This German lemon donut features a creamy lemon pudding filling that I know you'll love! I am addictive to anything Berliner (German donuts) and anything Lemon. Combine the two and I am in heaven dreamland.
These Zitronen Berliner are filled with an über delicious tart and slightly sweet, homemade lemon pudding! It's so good that I recommend making a double batch and having some extra for dessert on another night! There is also lemon zest in the dough because I think double the lemon is much better than single the lemon, don't you?
So make a batch of these and eat them ASAP (that's when they taste the best and will be the fluffiest). If kept overnight, I recommend covering them with a glass cloche on a platter or plate or keep them in a bread storage box.
I LOVE BERLINER! Especially this Zitronen Berliner aka German Lemon Donuts! That being said, if you haven't tried my other Berliner recipes, I would like for you to please stop reading and first check them out! You may want to start with one of my other recipes or try them out next because you became as Berliner-addicted as I am.
There is the classic Berliner recipe, which will give you a perfect basis to experiment with (we're talking all sorts of different fillings from jams to puddings to Nutella!). Then we have my Pumpkin Berliner, which are absolutely incredible and feature pumpkin in the Berliner dough as well as the filling! I don't know about you, but I could ALWAYS go for a little bit of spiced pumpkin anytime of year! And then we have Quarkkrapfen or Quarkbällchen. They're the simple version of a Berliner as the dough omits the yeast, which gets you your reward much faster!
All donut recipes are deep fried. And because I for some reason am reluctant to become an owner of a deep-fryer, all recipes include instructions for how to deep-fry without a deep-fryer and it's really pretty simple! I was joking with Jason when he needed me to hold Eloïse (our 22 pound 7-month-old) while picking something off the floor that 'I was holding her while deep-frying Berliner.' It's that easy.
The trickiest part is keeping the frying temperature right around 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Much higher, and your Berliner will be too brown and you may be tempted to pull them out too fast and the dough may not be cooked in the middle. Eww. Much lower and you will have your Berliner soak up too much oil, making them extra greasy and... well... eww.
So I recommend that when you're heating the oil, if your thermometer gets close (within 5 degrees) of 320, to play with turning the stove off as the temperature will keep going up on its own. So that's when a deep fryer would come in handy. 😀 If I were to buy one (I feel like it's going to happen soon with how many Berliner I have been making, then it would probably be this one! Honestly though, if I can pull this off while juggling a baby in one arm, you can too. I have full faith in you!
Zitronen Berliner: German Lemon Donuts
Zitronen Berliner Dough
- 500 g all-purpose flour plus more for shaping the berliner
- 1 pouch active-dry yeast 7 grams
- 250 ml milk luke warm
- 4 egg yolks room temperature
- 80 g sugar
- 60 g butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zest only
- ⅛ teaspoon salt a pinch
- powdered sugar for topping
- frying oil I like using safflower oil or peanut oil, but any high heat oil will work
Lemon Pudding Filling
- 375 ml milk you could use milk alternatives like almond milk, oat milk or soy milk as well
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
- 40 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 50 g cream cheese
- Combine the luke warm milk and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. It should be bubbly. If not, start over (your milk may have been too hot or too cold). In the bowl of a standmixer, combine all ingredients for the dough and knead for 10 minutes on the medium-low setting. Cover the bowl and allow to rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about one hour.
- In the meantime, make your lemon pudding. Combine all pudding ingredients except cream cheese in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk on low for one minute and then pour into a bowl to cool down (you can transfer it to the fridge to speed up the cooling down process). To keep a skin from forming on the surface of the pudding, cover it with some plastic wrap. Once cool, whisk in the room temperature cream cheese. The Berliner filling is ready.
- Divide the dough up into equal pieces (best to use a kitchen scale), and using flour-dusted hands, shape each portion into a ball. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes (covered up by a clean linen towel).
- Preheat frying oil (I used safflower oil) to 160°C/320°F and bake in batches (you will want the donuts to be able to swim on the surface) for about 5 minutes or until golden on the outside (flipping once).
- Fill each Berliner with the lemon pudding from the side, using a decorating bag and filling tip and dust with powdered sugar. I also LOVE filling my Berliner with plum butter! So lecker!
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