I recently threw my first toddler party. I say “first” because it won’t be my last – we had so much fun! It was a sensory play party with just a few stations (it’s easy to overplan when it comes to 18-month-olds) and a lot of balloons. Because toddlers love “boons!” Now, I’m no Lisa Storms, but I’m going to toot my own horn here and call the party a success. I only wish I had taken more photos because little ones lost in a sensory wonderland (okay maybe it wasn’t that good)? Suuuuper cute.
I delighted in planning the menu, which included brunch-inspired recipes representing each of the five tastes. For “sour” I served these yeast donuts, filled with a tart-sweet lime curd and coated in a crunchy lime-spiked sugar. I’d actually been meaning to make them for a while, ever since Billy over at Wit & Vinegar posted a recipe for brown butter coconut muffins + lime curd (<— make these!) and prayed for someone to put that curd in a donut/any carb will do thanks. The party was ideal timing both because these were on theme and I had a small horde to help consume them aka I didn’t eat 50 donut holes.
Yeasted donuts are my favorite because they are simultaneously light and homey, also making them the perfect vessel for creamy, tangy lime curd. The lime sugar adds texture and amps up the lime quotient in both flavor and color. They’ll make you pucker a bit like a glass of homemade lemonade, but with a bonus side of fluffy carbs.
Baked Yeast Donuts with Lime Curd + Lime Sugar
for the lime sugar:
3/4 c sugar
zest of 3 limes
for the donuts:
adapted from Wild Yeast (Note that I changed some of the measurements from weight to volume.)
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, room temperature, plus 4 tbsp butter for coating with lime sugar
3/4 c milk, warmed
1/4 c sugar
1. Make the lime curd. Place all lime curd ingredients except the butter in a medium pot over low heat whisk to combine. Add the butter and whisk until melted. Increase the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the curd has thickened and pulls away from the sides of the pot. If there are any cooked pieces of egg white in the curd, strain through a fine mesh sieve. Cool to room temperature and store in the fridge if not using immediately.
2. Make the lime sugar. Add the sugar and lime zest to a small bowl and work together using your fingers.
3. Add the flour, yeast, salt, butter, and egg to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium until combined, then continue beating while pouring in the warm milk until smooth. Continue beating while adding the sugar, then increase the speed to high and beat until the dough comes together in a ball around the paddle, 5-10 minutes. Move the dough to a large, lightly buttered bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Use any cylindrical object with a circle about 1-inch in diameter (I used a piping tip) to cut out the donut holes and place each 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise at room temperature for an hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until just beginning to turn golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 6 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
6. Once cool enough to handle, add about 1/3 of the donut holes to a large bowl and drizzle 1/3 of the melted butter while tossing to evenly distribute. Roll each donut in the lime sugar. Repeating 2 more times so all donuts have the lime sugar coating. By then all the donuts should be almost completely cooled.
7. Fit a piping bag with a small, round piping tip. Add the lime curd to the piping bag. For each donut hole, insert the piping tip about 1/3 of the way into the donut and fill with lime curd until you feel it pushing against the sides of the donut. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
Makes a lot…about 50 donut holes.