Baked Cake Donuts

I’ve been trying really hard not to be frivolous these days.  I’m trying not to need more ‘stuff’.  I feel like I have enough of that, you know?  But then I realized I don’t own a donut pan and all that went out the window. 😉

Somehow, I convinced myself I needed a donut pan. I blame Amazon.  You can put things on a wish list, keep an eye on it and surely, one day the price will drop drastically. Then you will find yourself asking, “do I really need a donut pan?”  Then you’ll realize that the donut pan will pay for itself if it saves you even one trip to Dunkin’. Aaaand homemade/baked donuts would surely be healthier, right?!  See what I did, there?  I got a donut pan.

Well anyway, we LOVE this silly donut pan.  I really did not think you could bake a donut that would be just as good as a donut shop, but you can!  The kids ask for donuts all the time now, and I keep obliging their requests because I’m trying to justify my purchase!  Pretty soon I’ll be using this stinking donut pan to justify a gym membership as well.   We’ve been playing around a lot with different versions of the donut but for now, here’s a basic recipe slightly adapted from Wilton.

Baked Cake Donuts

Seriously good and they aren't even fried!

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 12 donuts
Author Katie Olesen


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk see note
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease two donut pans. (Using the butter wrapper technique is best, but the spray is fine too.)

  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Then whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate measuring cup or bowl.  Then combine the two, stir until just combined.

  3. Fill each donut cavity about 2/3 full with batter.  (About 2 large spoonfuls each.)

  4. Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from pan to a cooling rack and finish as desired.

  5. For Cinnamon sugar donuts: Melt 4 T of butter, quickly dip donut top and then immediatly dip into a mixture of 1/3 cup sugar + 3/4 tsp cinnamon.  

    For Powdered sugar donuts: Toss warm donuts in a bag with 1 cup powdered sugar.

    For Glazed donuts: Whisk together 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 3 T milk or cream in a bowl.  Dip the top of warm donuts into the glaze.  Allow to drip, glaze side up, on a wire rack placed above a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Recipe Notes

  • Yes, you need the cornstarch.  The cornstarch & flour are basically a substitute for cake flour, which will make the donuts much lighter and donut-like.
  • Don't have buttermilk? You have options!  
    • Thinned yogurt works great, just combine 1/2 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup milk.  
    • Or place 3/4 T of vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup, then fill to the 3/4 cup mark with milk and let stand 5 min before using.  
    • Or in this case, just use regular milk.  They will still be delicious!

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