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lemon coconut angel food cake donuts with little candies
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5 from 3 votes

Lemon and Coconut Angel Food Cake Donuts

Light and airy angel food cake donuts are flavored with lemon, and topped with toasted coconut. They are the perfect way to celebrate spring, and make adorable Easter 'donut nests'.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 donuts
Calories: 150kcal


Lemon Angel Food Donuts

  • 5 egg whites (from medium eggs; at room temperature)
  • 1 pinch salt (generous)
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cup granulated sugar (67 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cake flour (50 g, *fluffed, spooned & levelled*)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1 lemon (zested; roughly 1 tablespoon)


  • 2 cups powdered sugar (250 g)
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

To Serve

  • 1 cup toasted coconut



  • Pre heat oven to 350 F. Spray donut pan with spray oil, and rub to distribute oil thoroughly.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites on medium high for around 2 minutes, until they are frothy and have loose peaks (will stand for a second and then sink back into the eggs).
  • Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, continue to beat on medium-high for 3-5 more minutes until stiff peaks form (won't sink back into eggs).
  • At this point, continue beating on medium speed and gradually add the ⅓ cup portion of granulated sugar *by the tablespoon* over a period of 3-5 more minutes. Stop and scrape the sugar/eggs down from the bowl every few minutes.
  • Once sugar has dissolved completely (check by running meringue between your fingers, if no grains remain, you are done), fold in the vanilla extract followed by the flour/sugar/lemon zest mixture (best to do this in several batches, and *be gentle*)
  • Spoon mixture into donut pans, filling right to the top.
  • Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes, until tops become lightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes, before gently loosening edges with a knife. Invert pan over a wire rack and give the donut pan a firm smack to get the donuts out.


  • Add the powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add more milk as needed to thin out the glaze.
  • Handling gently, dip the donuts in the glaze, shaking off excess.
  • Immediately dip the glazed donut into the toasted coconut, moving it around gently to coat.


  • Best served the same day they are baked.


Be sure to handle the baked donuts extremely carefully, they are so soft and delicate!
With the glaze and coconut, these donuts are on the sweet side. If you want something less sweet, I recommend serving with homemade whipped cream.
Recipe tips
  • start with a clean, dry bowl- moisture in the bowl, soap residue and fat residue in your bowl can all hinder the formation of peaks when beating the egg whites
  • use room temperature eggs- cold eggs may have a harder time forming soft and stiff peaks. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, submerge each egg in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes
  • add sugar slowly- adding it too quickly could deflate the meringue
  • these donuts can be prepped ahead but only if you do not glaze them. Store in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • swap the lemon zest for key lime zest
  • skip the lemon zest and swap the toasted coconut in favor of cinnamon sugar for a ‘churro’ version
  • fold in some sprinkles and swap the toasted coconut for a few more sprinkles for a ‘funfetti’ version
  • go classic by topping the donuts with whipped cream and fresh berries


Serving: 1donut | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg