Easy Baked Mini Donuts

Easy baked mini donuts using cake mix

We love donuts. A LOT. If we're truly craving hot and fresh donuts, we'll get some fried and glazed goodness at the donut store (The Doughnut Parlor in RSM being Kristen's personal favorite right now). These are not those donuts.

If you want the cuteness of donuts without the time consumption and hassle of deep frying, this recipe is for you. We wanted to try an easy and non-fried option for our first time making donuts at home. We also wanted mini ones so we could eat more flavors at once without feeling as bad. Yes, I know. Cake is cake. But cake that is not fried somehow feels better than cake that is, no? We poked around on Pinterest and combined aspects of a few different recipes for what we think is the easiest and tastiest recipe. The cake mix makes the batter easier to prep, and gives you the freedom to choose several different flavors. The cake mix flavors inspired us to try fun and creative toppings, so we went a little overboard and bought way too many toppings. We're saving them for next time when we try different flavors!

Note: These don't taste like traditional donuts. They taste more like a mix between a cupcake and the cake donuts you buy at the donut store. Like we said before, if we want a real donut, we'll go to the experts. This is something cheap and easy to try at home for parties or for when you don't want the fried goods.

Super moist is the best!

Not pictured: 1 cup of water

This pan is VERY small, about the size of half a standard pan. Use 2 or 4 if you want to bake many at once!

What you'll need:

  • Mini donut baking pan (we got ours at Hobby Lobby, get a few if you want to make a lot at once)
  • Cake mix
  • Toppings
  • 1 egg per each box of cake mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil per reach box of cake mix
  • 1 cup water per each box of cake mix
  • Butter or non-stick baking spray for greasing the pan

For the glaze:

  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Powdered sugar, 1.5 cups
  • Milk, 2 tablespoons and more as needed


Step 1: 

Make your donut batter by mixing 1 package of dry cake mix with 1 egg, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water. We chose super moist cake mix (the kind that has pudding in the mix) in spice, lemon, and devil's food flavors for the color variety. Once all the batters were smooth, we poured them into gallon zip bags and snipped the ends to make it easy to "pipe" the batter into the little donut cavities.


Step 2:

Grease the mini donut pan with butter or non-stick baking spray. Pipe the batter into the donut cavities in the pan, about 2/3 full. TRUST US on this one. Too full, and the batter overflows as it rises and you end up with mini cupcakes instead. Too low, and the donuts look more like rings, since the top doesn't swell. You want a little of the batter to swell over and look plump. But not so much that it all connects in the middle and you get cupcakes. We wasted 2 mini donut pans worth of donuts due to making these very mistakes. Two-thirds full, people. Two-thirds. (And when we say "wasted," we mean straight into our bellies because they weren't pretty enough for the blog. No donut goes to waste at DarlingDela, no matter what it looks like! We do-nut discriminate...get it?)

You can see the last 3 devil's food donut cavities are filled too high. They ended up overflowing as the batter rose and came out looking like cupcakes with the middle hole gone. We tried 3 times to get the level right! 2/3 full worked best for us.


Step 3:

Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees F. Baking time will vary depending on your oven, baking pan type, and even altitude, so start at 6 minutes and increase time in 1-2 minute increments if the donuts are still wet when you insert a toothpick near the middle. When your donuts pass the toothpick test, carefully remove them from the donut pans (they should slip out easily if they're done, and if you greased the pan). Place on a cooling rack.

Make the glaze while your donuts are cooling.


Simple Sugar Glaze:

Melt the butter (we zapped it in 5 second increments in the microwave so it wouldn't burn). Whisk in the powdered sugar. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk to start, this will make the glaze very runny. Add more milk in small increments as desired to increased the glaze thickness.



Step 4:

Once the donuts are firm, dip the halfway into the glaze and turn sideways to let some glaze run off. Apply toppings immediately, as the glaze will set too hard too "grab" onto the toppings if you wait too long. We used a cinnamon/sugar mixture for the spice donuts, slivered almonds for the lemon donuts, and mini chocolate chips for the devil's food donuts.


Repeat as many times as you want, with as many flavors as you want. There you have it, folks. Easy peasy baked cake mix donuts! Maybe someday when we're feeling brave, we'll attempt the traditional fried donut. Until then, we'll be making these babies whenever we get a craving for yummy and cute confections.

Enjoy, and remember to share your mini donut creations with us using #delabakes !


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