These Key Lime Donuts are a delicious way to enjoy citrus. They're incredibly fluffy and dipped in a sweet and tart glaze with key lime juice and zest. Top them with crushed graham crackers to mimic the crust of a pie!
For the dough:
- Whole milk: This is not the recipe to try to sneak in some low fat milk! Whole milk is most definitely what you should use here.
- Active dry yeast: What gives the donuts their rise! We're doing a double proof here.
- For comparison of active dry vs. instant yeast, click here.
- Granulated sugar: To make them deliciously sweet.
- Large eggs: Believe it or not the size of the eggs matters here! Large egg is what we'll use for this recipe. Don't sub for another size.
- Unsalted butter: Unsalted is always best for baking so you can control the salt levels. If you really only have salted that is fine, just omit (or reduce) the added salt.
- All purpose flour: My standard flour choice. I only tried this recipe with AP flour, so don't recommend subbing as I cannot promise a solid outcome!
- Salt: Gotta balance sweet with salty.
For the glaze:
- Powdered sugar: The base of any glaze is usually powdered sugar. Really takes the flavor of the citrus so nicely.
- Key limes: The star!! We'll use the zest and juice of the key limes. Make sure to zest first.
- Salt: Same as above, for that balance!
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:
- Stand mixer with dough attachment
- Large bowl (for proofing)
- Plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel
- Donut cutter (see below for alternatives)
- Large pot for frying
- Deep fry thermometer
- Spider strainer (not necessary, but hugely helpful)
- Large sheet tray
- Cooling rack
- Small/medium mixing bowl
- Fork or whisk
HOW TO MAKE KEY LIME DONUTS:
- Make the dough.
- To the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the dough attachment) add the slightly warmed milk and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- To the bowl, add eggs, sugar, room temp melted butter, and salt. Beat on medium speed to combine.
- Then add the flour and beat until it comes together in a dough and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl - about 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp more of flour if needed, but it should be sticky. Then beat for 2 minutes more.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Leave in a warm environment for 2 hours until doubled (the oven – turned off – with the light on is great).
- Shape the donuts.
- Remove the dish towel or parchment wrap from the dough. Punch the dough down with your fist to deflate it (not too hard but not too gently) and remove it from the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough to about ½" thick. Using your biscuit cutters cut out as many as you can (large for the outer, small for the hole).
- Combine the scraps and roll out again until you've used as much as you can.
- Place the cut out donuts (holes included!) on your baking sheet covered with a dish towel while the oil heats (this is the second proof).
- Fry the donuts.
- In your frying-safe pot, heat the oil to 375℉.
- Carefully drop in a few of the donuts, and cook about 1 minute on each side - they'll cook quickly! Don't overcrowd the pot.
- Place the cooked ones on a cooling rack while you finish frying the rest.
- Glaze the donuts.
- When the donuts are done, make the glaze – in a bowl combine the powdered sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Mix to combine with a fork or whisk
- Dip the top half of the donuts into the glaze and back on the cooling rack to let the excess drip off.
- Sprinkle with crushed plain graham crackers if desired.
HOW TO SHAPE DONUTS WITHOUT A DONUT CUTTER:
Not everyone has a donut cutter (not even me!) but there are MANY other everyday kitchen items you can use to cut out your donuts. A few below:
- Cookie / biscuit cutter - this is similar to the set I have
- Large cup (spray with non-stick spray)
- Canning jar lid
- Can from canned goods (cleaned)
THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR FRYING DONUTS:
Frying donuts is best done at 375℉. This is just hot enough to ensure they're golden brown and fluff up, without getting too dark too quickly. You'll want a candy/deep fry thermometer in the oil to ensure it's the right temperature throughout the cooking process. The cooking process is rather quick though – only about 1 or 2 minutes on each side until they're golden brown!
HOW TO STORE THESE KEY LIME DONUTS:
Truthfully, donuts are best eaten the same day they are made. But if you really want to / need to save them overnight or for a day or two, here are a few tips:
- How to store donuts at room temperature: At room temperature, store donuts in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight. They can stay like this for about 2 days.
- How to store donuts in the fridge: Tightly cover and wrap the donuts in plastic wrap – you can do this with them on a plate, on a baking tray, or even better in a container and then wrap that. They'll keep for about 3 days this way.