You are going to love these moist and tender lemon dill cornmeal donuts friends. These are cake donuts made in either a donut pan, or throw caution to the wind and make them into lemon cornmeal muffins.

The addition of lemon hummus adds extra protein and fiber, not to mention moisture and flavor.

You may also enjoy my Middle Eastern-inspired hummus cornbread.

As a Sabra Tastemaker, I was compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

overhead shot of cornmeal donuts

Savory Donuts

We are all so programmed to think of donuts as sweet, fluffy confections covered in glaze and/or stuffed with cream or jam.

I am here to make the case for savory donuts. Just as delicious as their sweet counterparts, savory donuts are right at home as part of a breakfast or even as the “bread” to go with your dinner.

There are so many ways to make them. Once you open up your mind to the idea, the possibilities are endless.

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Savory donuts can also be made into muffins, so if you don’t have a donut pan, or you don’t feel like frying your little guys, just make them into muffins. Just as tasty!

a Lemon Dill Cornmeal Doughnuts-13

You can also make a yeast raised version. Check out my friend Gerry’s gorgeous savory yeast doughnuts over at his place, Foodness Gracious to get a load of his take on a savory doughnut.

savory donuts on a wooden plate

Why This Recipe Works So Well

  • They’re unexpected. So serving a donut might raise some eyebrows, but then imagine your family’s surprise when they take a bite to go with fried chicken cutlets or even Southern chicken and dumplings and realize they have a savory, moist, lemony, cheesy treat?!
  • Ease of making. These little guys are made using the muffin method, so it’s just a matter of whisking the dry ingredients together, whisking the wet ingredients together, folding in the cheese, and baking.
  • The flavor combination. Lemon and dill is a natural pairing, and the addition of Havarti cheese with dill adds not only more dill flavor but also the lovely mellow, nuttiness of Havarti. It’s a lovely combination with the lemon hummus.

How To Make


Here’s what you’ll need. If you’re like me, you’ll probably already have everything but maybe the hummus and Havarti.

collage of ingredients for making lemon dill cornmeal donuts

The dry ingredients

  • all-purpose flour: I generally use King Arthur, but any good quality brand will do. Don’t substitute bread flour or cake flour.
  • fine cornmeal: Do get a cornmeal labeled “fine.” Coarse cornmeal won’t work here since you’ll end up with upsetting crunchy bits throughout. Do not substitute cornstarch (what is often known as corn flour in other countries)
  • granulated sugar: provides just a touch of sweetness, adds moisture and aids in browning.
  • baking powder: leavening
  • dried dill: for flavor and also for the lovely green flecks
  • salt: brings out flavor

and the wet ingredients

  • eggs: I use whole large eggs. Eggs add to the structure and assist in browning as well as adding some fat and emulsifiers
  • Sabra® Lemon Twist Hummus: you can of course substitute your favorite flavor here. And if you don’t have lemon hummus, simply use a plain hummus and add about 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest to the batter
  • whole milk: you can sub with 2% or even with a plant-based milk
  • butter: melted, it helps to carry flavor, assists in browning, and lends moisture

Inclusion (Mix-In)

  • Havarti cheese with dill: A very soft, mild cheese with lots of dill flavor. You can sub in grated cheddar or even Swiss here if you prefer.

Tips for Success

overhead shot of large and mini cornmeal donuts

As with all muffins (okay, baked donuts), make sure to use a light hand with mixing. No mixer necessary, and no heavy stirring. Just fold everything together.

You don’t have as much of a chance of overmixing and toughening these donuts since they are made partly with fine cornmeal, but still, it pays in tenderness not to over-mix.

Don’t overbake these guys.

It takes about 9 minutes for mini cornmeal donuts to bake and about 12 for the standard size donut pans, and you don’t want to go much over and risk drying them out.

Eat these the day you make them. And if by some chance you do end up with leftover cornmeal donuts, store them, well-wrapped in the freezer.

Then you can thaw them either at room temperature, still wrapped, or in the microwave for just a few seconds.

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
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savory donuts on a plate

Lemon Dill Cornmeal Donuts

Jennifer Field
These moist and flavorful savory cornmeal donuts will change the way you think about doughnuts.
Full of shredded havarti with dill, some extra dill for good measure and Lemon Twist hummus, they may become a new favorite at your dinner table.
As written, this recipe makes 12 large doughnuts in 2 6-cavity doughnut pans. You can also make 6 large and 12 minis using the appropriate pans. Half the recipe and make just 6 large.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Muffins and Quick Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 184 kcal


  • 6 oz all purpose flour
  • 4 oz fine corn meal
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 9 oz whole milk , room temperature
  • 5 oz Sabra Lemon Twist hummus , room temperature
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 1 oz butter , melted
  • 4 oz shredded Havarti with dill plus more for finishing


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat to 400F.
  • In one bowl, whisk the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, salt and dill together until evenly combined and lightened a bit.
  • In another bowl, whisk the milk, hummus, eggs and butter together until well combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into said well.
  • Fold the wet into the dry for about 5 turns.
  • Add the shredded cheese and continue to fold gently until all the dry ingredients are moistened and there isn’t any really runny stuff left. Don’t over-mix. It’s okay to have some lumps.
  • Spray your doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray and fill the cavities with the thick batter. You may need to spread it evenly with an off-set spatula.
  • Optional Step: Allow the doughnuts to sit for about 10 minutes before baking.
  • Bake large doughnuts for 12 minutes, or just until they just start to get some golden spots on them. Bake the small ones for about 9 minutes.
  • Turn out immediately onto wire racks. Sprinkle some more cheese over the shaped side of the doughnuts (the side that was inside the pan). The heat from the doughnuts should melt the cheese. If some of your cheese doesn’t melt (the doughnuts do cool off pretty quickly), put the not-quite-melted doughnuts on a sheet and put them back in the still-hot oven for 1 minute.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. If you’re not eating them all on the same day, freeze them and thaw/re-warm.

Did You Make Any Changes?


Unsurprisingly, these doughnuts make an excellent vehicle to get hummus into your mouth. So good!
Eat these the same day you make them, or freeze them for longer storage.
You can vary the flavor of these guys by switching up the hummus flavor, adding different herbs and spices, and/or switching up the cheese you use.


Serving: 1gCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 455mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4g
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

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  1. Oh wow! Those doughnuts look and sound amazing! LOVE Havarti dill cheese (just discovered it a couple of months ago) and lemon & dill is an amazing combo. Will have to put this recipe on my “to make” list when it cools down. It’s a bit too hot here in NC to turn on the oven!

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