These baked cinnamon sugar doughnuts are so easy to make at home, you can have fresh doughnuts ready to eat in under 20 minutes! This recipe is also dairy-free and uses ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.
Making doughnuts has been on my baking bucket list for sometime. The only thing that had been preventing me from trying them was the need for a speciality pan, so when I found one on sale at my local kitchen store, I knew it was time.
And of course I was going to start with the humble cinnamon doughnut.
Cinnamon doughnuts have always been my favourite. I will always choose the simple cinnamon doughnut when presented with a cabinet of brightly coloured glazed or iced versions, every single time.
While doughnuts are traditionally fried, I love the idea of baked doughnuts. They are so much easier to make at home, a little healthier, and require much less cleanup. The result is a doughnut that is a little more on the cakey side, but still has that distinct flavour as if from your favourite bakery.
How to make baked doughnuts
Baked doughnuts start with a simple batter that comes together in just a few minutes.
- Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg, sugar, vanilla and oil.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix together with the dairy-free milk until you have a thick batter.
- Pour batter into your doughnut pan and bake for 8 minutes.
- Dunk in melted dairy-free butter and then cinnamon sugar.
There are a couple of key things to point out here. Firstly, when I was reading about making doughnuts the common theme that came up was to use nutmeg in the batter. This spice is the key to that traditional bakery doughnut flavour and you absolutely do not want to leave it out.
The oil in the doughnut makes them soft and moist, while dunking the them in melted dairy-free butter gives the doughnuts an extra richness as well as giving the cinnamon sugar something to stick onto. I wouldn’t recommend substituting these as they both play a key role in the end result.
As with everything I bake, these doughnuts are dairy-free. I use oat milk in the batter, but you could use soy or almond, or even regular if you do not want these to be dairy-free. The same applies with the butter that is used for dunking.
Doughnut or Donut?
When writing up this recipe I stopped and pondered a few moments on the spelling of doughnut. Was it doughnut or donut? On googling this question it told me that doughnut was the British/Australian English spelling while donut was the American English spelling. Both were acceptable.
As doughnuts are traditionally associated as an American food vs a British one, would the spelling of donut make more sense when referencing a recipe even though I am Australian? Would spelling it donut make the recipe more accessible globally?
But then I asked some American food bloggers and the debate began. Doughnut is still considered the correct English spelling in the US however it is the rise of companies just as Dunkin Donuts that have popularised the alternate spelling.
For this reason, the colloquial spelling of the shortened donut has become acceptable and pretty common. Even in Australian the popular food chain Donut King has kept the US spelling.
So after spending way too much time learning about the history of the word, I decided to stick with the original spelling of doughnut, but no matter how you spell it, these baked treats are still amazing.
I was surprised at just how quick and easy these doughnuts where to make. I had always assumed they would be difficult! This is a great recipe to make when you are short on time and most of these ingredients you should have on hand so it’s great for when you don’t really want to make a special trip to the grocery store.
These doughnuts are best enjoyed straight away, preferably while still a little warm. Otherwise they will last in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
There is something so comforting about a freshly baked cinnamon doughnut, so if you are wanting to try and make something a little different to the usual cakes and biscuits, pick up a doughnut pan and give these a go. You truly will be just as excited as me about how easy they are and how delicious they taste.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
- 1 ¼ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
For the coating:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) melted dairy-free butter
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly spray a doughnut pan with cooking oil.
- In a medium size bowl sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix gently with a spatula to combine.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar and vanilla. Add in oil and whisk until combined. Add in dry ingredients and whisk, slowly add in the dairy-free milk until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into a large piping bag or ziplock bag and cut off the tip. Pipe batter into the doughnut pan ensuring each hole is only half full.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, melt the dairy-free butter in the microwave.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, dunk the cooked doughnuts in the melted dairy-free butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated. Repeat with all doughnuts. These are best enjoyed straight away but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.