These old-fashioned donuts are soft and cakey with a hint of nutmeg on the inside and finished with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating. This baked version of a classic favorite is healthier and easier to make. A stack of old-fashioned donuts on a piece of black slate. Is anyone else missing their favorite coffee companion treat while staying at home? Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts were a regular thing in our household, but now with the pandemic, I’ve been making more coffee at home than usual and baking my own donuts. The kids are loving it and think it’s pretty cool to have fresh homemade donuts for fun. Old-fashioned donuts on a cooling rack with a bowl of cinnamon-sugar.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Baked instead of fried – This donut recipe is baked instead of fried, which makes them so much healthier and easier to make. There are also only 2 tablespoons of oil in this recipe, yet the texture and taste are still rich and moist from the eggs and buttermilk.
  • Cake-style donut – An old-fashioned donut is a cake donut so there is no yeast in the recipe, which means no kneading or proofing. You just mix and bake.
  • Same great texture – Even though these donuts are baked and there is no yeast in the recipe, the texture is slightly chewy and the outside is still crispy like a traditional donut.

How to make old-fashioned donuts:

A picture collage of how to make cake donuts.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and gently stir together until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter into 2 greased donut pans, filling almost full.
  5. Bake at 425F for 7-9 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
  6. As soon as the donuts are cooled enough to handle (but still warm), remove from pan and dip in cinnamon-sugar.

Old-fashioned donuts baked then dipped in cinnamon-sugar.

Expert tips:

  • Mix until JUST combined – Use a rubber spatula to combine the wet and dry ingredients together, mixing just until no dry flour remains. Do not overmix or the donuts will be dry and tough.
  • Do not overbake – Remove the donuts from the oven as soon as the tops spring back with lightly touched. Because there is not a lot of oil in this recipe, you don’t want to overbake the donuts or they will be dry.
  • Coat in cinnamon-sugar while still warm – As soon as you are able to handle the donuts without burning your hands, generously coat them in cinnamon-sugar. The cinnamon-sugar sticks better when the donuts are still warm.

How to store old-fashioned donuts:

These donuts are best the day of. You can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. Please note that the cinnamon-sugar melts a bit when stored overnight. Re-coat before serving again.

How to freeze old-fashioned donuts:

Don’t coat in sugar mixture and let cool completely. Place in an airtight freezer-friendly container or ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, warm up in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, then coat in cinnamon-sugar. Old-fashioned donuts on a piece of black slate with one broken in half.

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Baked Old-Fashioned Donuts


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen donuts

Description

These old-fashioned donuts are soft and cakey with a hint of nutmeg on the inside and finished with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating.


Ingredients

Donuts

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (188ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon-sugar coating

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray two 6-cavity doughnut pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and gently stir together until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter into the prepared donut pans, filling almost full.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon-sugar.
  8. As soon as the donuts are cooled enough to handle (but still warm), remove from pan and dip in cinnamon-sugar. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Notes

These donuts are best the day of. You can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. Please note that the cinnamon-sugar melts a bit when stored overnight. Re-coat before serving again.

How to freeze:

Don’t coat in sugar mixture and let cool completely. Place in an airtight freezer-friendly container or ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, warm up in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, then coat in cinnamon-sugar.

  • Category: dessert, breakfast
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: old-fashioned donut recipe, baked cake donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts

Recipe adapted from The Busy Baker.

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