How to Make Doughnuts Without a Doughnut Pan

Have you ever wanted to make baked doughnuts at home but couldn't because you didn't have a doughnut pan? Here's what to do!

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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

Muffin tin with doughnut foil insertsJenna Urben for Taste of Home

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

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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

Doughnut BatterJenna Urben for Taste of Home

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

Muffin tin with doughnut foil inserts and batterJenna Urben for Taste of Home

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

Baked Doughnuts using Makeshift Doughnut PanJenna Urben for Taste of Home

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

Baked and Decorated DoughnutsJenna Urben for Taste of Home

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.

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Jenna Urben
Jenna is a food blogger focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes. Her favorite ingredients include sweet potatoes, chickpeas and squash.
Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.