Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!

Happy Tuesday slash Happy belated National Donut Day!

Can every day be National Donut Day? I feel like waking up to the obnoxiously loud alarm every morning would be a lot easier if there was a fresh-baked donut waiting for us downstairs. From the donut fairy, of course. Ugh. Dreamworld.


Just in case you didn’t get your donut fix last weekend, here’s a new recipe to try this week. Besides jelly donuts and maple donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts theeee best. You’re allowed to have 3 favorite donut varieties. I’m not sure if you knew that.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!

Side note: Let me talk about the most incredible Nutella donuts. We had my birthday party at a bar/restaurant known for its Nutella donuts last weekend. Little fried balls of dough, that came straight out of the kitchen steaming hot, with gooey Nutella inside. Yes. Served with pistachio gelato. (!) And a birthday candle. O-M-G. I need to figure out how to make them.

So, you’re actually allowed to have 4 favorite donuts.

I made these cinnamon sugar donuts last week after a friend told me she made and loved the powdered sugar donuts from my 1st cookbook. And suddenly the salad I was eating over our lunch conversation suddenly began tasting like yard clippings and all I wanted was a warm donut and a cappuccino. Shocking.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts - Cinnamon

How cute?! These measuring spoons! I found them at a tiny kitchen shop called The Little Apple in Philadelphia.

So naturally, I made donuts the next morning. This is the same exact recipe that I use for quite a few of my donut recipes. I’m a firm believer in having a few solid base recipes and reusing them for new varieties. Like chocolate cupcakes (here, here, and here), vanilla cupcakes (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), muffins (here, here, here, and here), and now donuts (here, here, here, here!).

In other words, a basic donut recipe will take you far in breakfast life.

The recipe is quite standard. Flour, egg, butter, sugar, milk. I like to add yogurt to my donut batter for a little extra moisture. Likewise, I prefer to use brown sugar instead of granulated for moisture and a flavor boost. One of my favorite additions to this donut batter is nutmeg. Now, it sounds a little strange and out of place, but I swear by it. It truly gives these donuts that special “bakery” flavor.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts - Cinnamon

The cinnamon sugar coating is nothing more than cinnamon and sugar. Mind blowing. The baked donuts get a little dip into melted butter (yesssss!) and then a very, very generous dunk into the cinnamon sugar mixture.

The best part? Drumroll, please. These donuts are baked, not fried. So, there is much less work involved and, since it’s summer and everything, much less oil involved. You are welcome!

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!

By the way, here is the donut pan I own. It’s the only special tool you’ll need to make this recipe. If you don’t have one, a muffin pan will easily work instead. Donut tip: To get the donut batter neatly into the donut pan, use a large ziplock bag. Cut a hole in one corner and pipe the batter into the pan. It’s soooo much easier and neater this way.

This recipe only makes 8 donuts, so I suggest doubling the recipe for a larger family or guests. 8 donuts is the perfect number for just the two of us. I froze a few extra so I didn’t have 4-5 leftover donuts breaking down my self control all week.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 donuts
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!


  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (65g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.
  4. Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for about two minutes and transfer to a wire rack set on a large piece of parchment paper or on a large baking sheet. Bake the remaining donut batter (there is usually enough batter for 1-2 more donuts) and once baked, transfer to the wire rack. Allow donuts to cool down until you can handle them.
  5. Top the donuts: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Dip the donuts in the melted butter, then dunk into the cinnamon sugar mixture coating all sides. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap ’em for a couple seconds.
  2. Muffins: You can make this recipe into 8-10 muffins using a muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Milk: Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk is OK. I like to use buttermilk. Room temperature is best for this recipe.
  4. Yogurt: Nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK. I like to use low fat plain Greek yogurt. Room temperature is best for this recipe.
  5. Sugar: If you don’t prefer the little “crunch” with the granulated sugar coating, use confectioners’ sugar instead.

Keywords: baked donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts

A ring of perfection if you will.

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-baked cinnamon sugar donuts, but what makes this recipe a winner is how EASY it is!

These cinnamon-sugar bakery style donuts are baked not fried! They're so simple.


  1. You never let me down Sally! Have your books, follow you on Insta… what took me so long to make these little rings of yumminess?? Easy, perfect and delicious! Thanks as always!

  2. I have a son with food allergies, and donuts out aren’t a possibility. We made this recipe (substituting a flax egg for the egg), and it was a hit. These are so yummy! They tasted as if they’d been fried, but the calorie counts says otherwise. We will be making these a lot. We’ve tried numerous donut recipes, and these were by far the fastest and the best-tasting. They are absolutely delicious!

  3. Used cloud 9 gluten free flour
    Coconut oil and coconut sugar instead and they were impressive! Thank you

  4. These were delicious! But I’m curious how you got them to look so much like a donut! I had to use a muffin pan so naturally mine just looked like muffins :/ The flavor was so good though!

  5. Can you make these in a donut hole pan? Assume just shorten cooking time? might they store making a day ahead? Thanks!

    1. Yes, a donut hole pan works! Cover tightly and store at room temperature if you are making them a day ahead!

    2. Hello! If you freeze them, have you already sugar/cinnamon coated them? Or could you do that once warmed up? I’m party prepping. Any tips would be fabulous. Thank you ❤️

      1. Hi Ana! You can freeze the donuts with or without the cinnamon sugar coating on top. For the absolute freshest taste/texture, I recommend freezing without the cinnamon sugar coating and adding that right before serving.

  6. Just made these this morning as a surprise for my kids…can’t wait for them to WAKE UP..(they like to sleep in….) and see the pile of doughnuts freshly homemade!!!

  7. I made these today they were a big hit with the family , I used coconut yoghurt and coconut milk as that’s all I had and they worked a treat will be adding this recipe to my regular baking thank you for sharing x

  8. OUTRAGEOUS!!! Batter is a bit messy, but the donuts are incredible. I didn’t have any yogurt, so I used apple butter. Wowza! So moist, so light, so delish!

  9. I just tried these and are delicious. However when I dunked them in butter before adding the cinnamon sugar they absorbed a ton of it and didn’t taste that great. Any suggestions?

    1. Mari instead of dunking in Butter I used a pastry brush to brush the butter on before coating with the sugar mixture. Worked great

  10. Hi, I baked this donuts today and since I didn’t have a donut pan, baked them in cupcake moulds. The batter rose in the centre just like muffin / cupcake would. Any idea why that would have happened? Thanks

    1. You probably overfilled the muffin pan. That will cause them to dome. I have a cookie scoop that is the exact right amount for muffin pans. Now my muffins/cupcakes come out perfect every time.

  11. I was looking for a small batch of baked donuts and stumbled onto this one. Man am I glad I did! Light, moist, easy, quick, and SOOO delicious! I will make these as often.

    1. The thrift shop blessed me with a donut pan and I just made my first batch with this recipe. Omg they are sooooooo good. No, like these are better than any fried cake donut. Thank you thank you. I used almond breeze reg. And cream cheese in place of yogurt. Just amazing. It’s so hard Not eat them all at 11pm. I will be making more in the morning. So quick and easy.
      I’m gonna experiment with applesauce in place of butter, honey and maybe flax seed egg or bannna.

  12. I made this recipe and doubled it and it turned out great..will try it again many times in the son in law though they were delicious…hot out of the oven .plain…

  13. Hello Sally, a few questions pls:
    Can this be used in a mini- donut machine?
    How long can fully prepared batter be left at room temp?
    I know you nixed the no yogurt/replacement idea, but for non-discerning kids, is there a big difference in taste and texture?
    Thank you, much obliged.

    1. I haven’t used this recipe in a mini donut machine, so I can’t say for sure. Since the baking powder is initially activated once wet, I wouldn’t let the batter sit for too long. Applesauce or even mashed banana could be a replacement for the yogurt!

  14. Hi Sally,
    My mother loves donuts! We are celebrating her 80th birthday and I’m going to make her a giant donut cake – when I stumbed across your recipe I starting thinking hmmmm hmmm do you think this would would baked up in a giant silicone donut shaped cake pan — or too dense? I can always go with cake but how much fun would it be for the actual cake to be a baked donut or 2 sandwiched together? Thanks Diana

    1. I think that would be great– what a fun birthday cake! I’m unsure how many batches of this batter you would need to fill a donut shaped cake pan, though. The bake time will obviously be a little longer. Let me know if you try anything out!

      1. Thanks Sally! First try I just used the proportions here to get an idea of how many batches I would need. Cooking time about 25 minutes. The recipe is delicious. The little boys next door loved the experiment. Forgot to take a picture but will take a picture of the final cake.

    2. Diana, how many batches did you end up using for the giant donut cake? I am planning on doing something similar for my daughter’s birthday. Thanks for any help!

      1. Hi Danica you can get away with a single batch. Slice through the middle and fill. I ended up doubling the recipe. It was a hit with the older crowd, but the little boys next door who are my taste testers loved it too. It’s a really good recipe. Good luck. I don’t know how to post a picture.

  15. Thanks Sally for this delicious small-batch recipe! Sooo good! We try to avoid fried foods and this light and tasteful recipe is perfect. Any tips on how to transfer the batter in the zip-lock bag without it being a big mess? Also, there is no non-stick spray where I live but using oil didn’t stop the donuts sticking to the pan 🙁

    1. Hi Anaïs! So, unfortunately, the zipped-top bag trick will always be a little messy. Some batter sticks to the bag no matter what! For greasing the pan, how about a generous smear of butter instead?

  16. Hi Sally,

    I have already commented previously, but I LOVE these donuts. They are so incredibly soft and moist….but that is also my dilemma as well! I wanted to make these for a donut wall (varieties of it including your glazed ones) but because they are so soft, they fall apart easily enough that I don’t think they could be hung on a peg for a donut wall. Do you have any recommendations on how to make them slightly ‘harder’ but not stale! I was wondering if I removed the yogurt, would that work. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jane! Sounds so fun!! So happy to help. The best way to make a firmer donut would be to replace the milk with more yogurt/sour cream. They’ll be a bit more dense and sturdier that way. Same bake time.

      1. Oh wow, ok thanks. I will try that! I thought it was the sour cream that made it incredibly moist! I’ll try this recipe again nxt wk and let you know! Thanks!

  17. Curious as to how long I should leave the milk and yogurt sitting out to be ‘room temperature’. I would worry that they would ‘go bad’.

  18. So… I don’t have a donut pan. So… Can I like use something else like a pop cake thing but it is donuts?
    TTYL ( talk to you later)

    1. Hi Zoe, You can make this recipe into 8-10 muffins using a muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

  19. Hi Sally

    I made these and they turned out good but were really really dense. Any suggestions on how I could fix that?
    Thanks 🙂

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally