Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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

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)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees and spray donut pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes. Dip into glaze.
  5. 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.

Recipe Notes:

Adapted from Averie Cooks

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© 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 🙂




  1. 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.

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. Okay thanks no problem

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. Is it possible to make these without a donut pan?

    • 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.

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

    • 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!

  9. Sally,

    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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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!

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

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

    • 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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?

  18. 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!

    • 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!!!

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

  20. 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?

  21. 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!

  22. My five year old daughter is obsessed with donuts so for Christmas this year I printed off all of your donut recipes and made them into a “book” for her and got her a donut pan and she loves it! Every Saturday now she wakes up and asks to make donuts! We made these ones this last weekend and she loved them! Next up in the book is the strawberry glazed donuts. 🙂

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