These Old Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Baked Cake Donuts are baked, not fried, and they’re much lower in sugar and fat than a traditional cake donut, making them the perfect no-guilt treat! They’re easy to make and they taste just like traditional, old fashioned cinnamon sugar donuts!
NEVER MISS A POST! FOLLOW ME ON:
FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Eating a healthy diet usually means you don’t eat a lot of donuts. And rightly so…they contain very few healthy ingredients and they’re really just a treat, but if you’re a donut lover it can be hard to give them up completely. The good news is, there’s a way to make them just a little bit less terrible for you without sacrificing any deliciousness!
As terrible as they are for you, I just love a good donut! Of course I don’t enjoy them very often because they’re just not that good for you, but I’ve finally found a way to enjoy them without too much guilt! These Old Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Baked Cake Donuts are baked, not fried, so they’re lower in fat and calories that any coffee shop donut you’ve ever had! I adapted this recipe from Sur la Table’s plain cake donut recipe, making them just a little bit healthier and a whole lot tastier!!
Pin this recipe on Pinterest!
These Old Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Baked Cake Donuts are great to serve to a crowd, at a breakfast meeting, or just to have as a snack if you’re craving something sweet. And you’d never know they weren’t fried in oil. They’re so delicious and they even have the quintessential white ring around the outside that gives them an authentic old fashioned look! You will need a donut pan for this recipe, and if you don’t have one already I’d definitely recommend this Wilton Medium Donut Pan (affiliate link). It’s the perfect size for this recipe that yeilds 24 medium-sized donuts and it’s non-stick and easy to clean. And it works best when you grease it with a little bit of oil. I always use my Misto Oil Sprayer for this job (affiliate link) because it allows you to achieve the same effect as conventional oil sprays while using a healthy oil and without all those harmful propellants found in conventional oil sprays.
NEVER MISS A POST! FOLLOW ME ON:
FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
I really hope you enjoy this Old Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Baked Cake Donuts recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite donut flavour?
Kitchen Tools I Recommend:
Looking for more sweet recipes just like this? Check out some of my readers’ favourite recipes I’ve linked below:
Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this great recipe. You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
If you made this, share a photo!
Are you trying this recipe? Use the comment form below to share your take; now with support for image uploads and comment voting!
OLD FASHIONED BAKED CAKE DONUTS
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- canola oil baking spray to grease donut pan
- donut baking pan
- large piping bag fitted with a large round tip
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a donut pan with some oil spray.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and sea salt to a large bowl and whisk them together until they’re combined.
- In a separate bowl or a large liquid measuring cup combine the buttermilk, eggs, and oil, whisking them together with a fork.
- Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a batter begins to form and the flour begins to disappear.
- Be careful not to over-mix as this will make the donuts tough and dry. Stop mixing as soon as the last streak of flour disappears and spoon the batter into the piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Pipe a small amount of batter into each of the 12 greased donut cups in a circular motion and be careful not to over-fill. This batter rises up quite a lot so filling the cups only half-way works perfectly.
- Bake the donuts at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7-9 minutes. This recipe makes 24 donuts so you’ll have to repeat this process again a second time unless you have two donut pans.
- As soon as the donuts have browned slightly on the tops and they spring back to the touch, remove them from the oven and tip them out of their tins. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon together in a bowl and as soon as you’re able to handle the donuts without burning your hands, dip each side into the cinnamon sugar mixture and set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Oh my Chrissie!!! These look absolutely amazing!
These are pinned for me to try this weekend ….fantastic job 🙂
Thanks Ginni!! I hope you enjoy them 🙂 It's a great recipe and they're SO yummy!
These donuts look too perfect to be guilt-free!!
Thanks! But they really are!!
Love your recipe, it's got nothing on Sur La Table's, their donut looks like a flat pancake and so unappetising. I'm gonna be adapting this for my partner to make salted caramel glazed donuts – he's gonna love them!
Thanks so much!! I hope you enjoy them 🙂
No levening agent? I should have caught that when I was putting the batter together, but this was my first time making donuts. They were a fail for me. A little baking powder would have improved them greatly. I'm surprised your rose so high and beautiful.
Hi Tim! The recipe does call for 2 tsp baking powder, which is probably why yours didn't look like mine. I'm sorry they didn't work out for you the first time, but I hope you give them another try!
These donuts look too perfect to be guilt-free!!
Are you using a mini donut pan, or a full sized pan for these?
I have a medium sized donut pan. It's not a jumbo donut pan (6 donuts per pan) and it's not a mini one (24 donuts per pan). The donuts are 3 inches across, if that helps! Hope you enjoy the recipe!
I have a 6 donut pan will this recipe work? If yes how long should I bake them for?
Yes, it will, but the recipe will make about 12-18. If they are big donuts, add a minute to the baking time and watch them carefully at the end. To make sure they are baked through, you can test them with a toothpick: if it comes out clean, they’re done. Happy baking ☺️
Can you make these the night before?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but just make sure you bake the donuts right after you mix the batter. This will ensure the donuts have the right texture and don't rise too much. But you can bake them the night before and enjoy them in he morning for sure! 🙂
Your cake dougnut recipe and my cake doughnut recipe are very different, which means, I have no choice but to try yours because I'm always looking for better recipes (and excuses to make + eat doughnuts).
Side note: I had been baking my baked doughnuts in "savarin" molds, not quite realizing they weren't dounuts molds. Close, but not quite the same shape. So in my old blog posts, where I made baked doughnuts, you will see the doughnut shape is… odd, hehe! I now have a new doughnuts pan that I need to test out, so there's yet another excuse to make doughnuts! So many reasons 😉
Thanks Janice! Let me know how you like them!
These look great! But can I make them in muffin tins? Or form in another way? I don't have a donut pan and am always trying to avoid purchasing more specialty cooking gear. Any suggested alternative?
I'm sure making them in muffin tins would work! I've never tried it, so I can't guarantee anything, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Just make sure to adjust the baking time! 🙂
First off, this is a great recipe – thank you Chrissie!
This post is to address the non-doughnut shape question.
I tried baking them in a madeleine pan (would probably have worked but I overfilled them) so I took the rest of the batter and baked it in mini muffin pans. Perfection! Took 9-ish minutes. (7 minutes and then I turned the pan around for 2 – 4 more.)
To my taste these are actually best the next day – which makes them perfect to make the day before and have in the am.
Oh and just tossing them in the cinnamon sugar, they did not stick (I used baking spray, it may have been too light) however when I pressed the muffin into the sugar? It stuck.
Can you substitute almond milk for the buttermilk?
Good question! In this case that wouldn't work too well since the buttermilk adds acidity which activates the baking powder. Almond milk would work if you added a teaspoon or so of vinegar to the batter with the milk, but I can't guarantee anything since I haven't actually tried this recipe that way. Good luck!!
I did make them with a homemade buttermilk (1 cup milk to 1Tbs vinegar, let sit for 10min) and it worked fine. We don't often have buttermilk at our house so this is typically what I do for buttermilk recipes and they always turn out fine. I have never done it with almond milk though, I don't know if the milk would have the same reaction to the vinegar so the donut would probably turn out a little denser, but it would probably be fine.
You can make buttermilk from almond, coconut or any non dairy milk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of the milk and let it rest for 5 min.
Yes! This is exactly what I do all the time when I’m out of buttermilk 🙂
can I make them eggless? If yes,then how to replace eggs?
Great question! I've actually never made them without eggs before, so I can't help you with that one! My advice would be to search for a vegan egg-substitute and give it a try! Good luck!
A great egg substitute is 1T ground flax seed mixed with 3T water for each egg you are substituting. Make sure you let the flax seed and water sit a while until it’s an egg like consistency.
Would love a print option!
Thanks for your feedback! I've installed a print option on my newer posts and I'm slowly working my way through my older recipes too. I've installed a print button on this recipe for you today! 🙂
Hi! Is it really one teaspoon of salt?
Adding salt brings the flavors together. If you eat one made with salt and one without you can taste the difference.
Hi, thanks for the recipe. I made these last night and they were a huge hit with hubby.
Recipe is amazing! Went and got a donut pan just to make these- who could resist? They didn't turn out quite as golden brown as I wanted them to and I had to add melted butter to get the sugar to stick, but besides that they turned out amazing! Will definitely make again. Also, I did make them with a homemade buttermilk (1 cup milk to 1Tbs vinegar, let sit for 10min) and it worked fine. We don't often have buttermilk at our house so this is typically what I do for buttermilk recipes and they always turn out fine. I have never done it with almond milk though, I don't know if the milk would have the same reaction to the vinegar so the donut would probably turn out a little denser, but it would probably be fine. Thanks again for an awesome recipe!
So glad you like the recipe!! 🙂
How much nutmeg? Not listed in ingredients.
The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 🙂
I don’t know what I did wrong. I bake all the time, but these were a definite fail. They came out nothing like your picture. They didn’t puff up enough and the tops never got golden. The cinnamon sugar would not even adhere to the doughnuts!
I’m so sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work for you! The fact that they didn’t puff up enough probably has to do with how much batter you put in each of the donut cups. If you don’t have quite enough batter in each cup then the donuts don’t puff up enough. It’s also a good idea to check your oven temperature – this might be why the tops didn’t get golden. And the cinnamon sugar adheres best when the donuts are hot from the pan, after that you’d need to add some melted butter to get the sugar to adhere. I’m sorry you struggled with this recipe! I’ve made it often and in several different kitchens, so I know it works! I hope you give it another try!
Oh my God! These were amazing! I had such a craving for some old fashion plain donuts from Timmes but I’m trying to eat healthier, and it was 11pm. Usually baked is just not the same but these were spot on! I didn’t have buttermilk so I soured my own. So I can’t even begin to imagine what they’d be like with buttermilk. Thank you very much for the recipe I will be making these every week!
So glad you love them as much as we do! Thanks for the positive feedback! 🙂
I just made this.Easy to follow recipe. I added some vanilla essence which improved the flavour. They were nice and light. I will cut down the sugar though by quarter cup seeing they are dusted with sugar after baking. I just wish I can find a recipe for a more cake like texture.
Thanks for the recipe though.
Glad you liked the recipe! Overmixing can sometimes prevent that real cake-like texture, so be careful of that! 🙂
I just took them out of the oven – the underside is not brown at all – I used a donut 6 pan – is this the way they all look? looking at your picture I can see a lighter side – just wondering…I also put “all” the sugar in, not realizing part was for the dipping (sigh) well, sweet they will be.
There’s a chance you may have under-baked them…my donut pan has 12 donuts, so you may need to adjust the baking time if you’re using a 6-donut pan in order to achieve that slight browning.
can i just pipe it on a biking tray in a form of donuts? i don’t have donut pan
I’d suggest making the recipe in a muffin tin or a mini muffin tin instead. If you pipe the dough on a baking tray it definitely won’t hold its shape. Hope that helps!
While these donuts taste good, they definitely do not turn out like the picture. I used a mini donut pan so maybe that was the problem,but I doubt it. If you wait until they are cool to the touch, the sugar doesn’t stick and even when you sugar them fresh out of the pan the sugar still doesn’t stick very well. This was my first time baking donuts and next time I will try a different recipe to see if it was me or just this particular recipe.
Thanks for your feedback Darlene. If you’re finding the sugar isn’t sticking, just try brushing the donuts with a touch of melted butter and dip them while they’re still hot. That should do the trick!
I made these and waited a bit too long before dipping in sugar, hence no sticking, so I put the sugar and cinnamon into my food processor (short pulses) and made powdered sugar. Placed the donuts and sugar into a zip lock bag, gave them a quick shake and Boom! Cinnamon sugar donuts. They wee Awesome!
These are really good. I tried Ina’s donuts but too much sugar for me. Evidently I filled the pan more and produced 16 big plump cake donuts. These are close to the fried donuts … crisp, plump but lighter than the fried cake donuts. thanks for this recipe
Wow! Better than Ina’s??? That’s some high praise! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Have a great day!
I’ve never really cooked, but I’ve just recently been cooking breakfast from scratch for my two young sons (5 and 7), and was excited to give this recipe a try. I modified it by reducing to 1/2 cup sugar (may try 1/4 cup next time), using 2 tbsp butter instead of canola oil, and adding 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Baked in three silicone 6-donut molds greased up with butter. I also made crumbs from a different recipe I found in attempt to make crumb donuts, but I couldn’t get many crumbs to stick even with melted butter. So we had donuts 3 ways: plain, snickerdoodle, and crumb. When I took my first bite I was shocked at how delicious they turned out. And my boys absolutely loved them too. Thanks for this great, healthier donut recipe. Will absolutely be making this again in the very near future.
Some photos: https://imgur.com/a/nCcAJ
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂
Not sure what I did wrong! 🙁 made then according to the recipe but they taste SO salty.. I only put indicated amount of salt.
Hmmm…that’s so strange! Is there a chance you added more baking powder or salt? That would make them taste saltier than they should. I use sea salt, which has a less salty taste than regular table salt. I’ve made this recipe so many times and never had this problem! I hope you give them another try (with reduced salt)!
Absolutely delicious, husband loved them. But, the bottom of the donut is a lot darker than the top. If I left them in the oven to get the tops dark (as shown in your picture), the bottom would have burned. What did I do wrong.
Thanks for your comment. It may be because your oven has an uneven temperature – the best way to test this is with an oven thermometer just to make sure your oven isn’t running too hot (that sounds like it might be the case). When I make these the bottom does get slightly darker than the top too, so it’s normal for them to be a little bit different. 🙂
These were so good! I made them in a 6 PC donut pan, they were perfectly done at the 7 minute mark. Even my super picky three year old ate two, she normally takes one or two bites.
Thanks Ashley! So glad you loved them!!
so yummy. I have tried 3 different donut recipes and this was one of the best.
Thanks so much for letting us know! Glad you liked them!!
Can you make these with regular salt instead of sea salt?
Yes, of course! I use sea salt because I like the flavour 🙂
I followed the recipe exactly and was only able to pipe 14 SMALL donuts. Also, they were way too salty – so salty I didn’t want to finish the donut.
Hmm…that sounds really strange. The amount of salt in the recipe couldn’t possibly create such a salty taste. I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you!
Unfortunately this site has too many adds, takes forever to load, I will not be using it again.
Hi Nancy, I’m sorry you feel that way. Unfortunately I have to run ads on my site to be able to keep bringing you so many delicious recipes for free 🙂
Hi! These look absolutely delicious! I have a question though: How do you take your flour? Spoon and leveled or straight from the jar? Thanks!
I fluff it up in the jar first and then lightly scoop and level it off. 🙂
What are your thoughts on adding some vanilla extract? I LOVE cake donuts from donut shops and they usually have a little vanilla in them, no? Also, how much should I add in if I attempt it? Thanks! They look great :]
Feel free to add vanilla. I like the nutmeg to really shine in this recipe, but vanilla would also be a good addition. 🙂
My donuts were delicious but didn’t brown on top..WHY?
It could be because your oven temperature was a little too low, and sometimes using the convection setting discourages browning. The donuts don’t brown too much because there’s so little oil in the batter 🙂
Would this recipe work with a silicon doughnut pan? So want to try this recipe.
Yes, it should 🙂
Hi. I was wondering how you take the flour for this recipe? Straight from the jar or spoon and level? Thanks
I recommend aerating the flour (fluffing it in the container) and then scooping. This gives the correct amount.
WOW! The donuts are amazing. What a lovely healthy alternative and so easy to prepare. Thanks!
Thanks so much Lucy!!
Great recipe! I don’t have a doughnut pan for the oven but my waffle makers has mini doughnut inserts so I used those. Awesome! I found that I couldn’t get the cinnamon sugar to stick to the doughnuts so i sprinkled it on top of the dough before closing the
Lid of the waffle maker. Would definitely make these again
That sounds great!! Thanks for your review!🙂
I have a 6 doughnut pan how long do think they need to bake for and at what temperature? Thank you
Whoa! At last a great pan-baked donut recipe. Perfect balance of firm and moist. Quick to make. This batch made 18 just-right donuts.
If you want to be known for making great homemade donuts…this is it. (‘Course, a chocolate glaze and sprinkles will send ratings over the top!)
Thanks so much Phil! Homemade are so much better!! 🙂
Super good recipe! I ended up with 16 donuts and used low fat milk with a little lemon squeezed in for a buttermilk substitute. (Been baking a LOT with buttermilk lately and of course paring delicious drinks with said baking and didn’t realize I was out lol!) These came out absolutely Devine! I also made a low fat vanilla glaze with 1/2c confectioners sugar, 2tsp milk and a scant 1/2tsp of vanilla extract (hubby LOVES glazed donuts!) He has eaten I believe 4 donuts now and I just finished baking them lol!
I do have a question for the OP though, any tips on getting the tops to brown along with the bottoms? I am using a small walton 6 donut baking pan if that helps. The tops are light brown and the bottoms are perfectly dark brown, donut is cooked perfectly as well. Thanks!
I’m so happy you enjoyed them! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback! I would suggest bringing the oven rack higher in the oven. Hope this helps ☺️
O.M.GOODNESS. These look INCREDIBLE!! I have a gluten free friend who loves cinnamon sugar donuts… do you think I could just add gluten free flour instead of all purpose to these donuts?
We’re sorry, we couldn’t tell you as we have never tried it but it should work if you use a gluten free flour that performs similarly to all purpose flour. Happy baking! ☺️