Baked Mini Donuts

Frosted Mini Donuts
I bought a mini donut pan many, many months ago and it has been sitting in my pantry ever since. I wanted the pan because it was so cute, but when it comes down to the time to make a donut – which isn’t all that often in the first place – I usually opt to go for fried donuts and take a few extra calories with my cake. But the pan is so cute it that i finally tempted me into trying out baked mini donuts in it.

Baked donuts don’t quite have the crisp crust of fried donuts, but the dough that you ends up delivering a donut with a similar consistency and flavor to a plain cake donut. They’re easy to make, easier to eat and lots of fun to decorate because they provide a great excuse to use up all kinds of sprinkles!

This recipe bakes into a batch of donuts that is not too sweet on their own, but absolutely perfect when iced. The texture is somewhere between a regular donut and a muffin, as they don’t have the fried exterior, but they’re moist and satisfying all the same. I think that they’re best on the day that they’re made because that is when they are at their most donut-like; they will keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container, but become more moist and muffiny over time. These little donuts are too small to fill with jelly or anything like that, so I finished them off with some glaze and sprinkles. If you’re motivated, melt some chocolate and dunk the donuts in for chocolate-glazed mini donuts!

Baked Mini Donuts
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

Lightly grease a mini donut pan (you could also bake these in a mini muffin pan if you don’t mind the lack of a hole in your donuts).
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg and melted butter until mixture is smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, then half of the flour mixture. Mix in the buttermilk, followed by the remaining flour. Stir only until all ingredients are combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible. Scoop batter into a quart or gallon-sized plastic bag and chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight if you want to prep the donuts the night before.
Preheat the oven to 325F and remove the bag from the refrigerator after batter has chilled.
Snip the corner off of the plastic bag and pipe batter into mini donut cavities, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 9 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly pressed. (For regular-sized donuts in a larger donut pan, bake 12-15 minutes)
Turn donuts out to cool on a wire rack. Dip tops of donuts in glaze when donuts are completely cooled and decorate with sprinkles, sugar, spices or anything else you can think of.
Allow glaze to set for at least 1 hour before storing, or just eat and enjoy!

Makes about 18 mini donuts.

Vanilla Glaze
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tsp milk

Whisk all ingredients together in a small, shallow bowl, adding milk as necessary to make the glaze thick enough to stick easily to the donuts. If it becomes too thin, simply add a bit more confectioners’ sugar.


  1. Nicole-

    Thanks for this recipe! I have been wanting to make donuts lately but didn’t know how the best way to do it without frying them. These look great, can’t wait to try them!

  2. This is a great donut recipe. There is barely any butter and also, it’s not fried. I will have to make them with a muffin pan though. Can’t wait. :) Thanks.

  3. Oooh we totally need a donut pan…seriously, we love any excuse to go to the kitchen supply store. And sprinkles! These are delicious looking and totally adorable!

  4. There’s something weird with me and donuts…I dont really like donuts…but I LOVE mini things so much I could even eat one of these easily (: Thaks a lot! This site is so infromative!


  5. These are cute! I really like the toppings and decorations.

  6. I like these to the fried ones! My grandsons would love these!

  7. mmm i’m so tempted to make this! love the toppings

  8. These are so pretty! I’ve never tried making baked donuts, but now I totally want to… With lots of sprinkles!

  9. I have been debating about buying a mini donut pan. I really think I might give it a try. I love the idea of being able to make donuts at home without having to heat up the fryer.

  10. I literally melt whenever I see sprinkles on a donut. I think sprinkles on a mini donut has just become my all-time favorite image ever. Very cute!

  11. I bought one of those same type pans. Thought it was so cute; stored it and just found it today when looking for something else..thought that prophetic enough that I should make some donuts – thanks for the recipe!

  12. Thanks so stinkin much for the recipe!! I bought a mini donut pan awhile back and have been wondering what to do with it…I really needed this recipe!! :)
    As usual, awesome post.

  13. Shannon abdollmohammadi

    I saw this pan at Macys and wish I would have bought it. Your recipe looks great.

  14. I wonder if can make these in a mini muffin pan and call them baked donut holes, I don’t have room in my pantry for another pan!

  15. I happened upon a brand new mini donut pan at value village for $1.99 and decided to try making some donuts and I have to say I loved this recipe!

    At first I was thrown off by how sticky and doughy the batter was – I thought it would be impossible for my donuts to turn out right after all I had to go through to get them into the pan.

    But once I topped them in some cinnamon sugar they were awesome! I will definitely make these again. Thank you!

  16. I tried these today and I think something is wrong… the dough was thick and sticky! I looked over the recipe again and I did everything right. They are in the oven right now. We will see how they turn out. It was a chore to get them in the pan.

  17. I found a recipe that said you can take small wooden dowels, cover them in foil and used them in the middle of the donuts to make holes if you are using a muffin tin. Just make sure you spray it with cooking spray and remove the dowel prior to removing the donut from the tin.

  18. Too cute, I’m going to make these for my sisters birthday, except with a normal-sized-doughnut doughnut pan! Any idea on how to alter the recipe to make chocolate donated with chocolate glaze? I don’t want to mess the doughnuts up by accident!

  19. Oh yum!! Just made these and shared them on my blog! So good. Thanks!

  20. Yes, the donuts are cute, but they are difficult to make and they are tasteless. If you like working with Spackle, you’ll like working with the dough. My daughter tried the recipe and had the same results. Getting the dough out of the plastic bag was impossible. I ended up rolling the dough like Playdough to get it into the pan. Rating: negative 5 stars.

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