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Happy spring doughnut FRIDAY!

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

So guys, I am just realizing this now, but apparently this week has been all about Easter, brunch, and ricotta cheese. I did the whole Easter theme thing on purpose, but the brunch and ricotta cheese love was completely unintentional…but I am definitely not complaining.

Truth? I had totally wanted to share a chocolatey treat today, but after a crazy week (cookbook, life, new projects) and a complete fail of a chocolate recipe, I decided I’d show you guys these doughnuts a week early! I think it was all for the best though, these doughnuts are too good to keep from you guys any longer and I’m pretty excited to talk your ears off about them!

I mean, come on…what could not be amazing about a lemon ricotta doughnut with a mascarpone glaze. <–oh yeah, yes, I did say a mascarpone glaze.

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Jumping right into the recipe today because my brain is currently overcrowded with thoughts…thoughts of what’s going on this weekend (hopefully fun things…what are you guys up to?), thoughts of my to-do list, cookbook worrying thoughts (ugh, they are so real), the broken Y button on my keyboard, new ideas for the blog, etc. etc. Basically I’m just all over the place and don’t want to annoy you all with my scattered brain. It’s Friday, happens all the time.

Therefore, we shall talk doughnuts instead, because this space is about happy, bright and delicious things. <-truth.

I’m just going to start out by saying these doughnuts are perfect. They are so easy, light, sweet (but not overly so), slightly crisp on the outside, yet soft, airy and lemony on the inside, and finished off with the best mascarpone glaze. YUMMM.

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

The dough is just about as simple as it gets and requires zero yeast and no rising time. Yes, please! Old fashioned doughnuts are made with baking powder, making them a quick-to-make doughnut, and while they are still fried, they truly could not be easier to make. Just mix up the dough, roll it out, fry and glaze. Easy peasy.

And yes, I do know that frying is such a pain, but these doughnuts are totally worth it.

Unlike traditional old-fashioned doughnuts, I used ricotta in the dough to keep them super light. The ricotta and lemon together add an element of flavor that perfectly fit for spring. Easter? Mother’s Day brunch? Yup, this is your recipe!

To finish them off, I wanted a glaze that was different from all the rest, but one that would not over power the light flavors and textures of the doughnuts. I loved the sound of the mascarpone with the ricotta and lemon, so I went for it, and well…it’s totally the perfect combo. Seriously, just so good.

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

And because I was going for serious spring vibes and tons of color (I’m trying to pretend like it is actually spring here in Colorado), I decorated my doughnuts with edible Begonia flowers. In case you haven’t noticed, I am SO obsessed with edible flowers, I just cannot stop buying them. They’re just so pretty and every time I look at them, my mood is instantly lifted.

You can obviously decorate these any way you’d like, but if you have edible flowers available, I highly recommend them. People freak over their prettiness and they’re kind of like an elegant (and sugarless) version of sprinkles, which I love!

Anyway, my point here? Just make these doughnuts…as soon as possible…tonight, for Easter, or maybe even tomorrow for a yummy Saturday brunch?!? <– this is ideal. 🙂

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 12 doughnuts
Calories Per Serving: 284 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Lemon Mascarpone Glaze


  • 1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, ricotta, vanilla, and butter until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest and beat until just combined. Cover and let sit 10-15 minutes.
    2. Heat 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. 
    3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using doughnut or cookie cutters, cut out round of dough. 
    4. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. 
    5. To make the Glaze. In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, mascarpone, and vanilla until smooth and combined. If needed, thin the glaze by adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. 
    6. Invert the doughnut into the glaze. Allow to set 5 minutes or so. Enjoy! These are best eaten the day of making, but taste great the next day too!
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Easy Lemon Ricotta Old Fashioned Doughnuts | @hbharvest

Fist pump for pretty spring doughnuts…and Fridays!

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  1. Hi, excited to make these today but was wondering if it’s possible to bake them instead of fry? Thanks!

  2. Finally tried these… and somehow messed them up!
    Mine were way too dense… dough seemed too dense and crumbly; did I over mix and/or over roll perhaps?
    They taste great but dry – more biscuit than doughnut. Any recommendations I’d be grateful for.
    I totally want to take another crack at them.

    1. HI! Try using less flour and mixing the dough for less time. Over mixing will cause the doughnuts to come out a little dense. Also, let the dough rest a bit before frying. That will help too! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

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  4. Hi!

    I know it’s been a few months since you posted this recipe. Hopefully you see this.

    Wondering if you’d think it would still work if I added poppy seeds to the doughnut dough??


    1. Hi Jackie! I think adding poppy seeds would be amazing! Great idea! I’d add 2-3 tablespoons. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you love the doughnuts! 🙂