These homemade cinnamon sugar donuts are cakey, dense, perfectly spiced, and baked not fried. These donuts come together quickly and easily— the best recipe for those cold winter weekend mornings!
Earlier this year, I published my favorite recipe for baked maple frosted donuts. I've made those donuts at least 5x since then. They are SO good— but recently I felt like I needed something a bit more seasonal. These cinnamon sugar donuts hit the spot.
Break out your donut pan and let's get started. 🙂🙂
Why You'll Love These Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
- Baked, not fried
- Easy to make— no mixer required
- Perfectly spiced
- Flavored with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg
- Completely from-scratch
- Perfect for cold weekend mornings
Ingredients For Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
- Flour: The all-purpose flour is the structure of the donut. You'll be tempted to add more flour, but don't.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: The combination of these help give the donuts a lift.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Both of these provide key flavor for these donuts.
- Salt & Vanilla Extract: Both add flavor.
- Egg: The egg helps bind the ingredients together.
- Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar in the batter gives the donut the most flavor because of the molasses.
- Milk: The milk helps create a tender donut. You can use a lower fat milk or even a nondairy milk, but the donuts won't be as flavorful or rich. I highly recommend using whole milk if you can.
- Yogurt: The yogurt provides moisture and the acidity to interact with the baking soda to lift the donuts.
- Butter: The melted butter provides not only flavor but also keeps the donuts moist.
- Granulated Sugar: This is mixed with the cinnamon for the topping. Using granulated sugar helps provide a crunch.
Overview: How To Make Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
- Make the Batter: Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients into another bowl. Then, whisk to combine.
- Fill the Donut Cavities: This part can be tricky so I suggest using a zipped-top bag or a piping bag to pipe the batter into the pan. Just spoon the batter into the bag, trim off the corner and squeeze the batter into the pan. The batter is thick so it pipes nicely.
- Bake: These bake VERY quickly— about 9-10 minutes.
- Make the Topping: Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and melt the butter into another.
- Dunk into the Topping: Dip the warm donuts into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Make sure you coat both sides!
3 Success Tips
While these donuts are easy to make, here are a few tips to help ensure that the donuts come out perfect.
- Avoid Overmixing: The batter is delicate. To ensure that the batter doesn't become too dense, mix until it's just combined.
- Full Fat Ingredients: The recipe works best with whole milk and full fat yogurt. Though a lower fat or nondairy milk or yogurt can be used, the donuts won't be as rich.
- Bounce Back Trick: When the donuts are just about done, lightly poke the top with your finger. If the donut bounces back, they're done. If your finger leaves an indent, the donuts need a bit longer in the oven.
What I love most about this recipe is that you can make the donuts ahead without the cinnamon sugar topping. I typically make a batch and then freeze them (for up to 3 months.) The day before I put them in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Then, the day of I add the topping.
This recipe produces the best cinnamon sugar donuts at home. I have a feeling that these donuts will become a new family favorite.
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1 and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk the brown sugar, egg, yogurt, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities— I recommend using a large zipped-top bag or piping bag for ease. Cut a corner off of the bag and pipe into each cavity, filling 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack set on a piece of parchment paper or on a large baking sheet.
- While the donuts bake, melt the butter and stir together the cinnamon and granulated sugar. Dip the donuts into the melted butter, then sit into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat on the other side.
- The donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The baked donuts, without the cinnamon sugar topping, can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature before adding the topping.
- Yogurt: You can use any type of yogurt for this recipe. For best results, use full fat yogurt.
- Milk: I've used a variety of milk for this recipe, lower fat or dairy free milks, though whole milk works best.