'How to's Small Cakes, Muffins and Baked Doughnuts

Baked Cinnamon Vanilla Donuts (plus DIY donut pan)

Sometimes, a girl just needs a cinnamon covered donut.
Like now, seriously. Now.
I didn’t want to be kneading, rolling out or frying dough for hours. I wanted a cake donut, brushed with warm, melted butter, and rolled in extra special cinnamon and sugar, infused with vanilla.
That’s what I wanted. But alas, there was a problem. I don’t actually have a donut pan.
This was not going to hold me back, if you can’t beat them, join them I say. (By them I mean the people who make the donut pans). Although I can’t hammer steel into donut shapes, I do have a brain, my hands and a roll of aluminium foil. Good enough for me!

I wanted to keep this idea to myself at first. However after eating every last grain of cinnamon sugar off my hands once I had eaten a donut (or two), I was feeling more generous, so decided to share it on here.

If you have a donut pan (lucky face), then I don’t know why you’re not making donuts right now! But seriously, then you can then skip the pan making part, and get right to the recipe. If not, read on!

DIY Donut Pans 
(this looks long but takes only 15 minutes to do)

You will need:
Aluminium Foil
Paper towels / tissues / paper

First, we’re going to make a donut shape to form the mold around:

Take your paper towels/tissues/paper and roll up into a cylinder.

Wrap the foil around it tightly until you get a cylinder whos diameter is as thick as you want your donuts to be.
Curve the cylinder round into a circle (you can trim the ends to make the donut smaller so the hole in the middle of the donut is narrower).
Secure ends with tape.

Voila, your finished foil donut!

Now for the actual molds:

Cut a large sheet of foil out and fold in half.

Cut it in two so you now have two pices of folded in half foil.

Center one of these pieces on top of the foil donut you just made and carefully push it into the middle of the donut, making sure you don’t tear the foil sheet. Then tightly form the foil around the edges of the donut.

Roughly trim the edges off the mold.

Remove the foil donut from the foil around it.

Form the scraps of foil into a ball you can use to help you form the center of the next donut mold you make.

Repeat until you have enough donut molds ( I made 6 because I got bored, but this recipe needs about 12)

Baked Cinnamon Vanilla Donuts
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour – Doughnut Muffins

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg, to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (6 oz / 170g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk


3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup (2-4 oz / 55-110g) sugar
1- 2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp vanilla sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spray your (diy) donut pan(s) using non stick spray or brush with oil using a pastry brush. If you’re using the diy donut pans, place them on a cookie sheet.
In a bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
Add the eggs, beating to combine.
Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon the batter into a disposable plastic sandwich bag. Cut off the tip of one corner and pipe batter into the prepared pans, filling each cavity 2/3 full.Bake the donuts for 10-18 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they’re cooling, melt the butter for the topping (this is easily done in the microwave), and mix cinnamon and sugar(s) in a shallow, wide bowl.
Remove the donuts from the foil/donut pan. Use a pastry brush to brush the each donut with the melted butter, then roll in cinnamon and sugar.
Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature.


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  • Becca November 21, 2011 at 4:12 am

    This is an geniously brilliant idea! Now I can make donuts without having to buy that little pan!! Maybe I’ll make some tomorrow 🙂

  • Amanda November 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

    This is so smart! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • izy November 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    @ Becca: Thank you! You should definitely make them soon!

    @ Amanda: haha, thanks, and you’re welcome!

  • Lauren W. November 28, 2011 at 12:16 am

    What a great idea! Can’t wait to try it!

  • izy December 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    @ Lauren W. : thank you 😀

  • Anonymous January 25, 2012 at 5:11 am

    This is a very innovative idea.

  • Jeff B July 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I think you are amazingly genius to figure out how to make your own donut pan!!!

    The donuts look good, can’t wait to try them. I have made the KAF Donut Muffins that you adapted the recipe from and those are delicious—so I bet these donuts are tasty!

  • The Better Baker September 3, 2012 at 3:49 am


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  • Ale April 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I seriously face palmed after see this. Simply brilliant! Thanks for saving my brain and wallet! I love the internet!

  • D Mitchell June 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    or if you happen to have a bagel kicking around, you could use that for a form…

  • Ibukun June 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    If you want to save some time, you could also use the roll of tape as the form…that is, shape the foil around the tape. That’s what I did…and it worked! Good idea, BTW.

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  • Lindsey September 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Izy, just wanted to say I love your blog! This doughnut post is my absolute favorite! I hope you don’t mind, I posted a link to your site on my blog to share your amazing doughnut pan DIY! I would probably share your recipe too, if I could take the time to take a photo (I don’t like reusing other people’s photos) before chowing down on these de-lish baked goods! Cheers!

  • trersita November 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    these are to die for,DIY pans,good idea too

  • Sarah November 7, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Brilliant! Or you can also use the multiple CD case to make the mold.

  • Jeannie December 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    So awesome! Thanks!

  • sweetsecrets December 31, 2013 at 5:14 am

    How did you come up with such a great idea? I’ve never bought a donut pan or a bunt pan (any ideas on how to make a bunt pan?) Thank you sincerely!

  • jamie January 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    sorry i dumb but the foil….uuhm i dident make thes donuts but does the foil not melt in the oven????….

    • Izy January 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Ummm foil is made of aluminium, a metal with a melting point of 1120 F (660 C) sooo…no it won’t melt in the oven, unless your oven somehow gets that hot

  • Kayla March 22, 2014 at 1:44 am

    So smart!Now would I just stick the molds in the oven as is or would I put them on a cookie sheet or cupcake pan? Cant wait to try this!

    • Izy March 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      put them on a cookie sheet first!

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  • Mallory May 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t always comment on recipes that I try, but I just had to this time. These are AMAZING. They are perfectly fluffy, and I think my husband loves me more 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

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    SO GLAD i stumbled across this on NATIONAL DONUT DAY. I’ve wanted to make my own but never have the pan. Such a great idea! I couldn’t quite make the pipe out of paper towel and foil, but I used a sock, just put it on my leg and rolled it down to create a donut shape and cut out the center. Worked great and held it’s form 🙂

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  • Millie l Add A Little July 24, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Just looking at your archive and this pan is INSANELY CLEVER Izy!! Seriously you’re a genius!!

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    I bought a donut pan from Amazon it was the only place where I could purchase one, you know I have had it for about twelve months and never used it, now I have found your baked donut recipes I will have to get it out and use it!

  • Stela November 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Hii!!!!!!!! Literally just made these donuts! They are so insanely good that I just ate them all!!!!

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    Girl, you are genius making your own doughnut pan. Brilliant you are.

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    March 12, 2016 at 9:54 am I have a question where can you buy a donut pan? I used thus DIY it works but my donuts were missed shaped! Its a good idea but I just want to know were to buy one. Love Lexi?

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