An easy recipe for homemade Baked Donuts! There’s no yeast, no waiting for the dough to rise, just a simple recipe that can be ready to enjoy in under 30 minutes. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Soft, Fluffy, Homemade Donuts (No Yeast Needed!)
This one’s for you resolutioners out there. Those of you who are craving a good old-fashioned deep fried homemade donut but swore off all things deep fried for the year (or at least the first few weeks of it 😉).
Honestly, it’s for those of you who didn’t swear off greasy, deep-fried foods, too.
Because as much as I love a classic donut, I would never say no to one of these baked donuts. They’re light, fluffy, airy and perfectly sweetened. Guaranteed to satisfy any donut craving.
They’re also incredibly simple to make and can be hot and ready to eat in under 30 minutes. It’s honestly really, really easy, so let’s jump right in.
What You Need
Let’s briefly go over just a few of the key players in today’s recipe…
- Buttermilk. This gives the donuts a wonderful flavor and a soft, fluffy texture. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use my easy buttermilk substitute instead.
- Butter. Some of this will be drizzled into the batter while some will be used to brush over the donuts so the cinnamon/sugar topping sticks. I actually prefer to use salted butter for brushing the donuts, but if you don’t have any you can just mix a dash of salt into your melted butter.
- Sugar. I use a blend of regular granulated sugar and light brown sugar (I love using a balance of these two sugars, it almost always yields a better baked good!). The brown sugar adds a nice depth of flavor, but I balance it with granulated sugar so the donut isn’t too weighed down and stays fluffy rather than turning out chewy.
- Flour. Use all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is not recommended with this recipe.
- Ground nutmeg. A pinch of this gives the donuts an authentic bakery-esque flavor. If you don’t have it, simply omit from the recipe, but I love the flavor it adds!
As usual, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Baked Donuts
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together buttermilk, vanilla extract, and one egg in a large measuring cup, then drizzle melted butter in while whisking. If the mixture looks slightly curdled don’t sweat it!
- Gently fold together the wet and dry ingredients using a spatula. Don’t over-mix!
- Spread or pipe batter into a greased donut pan. I like to just portion the batter into a large Ziploc bag and then snip off a corner for piping.
Tip: The batter should be completely combined before portioning, but make sure that you don’t over-mix or your donuts will end up dense and dry.
Once the donuts are baked, you have your choice of toppings…
My personal favorite topping is the simplest:
- Brush the donut with melted butter.
- Dip in cinnamon/sugar.
Tip: It might seem tempting to simply dunk the baked donut in the melted butter, but unfortunately this over-saturates the donut and makes it soggy!
Other topping options:
- A vanilla glaze
- A chocolate glaze
- A dusting of powdered sugar.
I have instructions for all of these options in the notes of the recipe card.
Frequently Asked Questions
While you could pipe the batter into rings on a baking sheet and bake them that way instead, the donuts tend to spread quite a bit and have completely flattened bottoms. It works in a pinch, but I really recommend buying yourself a nice set of donut pans (and I’ve linked to the ones I use in the recipe card).
Baked donuts are best enjoyed while they’re still warm from the oven, but they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
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Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
- 1 cup (236 ml) buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
Topping (see notes for alternative topping options)
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease a 12-count donut pan (I actually use two 6-count) with baking spray (or lightly grease and flour). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg (if using).2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. While whisking constantly, drizzle in butter until combined (it’s OK if the mixture looks a bit curdled!).1 cup (236 ml) buttermilk, 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 Tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to carefully fold together until just combined (all ingredients should be combined, but don’t over-mix or donuts will be dense and dry).
- Pipe or spread the batter evenly into prepared donut pans.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a donut comes out clean. Allow to cool for several minutes then carefully remove to a cooling rack.
- Use a pastry brush¹ to brush immediately with melted salted butter and then whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon and dip donuts in mixture. Donuts are best enjoyed warm.4 Tablespoons salted butter, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Alternative Topping Options:Dip warm donuts in powdered sugar to coat completely. For a vanilla glaze: Whisk together 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (190g), 3-5 Tablespoons whole milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. For chocolate glaze add 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder to the glaze. Dip cooled donuts in glaze and allow glaze to harden (at least 30 minutes) before serving. ¹I like to use a pastry brush rather than dip the donuts because dipping over-saturates them with butter and makes them soggy.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
These are really good!! However, ours were soooo thick! My husband had to be the one to pipe them. We did everything exactly how you said double and triple checked to make sure we didn’t mess anything up. What can we do to making them thinner?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Brittany! Were any substitutions made? Is it possible that you may have over-measured your flour? We’re so happy you liked them regardless!
I just made them and omg they are fluffy and soft!! My kids couldnt believe I didnt fry them!! With your recipe I got 20 mini donuts, baked for 10m 30s at 175C. I used icing sugar+milk for glaze. A great recipe! Thank you!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy they were a hit for you and your kids! Thanks so much for letting us know how you liked them. Enjoy 😊
Do the eggs or Buttermilk need to be room temperature?
Hi Mandy! Ideally I like to have all of my ingredients room temperature, but it won’t make or break this recipe if they are cold. Enjoy!
hi can i use 2% milk instead of buttermilk?
Hi Carla! I would recommend making my buttermilk substitute if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. 🙂
Hi Sam! Thank you for your yummy recipes. I was wondering if I still need to brush the donuts with butter if I’m using the glaze instead of the cinnamon/sugar coating.
Thank you for your help.
Hi Maria! You don’t need to brush them with butter if using the glaze instead. I hope you love them! 🙂
I just tried these today and they’re great. I have 2 questions. If I wanted to turn the batter chocolate what would you recommend… 1/4 cup cocoa? Also, how about taking them out 1 minute or 2 earlier, quickly spraying the top with non-stick spray and turning the oven on broil for 1 minute? That might give the outside a texture closer to frying. Did you happen to try anything to crisp them up?
Hi Joseph! I do have a chocolate baked donut. I’m not sure how broiling them will go. They are supposed to be a softer donut.
What else can you use if you do not have a donut pan to get the right shape? Will a donut cutter work or is the dough going to be to soft for the donut cutter?
Hi Ali! I just piped them into circle shapes on the baking sheet 🙂
I love this recipe, but the donuts are a bit dry. I am very precise on the measurements (scale) and I try not to over mix, however it does take time to combine all the ingredients. What is the reason they are dry? Is it the mixing or should I bake them a minute less?
Hi Marney! If you measured everything properly and took it easy on the stirring I would recommend baking them a minute or two less. I’m glad you enjoy it. 🙂
So YUMMY!! I was wondering if I could make the batter the night before baking them?
Hi Lily! I would be worried they wouldn’t rise properly if you keep batter overnight. If you do try it I would love to know how it goes. 🙂
I just made thes and they are amazing.Will definitely be making them in near future.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Brenda! 🙂
Hi sam I tried it it is so delicious
Hi! I was wondering if the butter can be replaced by canola oil. Amazing recipe, can’t wait to try it!
Hi Victoria! I haven’t tried it but I think it should work here. 🙂
I have a doughnut hole maker that you plug in. Wondering if the recipe would work in stead of buying new pan’s?
Hi Lisa! I’m not familiar your donut hole maker so I can’t say for sure if it will work. If you try it I would love to know how it goes. 🙂
I can’t have refined sugar. Do you think I could use honey, or organic maple syrup? How much would you use for these with honey/maple syrup? Help. I’d love to try this recipe.
Hi JoAnna! Unfortunately I haven’t tried either of those substitutions so I’m not sure exactly how they would work. 🙁
I find microwaving 10 seconds or so really refreshes my muffin, baked donut or brownies. Tastes like it just came out of the oven. Works on cinnamon rolls too!
Thanks for the tip, Cheryl! 🙂
Amazingly delicious! So easy to make!
I am so glad you enjoyed them so much, Pam! 🙂
YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Finally a recipe for baked doughnuts!!!!!!
I hope you love them! 🙂