top. I like to use a piping bag for this part.
  7. Place the doughnuts into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes.
  8. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes before carefully flipping the pan on its side to release the doughnuts from their space.
  9. Mix the sugar and cardamom together on a plate.
  10. Toss each doughnut in the sugar and serve while warm for the best flavor.
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