Baked Doughnuts Three Ways: this triple play is a homerun!

Doughnuts_hires

You know, I used to be afraid of deep-frying.

Vats of boiling oil. I mean, doesn’t that sound like some form of medieval torture? Just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Still, if you want homemade doughnuts…

“Leave the kitchen, kids! Get out from underfoot, there, puppy dog. Cat: off the counter. Mama is making doughnuts!”

Hmph. Makes me want to don my hazmat suit.

Heck, it isn’t as if I’ve never heated a pot of oil. At one time or another, I’ve made Jelly Doughnut Holes, Classic Beignets, Vermont Doughnut Holes, Mashed Potato Doughnuts, Fried Dough

No french fries – yet. But I’m considering them.

Still, even with my favorite shallow-frying method (1″ of oil in an electric fry pan), doughnuts are a production.

Unless they’re BAKED doughnuts – and then they’re just about as easy as muffins.

Which is to say: E.Z.

And versatile. I started thinking about all the different things you could do with baked doughnuts.

Frost ‘em. Fill ‘em. Coat ‘em with coconut, or chocolate. Roll ‘em in cinnamon-sugar, or powdered sugar.

All of which we’re going to try out in the recipe below.

Are you ready?

“Into the kitchen, kids. C’mon, puppy dog. Cat, you can sit right there next to the toaster. Mama’s going to bake doughnuts.”

Coconut doughnuts, chocolate chip doughnuts, and cinnamon doughnuts, to be exact.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

Can you make these baked doughnuts without pans?

Sorry, but no. You can, however, make Doughnut Muffins – same batter, different shape, just as yummy.

Mix the following until smooth:

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar

Add 2 large eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the following:

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, to taste*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Use the smaller amount of nutmeg for coconut or chocolate chip doughnuts; the larger amount for  cinnamon doughnuts.

Stir 2 2/3 cups (11 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour into the butter mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

The batter should be smooth and glossy.

Next, it’s decision time. Want to make chocolate chip doughnuts? Stir in  3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips (first choice) or semisweet chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the pans, filling each well right to the brim.

Want to make coconut doughnuts?

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons toasted coconut into each of the wells of the doughnut pans, shaking the pans to distribute the coconut.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans, filling each well to within about 1/4″ of the rim. Sprinkle the top of each doughnut with an additional 2 teaspoons toasted coconut.

Can you use plain instead of toasted coconut? Not really; it browns unevenly, and doesn’t produce as good a result.

How about chocolate “frosted” doughnuts? Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons crushed chocolate chips (or any crushed chocolate) into the wells of the doughnut pans. Fill pans with batter.

“Make mine plain,” you say? Just spoon the batter into the wells of the prepared pans, filling to within 1/4″ of the rim.

Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes.

What are those lava-like doughnuts on the left? My attempt at making streusel-stuffed doughnuts. They tasted pretty good, but boy, what a mess… plus it was a pain trying to spoon just a little bit of batter into the doughnut pans, add the streusel, then cover with a little more batter. Not worth the effort, IMHO.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven; wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.

For cinnamon doughnuts, shake warm doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cinnamon-sugar.

For sugar-coated chocolate chip doughnuts, shake doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/2 cup non-melting white sugar (for best results), or confectioners’ sugar.

Here’s what I mean by best results: on top, that’s non-melting white sugar on the left, confectioners’ sugar on the right. Both look fine.

But by the next day, look what’s happened to the confectioners’ sugar: gone, melted into the doughnut. While the non-melting sugar still looks great.

And here are those chocolate “frosted” doughnuts. See why I say these are “frosted?” The chips don’t melt; they just soften. Still, the final effect is mighty tasty!

Store doughnuts airtight, at room temperature, for several days.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Baked Doughnuts Three Ways.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. AnneInWA

    Oh PJ!

    My mouth is watering…the chocolate chip baked doughnuts, the chocolate “frosted” doughnuts, then dipping them in powdered sugar…I know what I am making this weekend for my kiddos! Do you think that I could take the basic recipe and add pumpkin puree to it or should I replace some of the ingredients with the pumpkin puree? I am thinking of making one batch of pumpkin cinnamon chip doughnuts, or maybe using the cinnamon flavor bites…or using butterscotch chips, or all three…the possibilities…

    LOVE that idea, Anne – how about substituting 1 cup pumpkin for the milk? If the batter seems stiff, drizzle in a bit more milk… PJH

    Reply
  2. Megs

    when making the donuts can you substitute the gluten free flour for the same amount and get the same results? Or do you need to adjust some of the other ingredients?

    That would be an experiment. We have not tried this. At a minimum, you’ll need g-f flour and xanthan gum. For a light batter like this, I’d try using 1/4 teaspoon xanthan for every 1 cup of flour. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  3. trese19

    Quick Hint for filling the doughnut pans – I always seem to get the batter all over the pan when I use a spoon to fill each well. So – I put the batter in a plastic zippy bag, snip off an end and pipe the batter into each well. No more mess!

    Good thinking – thanks for sharing! PJH

    Reply
  4. ktdorsch

    Would these turn out well with white whole wheat flour in place of the AP or would they end up dense/dry? I just got a doughnut pan for Christmas so baked whole wheat doughnuts would be great!

    They’d definitely be denser and dryer – how about substituting half whole wheat to start, see if you like them? PJH

    Reply
  5. ohbegrey

    PJH–i love knowing that your cat/cats sit on your kitchen counters–my mother would cringe at the idea, but anybody who lives with cats eats cat hair with every meal, so why always be yelling at the cats? they’re gonna be up there when you aren’t looking anyway, so why not let them help cook? they enjoy it!! that is my laugh for the day!

    Thanks – you’ve got me smiling, too… :) PJH

    Reply
  6. mom2mckjkl

    I do the ziploc bag thing to make really pretty frosted cupcakes – like the ones on cupcake wars, but I never thought of it for the donuts. I usually use a small ice cream scoop, as that helps containg the mess as well. Thanks for the tip!!

    Reply
  7. Meesh

    Would these freeze well? Would like to make them in advance for a family get together.

    Meesh, no baked goods really freeze well, except perhaps cookies. You can do it – but they’ll suffer. I’d suggest freezing; then thawing overnight in the fridge; then reheating breifly ( 5 minutes or so?) in a 350°F oven, tented loosely with foil. That would be about the best you could do – good luck. PJH

    Reply
  8. AnneInWA

    PJ-

    I couldn’t wait…I made chocolate chip doughnuts, and the pumpkin spice doughnuts. I added 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice and substituted the pumpkin for the milk. It was a bit thick, so I ended up adding almost 1/4 c whole milk to the batter. They were delicious! Some had the cinnamon chips, some the cinnamon flavor bites, and I did a couple with caramel bits. The kids went crazy over them! Thanks again PJ for your great posts.

    Anne

    Anne, glad they all worked out, esp. the pumpkin – I’ll add a tip to that recipe, telling how to make pumpkin doughnuts. Thanks for letting me know – enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  9. marshaj

    The last time baked doughnuts were featured, the recipe called for pastry flour. I have made the baked doughnuts with all-purpose flour and they were tough and dry. Why the switch back to all-purpose?

    We like to give options, Marsha – all-purpose flour is more readily available than pastry flour. The pastry flour recipe is different than this one; you might want to try this one (if you haven’t), which is written specifically for AP flour. At any rate, both are available on our site, so it’s bakers’ choice! :) PJH

    Reply
  10. nimblemonkey

    I have the mini-doughnut pan- how long should I bake the minis?

    Gosh, I don’t know – didn’t try with the minis. If you’ve baked minis before, I’d assume it would be the same time/temp. you’ve used. If not – bake less than the standard. Maybe start checking at 6 or 7 minutes? PJH

    Reply
    1. Deb

      Just spoke with my mother who just baked mini doughnuts which are extra mini with the pans available, and it took only 3-3 1/2 minutes to bake them she said.

  11. JuliaJ

    Would your Pancake Pen work with this batter to make filling the doughnut pan a little less messy? Or is the batter too thick?
    Yes, this is a great tool for filling the doughnut pan! ~Amy

    Reply
  12. hobbit

    Okay, I need to get out more. A doughnut pan??? Looks like I need to make another trip up north. I’m really touchy feely about my purchases. I’ll put this on the back burner and hope I don’t forget it. Of course I did read the words fried dough in the article. I think I have a cast iron skillet that is just waiting to satisfy the need.

    Fried dough and a cold winter morning go together like – well, like pancakes and syrup! I say go for it – PJH

    Reply
  13. nimblemonkey

    Well, I made the mini doughnuts today. I baked them for 9 1/2 minutes and I got 18 doughnuts, but I overfilled the first batch and I probably would’ve gotten 24. I made the cinnamon-sugar variety, but my cinnamon-sugar mix (1/4 C sugar and a little over 1/2 tsp cinnamon) didn’t stick very well to them. I tried letting them cool in the pan a bit, but the mix didn’t stick at all- with the 2nd pan I took them right out of the pan one by one as soon as I took them out of the oven and shook them in my cin-sugar mix and that helped, but still didn’t coat them well. Next time I’ll make a glaze or frosting. They were a very nice cake texture; a little too nutmeggy for my taste (I used the lesser amt. in the recipe), but I can make an adjustment for the next batch. This is the first time using my mini doughnut pan. Overall I’m pleased with them. I’d like to make chocolate or apple cider doughnuts next. Oh, and I used the tip of placing the batter into a baggie and cutting off one corner to fill the pan- was the right way to go!

    Sounds like a work in progress – you’ll discover just the right amount of nutmeg, and some frostings you like, I’m sure. I found that shaking the doughnuts in a bag with the cinnamon sugar a couple of times helped it adhere. And thanks for reinforcing the plastic bag tip – good one! PJH

    Reply
  14. Katie

    I’ve been baking doughnuts for awhile now (using the pans KAF sells), but I usually always have the same problem. The top is cooked well, but the bottom is always under done. I’ve tried scooping the doughnuts have way through baking to flip them only to make a mess. What am I doing wrong? Are there any other work arounds? I know my ovens hot spots and I know that is not the problem.

    And as an example of what I’m talking about – scroll to the very first picture above – the top cinnamon sugar doughnut on the right sorta looks like what I’m talking about.

    Help please!

    P.S. I’ve always found the batter too thick to use one of those pancake/cupcake pen things – which I bought only to make doughnuts!

    Katie, when I bake them, they’re not underdone – just not browned on top as they are on the bottom. Is this what you’re talking about? The top crust is very light, the bottom crust nice and golden. That’s why I like covering them with powdered sugar or cinnamon… It’s just the nature of the pan, nothing you’re doing, if that helps- PJH

    Reply
  15. Katie

    P.S. I’ve always found the batter too thick to use one of those pancake/cupcake pen things – which I bought only to make doughnuts!

    Reply
  16. Katie

    No – my problem is opposite – the top of the doughnut is perfect, it’s the bottom (the part where batter hits the pan) that’s always underdone.

    Hmmm… well, Katie, that’s unusual! I’d say try baking on your oven’s bottom rack – that should definitely make a difference… PJH

    Reply
  17. "Clare S."

    My sons love sour cream and buttermilk donuts, how would I substitute for this recipe?
    It is fine to use buttermilk or a combination of sour cream and buttermilk in this recipe in place of the regular milk. ~Amy

    Reply
  18. Renate

    Any suggestions for modifying this recipe to make apple cider donuts? We used to have a farm stand near our former house and bought them all the time, but can’t seem to find cider donuts near our new house.
    Thank you!
    Enjoy this recipe for cider doughnuts. ~Amy

    Reply
  19. Irene in T.O.

    “no baked goods freeze very well”

    HUHHHHH?????

    I have frozen baked bread, filled buns, doughnuts, cake, cookies, pizza….they taste just like fresh if you are careful.

    First of all make sure the baked goods are not overbaked. Let them cool completely and pack them into freezer-grade zip bags. DO NOT pre-slice bread but you can cut a loaf in half and bag each half separately.

    DO NOT expect baked goods to freeze well in freezers that are in the same compartment as the fridge–you need a deep freezer or separate freezer on top of the fridge to keep them cold enough.

    DO NOT THAW BAKED GOODS OVERNIGHT IN THE FRIDGE. That dries them out. You should thaw frozen raw dough overnight in the fridge.

    Goods frozen after baking take about 20 minutes to thaw on the counter. Or warm them directly from frozen in a 300F oven. Keep the foil wrap loose if you want the crust to get crunchy again.

    Reply
  20. andrea

    do these have the same slightly chewy texture as donuts or are they simple torus shaped cakes? Not much worth in getting a special pan if they end up like something from my muffin tin.

    Andrea, because they have more surface area than muffins, they do tend to be a bit chewier. They don’t have that crisp exterior that marks deep-fried doughnuts; but I’d say they’re chewier than muffins (which aren’t in my experience, usually thought of as chewy…) PJH

    Reply
  21. Renate

    I’d like to make cider donuts, any suggestions on substitutions?

    Renate, how about substituting cider for the milk? And adding a boiled cider/confectioners’ sugar glaze? Cider doughnuts are one of my favorites… PJH

    Reply
  22. mx2maloney

    We have the larger donut pans and use our infamous KAF “Pancake Pen” to fill them (my 9 year old helps and this makes it much easier!). LOVE making donuts rather than buying them.

    Reply
  23. drnmadore40

    I just recieved my donut baking pan in the mail…most recipies are calling for enough batter to make two batches…should have bought two!! LOL Can’t wait to make them.!! LOVE LOVE the blogs!! I may spend more time on the KA web site with recipes and blogs than I do on FB!! Whoo hoo!

    Reply
  24. jenaij

    I’m thinking about trying this recipe with the GF flour, along with a teaspoon or so of xanthan gum. Do you have any other suggestions for altering this recipe to be gluten free? I’m thinking it could possibly use more baking powder to ensure a high enough rise, but perhaps I’ll try it as-is the first time.
    Try it first with just the flour and xanthan gum alteration, then add on modifications as you feel you need them. You don’t want to make too many changes all at once. You may also find that adding an egg and beating the batter more vigorously can help. ~Amy

    Reply
  25. cookon

    Just bought two of these and planning to make doughnuts for my daughter’s school bake sale.

    Three questions:
    –Is pastry flour the same as cake flour?
    –Could I make these using a brownie batter?
    –What would be the best recipe for a non-sticky chocolate glaze that I’d like to put on the chocolate chip doughnuts?

    ––No, pastry flour and cake flour are different. Pastry flour is used for things like pie crust, biscuits, pancakes, and other “soft” baked goods. Cake flour, which is often bleached, is used for cake; it’s designed to “carry” the fat and sugar usually found in cake recipes.
    ––Sure, brownie batter would be fine. You’ll have round brownies with a hole in the middle, though, not chocolate doughnuts. For doughnuts, try our chocolate doughnut recipe.
    ––Chocolate glaze – I’d use the same glaze used in the chocolate doughnut recipe. To make sure it’s not sticky, simply refrigerate the glazed doughnuts for about 30 minutes, or until the glaze is set. Be sure to remove the doughnuts from the fridge as soon as the glaze is no longer sticky; keeping them refrigerated will increase how quickly they start to get stale. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  26. sby4dmg

    2013-03-30 Made for the first time. For the fruit, I used a total of 320g baby carrot (7 or 8), 1 giant strawberry, some sugar snap peas (about 10?), ½ a red delicious apple and I replaced the cinnamon with cardamom. I used my friend John’s [hen’s] brown eggs. (Nothing like farm fresh eggs!) Oh my stars! The oven spring! Lofty, lovely and the scent filled air in the castle of alluring eastern spice. Doughnut pan, 15 min convection at 350deg, gas oven, mini muffin pan 14min, then 2min oven off. Yield; 6 doughnuts, 24 mini muffins and one single soufflé size cake. This dough has high moisture content due to the use of fresh vegetables/fruits. Bake time should go longer, even with the use of convection. I tossed them all in a mix of sugar/cinnamon/expresso. Oh la la!

    Oh la la is right! I really, REALLY like these doughnuts. Cakes. Cake doughnuts… Thanks for the hints and tips – much appreciated. PJH

    Reply
  27. beautifulblue22

    I made these doughnuts last weekend and they were a big hit in the office and in the home. They have a great texture – somewhere between bread and cake – and they are just sweet enough without being too sweet. I actually used this base doughnut recipe, but used the chocolate icing from the chocolate doughnut recipe. They came out delicious! I was looking to try baked doughnuts, since I just love a bit of sweet in the morning, and these are a definite keeper.

    Reply
  28. justjudy

    I love the recipes on your site but wish we could somehow make them into a printable page. I am not very computer literate and so need something simple!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Judy, there’s a link that says “printable version” on each recipe page (RECIPE page – not blog page). Simply click this link, and it’ll take you to a printer-friendly version of the recipe. To print the recipe directly from the blog, go to the very top of the blog post, where you’ll see the recipe name right under the picture. Click that to get to the recipe page – from which you can print, as explained above. Good luck – if you have any further questions, please call our hotline, 855-371-BAKE (2253). PJH

  29. Brenda D

    Is there any way in the baked doughnuts recipes to include baking time using the Bundtlette pan? I just got the email saying you could use this pan for baked doughnuts but would like some guidance on how full to fill it and length of cooking time.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Brenda, bake the doughnuts for 15 to 20 minutes (same temp. as indicated n the recipe), until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Another hint: tap the pan firmly on the counter a few times after you’ve added the batter; this will settle the batter, preventing air holes in your doughnuts. Good luck – PJH

  30. Lauren

    I have been baking donuts with AP Flour since I received a pan for Christmas. They are fine and dandy…until it comes to storing them in a container. My chocolate icing and glaze sets, but after staying the night in a plastic container, and I even tried the fridge, they are super moist and sticky (gooey is a word I also like to use).

    I plan on traveling with donuts later this month on an hour car ride and don’t want to be embarrassed when I get there and they’re moist.

    How on earth can I store my donuts to keep the icing and glaze from “melting”, for lack of a better word?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I am sorry to say that this is going to happen if your doughnuts are glazed the night before then served. This is caused by the moisture in the air and in the doughnut itself. You may want to try glazing your doughnuts the day of if possible then transport them. This will help to retain the texture of the glaze. Jon@KAF

  31. Aaron

    Sorry for being late to the party.

    First, the people who suggested using freezer bags to fill the doughnut pans were brilliant. It works like a charm. Additionally the batter freezes nicely. I seem to get about 18 doughnuts per batch – perhaps I am under filling the pans or my pans are a different size (they were a gift and are Wilton, not KAF). I put a third of the batter in a bag and popped it in the freezer. Then let the batter thaw overnight in the refrigerator, come to room temperature, and bake.

    Baking is another thing. It appears from the pictures in the blog that the doughnuts pans are on a sheet pan. Trying this gave me softer doughnuts but increased the cooking time to about 12 minutes from 7 or 8 minutes. Still, fresh baked doughnuts in under 15 minutes is great.

    For flavors I tried upping the cinnamon. I added a tablespoon of cinnamon and a cup and a half of mini cinnamon chips to the batter then tossed in cinnamon sugar. Those were a big hit but next time I’ll cut back on the cinnamon chips as too many compromises the integrity of the doughnuts and they can be a bit crumbly.

    I tried lemon poppy seed. I added a teaspoon of lemon oil, a tablespoon of lemon zest, and a couple of tablespoons of poppy seeds. I made a glaze with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a cup of confectioners’ sugar and about a quarter cup of milk.

    Reply
  32. Aaron Frank

    Hi,

    Sorry to keep asking questions on this so long after the post.

    I just tried chocolate doughnuts this past Saturday. I used two tablespoons of black cocoa (the only cocoa I had in the house).

    The chocolate flavor wasn’t very strong right out of the oven but grew stronger after 24 and 36 hours.

    I’d like to get the chocolate hit right away.

    Would melting chocolate and mixing it in with the batter help this?

    Would making the batter and then letting it rest for 12 or 24 hours help?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You might consider trying the recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake Donuts – they’re baked and have less flour and more cocoa than the first recipe you experimented with! Here’s a quick link to the recipe that may satisfy those chocolate donut cravings – Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  33. Aaron Frank

    Thanks for the tip. I tried the chocolate fudge cake donuts and they were a big hit. I used 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 butter instead of all butter.

    Also, I had less than a cup of chocolate chips (about 5 ounces) so I chopped up a couple of ounces of semi sweet chocolate. So the donuts had some nice, melted chocolate running through them that my family liked.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Aaron, nice to hear from you, as always. I’m glad the doughnuts were a hit – hard to go wrong with chocolate – AND with doughnuts, eh? :) PJH

  34. Sandra Kaler

    My grandson is allergic to wheat, rye, rice all dairy pork, turkey and garbanzo beans, so my question is – Is there any way I can make donuts for him??? I really could use a few hints.
    Thanks, Sandy

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I’m sorry to say that we only have experience using rice based gluten free flours for our recipes and mixes. I would suggest to visit she has a recipe that may work better for you! Jon@KAF

  35. Julie

    Do you have a gluten-free version of your non-melting white sugar? If not, is there a way I can make it myself without wheat starch?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We don’t and I am not sure if you can really make your own from granulated. Good luck on your search and happy baking. Jon@KAF

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