Baking donuts is a delicious way to enjoy this classic pastry, but sometimes it’s hard to find a donut pan when you need one.
What do you do if you want to make some fresh donuts and don’t have a donut pan? No problem! You can still make delicious baked donuts without a specialized pan.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about how to bake donuts without a donut pan.
What Kind of Donuts Can You Make Without a Pan?
Sometimes it’s just fun to have homemade donuts in the house, such as on a Saturday morning with the kids or for a festive party you are hosting. Donuts are fun, interesting, and can be decorated in so many creative ways!
But if you find yourself without a donut pan, you many be wondering what you can do.
You can try these other options. There are two main types of donuts: cake donuts and yeast donuts. Both types of donuts can be baked without a pan, although the results will be slightly different.
Let’s look at these two options in more detail:
Cake donuts are the kind of donuts that you typically see in the store. They are made with a baking powder-based cake batter and are often coated in a glaze, sprinkled sugar, or a frosting. Occasionally, additional toppings are also used on the frosting, such as sprinkles or nuts.
The end result will be that these donuts will taste more cake-like in texture.
Yeast donuts are made with a dough that contains yeast. Often they have a denser, more bread-like texture than cake donuts. These donuts can be fried or baked, but for this blog post, we’ll focus on how to bake them without a pan.
While the texture of these donuts will be slightly different than cake donuts, they will still be delicious!
How to Bake Donuts Without a Donut Pan
If you really want to make mouth-watering donuts without any special equipment like a donut pan, there are several ways to go about it. Here are five of the most-used options: a muffin tin with aluminum foil, a DIY pan with aluminum foil, a round mold, a cookie cutter, and freestyle donuts.
Muffin Tin with Aluminum Foil
One of the most popular ways to bake donuts without a pan is to use a muffin tin lined with aluminum foil. This method is quick, easy, and you probably already have the supplies on hand.
To make donuts using this method, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, line a muffin tin with 12 pieces of aluminum foil, making sure that each piece is big enough to scrunch into a “donut hole” and then line the inside of each muffin cup. Then, spray each piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and set the prepared muffin pan aside.
In a large bowl, stir together all of your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and if needed, other ingredients like nutmeg or cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: eggs, milk (dairy-free milk or soy milk works great too), and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
The batter will be thick, so use a spoon or spatula to transfer it into a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe the batter into each of the prepared muffin cups, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into a donut. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before glazing, frosting, or sprinkling with sugar.
Round Donut Mold
Another popular method for baking donuts without a pan is to use round molds.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, just like before. Next, grab your donut molds.
Donut molds are often made of silicone or metal, and they look like little individual bowls that have a pushed-up center for the donut hole. Spray each mold with cooking spray and then set them aside.
As with any other donut recipe, next you will create your donut dough. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of your dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together your wet ingredients, and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is combined.
Again, use a piping bag or a zip-lock bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe the donut batter into each of the prepared molds, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Then place the filled molds onto a baking sheet to cook.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into a donut. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before cutting out the center of each donut with a knife. Glaze, frost, or sprinkle with sugar and enjoy!
Another popular way to bake donuts without a pan is to use a cookie cutter. This method works best with yeast donuts, but you can also use it with cake donuts.
To make donuts using this method, mix up your dough using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Then roll out your dough on a floured surface. Use a large round donut cookie cutter (or any other shape that you want) to cut out as many donuts as possible.
Donut cookie cutters with the center hole included are available to purchase. But if you don’t have one on hand, you’ll have to make your own.
You can use something that you find around your kitchen, such as an empty can of soup or tuna, the rim of a large drinking glass, or the rim of a large mug. You’ll want to be sure the rim has at least a 2-inch hole in order to make the donuts big enough. Spray your empty can or the rim of your drinking glass or mug with cooking spray and then set it aside.
Place the cut-out doughnuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and let them rise.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the doughnuts for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. When you remove them of the oven, let them cool and add your favorite topping!
The last popular way to bake donuts without a pan is to simply make them freestyle on a baking sheet. This method is quick and easy and perfect if you’re in a hurry or don’t have any other supplies on hand.
To make freestyle donuts, you’ll want to find a recipe that creates a thicker donut batter.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set it aside. Mix your dry ingredients, then your wet ingredients, and then mix them all together.
Since the batter will be thick, use a spoon to transfer it to the baking sheet. You can drop it by the tablespoon if you are making donut holes. Or you can form the batter into rings on the baking sheet using a spatula or your fingers.
Make sure to leave enough space between each donut as they will spread while baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool on a rack, cover them with your favorite glaze, frosting, or sugar, and enjoy them!
How to Make a DIY Pan with Aluminum Foil
Similar to some of the methods above, you could also make a DIY donut pan.
If you don’t have a muffin tin on hand, you can also make your own donut pan using aluminum foil and a cookie sheet. This method is similar to using silicone or metal donut molds and a cookie sheet, but you’ll need to shape the aluminum foil into a donut-like shape yourself.
To make a DIY donut pan, start by shaping 9 to 12 pieces of aluminum foil into flattened discs. You’ll want each disc to be about ¼-inch thick and about six inches in diameter. Next, take each disc and shape it into a shallow bowl by rounding the walls.
Take another square of tin foil (one piece for each “bowl” you’ve made). Pinch the center of the square and ball it up so that the center of the square resembles a donut hole. Place one in each “bowl” so that you have created your own donut molds!
Tip: Be sure to firmly press your molds into the desired shape, so that they are smooth and not full of hard edges and crannies that could fill with dough.
How to Bake with an Aluminum Foil DIY Donut Pan
Now that you have made your DIY donut pan, it’s time to bake in it!
Spray each donut mold generously with cooking spray and place them on a cookie sheet. Depending on the size of your molds, you may be able to fit 12 on a sheet. Otherwise, you may only be able to fit 9.
If any of the molds are too rounded and won’t stand up, just gently flatten the bottom of the molds slightly. That should get them to stand with stability while baking.
Then simply add your batter and cook for the amount of time that the recipe calls for! Let them cool before gently pulling the tin foil off the baked donuts.
Do this step with care–sometimes donuts will stick. Use a knife to gently run along the edge if you need to. The good thing about these molds are that you can reshape them or recycle them if they are damaged in the removal process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baking Donuts Without a Donut Pan
Now that you know how to bake donuts without a pan, you might have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about baking donuts, along with our best answers!
Can you place DIY donut pans directly on the oven rack?
No, you should always place your DIY donut pans on a cookie sheet before baking. This will help to distribute the heat evenly and prevent them from burning. It’ll also keep them from tipping or sagging on the oven rack.
What’s the best way to store donuts?
The best way to store donuts is in an airtight container at room temperature. They should last for about two days stored this way. You can also freeze them for up to two months.
Can you make baked donuts ahead of time?
Yes, you can absolutely make baked donuts ahead of time! They are the perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container at room temperature and they should last for two days. Or, you can freeze them for up to two months. Just be sure to wrap them tightly in freezer-safe wrap or a zip-top bag before freezing.
Does a donut pan have to be non-stick?
No, a donut pan does not have to be non-stick. However, it will make your life a lot easier if it is. Non-stick pans will prevent the donuts from sticking to the pan and make them much easier to remove. If you do use a non-stick pan, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to care for it properly.
Can you make vegan donuts without a donut pan?
Yes, you can absolutely make vegan donuts without a donut pan! Just be sure to use a vegan-friendly cooking spray to grease the aluminum foil molds.
What is the best way to decorate donuts?
The best way to decorate donuts is with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and milk. You can also dip them in chocolate or add sprinkles. If you want to get really creative, you can pipe frosting onto the donuts using a piping bag and tip.
Do I need to use a piping bag to make donuts?
No, you do not need to use a piping bag to make donuts. However, it will make them look more professional if you do. You can use piping bags for distributing donut dough into the pan, or you can use them to decorate the top of donuts with frosting. Depending on what part of the donut-making process you are in, a piping bag will help you to control the amount of dough, frosting, or glaze that you use.
What is the best way to transport donuts?
The best way to transport donuts is in an airtight container. This will prevent them from drying out or getting squished. If you are transporting them for a party or potluck, you can also place them on a serving platter or tray lined with parchment paper. This will help to keep them from sticking to the surface and make them easier to transport.
Can you make gluten-free donuts in a DIY donut pan?
Yes, you can absolutely make gluten-free donuts in a DIY donut pan! Just be sure to use a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. You can also use a gluten-free baking powder and substitute the milk for a dairy-free milk.
Do I need to refrigerate donuts?
No, you do not need to refrigerate donuts. They will last for two days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also freeze them if you want them to last longer.
What’s the best way to reheat donuts?
The best way to reheat donuts is in the oven. Just preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the donuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about five minutes, or until they are warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave, but be sure to do so in short intervals so that they don’t dry out.
Now You Know Exactly How to Bake Donuts Without a Donut Pan
There you have it! Everything you need to know about baking donuts without a donut pan.
Baking donuts without a special pan is easy to do and only requires a few household items that you probably already have. With any of these methods, you can make any type of baked donut–cake, yeast, or even gluten-free. And, the best part is that you can decorate them however you like!
So, what are you waiting for? Get baking!
Do you have a favorite way to bake cake or yeast donuts? Let us know all about it in the comments below!