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Lemony Choux Doughnuts

choux donut holes

I like to make these small donuts for Chanukah. These are made with choux pastry, the kind you use to make cream puffs, gougeres and profiteroles, only instead of baking the dough as I do for those pastries, I fry it in small blobs. Choux doughnuts go down easy, take minutes to make and don’t require waiting for yeast dough to rise or rolling out dough or anything involved like that.

We like plain doughnut holes. I add a hint of refreshing lemon peel to the dough and a coating of cinnamon-sugar or confectioners sugar on the crust. But you can add raisins, cranberries, chopped nuts and such to the dough if you wish.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • Makes about 60 ServingsServings


  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
  • raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, if desired
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar
  • confectioners sugar


1. Place the water and butter in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter has dissolved completely.

2. Mix the flour, sugar and salt and add the mixture all at once to the water-butter mixture. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture has formed a soft dough and begins to come away from the sides of the pan.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each one in thoroughly before adding the next. Blend in the lemon peel (and raisins, nuts, dried cranberries if desired). Refrigerate for one hour.

4. Heat about 2-inches of vegetable oil in a deep pan or fryer to about 360 degrees (a tiny drop of dough will sizzle immediately). Working in batches, drop the dough by the rounded teaspoonful into the hot oil, leaving ample space between each one. Cook for about one minute, turning frequently, or until well browned. Remove with a strainer and let cool off slightly.

5. Place the doughnuts back into the fryer and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll in cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar.