Lemon Pistachio Donuts

It's National Donut Day! Oh my gosh am I excited to share this recipe with you. And, it's Friday. What could be better?

Maybe a National Donut Day party? Yep. That would make things even better.

Pistachio Topping for Lemon Pistachio Donuts |  edibleperspective.com

This recipe for Lemon Pistachio Donuts (yes, I converted from "doughnuts") has got to be one of my favorite ever. I've probably said that more than a dozen times before about past donuts--all 101 of them--but they've all been blocked from my memory with this latest creation.

A pillowy soft donut filled with pistachio meal and lemon zest that's then dredged in a lemony glaze and covered in a thick blanket of ground pistachios.


Lemon Glaze for Lemon Pistachio Doughnuts | edibleperspective.com

I first made this recipe a few weeks ago in anticipation for a visit from my mom + dad. My mom recently had a birthday and she is a major pistachio lover. It took a few tries to get the right texture (I changed things up a bit from the usual donut base recipe) but the time spent trying to figure it out was 100% worth it.

Lemon Pistachio Donuts for National Donut Day | edibleperspective.com

I told you...a blanket of pistachios.

Gluten-Free Lemon Pistachio Donuts | edibleperspective.com

The texture is where it's at with these donuts. They're soft but slightly gooey thanks to the sweet glaze that's poured over top and they obviously have a lot of crunch. But not break your teeth kind of crunch. It's pretty much the closest thing you'll ever find to a fried donut that's not actually fried.

National Donut Day with Lemon Pistachio Donuts | edibleperspective.com

Chris and I devoured the entire batch and then we split the next batch with my parents. And I'm obviously making another batch TODAY!

Lemon Pistachio Donuts - Baked! | edibleperspective.com

Print Recipe!

Lemon Pistachio Donuts

gluten-free // yields 8-9 standard donuts (with this pan)

for the donuts:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 6 tablespoons sifted pistachio meal (ground from roasted/salted pistachios)
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (or unsweetened almond/soy)
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil (lightly cooled)

for the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 - 4 tablespoons 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Thoroughly grease a donut pan (or pans) with butter or coconut oil.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the milk, applesauce, and lemon zest. Whisk in the coconut oil and then quickly pour over the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined.

Spoon into your donut pan about 1/4-inch from the top. Bake for 16-22 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes just slightly sticky. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then slide a thin + stiff spatula around the donuts to help release them. Place on a cooling rack until fully cooled.

Meanwhile, sift your powered sugar. Thoroughly whisk glaze ingredients in a shallow bowl wide enough for one donut to fit. Place ground (or finely chopped) pistachios in a similar bowl. Invert each cooled donut into the glaze and then let the excess drip off. Dip into the pistachios next then place on the cooling rack to let the glaze set. Repeat with remaining donuts.


  • If using unsalted pistachios, use 1/2 teaspoon salt with the dry ingredients and add a sprinkle of flaked sea salt on top of the donuts.
  • To make pistachio meal: Place about 1 cup salted + roasted pistachios in a food processor. Turn on until well ground, about 15 seconds. Make sure to not let process too long or the nuts will start to turn into nut butter. Place ground pistachios in a fine mesh strainer and sift the meal into a bowl. Measure 6 tablespoons and use what's in the strainer to top the donuts with. Grind more if needed for the topping. 
  • Feel free to sub almond meal instead of pistachio meal. 
  • You can sub sorghum flour instead of sweet rice flour, but the texture is thicker and more cake-like. The sweet rice flour helps give the donut a soft and slightly gooey texture.
  • Sweet rice flour can be found in many natural food stores (Bob's Red Mill and Ener-G brands are cheapest) or very easily at Asian markets (aka: glutinous rice flour).
Lemon Pistachio Donuts | edibleperspective.com

Hope you get your donut on today. 

Happy Friday.


p.s. Be sure to check out the donut party over on Tumblr + join in with your creations! The talented Melissa designed the fabulous graphic you see below and organized this rad party. You can also follow these 2 hashtags to catch all of the donut fun! #national🍩day + #nationaldonutemojiday

National Donut Day | graphics by: Melissa at, The FauxMartha