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Old-Fashioned Baked Donuts

These Old-Fashioned Baked Donuts are a denser type of cake donut with a sweet, firm glaze coming from the oven versus the fryer puts a health-forward spin on my most favorite donut. They most definitely satisfy my sweet tooth and donut craving – yum!


Happy Memorial Day Weekend y’all! I am very thankful for the 3-day weekend for many reasons, and that bonus weekend day is something I’ve been looking forward to for a few weeks now. Work has been absolute insanity and I’ve been working longer hours, seeing more patients, and generally just stressed and unpleasant to be around. Mark invited me to go relax with a drink on the water on Thursday after work and instead I went home and got in a good, hard, quick workout. Because #mentalhealth. I also gifted myself a few hours of comp time yesterday morning and got in 90 minutes of movement before heading into the office. Needless to say, the weekend is off to a good start.

We went to a comedy show and out for a drink last night, and have loose plans to boat, beach, and pool this weekend — whatever combination of that the weather and our tolerance will allow. The high today is only 68 here in Michigan! We truly have no other weekend plans, so I’ll plan for a cookout, whether it end up big or small is yet to be determined. It has been awhile since we had a weekend of nothingness – I’m pumped!


  • Donut Lovers. These Old-Fashioned Cake Donuts are a healthier alternative to traditional old-fashioned doughnuts that are fried at a lower temperature, allowing the donut batter to soak up more oil, creating that moist crumb and dense, rich consistency and flavor, making them my most favorite donut variety. The vanilla glaze is absolute perfection on warm donuts.
  • Kids in the Kitchen. There’s something about donuts that most everyone loves and making homemade donuts lures the kids to the kitchen to both help and anticipate the final product. With simple ingredients and quick preparation, the kids will enjoy participating and devouring. There will not be a doughnut craving unmet with a classic cake donut recipe!
  • Entertaining Days. This recipe makes 18 donuts that are best served the day-of making it an ideal recipe to make for a crowd. Quick to make, they will be devoured just as quickly and your guests will be delighted!


  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in the 1 cup measuring cup and fill to the top with low-fat milk. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or so to create a buttermilk-like substitute. Buttermilk is a key ingredient to old-fashioned donuts!
  • Canola Oil: You can use vegetable, safflower, or grapeseed oil here – all will work great and not alter the flavor of the donuts.
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: You can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour as a substitute for whole wheat pastry flour. This type of flour is also similar to white wheat flour. You do not want to use something as fine as a cake flour because old fashioned glazed donuts are meant to be dense versus that of a yeast dough donut.
  • Butter: I would suggest an unsalted butter here. When using melted butter in a recipe, just make sure it has cooled before proceeding. Using coconut oil can lend to the fat separating and you want an even, smooth distribution for a best result.
  • Nutmeg: You can omit this or swap in cinnamon – up to you! That hint of nutmeg does add a touch of perfection, though!
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Both are used as a leavening agent for best results. If you don’t have baking soda, you can triple the baking powder as a substitute.


  • Whole wheat pastry flour is a whole grain flour, offering more fiber and vitamins that more processed flours, like all-purpose flour. It is lower in protein and therefore lower in gluten (if you’re curious!).
  • There is no nutritional merit to a donut…however, making homemade cake donuts as a baked version versus frying, that’s a win!


  • Melt and cool your butter before adding the eggs and sugar – you don’t want scrambled eggs!
  • If you’re trying to plan ahead, you can bake the donuts ahead of time (not ideal and not more than a day, but it works!) and then glaze them later, just before serving.
  • Whisking together your dry ingredients before your wet ingredients will dirty only ONE whisk. I’m so smart!
  • Place your wire cooling rack over parchment paper – the glaze will drip and harden…and no one wants to clean that up!
  • Donut pans have cavities that are in the shape of a ring and size-wise are bigger than doughnut holes (and shaped like a donut), but smaller than what you would find at a donut shop. They’re more like mini donuts, I’d say. They’re perfect! You can find donut pans most places cookware and bakeware are sold, as well as online.
  • You can place the donut batter into a pastry piping bag or large ziplock bag to pipe into the mini donut pan, however this isn’t necessary. Spooning it into each cavity will create the rough, tapered grooves that is common to old-fashioned cake doughnuts.


  • These donuts are best made right before serving. However, leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • You can swap 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar for unsweetened cocoa powder if you wish to make a chocolate glaze in lieu of a vanilla glaze.
  • You can freeze leftover donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm at 50% power in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Old-Fashioned Baked Donuts

Old-Fashioned Baked Donuts

Yield: 18 donuts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These Old-Fashioned Baked Donuts are denser cake donut with a sweet, firm glaze coming from the oven versus the fryer puts a health-forward spin on my most favorite donut.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2-3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mist three 6-donut pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, oil, and sugar until mixed well. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk again until well-combined.
  4. Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, fold with a spatula to mostly incorporated before adding the buttermilk and remaining flour, mixing after each addition until well-combined.
  5. Use a spoon to fill each donut cavity just over half way full.
  6. Bake donuts for 9-10 minutes; remove from oven to a wire rack.
  7. Prepare the glaze by mixing together all ingredients, starting with 2-2.5 tablespoons milk. Add just a touch more, if needed, and mix until smooth.
  8. Dunk and twirl slightly warm donuts and return to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining donuts and serve after the glaze has hardened.


Recipe from Baked by an Introvert

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