Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Glaze.

Easy Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts - taste like Krispy Kreme!

You might want to sit down for what I’m about to tell you.

I’ve NEVER had a Cinnabon before. Yes, that’s correct. I’m a stranger to those ooey, gooey, vanilla glaze drippy, soft and moist (from what I’m told), HUGE cinnamon buns everyone knows and loves.  I know, I must live on another planet or something. Can someone please get this girl to the nearest mall or something stat?

While I can’t compare them to a Cinnabon, I can certainly tell you that they taste exactly like your mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls.  Or you know, the Pillsbury ones available in your local grocer’s dairy aisle.  But they are lowfat, baked donuts. Something not typically associated with cinnamon buns! My secret is applesauce and low fat buttermilk.

They are so moist, rich-tasting, and flavorful. And chock full of cinnamon flavor.  Feel free to add or reduce the amount of cinnamon if you prefer.  Now, let’s discuss that super drippy, luscious vanilla glaze. It’s a simple 3 ingredient glaze reminiscent of a Krispy Kreme glaze– unlike a Cinnabon, I’ve actually had a Krispy Kreme before!

You’ll be surprised just how cheap and easy it is to make baked donuts – they take less than 10 minutes in the oven! Plus, you have complete control over the ingredients you add in. Skip the bakery, make your donuts at home!

I found my donut pan at Target for under $10 and has been worth its weight in gold.

Easy Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts - taste like a Krispy Kreme donut!

Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

Yield: 8-9 donuts

Print Recipe

Baked (not fried) donuts at home. Delicious with coffee!



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more or less, depending on how strong of a cinnamon bun taste you’d like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted (do not omit!)

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons milk or cream (I used vanilla almond milk)


Preheat oven to 325F degrees and spray donut pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add applesauce, lowfat buttermilk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk or stir to combine.  Slowly add to the dry ingredients. Stir until *just combined.* Do not overmix.

Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, pipe the batter carefully into prepared donut pan making sure each cavity is only 2/3 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes (donuts should be fluffy and should spring back when touched - mine took exactly 10 minutes).

Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes. Dip into glaze.

While donuts are baking or cooling, combine the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add the milk or cream (whichever you are using), one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. I used 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of almond milk. Dip the donuts into the glaze after they’ve cooled for 5 minutes out of the oven.

Additional Notes:

Adapted from Averie Cooks

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


 ps: If you like these donuts, you will flip for my Mini (no yeast) Cinnamon Buns :)




93 Responses to “Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Glaze.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooksposted May 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Glad you tried my recipe and you have me craving donuts right now! They look delish!!


  2. #
    Choc Chip Uruposted May 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    These donuts sound just as delicious as fried and are much healthier – thanks 😀

    Choc Chip Uru


    • Sallyreplied on May 8th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      definitely MUCH healthier – soooo you can eat more of them, right? 😉


  3. #
    Emily @ She Makes and Bakesposted May 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I think everyone can forgive you for not having a Cinnabon but only because you posted this recipe. Looks incredible!!


    • Sallyreplied on May 8th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Ha! Thanks Emily… I should try one soon so I can make an accurate comparison. But for now, these taste just like homemade cinnamon buns :)


      • Jaime in Moroccoreplied on March 21st, 2015 at 4:41 pm

        I know I’m way late here but… have you gotten your buns to Cinnabon yet??

        • Sallyreplied on March 22nd, 2015 at 10:31 am

          I sure have! Obviously delicious.

  4. #
    Lynnaposted May 9, 2012 at 1:29 am

    i recently started making baked donuts too! & i seriously love them! ♥ totally agree with you. hehe~ will give this a try! 😀


  5. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrauposted May 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I may be in the minority, but I actually think the cinnabons smell far better than they taste. They always manage to be undercooked in the middle, with a weird chewy doughiness that really skeeves me out. These donuts look great – I’ve given my donut pan a 2 week rest, so I think it’s dying for a little more use!


    • jennSreplied on November 11th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      My kids and I thought the same! I think the idea of cinnabon is better than their actual cinnamon rolls. Lol


  6. #
    The Hungry Mumposted May 9, 2012 at 8:02 am

    *rushes out to buy donut pan*. These look so yum, can’t wait to try :)


    • Sallyreplied on May 9th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Ha! I highly suggest spending $10 on a donut pan! The possibilities are endless :)


  7. #
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crustposted May 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

    SO pretty. Oh, I want one so bad!


    • Sallyreplied on May 9th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Coming from you Dorothy – the queen of pretty desserts – that means alot!


  8. #
    Julie @ Table for Twoposted May 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

    i love all your donut creations! i wish you could box them up in a bakers dozen and just hand me some :) hehe I love donuts but what i love is that you bake them!! yum! i seriously need a donut pan!


    • Sallyreplied on May 9th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Julie! thank you so much. Definitely spend the $10 on a donut pan! I know you’d come up with the tastiest donut creations. :)


  9. #
    Laura Dembowskiposted May 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    These look soooo amazing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Cinnabon, but they are definitely worth a try. I can’t wait to make these donuts. I love cinnamon rolls of any kind, so I’m getting hungry just thinking about these. Found your blog through Pinterest, and it is really cute. I’ll definitely be coming back : )


    • Sallyreplied on May 9th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Laura! So nice to “meet” you. Reading this put a huge smile on my face, so THANK YOU! & thanks for stopping by! I love connecting with new readers just like you. :)


      • Laura Dembowskireplied on May 10th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        Thanks for coming over to my blog too, Sally! I really appreciate it. I’m new to the blogging scene and having a tough time building a following, especially among other bloggers, so it was so cool to see your comment. I can’t wait to see more of your recipes!

  10. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookingposted May 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Gaaah! I’m fighting all temptation to get a donut maker but these make the fight a million times harder! Great recipe, Sally.


  11. #
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Lifeposted May 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Never had a cinnabon??? Girl we need to get you one fast…they are amazing! Although honestly I like the calorie content of your donuts better so scratch that…let’s just meet up and chit chat over these yummy looking donuts!!!


  12. #
    Baking Serendipityposted May 12, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Cinnamon bun doughnuts are three seriously fantastic words.


  13. #
    Jennposted May 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Oh wow – these look incredible too! Where have you been all my life – ha ha! I’m a new follower via email.


    • Sallyreplied on May 16th, 2012 at 4:21 am

      Thanks Jenn! These donuts are definitely yummy. :) So glad to “meet” you. Thanks for checking out SBA :)


  14. #
    Mom Photographer (@MomPhotographer)posted May 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I LOVE your way of thinking :)
    and I LOVE the idea for baked donuts! I think I’m gonna give it a try pretty soon! thanks for the inspiration


  15. #
    Sarah Joposted May 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

    EXCELLENT recipe. I used lactose free milk instead of buttermilk and my Grandma’s recipe for Vanilla Glaze. I doubled it and got exactly 18 doughnuts but I had to scrape the pan to get the last one. Everyone loved it. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.


  16. #
    Samposted July 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Saw this and HAD to scour the internet to find a pan in the UK!! love the look of ALL your recipes and found some new snacks that have not made it over the water yet. Can’t wait for my next girls night, I’ll be wowing them with some of these! Keep em coming Sally x


    • Sallyreplied on July 22nd, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Sam! I hope you got a donut pan and enjoy these donuts!


  17. #
    Leaposted September 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Great-looking recipe, can’t wait to try it! Have ordered donut pans from Amazon. Love your blog!


    • Sallyreplied on September 7th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      I love my donut pan! You will too. Thank you for saying hi Lea!


  18. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipesposted November 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    You have me craving some donuts for the dinner! They look fabulous!


    • Sallyreplied on November 5th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Hey Angie!! Donuts for dinner — that’s not such a bad thing.. is it?! 😉


  19. #
    FevenandHelenaposted December 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Wow! These look delicious– faux-nuts. We must try this recipe. Thank you!


  20. #
    Heatmarshposted December 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    These were delicious! I’m stopping myself from eating another one or I won’t have any left to take into my work tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe. I like a little more cinnamon so next time I make them I’ll put more in. Also I liked the apple in them. They would be good with little pieces of apple as well.


    • Sallyreplied on December 9th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Even more cinnamon? I like your style! Little apple chunks – I like that idea too! Thank you for reporting back and I’m glad you enjoy them!


  21. #
    melanieposted January 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I made these with oat flour instead of flour and put them in my new mini donut maker I got for christmas… YUM!! great snack!


    • Sallyreplied on January 5th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      thanks for reporting back, melanie! I sould try these with oat flour sometime. I wish i had a cute mini donut pan. They make the most adorable little donuts!


  22. #
    Rachelposted January 14, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Do you have any suggestions for conatinering and trasnporting them? They are delicious but every time I make them the glaze sort of disintegrates into the doughnuts themselves instead of being the pretty shell on top. :) They are so delicious though!


    • Sallyreplied on January 14th, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hi Rachel! I suggest that you glaze them immediately before serving. If you’d like the glaze to be thicker, add a bit more powdered sugar. And a sprinkle of salt to offset the sweetness.


      • Rachelreplied on January 14th, 2013 at 10:53 am

        Ah to have that kind of time! Maybe I’ll try dipping them in the morning right before work :). Also just noting your buttermilk problems – you can freeze it in tablespoon increments in an ice cube tray then you’ll always have it on hand in easy measurments when you need it!

        • Sallyreplied on January 14th, 2013 at 11:00 am

          great idea, thanks so much Rachel!

  23. #
    Amyposted January 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I made these yesterday and the only thing I changed was to substitute half the flour with almond flour. They were PERFECT. I love my donut pan..and I bought mine at Target too! Thanks for your awesome recipes.


    • Sallyreplied on January 27th, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Hey Amy! That is SO great to hear. I’ve never tried these with almond flour – must give that a go sometime. I’m obsessed with my donut pan. I need to make donuts again stat. :)


  24. #
    Natalieposted February 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I subbed the egg for a flax egg and the buttermilk for almond milk to make these vegan and they turned out PERFECT!


    • Sallyreplied on February 4th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Fabulous, Natalie! I’m so glad to hear that. I’ve never tried these as vegan donuts before and I’m glad to know they are tasty 😉


  25. #
    Donnaposted February 5, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Wow….that is all!…and somewhat justifiable…healthy!…to boot!!….Do you think these would work with the electric mini or regular size donut makers?…For some strange reason one can find those easily in France…but NOT the actual low-tech donut pans…We have similar “savarin” pans/molds…but the indentation in the middle is not “high” enough to avoid batter over-taking the “hole” element!….I simply adore your site and you are bursting with baking prowess…Chapeau!


    • Sallyreplied on February 5th, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Yes! These will work perfectly in a donut maker too. :) I think that’s so funny you can find the makers but not the pans! I wish I had a maker. Someday!


  26. #
    Saraposted February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    For those who discover this recipe and are without a donut pan (but it’s definitely on the shopping list now!!) but have a muffin pan – I took small pieces of foil, and shaped them around the top of the handle on a wooden spoon, then fanned out the bottoms to create ‘holes’. After a generous spray of cooking spray an using the Ziploc bag method to distribute the batter – it worked!

    Baked about 15 minutes, 5 min out of oven and followed icing instructions and they were amazing! Make sure to spray well with cooking spray, I feel like I lost some valuable donut real estate removing the foil from the bottoms before icing.

    All and all an amazing recipe for a cold Sunday! I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you so much!! Cured my long craving for a delicious, warm cake-like donut! :)


    • Sallyreplied on February 11th, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Hey Sara! This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your donut trick! There is quite nothing like warm donuts on a cold winter day.


  27. #
    Christine Yposted February 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Hi there! I am always looking for new recipes for my customers! ( )I love what I’ve found on your page! I noticed on one recipe it said it’s ok to share them as long as we give you credit, I just want to make sure that is still your policy! (like adding your website here to the end of the recipe) I did it once but just wanted to double check before I shared any more!
    These look amazing and I plan on making them soon!!! I didn’t have buttermilk so I was happy to see that you can substitute milk! 😀 I think I’ll make them in the Pampered Chef Brownie pan since I don’t have a donut pan (never heard of that but sounds like a great thing to have!) Thank you for this amazing site!!!


    • Sallyreplied on February 22nd, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      You may share a link to my recipes at any time! Thank you!


  28. #
    Angelaposted March 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Just made these as muffins and they are delicious!!! I didn’t have apple sauce, so I substituted it with mashed banana. I also didn’t have buttermilk, so I used almond milk. I also used 1/4 almond flour and 3/4 regular all purpose. They tasted a little like banana, but that was a good thing. Yummy!!! Will be making these again. I think I’ll double the recipe next time.


    • Sallyreplied on March 23rd, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Sounds like perfection, Angela. I’ll have to try them with banana next time. Thank you for reporting back!


  29. #
    Courtneyposted March 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Oooh I cannot wait to try these! If they’re a hit like I hope I’m definitely going to make mini ones for my daughter’s minnie mouse birthday party! :)


    • Sallyreplied on March 23rd, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      that sounds like such a fun party! :) Enjoy Courtney!


  30. #
    Teresa Dposted March 31, 2013 at 9:37 am

    These were great! My family and I loved them 😀


    • Sallyreplied on April 1st, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      That’s great Teresa! I love these donuts. I need to make them again soon!


  31. #
    maliposted May 23, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Sally, I’ve just spent the last 2 days looking at all of your recipes, especially the “skinny” ones. I also try to substitute applesauce for 1/2 of the oil but didn’t realize it could sub all of the fat. I used soy mild and nut oil so that it would be dairy less. Just made the donuts…boy will my son be happy when he gets home. Now, on to the chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes.


    • Sallyreplied on May 23rd, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Hi Mali! So glad you’re enjoying the healthier options on my website. Your adapted donuts sound great!


  32. #
    Emily @ Life on Foodposted June 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Growing up a Cinnabon was the ultimate treat. I need one of these donuts in my life.


  33. #
    angieposted July 9, 2013 at 5:01 am

    hi Ms. Sally,

    Have you tried Cro-nut from scratch? i hope you do. making puff pastry from scratch is tough, and takes a lot of time too. But i love to try making those.


    • Sallyreplied on July 9th, 2013 at 8:49 am

      No, I haven’t. I don’t think I’ll try either! Thanks Angie.


  34. #
    Ainaposted July 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Okay thanks no problem


  35. #
    Lisaposted July 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Gonna grab my car keys and head to the store to get a donut pan! I can already tell this is going to be a favorite in this house!! I love the idea of using vanilla almond milk too!


  36. #
    Morganposted July 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I always loved TJ cinnimons better then cinnimons :) I was just looking for a baked donut recipe and voila, one appears! Thanks, they are breakfast for the kids tomorrow


    • Morganreplied on July 30th, 2013 at 3:25 pm



  37. #
    Beeposted August 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Is it possible to make these without a donut pan?


    • Sallyreplied on August 28th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      It sure is! You may make in a muffin pan. Add a few extra minutes to the bake time. The muffins will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


  38. #
    Kanposted September 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    This is probably blasphemous… But could these be made without any cinnamon? What should I add (or not) if making them without?


    • Sallyreplied on September 19th, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Kan! Don’t worry, you can leave out the cinnamon. I fear they wouldn’t have much taste though. Maybe add some vanilla seeds scraped from a vanilla bean. That would be delicious!


  39. #
    Miriamposted November 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm


    I would like to make these, but a guest of mine can’t do dairy. Is there a substitute for the buttermilk that would work?

    I’ve been plowing through all of your recipes. So good!!!

    Thanks so much.


    • Sallyreplied on November 24th, 2013 at 10:48 am

      A dairy-free yogurt should work just fine. Hope you enjoy!


  40. #
    connieposted January 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Sally these donuts was awesome ,my husband and I ate the whole batch in one day.Very bad for both of us, just wondering how many calories per one.


    • Sallyreplied on January 5th, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Hi Connie! I’m not sure of the calorie count. I’m glad you liked them!


  41. #
    Moniqueposted May 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Made these today using my mini donut pan. Really good.


  42. #
    Abbyposted June 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Hey Sally!

    These look amazing! Was wondering if you could substitute the apple butter for anything? Not sure I can get it easily in the uk!


    • Sallyreplied on June 2nd, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      You can also try making your own applesauce at home. Bake some apples until they are soft and process/blend them.


  43. #
    Hannah W.posted July 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Hi Sally! Do you know of any way I could incorporate maple syrup into this recipe to make a maple cinnamon donut? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on July 7th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Hey Hannah! Your recipe idea sounds fantastic. What about 1 teaspoon of maple extract in the donut recipe (leave out the vanilla extract). Or maybe 2 Tablespoons maple syrup instead of the white sugar. I’ve never tested that before, so I cannot guarantee best results. You could try adding maple syrup or extract to the glaze as well.


  44. #
    Debbi Kohutposted August 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t own a donut pan, but would they turn out okay if a cut them with a donut cutter and baked them in the oven?


    • Sallyreplied on August 7th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      No, the batter is liquid and must go into a pan. It’s not a yeast dough recipe.


  45. #
    Maudeposted October 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    These look so good! I’m leaving in a few minutes to go buy a donut pan :) Do you think I could add some pumpkin to these? How much?
    Thank you I love your recipes


    • Sallyreplied on October 18th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      I’m sure you could – I’m just not sure how much. Perhaps replace the applesauce with pumpkin?


  46. #
    Indri Fiktariaposted November 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I think I’m gonna try this recipe for spending weekend. Bu I just realized, that I don’t have any applesauce. I’m not sure I can find it in my country. Do you have any suggestion, something that can be a substitute for this applejuice?

    Thank you…


    • Sallyreplied on November 21st, 2014 at 7:44 am

      how about yogurt? or canola/vegetable oil or melted butter?


      • Indri Fiktariareplied on November 21st, 2014 at 10:12 am

        Oh, Oke Sally… I’ll try.

        Thank you so much for replying..

  47. #
    Beaposted November 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Hi Sally, These look so yummy! I’m going to try them out for my sisters birthday. Do you know how long it would take to bake mini donuts?


  48. #
    Melissaposted January 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

    This is the fourth recipe from your website that I have baked. I love them all! This baked donut is just perfect!!! Superduper yummy! My teenager sons gave me hugs after biting into these! i love them because we will be able to save money. No more buying donuts. Nor cinnamon rolls.haha.Thank you so much!


    • Melissareplied on January 22nd, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Sally i made these again and doubled the batter. But the second set of donuts from the doubled batter was more chewy/tougher.Next time I will just mix a second batch of batter instead of doubling the batter.
      P.s. thistime I shared the donuts with friends and they loved it! Thanks again!!!


  49. #
    Jennyposted February 1, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I LOVE cinnamon! Instead of donuts could I use this recipe to make donut holes? If so, how would I do that?


    • Sallyreplied on February 1st, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Use a mini muffin pan– I’m unsure about the bake time.


  50. #
    Jaime in Moroccoposted April 10, 2015 at 7:29 am

    OK. I have a problem. A reeeeeeally good one. I’ve made these 6 times this month. They are my absolute go-to recipe for when people drop by (because they cook so fast) and for when I’m in the mood for something sweet—you know like every second of the day. Is there a way to send you a picture?


  51. #
    Azuposted April 22, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    A few weeks ago I bought a donut pan and I cannot stop searching for recipes to prepare. When I lived in Canada, I used to eat a Cinnabon almost every day, but it have been years since the last time I had one. These donuts are in my to-do list. Pinned!


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