Baked Cake Donuts

baked donuts
Photo: Bryan Gardner
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins

While cake donuts are traditionally fried, they're just as delicious baked in the oven, with far less cleanup. Toss in powdered sugar or finish with a simple glaze and sprinkles or toasted coconut -- you can't go wrong!


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush two standard donut pans with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium; add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk, and beat just until combined.

  3. Transfer batter to a piping bag or a resealable plastic bag, and snip a 1/2-inch hole in one corner of bag. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans. Bang pans several times on counter to release air bubbles.

  4. Bake until tops of donuts spring back when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. To decorate, see Variations below.



In a bowl, gently toss warm donuts in 1 cup confectioners' sugar until evenly dusted. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; reserve bowl with sugar. Toss cooled donuts in sugar again until thoroughly coated.

Let donuts cool completely. Mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons whole milk; tint with gel food coloring, if desired. Dip top of each donut in glaze (donut should be halfway submerged), turning as needed to evenly coat. Transfer to a wire rack. Top with sprinkles; let dry completely.

Let donuts cool completely. Mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 1/4 cup whole milk. Dip donuts completely in glaze to coat, then use a fork or chopstick to transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut; let dry completely.

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