Hi, hello. MUCH to tell you. But first, donuts. Specifically, Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Donuts, which are my new favorite food of all the foods.

cake donuts on a cooling rack

If you, like me, enjoy eating fresh-from-the-oven donuts that are moist and tender and full of unique flavors like olive oil and herby rosemary and tart lemon and then coated in butter and sugar (OMG), then you need to make this recipe.

I actually based these donuts off of a classic olive oil cake — have you ever had one? Much like these donuts, it’s sweet with a hint of olive oil flavor that is anything but off-putting (it’s actually very mild and plays differently on the palate when it’s used in a sweet recipe vs. savory recipe), and the texture is soft and delicate and light. But since we had a chat on Instagram and the majority of you voted for donuts vs. cake (but only by a slim margin! Because you are my people and you love both), donuts won out. And here we are. And I am not mad about it one bit.

Try these Baked Donuts too!

mixing ingredients in bowl

Before we talk more about these delectable donuts, I have some news: We have decided to stop full-time travel. We moved out of our RV this past weekend and are staying with my parents in Wisconsin until we can find a new home back in Minneapolis in the new year. Everyone is fine and well and healthy — we just had a lot of deep talks and thinking and came to the conclusion that our big life goals and dreams for the future are better suited to be achieved in a home that’s stationary (lolz what is this life). I plan to post more about it on our travel blog soon, but what it means for this blog is — nothing. Except that I am hoping to have more time and energy to devote to this space and to posting more often (aka more recipes!), which makes me really really happy.

donut batter in pan

OK, so donuts! One of the great things about baking donuts is that they go from idea to get-in-my-belly in less than 30 minutes. Plus, they tend to be a little lighter/healthier than fried donuts, but I’ll be honest in this case — these are not “healthy” donuts. These are decadent and rich and dipped in butter and rolled in sugar and if I’m being even more honest, that’s how a donut should be. Just eat a donut and enjoy it, OK? We can have salads later. Ahem.

These olive oil cake donuts are cakey, yes, but not like an airy, flavorless (or cloyingly sweet) cake. Instead, the cake texture here is dense but delicate, perfectly balanced between sweet (sugar) and savory (rosemary), with a pleasant back-note of lemon. You get the idea. These donuts need to have a presence in your life, as they will continuously have one in mine.

donuts on baking sheet
donut on cooling rack

Can I just say I’m pretty (read: VERY) happy to have a real, live oven in my life again?

P.S. I’ve started a new series on Instagram and Facebook called #GVDTuesdayTips! Every Tuesday, I’ll share a baking/cooking/life tip with you. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook if you’re interested!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cake donuts on cooling rack

Lemon-Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Donuts

  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 11 mins
  • Total Time: 26 mins
  • Yield: 12 donuts 1x



For the donuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 12 standard-size donut cavities.*
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, rosemary, baking powder and salt until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, olive oil, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice until well combined. Make a well in flour mixture, then pour in egg mixture. Use spatula to stir ingredients until just combined (batter may be lumpy — this is OK).
  3. Use a resealable plastic storage bag or piping bag to pipe batter into prepared donut cavities (you can also spoon the batter into the cavities, but it’s a little messier). Bake 11 to 14 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of one donut comes out clean. Let donuts cool in pan 5 minutes, then tap out onto sheet pan.
  4. Place butter and sugar for topping into individual large shallow bowls. Dip each warm donut into melted butter, then coat gently in sugar. Serve immediately.

*NOTE: I used 2 of these nonstick donut pans for this recipe and they worked like a charm!