Time to Make the Donuts

By Kristen Rouse

Last week, our staff participated in a fun baking challenge, inspired by the Netflix show “Nailed It.” Each participating staff member made (and decorated) donuts completely from scratch – for the very first time.

Making and decorating donuts proved to be a harder challenge than we thought, as many unexpected problems arose – such as a missing rolling pin, no candy thermometers, and uncooperative glazes. We all made it through the challenge though, and we all showed up that next morning with some pretty tasty donuts.

To keep things fair at the office, we had three real judges from area businesses, who judged the donuts on both taste and presentation. With a variety of donuts to choose from (cronuts, key lime donuts, salted caramel & chocolate donuts, galaxy donuts, and Pusheen-inspired donuts), the judges had a tough task ahead of them.

After much deliberation, the judges chose their Grand Champion – a delicious key lime curd filled donut with a key lime vanilla glaze. These donuts are the perfect combination of sweet and tart and are sure to be a hit at your table!

Try them now:

Key Lime Curd Donuts with Key Lime Vanilla Glaze

Donut Dough:

  • 1½ c. whole milk, warmed up
  • 2¼ t. active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 8 T. (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ t. ground nutmeg
  • 1 t. salt
  • 4¼ c. all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • oil for frying

Key Lime Curd Filling

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 T. key lime zest
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Key Lime Vanilla Glaze

  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ – ½ c. milk
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. key lime zest
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed key lime juice


  1. Combine yeast and warm milk. Let it sit for 5-15 minutes; it should foam up.
  2. Using stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine eggs, melted butter, sugar, and milk mixture. Mix on medium speed until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Add the nutmeg, salt, and 2 cups of the flour and mix until combined, then switch to the dough hook attachment.
  4. Add the remaining flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl. If dough feels sticky, add more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time, until soft and smooth.
  5. Oil a large bowl and place dough inside, cover loosely and allow to proof in a warm place for an hour (or until doubled in size).
  6. After first proof, punch it down and roll to ½ inch thick (if you don’t have a rolling pin, a wine bottle will work in a pinch!). Cut out desired donut shapes. Because these are filled donuts, you only need to cut them into 3-4 inch circles; a biscuit cutter or glass will work.
  7. Place cut donuts on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet an inch or so apart and cover loosely again, proofing in a warm place for another 45-60 minutes.
  8. While donuts are proofing make your filling and glaze.
  9. Combine sugar, eggs, zest, and juice for the curd filling in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat and stir constantly, until mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. The curd should coat the back of your spoon.
  10. Remove from heat; add butter, and stir until smooth. Pour into a heat-safe bowl or jar and put it in the fridge until ready to use.
  11. Whisk together all of the glaze ingredients, using more or less powdered sugar depending on how thick you’d like your glaze to be. If it gets too thick or hard before you’re ready to use it, you can whisk it rapidly to smooth it out.
  12. Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan. Clip on a candy thermometer if you have one and adjust your heat until the oil reaches approximately 375F.
  13. While the oil is heating, prep some plates or drying racks with paper towels to place the donuts on after they are done.
  14. When oil is ready, use a spatula or slotted spoon to place a donut into the oil. (You may want to fry one at a time until you get the hang of it. When the bottoms are deep golden (30-45 seconds), use a slotted spoon to flip the donut and fry the other side. Place finished donuts on the paper towel-lined plates and continue frying the rest.
  15. When donuts are cool enough to handle, fill a pastry bag with key lime curd, make a little hole in one end of the donut using a chopstick and fill the donuts. Dip the tops into the glaze and let it dry on a wire rack.


The original recipe can be found on The Baker Chick site.

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