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Baked Lemon Coconut Donuts: for when life gives you lemons

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

There are lemon days and there are lemon weeks. You know what I mean? Those spaces in time and space that are overwhelmingly sour, with experiences both big and small that can dampen even the best of moods. In the kitchen, we know that too much lemon combined with something sweet or merely edible can ruin, curdle or sour the entire batch or meal. In life, it’s no different really. A little sour can accentuate an experience or completely ruin it. Throw in a little dash of perspective and it can change the entire experience.

This month has been lemon-y and not in a good way. Fires, medical diagnoses, divorce, death, on-line school, betrayal and COVID scares all rained down like a midwestern rain storm. Each incident alone would have been enough heaviness for one day, but combined felt impossibly hard. I know I’m not alone, especially during these pandemic times. But what do you do when the weight of the world comes crashing down?

You have choices. Always.

You can choose to run, hide, engage in self-destructive behavior or you can choose to face these challenges head-on and fight. Fighting doesn’t have to mean stepping into the gladiator ring or engaging in verbal banter on Facebook. Fighting can look like waking up and starting your day saying something you’re grateful for instead of focusing on the pain or set back. It can look like putting your phone down and being present for a game with your kiddos. Fighting can look like taking your dog for a walk and noticing the beauty in the changing of the leaves. It can be as simple as a prayer of thanks or journaling your thoughts. Fighting can be making a plan for the next step forward.

It can also mean embracing the lemons – hiking up your boot straps, taking a deep breath and facing the lemon straight on. Whatever your lemon is, know you have someone in your corner rooting for you.

Today, in the kitchen, I’m embracing the lemons and making:

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon - Coconut Frosting

For the donuts:

1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour

¼ c. cornstarch

¾ c. granulated sugar

2 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

¾ c. buttermilk

2 eggs

2 T. butter, melted

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 T. pure vanilla extract

2 t. grated lemon zest

For the frosting:

4 - 6 T. milk

1 T. pure vanilla extract

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ c. powdered sugar

2 c.-ish unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions and a disclaimer: Greg and I both love cooking. We love it! We have date nights with cooking at the center. Being a former first grade teacher, you might think that I love directions. Think again. I don’t. So as I share my directions with you, I am assuming that you are functioning adults who need directions, but don’t need me to hold your hand through each and every step. That’s just annoying.

For the donuts:

1. Heat oven to 425* and spray donut pans with non-stick spray.

2. Mix together all dry ingredients. Then stir in the wet ingredients, but don’t overmix.

3. Divide the batter evenly into the donut pan.

4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown and the tops spring back a teensy when touched.

5. Cool donuts for a few minutes in the pan before turning them onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting:

1. Start with 4 T. milk, then add the vanilla and lemon. Slowly add the powdered sugar, stirring until the sugar isn't clumpy.

2. Add more milk as needed to thin the frosting to your liking.

3. Frost each donut and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy and share some with someone who has literally had a lemon of a day, a week or who is just living through this weird year called 2020!

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