Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns

Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns // The Sugar Hit!


Pouring raing, the sound of sizzling dough, the scent of lemon and cardamom, the grit of the sugar between my fingers. I think you need to experience these things. I think you need to make a batch of Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns.


Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns // The Sugar Hit!


Donuts always have been and (I’m speculating) always will be my favourite of the entire realm of sweet treats. Second place goes to ice cream, third to pie. The bright pinks, dinosaur shaped donuts never appealed to me, it has to be said. I was always just transfixed by that automatic hot cinnamon donut machine. Seeing the little rounds of dough drop out of the sky and into the hot oil, where the floated along, flipped over, and then skated down into the pit of sandy cinnamon sugar.


Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns // The Sugar Hit!


So if, by some unfortunate chance, I did get one of the icing-topped donuts, I was the weird kid in the cornere picking the icing off and eating the delicious dough underneath. Carbs always have and always will be my first love. These Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns are a celebration of that love.


Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns // The Sugar Hit!


The dough for these is a yeasted buttermilk recipe – a riff on my favourite Blackberry Jam & Custard beauties from my book – and it makes for a light, super tender, puffy donut. The very perfect thing to toss in the ashy grey sugar we’re making. Ground black cardamom, and plenty of lemon zest provide the high notes for this sugar, both providing a citrus scent, but the lemon is a higher pitched tone than the dusky cardamom. Cinnamon anchors the whole deal and keeps things donutty.


Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns // The Sugar Hit!


Sometimes I feel like I could rename The Sugar Hit ‘things to eat with coffee’. But for realz, this donut might just be the best thing you eat with coffee all year. Cinnamon, lemon and cardamom are all best friends with dark roasted beans and as the police force knows only too well, fried dough and coffee are made for each other. These made me happy. I hope you try them!


xx Sarah.


Lemon Cardamom Spiced Donuts
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups (300g) plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried active yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 50g (2oz) butter, very soft
  • flavourless oil, for frying
  • For the coating:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (I used caster sugar)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamom
  1. First, place all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until well combined and elastic.
  2. With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about 45mins-1hour, longer if it's cold).
  4. When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a well floured surface. Pat the dough out into a rectangle, just over 1 cm/1/2 inch thick. Cut the rectangle evenly into 8 longjohns. Place onto a lined baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic and leave to rise for a further 30 mins.
  5. Heat about 2 inches of oil to 180C/350F in a wide, deep pan, making sure the oil comes no more than halfway up the pan.
  6. Cook the longjohns, one or two at a time (making sure the pan doesn't get crowded or overflow) for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Place a rack to drain, and proceed until all the donuts are cooked.
  7. Place the sugar for the coating in a large bowl, and add the lemon zest and spices. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips for a few minutes to infuse.
  8. Toss the still warm donuts into the sugar to coat thickly. Serve.


  • lemon cardamom?? that’s so unusual sounding (normally i play it safe and do lemon on lemon on lemon and maybe toss some fruit in), but it sounds so refreshing! i might be tempted to go to my local doughnut place and spice up a plain one though (sometimes you just need instant donut gratifciation).

  • ‘Things to eat with coffee’ is a great name! I would sign up for that blog. The way you described watching the donut machine made me think of charlie and the chocolate factory – whimsical and mouth watering. the flavor combinations here sound outrageous.

  • Girl, these look amazing. I love donuts, there’s a great place about 2 hours from me in Portland. Their donuts are insanely good, like blueberry bourbon basil. Omg. I am definitely trying these too! :)

  • I’ve never heard of long john’s, mind blown! Any friend of a donut is a friend of mine, though… Lemon and cardamom sounds like a perfect, cheery winter pick-me-up combo!

  • Firstly, I loved making your doughnuts last weekend! And Chris (the fiance) LOOOOOVED eating them! I can’t wait to make these ones for him.
    Secondly, I was the kid with her face pressed up to the glass mesmerised my the doughnut machine too. That conveyor belt into the sugar bucket was the sweetest journey of all. And oh, eating a freshly fried doughnut crusted in sugar and cinnamon. Surely that is the taste of heaven.
    I can’t wait to make these! And I love that they are called Longjohns. They are certainly perfect for eating while wearing your PJs :)

  • Sarah this looks so delicious, I must make some this weekend. Some of my favourite flavours right here. I’ve never heard of longjohn’s before, but now that I have, my life is distinctly improved. BTW, I’m heading to my favourite bookstore this weekend to request that they order your book and stock it. Haven’t found it on south African bookshelves yet, which is a crying shame!

  • These look great a bit like yumyums – i love doughnuts too, so much that I rarely have them in the house :-)

    Cronuts are amazing too, i’ve not had a proper dominique ansell one – just the ones I’ve homemade.

    The only thing I don’t like about home-made doughnuts is having to fry them – they do taste so good though.

    I really love the look of these .

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