When my son asked for strawberry donuts for his birthday to bring to school, I got to work. I hadn’t planned to post this recipe. The response I had on Instagram? I changed my mind due to popular demand, I hope you enjoy this strawberry donuts recipe as much as his classmates did!
We have a tradition in our house. For a birthday, the celebrant gets to choose whatever he wants for dinner and for his birthday cake. With my son now in seventh grade, my days of sending in cupcakes to school ended. This year, he sprung his desire for donuts on me the night before. Apparently he had cleared it with his homeroom teacher and his classmates voted on the flavor. He’s not the kid who can show up the day of his birthday and say, “Sorry, no donuts. I didn’t ask my mom first” and get away with it. So creating a strawberry donuts recipe became my priority.
The good news? He got home early that day so at least I had some time to pull these together. This wasn’t a 9pm pronouncement!
The last thing I wanted to do was head to the store to purchase any ingredients. I had no frozen strawberries, but I did have some freeze dried strawberries in my pantry. I am absolutely in love with freeze dried strawberries – you can find them with no added sugar, they taste great, and they worked beautifully when I made a strawberry frosting for Little Miss’s birthday cake in August. The more I thought about it, the more I decided freeze dried strawberries were ideal for this strawberry donuts recipe, too. I didn’t have to worry about the strawberries making the batter too loose, and they have a concentrated flavor.
I took a swing at adapting my favorite donut recipe, and I hit it out of the park. My husband was initially concerned that kids expected bakery style donuts and wouldn’t like these. My son had prepped his class ahead of time, and he reassured us that they knew the donuts were homemade. And you know what? Two kids pulled my son aside after they ate them to tell him that they expected to not like the donuts. They thought they wouldn’t be any good. But instead? They were better than bakery donuts.
Think that made my day? You know it!
It’s possible the strawberry lemonade was part of what made this so perfect. The tartness of the lemon kept the donuts from being too sweet and added a great depth of flavor to them, as well.
Needless to say, my daughter is already asking for donuts to bring in for her birthday. And with my luck, she won’t want me to use this strawberry donuts recipe. Nope, she’ll have her own special request. And that? That’s totally ok.
One note: I have very few step by step photos for this recipe. As I mentioned, I wasn’t expecting to post this strawberry donuts recipe. That said, I’ve posted donut recipes before, and you can check out some of the more specific how to there.
Easy Strawberry Donuts Recipe
For the Donuts:
Start by prepping your donut pans. I tested this with part of the batch in a buttered and floured donut pan and part in a lightly greased pan with no flour. Flour them. The donuts released much better and had better texture once baked and cooled. Ensure you get all excess flour from the pans and set aside.
Prep your strawberries. For the donuts, gently break up 3/4 cups of the freeze dried strawberries so the chunks are smaller. For the glaze, crush the 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries as completely as possible. Place them in a bag and run a rolling pin over them.
Add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Ensure this is as uniform as possible, then add to the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to gently stir. When most of the white streaks are gone, add the chunks of freeze dried strawberries your prepped and stir to distribute.
Place a gallon size zip top bag in a bowl and open it as widely as possible. Place the donut batter in the bag and seal, releasing air. Snip a half inch hole in one corner. Pipe the batter into the pans.
Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then gently release and let cool fully on wire racks.
For the strawberry lemonade glaze:
Add the powdered sugar and completely crushed freeze dried strawberries to a bowl while the donuts are baking. Next, add lemon juice and stir, then add milk while continuing to stir with a fork. The glaze should be spoonable but not too loose. Think just slightly thicker than school glue. You want it to adhere to the donut but not be so thick that you can’t get the donut into the glaze when dipping.
Once donuts are cool, dip them in the glaze and gently twist to help the glaze stick to the donut. Gently pull it up, while still twisting and let excess glaze drip off.
Return to the cooling rack, and let donut glaze harden. Serve immediately or store in a tightly sealed container overnight. These are best within 24 hours. They will freeze between sheets of parchment paper for up to a month.
Have you ever tried a strawberry donuts recipe? What is your favorite flavor?
For the donuts:
- 2 c flour
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 c freeze dried strawberries
- 3/4 c buttermilk
- 6 T vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
For the strawberry lemonade glaze:
- 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 c freeze dried strawberries
- 2 t lemon juice
- 2 t milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter donut pans and flour them. Tap out as much flour as possible. Set aside.
- Prep freeze dried strawberries. For the donuts, gently break up 3/4 cups of the freeze dried strawberries so the chunks are smaller. For the glaze, crush the 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries as completely as possible by placing in a bag and run a rolling pin over them.
- Add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs, then add to dry ingredients. Stir gently. When most of the white streaks are gone, add the chunks of freeze dried strawberries your prepped and stir again.
- Place donut batter in gallon zip top bag and seal. Snip a half inch hole in one corner. Pipe the batter into the pans.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then gently release and let cool fully on wire racks.
- While donuts are baking, make the glaze. Add powdered sugar and completely crushed freeze dried strawberries to a bowl with lemon juice and stir. Add milk while continuing to stir with a fork.
- Once donuts are cool, dip them in the glaze and gently twist to help the glaze stick to the donut. Gently pull it up, while still twisting and let excess glaze drip off. Return to cooling rack and let glaze harden, then serve immediately.
- These are best the same day. If needed, store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days.
You can freeze these donuts between sheets of parchment paper for up to a month if needed.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 donut
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 167 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 21mg Sodium: 128mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g Protein: 3g