Lemon Coconut Doughnuts


Most of the time, I try to eat pretty healthy. My average meal consists of a mix of vegetables either pan-fried on the stove, or roasted in the oven (sometimes with some rice or an egg thrown in). Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t splurge every now and then… or at least once a day. I think not being to strict with yourself about what you eat is one of the best ways to stay healthy. If you never let yourself give in to cravings, even just a little bit, you’ll be more likely to throw your healthy eating habits away completely. Focus less on quantity, more on quality and getting in all the things that are good for you. Intuitive eating, and do what feels best for your body.

But that’s just my opinion.

Generally, when I cheat on my vegetables it’s with something salty or cheesy (if you’ve been reading for a while, you know my love for macaroni and cheese).  Give me a bag of plain tortilla chips and I can finish the whole thing in one sitting. No salsa, no guacamole, just salty tortilla chips. Usually, sweet isn’t my thing. I’m never one to really have a sweet tooth; candy and chocolate isn’t normally my jam.

Unless we are talking doughnuts. I am a sucker for a good doughnut or doughnut hole. Doesn’t matter if it’s old fashioned cake, glazed, chocolate frosted, jelly filled. I will make myself sick on doughnuts I love them so much. Growing up in New England, Dunkin’ Donuts was the go to place for these. I feel sorry for people who will not know the joy of going in to school on a Friday morning and seeing that your teacher bought a box of munchkins for the class.

So needless to say, every now and then I get a serious craving for doughnuts. Usually my biggest craving is for apple cider doughnuts, another New England classic. But sometimes I’m looking for something a bit more fun.

That’s where these lemon coconut doughnuts came from. I followed a recipe for some Krispy Kreme copycats and just went where the tropical wind took me!

For Doughnuts::
1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
¾ cup warm coconut milk (from the carton)
⅓ cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3-3½ cups flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest from ½ a lemon
3-4 cups vegetable shortening, for frying
For Glaze::
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup water
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
shredded coconut, to garnish
lemon zest, to garnish

4-Quart Dutch Oven
12-16 doughnuts, plus 12-16 doughnut holes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Rest Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours

1. Combine the yeast and warm coconut milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let is sit and foam up for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, egg yolk, coconut extract, and about 3 cups of the flour.
3. Knead on low speed until the dough begins to form. If the dough is still very sticky, add more flour a little at a time until a soft, tacky dough forms; the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm area. Let rise for 2 hours.
5. After 2 hours, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it a few times on a lightly floured work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to overnight.
6. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about ½-inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter and cut out the doughnuts. You can roll any scraps into balls for extra doughnut holes. Allow to rest while the shortening reaches temperature.
7. Put the Dutch Oven on your stove; put 3-4 cups of the vegetable shortening into the Dutch Oven.
8. Heat the oil to 275°-300°; use a deep-fry thermometer to keep track of the heat.
9. Line a plate with a few pieces of paper towel, then have a cooling rack next to it with paper towel underneath for dripping. Using a paper towel lined plate to remove excess shortening, then the cooling rack to ensure the doughnuts will not be sitting in grease makes for the best doughnuts!
10. Once the shortening is fully melted and heated, CAREFULLY place in 2 doughnuts at a time. If needed, place them in the deep fry skimmer you use to remove them and gently glide them in the oil that way.
11. Cook on one side for about 1 minute until lightly golden-brown, then flip and cook an additional 1 minute on the other side.
12. Carefully remove from the shortening with your metal deep fryer skimmer and place onto the paper towels.
13. Let cool on the paper towels for about 30 seconds, then use tongs to move them to the cooling rack.
14. Repeat steps 10-13 until all of the doughnuts and doughnut holes are cooked.
15. After making all of the doughnuts, make the glaze by whisking together the glaze ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
16. One at a time, dip each doughnut into the glaze, flip to coat the other size, and return to the cooling rack. If desired, garnish with shredded coconut and lemon zest.
17. Let the glaze set until fully hardened, about 15 minutes, then serve.

Recipe inspiration from Brown Eyed Baker


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