Homemade donuts are surprisingly easy to make, and these Cinnamon Donuts are perfect around the holiday season. They are soft, fluffy, warm and so delicious!
Forget those boxes of store bought Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts. These homemade old fashioned cake donuts are baked, not fried. Wake up Christmas morning and start your day with these warm baked cinnamon donuts!
Cinnamon Donuts are simple, sugary, and a cozy homemade treat that I make every holiday season. But they are great all winter long! These classic baked donuts are sprinkled to perfection with sweet and earthy cinnamon, making each bite even better than the last.
The best way to enjoy them is with our homemade sweet peanut butter frosting and a warm cup of coffee or hot apple cider.
I have been baking my whole life and this recipe will work flawlessly in any recipe (try it on any of your favorite cake or bar recipe) and it’s great for making ahead or experimenting with different flavor combinations.
other easy frosting recipes to try:
- Maple frosting
- Buttercream frosting
- Peanut butter cream cheese frosting
- No fuss sugar cookie icing
- Cream cheese frosting
They are soft, light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious for Christmas morning!
Ingredients for Cinnamon Donuts
- All-purpose Flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
Pure vanilla extract: Using a high-quality pure vanilla extract gives a subtle rich sweet flavor while also bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients in the batter.
Milk: I find using whole or full fat milk is best for this recipe as it produces a rich dough that isn’t too heavy, but you can certainly replace it with low-fat or non dairy milk, just keep in mind that the texture won’t be as light and spongy.
Unsalted butter: In order to control the salt content of baked goods, it’s important to use unsalted butter as the salt content varies greatly from brand to brand. An overly salty baked good will result in a poor flavored product so if you are unable to use unsalted, be sure to reduce the added salt by ¼ teaspoon.
How to make Cinnamon Donuts
- STEP ONE: Spray donut pan (or muffin pan) with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- STEP TWO: Melt butter, you can do this on the stove in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave in 20 second increments. Let cool.
- STEP THREE: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- STEP FOUR: Whisk together milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and egg with the butter. Set aside.
- STEP FIVE: Create well in dry ingredients and pour butter/milk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir everything together until smooth and combined, about 1 minute using rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Batter will be slightly thick.
- STEP SIX: Using a large tablespoon, spoon the donut mixture into a greased donut pan.
- STEP SEVEN: Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- STEP EIGHT: Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
- STEP NINE: While the donuts are cooling, begin to work on the frosting.
How to store
Let the donuts cool completely, and store any untopped doughnuts at room temperature for several days. Make sure you don’t wrap them too tightly in plastic but instead, store them on a plate covered with a cake cover if you can. Add the cream cheese frosting right before serving.
What is the difference between baked donuts and fried donuts? Fried donuts are yeast-based, and they become light and airy when fried in oil. Baked donuts have a denser, more cake-like texture and rely on leaveners such as baking powder to provide some lift.
Can I make these baked cinnamon donuts in a different pan? Yes! If you don’t have a donut pan and still want to make this cinnamon donut recipe, use a muffin pan instead!
Can you make this batter into donut holes? Of course! Instead of using a donut pan, you can portion the batter into a mini muffin pan or doughnut hole pan, filling the wells about three quarters full. A teaspoon cookie scoop works well here. After baking, let the donut holes cool for about 5 minutes, and then toss them in my homemade pumpkin pie spice.
BBQ Bakers Tips & Tricks
- Full-fat milk really brings out the moistness in this donut. However, feel free to substitute with coconut or almond.
- To cook the donuts to perfection, when they are looking just about done, lightly poke the top of the donut with your finger. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. If your finger leaves an indent, the donuts need a little longer in the oven.
- If you don’t have a donut pan, you can make these baked pumpkin donuts in a standard muffin pan.
These baked cinnamon sugar donuts are soft, light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious for Christmas breakfast or dessert!
Other delicious donut recipes to try:
- Baked pumpkin donuts
- Baked strawberry donuts
- Baked eggnog donuts with candy cane buttercream frosting
- The best cinnamon apple baked donuts
- Easy banana bread donuts
Cinnamon Baked Donuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Preheat to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter, you can do this on the stove in a saucepan over medium heat or in microwave using 20 second increments.
- Whisk in large bowl the 1 cup flour, ½ tsp baking soda, 1½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ¼ tsp salt together. Set aside.
- Whisk the 4 tbsps. melted butter, 1 large egg, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup milk, and 1tsp vanilla extract together.
- Create well in dry ingredients and pour butter/milk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir everything together until smooth and combined, about 1 minute using rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Batter will be slightly thick.
- My favorite way is to spoon the batter into the donut cavities. However, you could use a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
- While the donuts are cooling, begin to work on the frosting.
- Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make ahead and freezing: You can freeze the donuts, best to freeze before frosting for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost with your favorite frosting. I really like this one: homemade sweet peanut butter frosting
- Don’t Over-Bake the Donuts: Baked donuts can become dry really easily, so check them with a toothpick a couple minutes early just to make sure you don’t over-bake them.
- 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.
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