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 all-purpose flour (250g)
- ¼ cup sugar (50g)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (50g)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
- 1 cup buttermilk (236ml)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled (42g)
Topping (see notes for alternative topping options)
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 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).
- 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!).
- 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.
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.