Unicorn Horns (a Doughnut made with Strawberry and Lemon)

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Happy Tax Day!… well maybe happy tax day, and maybe not…

Anyway, today is not only a happy day but also a completely awesomely EPIC day! Why? Because I’m about to share the most amazing doughnut recipe EVER! I call them Unicorn Horns. The dough has lemon zest in it, which added a delightful brightness to the finished donut. Also, the strawberry filling… wow! It’s pretty intensely amazing. Then the donut gets topped with a lovely vanilla glaze and covered in sprinkles! If you don’t want to have a Unicorn Horn right now, I don’t know what is wrong with you… well perhaps you’re allergic to strawberries switch it to raspberries if you must, but seriously make these!

When I decided to do a unicorn themed month I immediately decided that donuts could easily be made into Unicorn Horns. Then it was just a matter of picking flavors for the donuts, strawberry lemonade was the obvious choice, for some reason. The original batch of these Unicorn Horns had a strawberry lemonade glaze that tasted amazing but overpowered the more delicate flavors of the donut and filling. So, I made just a vanilla glaze and that turned out much better. Also, the strawberry lemonade glaze was an odd color and didn’t look very good with my unicorn sprinkles, which made me sad.

This whole recipe is a modification of Cream Filled Long Johns that I made back in September of 2015. Those were delicious too. Anyway, the main modifications I did was to add lemon zest to the dough, add powdered freeze dried strawberries and fresh strawberries to the filling, and put sprinkles on the top of the glaze. Other than that, it’s the same. Just goes to show that a little tweaking can make a whole new recipe!

Let’s make this! In a large bowl combine the yeast, warm water, sugar, soft butter, egg, mashed potatoes, and lemon zest.

Add the flour and salt and mix well.

Knead for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in a large greased and covered bowl and allow it to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in volume. the dough out into a rectangle about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. Cut away the uneven edges with a pizza cutter.

Then cut the dough in half and then into triangles. Taller triangles vs. fatter triangles look more like horns.

Place the dough triangles onto greased cookie sheets and allow them to rise again, covered about 30 minutes.

While they rise you can begin to heat your frying oil. I like to use lard, but any oil that can withstand high heat will do.

Also, you can place a whole bunch of paper towels in a baking pan, you’ll use this later to set the hot, freshly fried donut on. The paper towel will absorb some of the excess fat.

Once your dough has risen and your fat has reached about 450F it’s time to fry! You can test the oil’s readiness by just trying one small donut or trying one of the uneven edges you cut off earlier. Fry away! It works best to do about 3-4 donuts at a time depending on your set up.

Once one side is nice and brown, flip the donut over so the other side can fry.

Once the donuts are fried you can place them on the paper towel-lined sheet pan that you got ready earlier.

Once cooled you can transfer the donut so a wire rack to cool completely.

While the donuts cool you can make the delicious strawberry filling! First, start by using a food processor to reduce a pack of freeze-dried strawberries to a fine powder. Basically, a strawberry “flour.”

Next, in the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the shortening, powdered sugar, strawberry “flour,” vanilla, butter flavoring, heavy cream, and finely chopped fresh strawberries.

Mix, until well combined.

Now you’re going to need a large, round handled, wooden spoon. You’ll use this to make holes in the bottom of the donuts so that you can pipe filling into them.

Next, fill a piping bag with the filling, make sure you have a pretty large hole in it. It has to be large enough to be able to pipe out all the strawberry chunks. Pipe the filling into the donuts.

Time for the vanilla glaze! In the top of a double boiler combine the powdered sugar, water, light corn syrup, vanilla, and butter flavoring. In the first batch, I used strawberry “flour” to replace part of the powdered sugar and strawberry puree and lemon juice to replace the water. This produced a highly flavorful glaze that was delicious but overpowered the delicate flavor of the donut and filling.

Combine the ingredients over the double boiler until well combined and slightly warm, but not hot.

Here is what the original Strawberry Lemon glaze looked like:

Dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze.

Add the sprinkles! Be sure to put the sprinkles on as soon as your done glazing the top of a donut, the glaze hardens fast.

Now just let the glaze set and you’re ready to dig in! I know you are going to enjoy these Unicorn Horns, they are unique, delicious, and fun. Be sure and invite a few people over to enjoy these with, they are best the first day. You can also freeze these with pretty good results, so don’t let a single Unicorn Horn go to waste! They are fun to make and fun to eat.

What is your favorite kind of donut?

Unicorn Horns (a Doughnut made with Strawberry and Lemon)
Unicorn Horns: Triangular lemon donuts, with a strawberry filling and vanilla glaze! Totally delicious and loads of fun!
  • For the Lemon Dough:
  • 1⅛t. yeast
  • ¾c. warm water
  • ⅓c. sugar
  • ⅓c. butter, soft
  • 1 egg
  • ½c. lukewarm mashed potatoes
  • 2T. lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3½-4c. flour
  • ¾t. salt
  • 4lbs lard
  • For the Strawberry Filling:
  • 1½c. shortening
  • 4¼c. powdered sugar
  • ¼c. freeze dried strawberries reduced to a powder
  • 3t. pure vanilla extract
  • 3t. butter flavoring
  • ⅓c. heavy cream
  • 1c. finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • For the Vanilla Glaze:
  • 9c. powdered sugar
  • ½c. water
  • ½c. light corn syrup
  • 1t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½t. butter flavoring
  • Assorted unicorn like sprinkles
  1. For the Lemon Dough:
  2. In a large bowl combine the yeast, warm water, sugar, soft butter, egg, mashed potato, and lemon zest.
  3. Add the flour and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
  5. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a large rectangle about ½-3/4 inches thick.
  6. Cut off the uneven edges with a pizza cutter. Then cut the dough into triangles, think horns when you cut them, so longer triangles are better than shorter ones.
  7. Place the triangles of dough on greased cookie sheets and allow them to rise for another 30 minutes, covered. While the triangles rise, heat the lard in a deep pot to about 450F.
  8. Fry the donuts in the lard, working with about 3-4 at a time. Flip them halfway through so that both sides get done.
  9. Once the donuts are fried place them immediately in a paper towel-lined baking pan. Then once cool enough to handle place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. For the Strawberry Filling:
  11. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the shortening, 4½c. powdered sugar, strawberry "flour," 3t. vanilla, 3t. butter flavoring, heavy cream, and chopped fresh strawberries. Beat until well combined.
  12. Polk a hole in the end of each triangle donut. A round wooden spoon handle works well for this.
  13. Place the filling in a piping bag and cut a large hole in it for the filling to come through. The hole needs to be large enough to accommodate the largest piece of strawberry in the filling.
  14. Pipe the filling into each donut.
  15. For the Vanilla Glaze:
  16. In the top of a double boiler over warm water combine the 9c. powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, 1t. vanilla, and ½t. butter flavoring.
  17. Stir until well combined and warm, but not hot.
  18. Dip the filled donuts in the warm vanilla glaze. Immediately after they are dipped put on the sprinkles!
  19. Allow the glaze to set and enjoy!

Original Recipe By: Rilla Banks (A.K.A. Epic Sweet)