Baked Blood Orange Doughnuts

posted in: Breakfast & Brunch, Desserts        date:

blood orange doughnuts

It is finally springtime here, like legit springtime and not that hard freeze mess we had last week. I’m so thrilled because that means more time spent outside, dinners cooked entirely on the grill, weekends spent working on our garden, and the fact that I’ll be having a baby super soon. You know who else is having a baby? My awesome friend Joanne! Today, we are celebrating her and her soon-to-arrive baby girl. I’ve had the chance to hang out with Joanne in person, and she is just as hilarious and sweet as you would think from reading her blog. I’m so excited for her to enter motherhood, and it’s also nice to know she’ll be going through similar phases as me since our due dates aren’t too far apart.

Joanne's Shower

I toyed with a few ideas for this shower but couldn’t get the idea of something with blood orange out of my head. I originally though I’d make a mocktail of some sort, but Clara’s nearly constant talk of doughnuts lately convinced me to make some of them instead. These doughnuts are baked, so they are definitely different than standard fried doughnuts, but I promise you they are no less delicious. The texture is akin to soft pretzels or a really good sweet roll. I added blood orange zest to the dough, and they were so wonderfully fragrant while baking. Clara and I shared one of the doughnut holes as soon as it was cool enough to handle, and it was amazing even without the glaze. That should tell you just how good these are when topped with that gorgeous blood orange glaze. These beauties would be wonderful at a springtime brunch, and you’ve got time to make them before the blood orange season ends.

Be sure to check out all of the other springtime treats Joanne’s friends made for the shower!
Orange Ginger Spritzer from The Lemon Bowl
Asparagus and Pea Puff Pastry Tarts from Belly Full
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Cups from Keep It Sweet Dessert
Meyer Lemon Soufflé from Blahnik Baker
Strawberry Tartlets from The Cooking Actress
New York-Style Rhubarb Crumb Cake from Warm Vanilla Sugar
Berry Fool Tarts from Bake or Break
Lemon Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Baker Chick
Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes from Baker by Nature

blood orange doughnuts

  • YIELD: 14 doughnuts + holes
  • For the doughnuts:

  • 1⅓ cups warm milk (95-105ºF) divided

  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ⅔ cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 5-6 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice


These are best the day they are made. If you’d like to start the dough the night before, you can work all the way through shaping the dough. Once cut into rounds, cover and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temp and then proceed with the recipe as written.

  • 1

    Combine ⅓ of the warm milk with the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of milk and add to the yeast mixture. Using a fork, stir in the eggs, zest, flour and salt until just combined.

  • 2

    Using the dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the mixing bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and supple. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times and then shape into a ball.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Place in a warm spot and allow to rise for about an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

  • 3

    Line two baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking mats. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about ½-inch thick. Using a large round cutter (mine was 3½ inches), cut rounds from the dough. Transfer to the baking sheets, then use a smaller cutter (mine was 1½ inches) to cut out the inner hole. This prevents the doughnuts from losing their shape when being transferred. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another 45 minutes.

  • 4

    Heat oven to 375º. Bake doughnuts for 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly golden. The tops will still be very light.

    While the doughnuts are baking, make the glaze. Whisk together the zest, confectioners’ sugar and 5 tablespoons of the blood orange juice in a medium bowl. Adjust the consistency as needed.

  • 5

    Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Place a wire rack over parchment or a baking sheet. Dip each doughnut in the glaze and transfer to the wire rack to allow the glaze to set. Enjoy as soon as possible.

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    These dougnuts are GORGEOUS-and I love that they’re pink for the Joanne’s precious lil baby girl! <3

  • I love how pretty the frosting is from the blood orange! These donuts look delicious.

  • I’m SO excited that we’ll be having babies so close together! Let the commiseration texting begin. 😛 And given my current obsession with all things breakfast, I daresay these are a pretty perfect treat! Thanks love!