Donuts are such a classic treat, but making the traditional fried ones from scratch can be time-consuming. That’s where baked donuts come in!

You can make delicious vanilla glazed baked donuts in just 20 minutes and enjoy a healthier alternative to traditional fried donuts.

vanilla glazed baked donuts on a wire rack.

Is there anything better than a warm, glazed donut? These baked donuts have a light, soft texture, like a cake or a muffin, and a thick glaze infused with vanilla.

They are perfect for all occasions and any time of the day – breakfast, brunch, snacks, and, of course, dessert. Don’t forget to double the recipe; these donuts disappear fast!

Looking for more homemade baked donut recipes? Check out our cinnamon sugar baked donuts and baked lemon strawberry donuts.

Why you’ll love these vanilla baked donuts

  • Tried and true: this recipe has received over a hundred 5-star reviews and has become a favorite among readers, especially on Instagram.
  • Quick and easy: These cake donuts are not only healthier than the fried versions but also much quicker to prepare. No kneading, rolling, or rising time!
  • Perfect for special occasions, whether it’s a birthday celebration or a brunch gathering, they add a festive touch.
  • Kid-friendly: kids love to help. Let them dip the donuts in the glaze or add their favorite sprinkles.

Ingredients & substitutions

For the donut batter:

baked donuts ingredients.

For the vanilla glaze:

vanilla glaze ingredients.

Here are some helpful notes about the key ingredients for this baked donuts recipe:

  • Flour: all-purpose flour, whether bleached or unbleached, works best for this recipe.
  • Sugar: use granulated sugar for the donut batter and powdered sugar for the glaze.
  • Baking powder: for best results, make sure that the baking powder is not expired.
  • Milk: you can use any type of milk, including skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, or plant-based milk.
  • Vanilla extract: you can also experiment with other flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chai spice blend, lemon extract, or almond extract.
  • Food coloring and sprinkles: get creative with your favorite colors and sprinkles. I used Wilton icing colors in pink and rose.

See the recipe card below for a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.

How to make homemade baked donuts

Recipe variations

  • Switch up the glaze: there are so many options to choose from: chocolate, lemon, coconut, mocha, or pumpkin. Or skip the glaze and dip each donut into some melted butter, then coat it in powdered sugar.
  • Add-ins: add funfetti or chocolate chips to the donut batter.
  • Toppings: top the iced donuts with some shredded coconut (toasted or not), sliced almonds, or chopped peppermint bark instead of sprinkles.
  • Make them dairy-free: use your favorite non-dairy milk and vegan butter.
  • Make them gluten-free: any 1-1 gluten-free flour will work.

Tips for success

  1. Grease the donut pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter to prevent sticking.
  2. The best way to measure flour is with a scale. However, if you don’t have one, fluff the flour with a spoon, then sprinkle it into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
  3. Use room temperature egg and milk for fluffier donuts.
  4. Avoid overmixing the batter to prevent tough, dry donuts.
  5. Use a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off to fill the donut baking pan.
  6. Don’t overfill the pan cavities, or the holes in the middle will close up. If that happens, use a small round cookie cutter or the end of a piping tip to cut them out.
  7. Tap the pan gently on the countertop before baking to release any air bubbles in the batter.
  8. Sift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps before adding the milk for a smooth and creamy glaze.
  9. Let the donuts cool completely before dipping them in frosting to prevent the glaze from sliding off or becoming too runny.
  10. If adding sprinkles, do so immediately after dipping the donuts in the glaze, as it will harden quickly.

Make-ahead & storage instructions

Make ahead: you can bake and glaze the donuts up to 24 hours in advance. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature to keep them fresh.

To store: while baked donuts are best enjoyed on the same day, you can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Keep the donuts in a single layer to prevent the glaze from sticking together.

To freeze, freeze unglazed donuts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for 2 to 3 months. Thaw the donuts overnight in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave before adding the glaze when you’re ready to enjoy them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you bake donuts without a donut pan?

If you don’t have a donut pan, use a muffin pan instead. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

What brand and size of donut pan do you recommend?

I used a 6-cavity Wilton donut pan. (Not an affiliate link)

Can you double the recipe?

You can easily double or triple the recipe by adjusting the number of servings in the recipe card. The ingredient amounts will adjust automatically.

These came out more like a sponge cake than a donut.

Baked donuts are delicious but they will NEVER taste 100% like fried donuts! :)

What is the difference between cake donuts and regular fried donuts?

Traditional yeasted donuts are made with a yeast dough that requires proofing time, is rolled out, cut into circles, and then deep fried.
Baked donuts are made with a regular batter, like a cake or muffin. The batter is piped or poured into a donut pan and baked.

baked. donuts, a bowl of pink glaze, and sprinkles.

Have you tried these easy baked donuts yet? Share your feedback or variations in the comments below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask – we’re here to help!

How To Make It: Baked Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

(5 stars) 86 ratings
Soft and delicious homemade baked donuts, dipped in a thick vanilla glaze and topped with sprinkles. With a couple of mixing bowls, a whisk, and a donut pan, you can have freshly baked donuts in 20 minutes. 

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (70 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup+1½tablespoon (100 ml) skim milk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the vanilla glaze:

  • ½ cup (80 g) powdered sugar sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 small pinch of salt
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons milk
  • Optional: food coloring and sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Make the donuts

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until no flour bits remain and all the ingredients are well combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter!
  • To fill the donut cavities, you can either spoon the batter into each cavity or use a large ziplock bag. If using the bag, cut a corner off the bottom and pipe the batter carefully into each donut cavity, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Be cautious not to overfill them, as the batter will expand during baking.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the donuts from the oven and transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely. While the donuts cool, make the glaze.

Make the glaze.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and whisk to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add additional milk, ½ teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Add food coloring if you wish.

Assemble

  • Dip each donut in the vanilla glaze, giving them a twist as you lift them to let the excess glaze drip back into the bowl. Place them back on the wire rack and immediately sprinkle them with your favorite toppings. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving or stacking.

Notes

  • Milk: whole, low-fat, or non-fat will work. Feel free to substitute a plant-based alternative. You will need a couple of tablespoons for the glaze as well.
  • Use a pastry bag or ziplock bag to fill the donut pan.
  • Don’t overfill the pan cavities, or the holes in the middle will close up. 
  • Scaling the recipe: if you need to make more donuts, you can easily scale the recipe. Just adjust the number of servings in the recipe card to the desired quantity, and the ingredient amounts will automatically change.
  • Storage: while baked donuts taste best eaten on the same day, you can store them covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. To freeze unglazed donuts, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 donut, Calories: 189 kcal, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 24 mg, Sodium: 211 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 18 g
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #aseasyasapplepie. We’d love to see what you come up with!