Cooking & Recipes

How to Make Doughnuts Without a Doughnut Pan

todayOctober 30, 2020 40

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You don’t need to add another pan to your collection in order to make baked doughnuts. Instead, grab a muffin tin and some aluminum foil to create a makeshift doughnut pan.

How to Make Your Doughnut Pan

To transform a muffin pan into a doughnut pan, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Cooking spray

Take a square piece of foil and place it over one of your fingers. It needs to be large enough to cover the bottom of each cup in the muffin tin. A 5″×5″ square seemed to work best for me.

Fold the foil around your finger, gently folding the sides up, to create a mold. Place into the cup of your muffin tin and press into place. Repeat for remaining cups.

It took me about 15 minutes to create the foil inserts for the recipe below.

How to Make Doughnuts Without a Doughnut Pan

This DIY doughnut pan works with any baked doughnut recipe. For this experiment, I followed a recipe for mini apple cider doughnuts. These doughnuts are soft, fluffy and perfect for a breakfast treat or afternoon snack!

Editor’s Note: The recipe below is dairy-free and egg-free, but dairy butter and milk can be used in place of the vegan butter and dairy-free milk.


  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Step 1: Reduce the apple cider

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring apple cider to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let reduce for about 15 minutes. Once reduced to about 1/2 cup, remove from heat and let cool.

Step 2: Make the batter

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Pour in reduced apple cider, melted vegan butter and dairy-free milk. Stir to combine, being careful not to overmix.

Editor’s Tip: If the batter seems too dry, stir in extra dairy-free milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

Step 3: Pipe the batter into homemade doughnut pan

Grease the doughnut pan with a generous amount of cooking spray, making sure to get the foil inserts, too. Pipe the batter in a circle into the prepared pan, filling about 3/4 of the way full.

Step 4: Bake the doughnuts

Bake doughnuts at 350° F for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Once cooked, remove from the oven and flip onto a cooling rack to let cool completely.

Step 5: Decorate the doughnuts

After the doughnuts have cooled, top with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy warm. If you’d rather glaze the doughnuts instead, here are a handful of great glazes for homemade doughnuts.

How Well Does This Work?

You can successfully make a doughnut pan out of a muffin pan and aluminum foil. The doughnuts were perfectly moist, fluffy and delicious. They’ll be smaller than your standard doughnut and certainly not uniform in shape, but the taste is all there.

If you plan to make baked doughnuts often, I suggest adding a store-bought doughnut pan to your pantry. I love this 2-piece set from Wilton. It bakes my vegan doughnuts perfect every time and cleanup is a breeze.

Quick Tips for Making Doughnuts at Home

I don’t have a piping bag. What can I use instead? No piping bag? No worries! Use a quart-sized zip-top bag instead. Pour the batter into the bag and snip the tip to pipe.

How do I make doughnuts gluten-free? Simply use your favorite gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour. Check out this Test Kitchen-approved recipe for Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts!

What kind of dairy-free milk should I use? Any unsweetened non-dairy milk should work. I suggest plain almond milk, soy milk or oat milk.

Our Best Doughnut Recipes

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple donuts remind me of family trips to South Dakota. We’d stop at Wall Drug for a dozen or so before camping in the Badlands. Maple glaze was and still is my favorite. Share a batch with friends and family who appreciate a hot, fresh apple cider donut. —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Banana Beignet Bites

When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me aside one day and taught me how to make her famous banana beignets. Although we made them during the holidays, they’re pretty fantastic any time of the year. —Amy Downing, South Riding, Virginia

Swedish Doughnuts

One day, my father got a hankering for doughnuts and asked me to make him some. I ended up trying these. Dad—and everyone else—loved the results. They come out so golden and plump. —Lisa Bates, Dunham, Quebec

Drop Doughnuts

For 30 years, I’ve been using leftover mashed potatoes to make these light and fluffy doughnuts. The recipe was originally created by my neighbor’s mother-in-law. The doughnuts are great for breakfast or as a snack anytime. —Marilyn Kleinfall, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Berry-Filled Doughnuts

Four ingredients are all you’ll need for this sure-bet breakfast treat. Friends and family will never guess that refrigerated buttermilk biscuits are the base for these golden, jelly-filled doughnuts. —Ginny Watson, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Delicious Potato Doughnuts

I first tried these tasty treats at my sister’s house and thought they were the best I’d ever had. They’re easy to make, and the fudge frosting tops them off well. When I make them for friends, the recipe is always requested. —Pat Davis, Beulah, Michigan

Glazed Doughnuts

The light coffee flavor in these tasty sugar-glazed doughnuts makes them a perfect start to the morning…on Christmas Day or any day. You’ll find that the recipe is a delectable way to use up leftover potatoes. —Pat Siebenaler, Random Lake, Wisconsin

Jelly Doughnuts

There’s no need to run to the bakery for delicious jelly doughnuts! These sweet treats are lighter than air. I’ve been fixing them for 25 years for my husband, our two daughters and their families. They disappear almost as fast as I make them. —Kathy Westendorf, Westgate, Iowa

Almond Bear Claws

This bear claw pastry recipe is absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious! It’s impossible to resist the delicate dough, rich almond filling and pretty fanned tops sprinkled with sugar and almonds. I made yummy treats like this when I worked in a bakery years ago. —Aneta Kish, La Crosse, Wisconsin

New Orleans Beignets

These sweet, square and holeless French doughnuts are known as beignets. New Orleans’ traditional breakfast always includes a few of these powdered sugar delicacies. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana

Glazed Doughnut Holes

Here’s a simple recipe to create a colorful and fun breakfast—or snack! For the glaze, use any type of juice you like. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

I wanted to make a gluten-free doughnut that tasted so good, the fact that it’s gluten-free is beside the point! —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pumpkin Doughnut Drops

I always have a few special treats handy when the grandchildren visit. These cake doughnuts are one of their favorite snacks. —Beva Staum, Muscoda, Wisconsin

Jolly Jelly Doughnuts

Just looking at these plump jelly-filled doughnuts will make your mouth water. There’s nothing like them. —Lee Bremson, Kansas City, Missouri

Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts

What could be more delicious than a warm homemade doughnut? I’ve been making these tasty treats for my children and grandchildren for many years. —Kay McEwen, Sussex, New Brunswick

Cider Doughnuts

Here on our 1,250-acre farm, we usually have a quick breakfast on the go. So I often keep a batch of these light and moist doughnuts on hand. They disappear quickly because no one can eat just one! —Suzanne Christensen, Defiance, Iowa

Old-Fashioned Doughnuts with Frosting

These finger-licking good delicacies are so light and luscious, my family has always called them “angel food doughnuts.” They’re lovely at Christmas with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

Maple-Bacon Doughnut Bites

While these delicious bite-size treats are ready in minutes, they’ll disappear in a flash. And don’t relegate the deep-fried goodness to the breakfast nook—I’ve never had anyone turn these down no matter the time of day. —Chelsea Turner, Lake Elsinore, CA


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todayOctober 30, 2020 145