Easy Lemon Donut Holes {two ways}

I’m so in love with lemon this time of year, and these easy lemon donut holes are a perfect way to satisfy my cravings!

Easy Lemon Donut Holes | crazyforcrust.com

Okay, so before we start to talk about these amazing and super easy (like, make in just a few minutes) lemon donut holes, I want to tell you about the travesty that happened to me this past weekend.

I’m out of perfume, so I headed to the mall to get more. I’ve been wearing Dream by Gap since I was 16. It’s been my signature scent for 20 years, except for the short period of time I flirted with something pink and fruity smelling from Victoria’s Secret. Anyway, I couldn’t find it, so I asked the sales lady where it was.

It’s been discontinued. DISCONTINUED.

Yeah. I know. Total travesty, right? Like, I gasped so loud I scared Jordan (not joking – it was the ugly gasp; hand-over-mouth and everything). It’s…like…I don’t even know where to go from here. Except maybe to Amazon to buy up the rest of their stock. I mean…perfume shopping? At 36? Really? Do people do that? I’m lost.

Also? #firstworldproblems

Anyway, let’s talk easy lemon donut holes!

Easy Lemon Donut Holes | crazyforcrust.com

My mom’s neighbor has a Meyer lemon tree. My mother-in-law has a lemon tree. I have lemons pretty much anytime I get to see either side of the family. (Are you jealous?) After the richness of the holidays, I’ve been totally craving lemon. This is the first (of a few) recipes I’m sharing with you!

And this is, by far, the easiest. It starts with Pillsbury Grands biscuits. Cut them in quarters, fry them into donut holes. {Or is it doughnut holes? I don’t know, I like donut better.} Then they are covered in one of two lemon toppings: Lemon Sugar or Lemon Glaze.

The Lemon Sugar is like a cinnamon dusting, without the cinnamon. There’s zest in the sugar and the flavors meld so well together. The Lemon Glaze is made with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice (if you can use Meyers, do it, they’re so good!). Make a batch of one or the other or both and you have a sweet and tart breakfast or dessert!

These would be good with ice cream. Or white chocolate sauce. Or just because your perfume is discontinued and you’re depressed and need a donut hole.

Easy Lemon Donut Holes | crazyforcrust.com

My mouth is watering thinking of that glaze. I may go make some and drink it with a straw! :)

Easy Lemon Donut Holes {two ways}

Yield: 32 donut holes; 16 of each flavor

Easy Lemon Donut Holes {two ways}


    For the Donut Holes:
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the Lemon Sugar Topping:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1-2 lemons, depending on size)
  • For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons, depending on size)


  1. Place about 4 cups of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pot and heat until it reaches 350°F. I like to leave my candy thermometer in the pot during frying so I can regulate the heat up or down if it gets to hot or cold. A heavy bottomed pot is best for frying, it’s easier to regulate the heat that way than with a thinner pot. (I use a Le Cruset soup pot.)
  2. Cut each biscuit into four pieces and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Fry in batches of 5-6 depending on the size of your pot. Cook 2-3 minutes until they are a deep golden, flipping halfway. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place the cooked donut holes on a cookie sheet topped with two layers of paper towels.
  3. Make the Lemon Sugar Topping: stir together the lemon zest and sugar in a bowl. Cool donut holes until you can touch them before rolling in sugar.
  4. Make the Lemon Glaze: whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice in a second small bowl. Let donut holes cool completely, then dip in glaze.
  5. Makes enough sugar topping for 16 donut holes and enough glaze for 16 donut holes. Double if you wish to do all one or the other.
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Easy Lemon Cream Danish

Easy-lemon-cream-danish (4 of 7)w

Lemon Pound Cake


Caramel Banana Pecan Doughnuts

banana-caramel-pecan-doughnuts (2 of 6)w

Sweets from friends:
Buttermilk Orange Donut Muffins by Our Best Bites
Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Two In the Kitchen
Caramel Glazed Turtle Donuts by Something Swanky


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  1. My jaw is DROPPING at how easy these sweet little lemony treats are!! My kiddos and I will LOVE them! Thank you so much for linking to my Lemon Coffee Cake!! :)
    Renee @ Two in the Kitchen recently posted..Butterscotch and Toffee Gooey Brownie BarsMy Profile

  2. I am not a huge fan of dount holes, but these lemon ones look craaaaazy good! I need a lemon tree for all the lemon donut hole baking that my kitchen is going to experience. Haha, every day I have an ugly-first-world-problem-gasp … it was my jeans being in the dryer a little too long this morning … aaaand my eye liner smudging this evening ;)

    • I only like them when I get a hankering, you know? Fried stuff isn’t usually my thing but once in awhile… And when I get to needing lemon, these satisfied that perfectly!

  3. Laurie F. says:

    I don’t like Meyer lemons (my parents had a Meyer lemon tree when I was a teenager, much to my chagrin ); would this be as good with regular lemons?

  4. Nailed this one girl! And yes, hop on over to Amazon ASAP and buy it ALL!!!
    Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted..Roasted Marsala CarrotsMy Profile

  5. What what? Are all the perfumes discontinued? I was at gap a couple of weeks ago and bought Dream More because I couldn’t find Dream…and ended up liking it more. Maybe because its just a tad different. You know…baby steps. Ugh, I’m going to be bummed if it’s gone too!

  6. Sorry to hear about your perfume dilemma. My 15yr old daughter picked me out some for Christmas this year. I love it. However, she says, ” I tried to find one that wasn’t teen-ish, but still had some old lady to it.” Ummm, what?? So, if you like a little teen and old lady, maybe Estee Lauder is for you too, hehe.
    As for these donut holes, yes. Just yes. I heart lemon!
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted..Glazed Blueberry Donut MuffinsMy Profile

    • LMAO! That is hilarious. Teen + a teensy Old Lady. Too funny! Luckily I got 2 bottles of Amazon, so I have a while until I need to find something new. I can take my time this way. :)

  7. Love this idea of using the Pillsbury Grands to make donuts! Especially with lemon and especially 2 ways! That makes my taste buds very happy. Perfect recipe girl! Pinned!

  8. We’ve been making donut holes like that forever, but I’ve never thought to add anything to them other than powdered sugar or a sugar glaze… .I’ve GOT to try lemon!!
    Rose @ RoseBakes.com recently posted..Valentines Cookies + Royal Icing RecipeMy Profile

    • It’s SO fabulous Rose! And I cannot believe I just thought to cut them in quarters the other day. *head slap*

      • Hehe… I love “aha” moments. Or *head slap* – whatever works ;) I just sent you an email with a link to my *shameful* post from back in 2010 about how we do the donut holes. MY pics aren’t great now, but ohmygosh, how horrible they were then!!

  9. Lemon is such a chipper, spring-like (hopefully!) thing to bake with this time of year and I love seeing the pics of these! Reminds me of warmer weather…soon…I hope :)

  10. These are dangerously easy!
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted..Vegan Carrot and Butternut Squash SoupMy Profile

  11. I love how easy these are! And with lemon, I always feel like it’s ok to eat more, because it tastes so fresh. That makes sense, right?
    Kathy recently posted..Lemony Lentil SoupMy Profile

  12. Oh my gosh, I am totally jealous! I never have enough lemons in my apartment. These look so good!!
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen recently posted..Ice Cream CakeMy Profile

  13. I’m always in love with lemon treats and these donut holes take the cake! PERFECT, Dorothy! Pinned and sharing on FB and Twitter. Have a lovely week. :)
    Julie @ This Gal Cooks recently posted..Overnight Chocolate Pecan Pie French Toast CasseroleMy Profile

  14. Do you know that I got a deep fryer for Christmas? Yes, I did. Can you guess what I’m going to make this weekend? Be still my ever-lovin-lemon-heart.
    Amy @Very Culinary recently posted..Shrimp Cocktail with Garlic Mustard CreamMy Profile

  15. These look delightful! After lots of chocolate desserts over the holidays, lemon will be a refreshing change of flavor.
    CakePants recently posted..Grapefruit Pistachio French MacaronsMy Profile

  16. I love the fresh flavor of lemon. I know it is a winter citrus, but it reminds me of spring!! I am still all in for winter, but these sounds and look awesome!
    Tieghan recently posted..Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Coconut Caramelized Bananas.My Profile

  17. Hahaa… you make me laugh Dorothy! First world problems indeed (though I definitely understand, I was using the same Yves St Laurent eyeshadow for years and they discontinued it, I was irrationally annoyed!). Glad that you managed to get a stock of the perfume on Amazon. Back to this donut goodness…. YUM! The first picture alone sold the recipe to me. Love the combination of lemon and sugar glaze, I use it on cakes all the time. Definitely going to try these! xx
    laurasmess recently posted..Courgette Salad with Lemon Myrtle Oil, Chilli and MintMy Profile

  18. Oh my gosh Dorothy, that’s awful!! I’m a huge creature of habit too, so I can only imagine how hard that news was for you to hear. It’s like Chicken Little running around yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” only is actually has for you. I’m so sorry! Lemon donut holes definitely sound like a great pick-me-up. Anything lemony, really. It’s such a bright and cheerful flavor, and when the treats are that easy to prepare, it’s a double dose of happiness!
    Amy recently posted..Maple Pecan SconesMy Profile

  19. I would totally stock up if I were you :) These donut holes sound delicious!
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted..My Wedding AnniversaryMy Profile

  20. It seems like the company that made the perfume, should have given you a call… I mean you were probably their most loyal customer. How rude! These lemon donuts holes look amazing :) I will need about 10 after I drive to work today in the after effects of our winter storm.
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken SandwichesMy Profile

  21. I love lemon! & in the form of lemon sugar or icing? Divine! I bet the smell of these donuts makes up a little for the loss of your favorite perfume :)

    • Yes, I think I’d wear this scent as a perfume if I could! :)


  22. I love all things lemon, and this is dangerous to read before I have had breakfast! Hard to make good choices with donuts on the brain! HA! How dare they discontinue your perfume without telling you? I hate when that happens! Pinned!
    Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon recently posted..Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese SoupMy Profile

  23. These little donut holes are bringing me sunshine on a very cold day! Beautiful
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) recently posted..Light White Chocolate Chocolate MuffinsMy Profile

  24. Yes, I am jealous that you have fresh lemons at your disposal and I’m even more jealous that you have these donuts in your kitchen!!!
    tanya recently posted..Skinny Sausage and Corn ChowderMy Profile

  25. I’m all about lemon right now! So jealous of your supply of fresh lemons!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted..Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat MuffinsMy Profile

  26. These are all over my social media and I’m in love with them! And the perfume thing totally sucks but it can be a good thing….I ran out of my “Signature” perfume and wore something new and a guy at work informed me, “Julie in the least creepy way you smell really good today!” See good things :)
    Julie @ Julie’s Eats & Treats recently posted..62 of the Best Crock Pot RecipesMy Profile

  27. These donut holes look delicious! I love anything with lemon in, so I must give this recipe a go! :)
    Jess recently posted..Best Buttery Croissants (20-Minute Dough Recipe)My Profile

  28. I love having a lemon tree too- anything sweet paired with lemony tartness just perks those salivary glands right up!
    Wendy | Around My Family Table recently posted..8 Uses for Leftover Orange PeelsMy Profile

  29. Oh no . . . a new scent :) It always seems like they get rid of the best ones. I have so much perfume that I don’t even know what to do with it, but I like to switch off and I don’t have one signature smell. I can’t wait to hear if you find a new favorite smell. BTW – I want these donuts like right now.

  30. I went through a similar tragedy two years ago, I got hooked on scent in college and it’s discontinued now. WHY do they do that???
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting recently posted..S’mores Peanut Butter Cup Ice CreamMy Profile

  31. Oh yea, I’m totally making these! I love lemon and how easy these are!

    I’m sorry about your perfume :( I totally hear you. I usually just wear scented lotions and my favorite coconut scents only come back twice a year, which means I stock up. Go to amazon and stock up girl!
    Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar recently posted..Lemon White Chocolate Gooey BarsMy Profile

  32. I freaking love lemon! After all of the holiday sweets I was in the mood to bake but not with chocolate (gasp!) but was lost. Your recipe sounds perfect – simple but still yummy! I can totally relate to your perfume situation. Dream was my signature scent too, then the GAP in my town closed. The nearest one was 3 hours away so I’d stock up every time I was there, and then that one closed! If I wanted to continue wearing the perfume I’d have to drive 6+ hours to the nearest GAP, and buying online wasn’t an option because perfume can’t be shipped into Canada unless the bottles are really small :( Good luck in your quest to find a replacement! I wear Euphoria by Calvin Klein now, in case you were wondering what I settled on!

  33. Linda Webb says:

    You can find your perfume on Ebay… :)

  34. http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Gap/Dream-4111.html is where you can find your perfume! Thanks for the great recipe:)
    Susan the farm quilter recently posted..What I am working onMy Profile

  35. Just clicked over to your blog from the Pillsbury site. These Lemon Donut Holes look divine! I just wanted to mention that it would be great if the recipe printed along with the picture. Can’t wait to try them!

    • How are you printing? The print button in the pink box should print the recipe? I’m sorry if it didn’t. Can you let me know what you saw?

      • I used the pink button and it printed just fine – it just doesn’t include the lovely picture. it’s text only. i use mozilla firefox if that makes any difference.

  36. MHulgraave says:

    Try Jo Malone perfume. You would love Orange Blossom or they have seasonal lemon one.

  37. Love the donut holes! Try fragrance.net for your search. They might have yours, plus they also have a ton of sample sizes of things you can get to try.


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