Breads & Doughs, Breakfast

Homemade Donuts: Baked Better than Fried?

4.60 from 895 votes
Homemade Donuts are much easier to make than you think and I'll show you how to bake them into a gorgeous treat that I think are better than fried ones.
Donuts, Homemade, Gemma Stafford, Recipes, Breakfast, Bigger Bolder Baking, Bold Baking Breakfast

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Hi Bold Bakers!

By popular demand, I’m bringing you my favorite Baked Donuts done 3 BIG & BOLD ways! I think you’ll like my baked donuts better than the usual fried ones, and I don’t think you’ll miss the extra fat and mess from a deep fryer. With that said, let’s get out those baking sheets and get to baking.

Is A Baked Donut Recipe Healthier Than A Recipe For Fried Donuts?

Yes, they definitely are.  A typical fried glazed donut will be around 269 calories, while a baked donut will have much fewer. The difference is the fact that you won’t be dealing with any extra fat from the oil from frying when you bake.

A pile of baked homemade donuts covered in cinnamon sugar.

What’s The Difference Between Homemade Cake Donuts And Yeast Donuts?

While this homemade donut recipe uses yeast as its leavening agent, a cake donut recipe uses baking soda or baking powder. Subsequently, you can expect cake donuts to be a bit more cake-like in texture.

How To Make Homemade Donuts

This easy-baked donut recipe is not only healthier than the fried option but making homemade donuts from scratch is tastier than store-bought options because it will be fresh out of the oven. Here’s how you make your own donuts right at home, baked (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements down below):

  1. Mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a standing mixer with a dough hook.
  2. Heat together milk, water, butter in a measuring jug until lukewarm. Then stir in vanilla.
  3. Turn the standing mixer on low and add in the wet ingredients.
  4. Run spatula under the dough to make sure it’s mixed well.
  5. Increase the speed to medium for 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Rub the mixing bowl with vegetable oil.
  7. Place dough in a mixing bowl and coat lightly.
  8. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise slowly for 90 minutes to 2 hours until it’s doubled in size.
  9. Turn out dough on a floured surface.
  10. Roll out until it’s a half-inch in thickness.
  11. Using a floured-dusted round cutter, cut donut circles. Using a smaller cutter, cut out a donut hole.
  12. Cover donut with cling film and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
  13. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  14. Unwrap donuts. Brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle the tray with water.
  15. Bake for 13 minutes.
  16. Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and water.
  17. Dunk freshly baked donuts right out of the oven into the glaze with a fork.
  18. After letting excess glaze drip off, place on a cooling rack to dry.
  19. Once it dries, double-dip it one more time and repeat the drying process.

Baked glazed donuts on a cooling rack.

How To Make Homemade Donut Holes

Donut holes, or doughnut holes, are the literal definition of leftovers. While excess dough from making baked yeast donuts can be discarded, why waste a perfectly good second recipe for donut holes. Bake the spare donut holes from making donuts along with the donuts and then follow these easy steps.

  1. Mix sugar, pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
  2. Toss your warm dough from the oven into bowl with melted butter.
  3. Toss the holes into sugar-spice mix and coat.
  4. Set aside on wire rack.

How To Make Stuffed Nutella Donuts

If you want to make stuffed donuts, just avoid cutting out the donut holes. Bake the donut as you would normally do and once it’s cooled follow these quick steps:

  1. Fill a piping bag with Nutella.
  2. Poke a hole in the bottom of the donut with a small knife.
  3. Fill donuts with filling.
  4. Do a little swirl on top.

Cream filled baked donuts.

Taste And Consistency Of Homemade Baked Donuts

Fluffy, sweet, and savory, your easy homemade donuts should be savory, with a hint of golden brown. And if you’ve added your glaze, it should be a little runny rather than flaky. Get out the paper towels, because it’s going to be messy but delicious.

How To Store Homemade Glazed Donuts

Your best bet is to enjoy homemade glazed donuts immediately. Introducing moisture to the glaze, even in a fridge, will ruin the glaze. You can freeze the glazed donut in an airtight container, but be sure to defrost the glazed donut at room temperature for 10 minutes or so.

Get more Donut Recipes:

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Homemade Donuts: Baked Better than Fried?

4.60 from 895 votes
Homemade Donuts are much easier to make than you think and I'll show you how to bake them into a gorgeous treat that I think are better than fried ones.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 15 Donuts
Prep Time 25 minutes
Homemade Donuts are much easier to make than you think and I'll show you how to bake them into a gorgeous treat that I think are better than fried ones.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 15 Donuts


For the Donut Dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups (460g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dried yeast
  • 4 tablespoons (57g/2oz) butter
  • 1 cup (225ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons water (maybe more needed. you want a runny glaze)

Pumpkin Pie Spice Donut Holes - A MUST TRY!

  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/60g) butter (melted)
  • Mix together in a bowl 1 cup (200g) of Sugar and 4 Tblsp of pumpkin pie spice ( If not available you can use cinnamon)
  • Toss in your warm dough form the oven into the butter covering each piece.
  • Using a fork toss the holes into the sugar spice mix and coat.
  • Set them aside on a wire wrack and continue with the rest of the donut holes
  • Serve with chocolate ganache or sauce. Best eaten the day they are baked.

Stuffed Nutella Donuts

  • Fill a piping with nutella (or jelly, cream, peanut butter, custard etc)
  • Poke a hole in the bottom of the donut with a small knife.
  • Fill the donuts with the nutella filling. When you see the donut grow there is enough in there.
  • Do a little swirl on top so people know what’s inside and enjoy! 🙂
  • Best eaten the day they are baked.


For the Dough:

  • Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook.
  • In a measuring jug, heat together the milk, water, butter and heat until luke warm, and the butter is melted. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Turn the machine on low and slowly add the milk mixture. Mix for 2 minutes to wake up the yeast.
  • Run a spatula under the dough to make sure everything is mixed well.
  • Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6-8 minutes. The dough is supposed to be saggy and on the wet side
  • Rub your mixing bowl with vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil) . Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap tight and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 ½ -2 hours.
  • Once it has risen, turn out the fluffy dough onto a floured work surface.
  • Roll out to ½ “ thick
  • Using a round cutter ( I used 3” but you can use smaller), cut of your donuts circles. Dust your cutter in flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough. Then cut out the donut hole with a much smaller cutter ( I used a piping nozzle , 1 ¼“ )
  • If you want to make donuts to stuff with Jelly or nutella then cut a plain round donuts (I used 2 ½” cutter)
  • TIP: You can prepare the donuts to this stage and put in the refrigerator until the next day. When needed, take out and let me come to room temp and rise a little (roughly 30 minutes) and then bake off as instructed below. Fresh donuts for breakfast.
  • Cover your donuts with cling film and let them rise at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
  • Unwrap the donuts. Brush the very top (not the sides) with melted butter. Sprinkle the tray with 2 tblsp of water.
  • Bake for 13 minutes, set a timer. Rotate tray during baking if needed to get color all over. You want to bake these just enough. if they get too much color they can dry.
  • While the donuts are baking making the glaze: Simply whisk all the ingredients together. Use more water if needed to get a thin glaze.

Glazing the Donuts:

  • Take you donuts STRAIGHT from the oven and dunk into the glaze one by one. It makes a huge difference. They soften and soak the glaze and you get a much better end result. Dip each in the bowl of glaze with forks. Let the excess glaze drip off before and then place on a wire rack to dry. You will see the glaze set fast because the doughnuts were warm. this is just my absolute favorite part
  • Once the glaze has set, I like to double dip them one more time. I think it gives them a nice sweetness and the crust great texture and chew, it’s up to you.
  • Once the glaze dries I strongly urge you to eat them as fresh as possible because they are at their absolute best!
  • Have leftovers for the next day? Pop them in the oven and refresh them for a few minutes. the glaze might melt but they will be warm and fresh again


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Sophia Lind
Sophia Lind
4 years ago

These are soooooo good! I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t believe that they would taste as good as fried donuts, because, let’s be real, fried things just taste good, and lots of alternative versions of fried food are disappointing. But these are great! If I didn’t make them I wouldn’t have thought they were baked. I’m 16 and only started baking with yeast a couple of months ago, but the recipe was easy to follow, I even cut the recipe in half and used a donut pan. I’m making these again and will force everyone I know to try them.

4 years ago

Hi Gemma! Thank you for such a simple recipe! I loved it! My only problem was that my dough was too sticky, so I had to add like an extra 1/2 cup of flour (maybe because it was too humid). Also, I would’ve liked a sweeter dough, because without the glaze, the donuts taste just like plain bread.

4 years ago

Too bready, not cake like

Claire Vale
Claire Vale
4 years ago

Hi Gemma
LOVE all your recipes and I’ve managed to get hold of your book which is fab too!
Quick question – could you leave these in the fridge to prove for longer than 1 night?
Thanks so much 😁

Urza Ghosal
Urza Ghosal
4 years ago

Awesome! Tried and tested! Most importantly kids approved!!

Lillian Lee
Lillian Lee
3 years ago

Hi Gemma, I would like to give this recipe a try. Can I substitute dry active yeast with instant yeast? How much instant yeast do I need? Thanks in advance.

4 years ago

Hey Gemma,

This is the first time I tried your recipe and the doughnuts came out really well. It was a big hit with my family. Thank you.

Aryan Kang
Aryan Kang
3 years ago

Also, should I add sugar into the dough to make it sweeter?

4 years ago

These were amazing – I was a bit doubtful that the recipe would work but it was extremely successful. I stuck to the glazed ring doughnuts but am going to try some variations next time. Thanks so much – have only just discovered your website, but it’s fantastic. I especially love the home made ingredients section.

3 years ago

I am unclear on when you make the dough the day/night before can you just put the whole ball in the fridge in the bowl or do you need to cut the doughnuts out and chill them on the baking sheet. Easier to just store the dough in the bowl rather than the cut out shapes. The order of the instructions makes it sound like you store the dough after you cut out the doughnuts – just wondering if you can store the dough and then cut out the doughnuts and do the final rise the morning of baking. Thanks!

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook