Baked Doughnuts Recipe

A fun and delicious alternative to deep-fried doughnuts. This cinnamon-sugar dusted baked doughnut recipe turns milk, flour, nutmeg, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast into perfectly dunk-able, delicious doughnuts.

Baked Doughnuts

Mention the concept of a baked doughnut to any self-professed doughnut connoisseur, chances are you'll take some heat. The idea that a baked doughnut can match up to its deep-fried brethren is laughable in some circles. I'll concede they aren't the same, but baked doughnuts can be just as delicious - delicious yet different. They get bonus points for being healthier and for not making the house smell like a greasy fry station.

I spent the better part of Sunday trying to get the dough for these yeasted baked doughnuts right. Broadly speaking, if you can make pizza dough, you can make these. The process is very similar. I looked at a broad cross-section of recipes as inspiration and tried to settle on a ratio of sugar to egg to flour to yeast and salt that would yield a tender, slightly sweet, delicious, pillowy doughnut when baked.

Many recipes call for water as the base liquid, I opted for milk. I like the softness of the milk-based rolls I've made in the past -  and you can feel free to experiment with alternative milks. I baked batches at 375F, 400F, and 425F. On the higher end of the spectrum the bottoms browned too fast. I settled on 375F and a slightly longer time in the oven.

You can glaze these the way you would any other doughnut, but because I knew these were going to be at their pinnacle of taste minutes after coming out of the oven, I opted for a simple, classic, sugar dusting.

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Baked Doughnuts

4.1 from 11 votes

Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.

  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
  • A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
  2. Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
  4. Bake in a 375F degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

  5. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Prep Time
55 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Recipe Rating


The BEST and most simple donut recipe we have tried!5 stars


I have seen these baking pans for making baked donuts. I’m not sure if they use batter or something like this recipe. This does sound really good. I would love to make something like this for my grandson.
Donna A.

Donna A.

Made them. The dough reminds me of cinnamon bun or soft-pretzel. I think icing would work better with these instead of the butter and sugar. Buns made with this dough would be good with something savory stuffed inside.


Finally had a chance to make some, and they were lovely! Dunked half in cinnamon and sugar, and topped the other half with some chocolate-peanut butter ganache left over from a cake. They went over really well – even (especially!) with self-professed doughnut lovers!


Great site!! My first visit, google sent me the baked donuts receipe and I had to go peak, printed it, and tomorrow my dear husband and I will eat fresh backed donuts. Thanks they sound delicious


They were simply amazing! I used half whole wheat pastry flour with no troubles. Thanks for the great recipe!


Really happy to hear things are going smoothly with this recipe in some of your kitchens. Liz, I’ll give the ww pastry flour a try next time as well. It’s good to know they turned out. Thanks for the feedback. -h


I made these this morning and they rocked the house. Love the blog. Great photos, great food.


I am looking forward to making this recipe with suger infused huckleberry’s. Maybe this week as a treat for the kids after school. I like the fact they are not fried. I agree with using milk instead of water to improve the texture of buns. Thanks for the recipe. The picture is wonderful.

Huckleberry Mom

I made these with vegan ‘butter’, rice milk and white whole wheat flour. I got a bit more of a rise and the dough was a bit stickier (as tends to happen with whole grain baking), but they tasted phenomenal.


I made these with my little sister today! This was a totally awesome recipe, and I’m pretty sure we ate half of them before the other half was out of the oven. Thank you so much!!


Made doughnuts today. A bit dense but that did not stop my kids from gobbling them up. We made a maple and chocolate topping with sprinkles of course. Thanks for the healthier alternative.


How much do I love my friend for forwarding me a link to your site? I’m in the middle of the first rise on these doughnuts so I’ll check back later and let you know how they turned out. I was also going to try to make a vegan version with soy milk and margarine just to see if it’s similar enough. We’re having breakfast for dinner tonight 🙂
One question–the butter that you add to the milk–is it melted? The dough looks fine, but you may want to specify. I microwaved the butter until it was soft, but not completely melted.
Thank you for the recipe.


I took this recipe and had my father over for a Valentine’s dinner last night and these turned out amazing! Thanks!


I think I’ll have to try this one out. I have regular cravings for donuts and these are much healthier. Maybe they won’t go to the hips so fast. Thanks for posting.


those look good


I have this fond memory of the one time my mother and I made doughnuts. It was fun, but then, I didn’t have to do the clean up!
My roommates have been on a frying kick lately: chicken, Snickers, Milky Ways, cheesecake… Been making me want to try doughnuts again, but I didn’t want to deal with the mess and fat. This sounds like a great alternative.
Also, I have a friend whose mom is from Finland. Gonna have to try the cardamom variant and see what he thinks!


I never considered making donuts because of the frying. Fried food and me is not a good combination. But they do appeal to me because they are sort of an institution. Glad I came across this suggestion. I like the nutmeg in the recipe.


Doughnuts that look outrageously delicious and are baked–oh thank you!
I really like your clean, crisp stylistic choices.

Susan from Food "Blogga"

I was thinking about how to make donuts without deep frying just the other day, and what do you know, someone else was thinking the same thing.
You just made my cooking life easier by giving me a trial recipe, thank you, thank you! Love your site.


Well, I am not much of a doughnut person, but feel the need to make these because they look so good. Plus maybe I like non-fried doughnuts better than they greasy sugary ones you can buy krispy/dunkin/hotties.
I really like the new layout. I especially love the “previously” on with all of your beautiful photography.


Your Doughnuts, it’s so wonderful, Ilove that. Thank for your recipe. Congratulations

pom d'api

Wow! I’m totally hooked on your site now, given that those donuts were the first thing I saw!

Dylan Duarte

I like the new layout, too! And I’m very happy that you seem to have realised the perfect Pan de Muerto in this recipe. (I know, I know, they’re baked doughnuts, but my first thought was: “Pan de Muerto like I remember it!”) I want to make these for Day of the Dead — I wonder if they would hold up in bone shapes…


Wow, what beautiful doughnuts. Simple but delicious! The lemon glaze sounds lovely — or maybe fresh raspberry?
I may have to make a batch this weekend and try the freezing suggestion. I imagine that if you let them thaw in the fridge and then raise for an hour like usual before baking, they should work just fine.


your timing is perfect! and the doughnuts look amazing! i just tried the most incredible doughnut muffin and i was going to research how to make that and then i cam across your recipe. i am going to try that along with a few other recipes to see what works best.


This recipe looks fabulous; just perfect for my doughtnut-loving partner with a cholesterol problem! Would it be possible, do you think, to mix the dough by hand? (I must be one of the few cooks on earth without a dough hook attachment . . . )


This donut recipe sounds miraculous, particularly for those of us who can’t/won’t eat the deep-fried variety any longer (and that after growing up with a Krispy Kreme right around the corner from my GA home).


I’m endlessly inspired by your beautiful and delicious creations. Love the new design. Can’t wait to try these luscious donuts. I’m a donut addict! Thanks!


This looks delicious and a healthier alternative!
I love the photo too!


Those are the best looking doughnuts I have ever seen! Wow!


I love the idea of baked donuts, and I am really happy you have posted this recipe. I have only once tried to make donuts, and they did not turn out very nice at all. I hate deep-frying so I will definitely give these a go on the weekend.
Thank you!


About the previous/next feature – I really did like it. I didn’t use it much, but if I had been out of town or just crazy busy and had not visited for a week or two, I would click through to see how many postings I had missed.


The recipe sounds wonderful! I’ll have to try it when I visit my fiancee at the end of the month; I’d like to make some sweet-but-healthy (well, healthier 🙂 things for us and this looks like it’ll fit the bill nicely.


This is wonderful, Heidi! I bought a mini doughnut baking tray last month (well, it looked cute and it was cheap), and I was about to search for baked doughnut recipes. No need now:)


I have to say your site always inspires me with new ideas and new twists for familiar recipes. Really like the redesign and I can’t wait to see the new book.
I wonder how cardamom instead of nutmeg and a chai flavored sugar instead of cinnamon sugar would work – I’m not a big fan of chai usually, but several friends are ardent fans and I’m starting to play around with those flavors.


Everything about these are great! And – Love the new look….:)


Meant to say thanks for the printer friendly recipe button.
Love it! Thanks.


These doughnuts look fantastic! I hope your new cookbook does well!

Jennifer A. Wickes

This recipe feels a lot like the Finnish twice rised sweet yeast bun “pulla”. You would just replace the nutmeg with cardamon and skip the sugar coating – and voila! Finnish traditinal pulla! 🙂


It’s really funny, but I happened to ask my business/life partner (who is also a professional chef) if he could concoct a recipe for baked doughnuts. Normally, he gets annoyed with me when I ask him these questions because he is not a pastry chef. But I did anyway because he and I are anti-frying-in-the-house. For once, he responded with a look that sort of said, “Now that’s an idea!”
Looks like you beat him to the punch. My hat is off to you! Keep it up with the updates!


Big fan of the site and I love the redesign! I have a request — a smaller batch of doughnuts! These sound delicious, but I can’t make a full batch just for my husband and me…Do you think the dough would last in the fridge for a couple days or no? (And I know I could just invite people over, but my apartment is tiny and what if I screw up the recipe? Then I’m embarrassed in front of all my friends. It’s a hard life I lead.) I have tried halving recipes in the past with mixed (usually bad) results. Please help!


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