You Can Make Your Own Donuts (Without A Deep Fryer)

April 29, 2013   45 Comments

Snack Girl has a donut problem. She can tell you within a five mile radius where all the delicious donuts can be purchased.

Homemade Donut Recipe

In fact, Saveur rated a cider donut (about two miles from my door) as the NINTH best donut in America. Yikes!

When I saw the donut pan below on another food blog, I was excited. Moi? I could bake my own donuts? Could it be as good as a deep fried donut?

I told a few friends about my idea and everyone thought I was nuts. But, I had to try because of the awful nutritional facts for donuts. For example - Little Debbie powdered sugar cake donut:

290 calories, 13.0 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 39.0 g carbohydrates, 18.0 g sugar, 5.0 g protein, 1.0 g fiber, 400 mg sodium, 8 Points+

That is just one!!! The sodium here is what I wasn’t expecting. Why is it 400 mg? That seems out of control for a sweet food.

I drove to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and bought the donut pan below for $9.99 for my experiment. Then I fooled around with the recipe adding white whole wheat flour and reducing the sugar and salt.

This is what they looked like out of the oven:

I gotta tell you, these were good. Part of the reason is that they are warm out of the oven when you eat them. Yum! They are fluffy, not too sweet, and have a nice cake texture.

This recipe is the base recipe for other additions (such as blueberries or cocoa powder). If you guys like these, I can keep working on new flavors.

Would you try to make your own donuts?

Cake Donut Recipe

1.6 from 15 reviews

Makes 6 donuts

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1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted
confectioner’s sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add the buttermilk, egg, and butter and mix until well blended.

Spoon into donut pan and fill wells until 2/3 full. Bake for 7-9 minutes until top of doughnut springs back from your touch. Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.

In a ziploc bag, add about 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar. Add donut and shake until coated (repeat). Serve warm or store in a sealed container for later.

Nutrition Facts

136 calories, 3.2 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 23.8 g carbohydrates, 10.0 g sugar, 4.3 g protein, 2.1 g fiber, 143 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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That's quite a difference in calories and macros! Thanks for the recipe

I have so many donut pans of round and heart shape, yet I haven't made donuts in months and I mean months. Thanks for reminding me and thank you for the recipe!! Going to give it a try!

I've shared (both the recipes and the goodies) 3 different recipes at my WW meetings. They were thrilled to know they could still eat donuts!

They look lovely! Have to practice mindful eating though to make sure I don't eat them all straight out of the oven!

Was I reading into this too much or was snack girl really excited about this post? Think I might have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

I AM excited. We made donuts all weekend, I am happy to say. We added blueberries in small amounts and they were quite good. As for gluten-free - maybe GF girl has an option? I am not talented in baking - every once in a while I get something right. Thanks for your comments!!

I am also interested in a gluten-free option. I've had a lot of luck with this GF flour blend recipe, and I'm wondering if it would work for these doughnuts.

Makes 4 cups:
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour

(I also add some xanthan gum to some recipes, and the amount of XG varies depending on the recipe. the XG bag usually has guidelines written on the back.) Precise measuring is very important for GF baking. You need to pour the flours into the measuring cup instead of scooping. When you scoop, you can get up to 20% more flour than when you pour. It can mess up a recipe. GF recipes are very tricky this way.

All of these ingredients are pretty inexpensive, and I think that the cost of making this flour blend is on par with buying regular wheat flour. I keep it in an airtight Tupperware container in my pantry, and it stays good for a long time. I buy my ingredients for this at Ocean State Job Lot, btw. Very cheap.

Those look great! I really need to get a donut maker. They truly are the best Sunday morning breakfast!

I can't wait to try these! I haven't had a donut in 6 months! Also, I bought the Healthy Bread in 5 book that you mentioned and am in love with making great healthy artisian style bread.

I'd love to see some more donut variations. I can follow a recipe but not very adventurous. Thanks Snack Girl - I love your blog!

Your timing is perfection! I am having a coffee-themed party this weekend and was thinking of buying some locally made donuts. I think it would be WAY more fun to make my own though. Thank you! I'm wondering if adding cocoa powder to some of them would work to make chocolate donuts...hmmmm....

Snack Girl- I too have a love for donuts! While my friends drool over cupcakes, I admire the box of donuts next to them. I just discovered a place in Chicago, not far from my house, called Dazed and Infused. This place should be illegal! They even have a maple/bacon donut! Yikes.

Thanks so much for this post. I'm definitely going to have to give it a try!

How about low carb options, ones that use ground flax seed?

Thanks for this! I tried one from Epicurious and they were not tasty. Looking forward to trying!

There are gluten-free donut recipes on

@Irene - See Laura's comment.

@Laura - you beat me! I was going to recommend Edible Perspective as well. :-) Love her site - and she has a new GF donut cookbook coming out soon - yay!

I love my donut pan. For those of you who were looking for a gluten-free recipe, I have a recipe for gluten-free, vegan apple cider donuts on my website. They are so good!…

What about the electric donut makers out there now, would they work the same?

I would love to try this recipe but I never have buttermilk on hand - any suggestions on what I can substitute for the buttermilk?

Maria, I believe that regular milk and lemon juice can be substituted for buttermilk - just do a google search on buttermilk substitution.

@ maria - 1 tbsp of either fresh lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring container. Add milk to the 1 cup mark. Let sit 5 minutes before using in your recipe. Fresh juice works best for me, but vinegar does well in a pinch. Bottled lemon juice, however, doesn't seem to do much of anything.

Maria: You can make a substitute buttermilk with some vinegar or lemon juice and regular milk -…, but the nutritional value might not be as good.

thanks for posting this . I was just telling my husband...wouldn't it be great to bake some donuts? I really need that pan!!! OMG

It is a good thing that I am not near Atkin's Farm and their cider donuts! My husband and I went to UMass and we would drive over and get those delicious hot cider donuts!

Looking foward to trying this recipe so that we

don't have to be deprived of the tasty treats!

Wow, what a great idea and a great recipe!! I'm always tempted by the doughnut spread at our church on Sundays - and always saying, "Gee, I wish there were a healthier low-calorie option!" Now I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and make a few of these for next Sunday! :-)

Maria - add 1 teaspoon vinegar to milk and let it sit a couple of minutes.

My recipe with almond flour.
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground giner
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin

Mix dry ingredients. Separate bowl wet ingred.

Grease pan. Spoon batter into the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 340.

I bet a few people are wondering if this could be done with Truvia... like half sugar half Truvia? Half the sugar?

Yes, I would love to and am going to buy one!! i love donuts but not the fat and calories...I love the gadgets on your website..I ordered the fruit infusion pitcher and water bottle last week and got the pitcher today..I have strawberries and blueberries to experiment yes, please post donut recipes!! they would make great snacks for the car...thank you!!

Quick question...does your nutritional info include the powdered sugar? This looks awesome and I can't wait to get a pan! Thank you.

Hi Vicky--regarding Truvia [which sounds so earnest! :) ], I read a nice synopsis of sugar last week by Food Babe you might find interesting. I personally have switched from agave to granulated stevia to stevia drops and now stick with either honey or maple syrup as my safest bet for sweeteners BUT I'm now considering homemade liquid stevia bec it sounds easy and fun; looking for a stevia plant in next few weeks. Here's that article:…

I'm a pinterest addict, but it's handy when people ask stuff like is there a GF version - there are all kinds of things here: - even Banana Bacon Almond Butter Donuts. o.O

We make baked donuts all the time! Several recipes on my blog, but many more pinned too try :-) I've also used a 'cake pop' pan to make donut kids love them!

I would love to see a cinnamon apple version too!

Buttermilk one cup measure...put either one table lemon juice or vinegar and fill to top with reg milk stir the way I am diabetic but I can still have like one of these donuts....I am excited to make these!!

maria, you can make your own version of buttermilk, i think it is a cup of milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. let it sit until it starts to curdle; maybe 10 minutes. i do it all the time works well.

I love donuts too. Usually I love the traditional homemade donuts you know the one they top it with butter cream and then chocolate sprinkles. yummm..

Thanks to all for the buttermilk substitutes - who knew that's all it was!!!

I've always said that medical science should offer donut patches in addition to nicotine patches. And chocolate chip cookie patches, and cupcake patches...

@maria, I keep a tin of powdered buttermilk in the pantry; mix up as much as you need for a recipe.

buttermilk can be made by putting 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and then adding milk to make 1 cup (so the 1/2 cup in this recipe would be 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar and add milk to make 1/2 cup).

I made these Gluten Free this weekend (and they were awesome!). I replaced the 1 cup of flour with 3/4 cup of GF All Purpose (I use the King Arthur blend - which I mix up myself in bulk, but can be bought premixed as well) and 1/4 cup of Teff flour. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of Xantham Gum. They were very tasty :)

I've been searching for donut recipes and this looks wonderful

I always use the deep fryer to make doughnuts but I think this is a healthy way to make doughnuts.

Maria, don't know if it's too late but I rarely have buttermilk but need it for my pumpkin bread and/or banana bread.

Use 1 c milk and add 1 tablespoon vinegar, mix & let stand.

Great recipe. I love donuts but don't eat them often, losing weight for health reasons. I plan to try these and let you know how I like them.

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