quick & easy {baked} cake mix donuts recipe

Donuts! Last year for Christmas I got a Mini Donut Maker <—affiliate link, and we’ve been a little donut crazy ever since. It’s so easy to use, and it’s nice to be able to make that are baked instead of fried. And since we discovered you can make donuts in any flavor you want in under 15 minutes using a cake mix, we were hooked. My 13 year old regularly mixes up the simple recipe and bakes up a couple dozen mini donuts all by himself so he can share them with his friends. Kids go crazy for these, and since they are so much faster to make than cupcakes, they’re a great choice for birthdays, etc.

great idea! you can use a cake mix to make quick & easy donuts in any flavor with this simple recipe. baked not fried!

Since this easy donut recipe starts with a cake mix, you can make them in any flavor you can find a cake mix in: chocolate, strawberry, lemon, white, etc.! We found a spice cake mix last week and the donuts made from it were absolutely delicious, especially when topped with a simple glaze.

great idea! you can use a cake mix to make quick & easy donuts in any flavor with this simple recipe. baked not fried!

Like I mentioned, it only takes about 15 minutes to make a full batch of mini donuts (24-30) using the Mini Donut Maker. I’m sure you could also use this easy recipe in a donut pan to bake full size donuts in the over, however, I haven’t tried it yet myself.

great idea! you can use a cake mix to make quick & easy donuts in any flavor with this simple recipe. baked not fried!

Now, before I give you the recipe I will say this: cake mix donuts don’t taste exactly like donuts you’d buy at the store. Since they are baked instead of fried the consistency is a little different, although they are quite similar to “cake donuts”. The taste varies depending on the cake mix you choose.

Ok, ready to make cake mix donuts? All you do is mix one dry cake mix with 1 egg, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined – a few lumps will remain. I like to dump the batter into a large resealable plastic bag, then snip off one corner and use that to “pipe” the batter into the Mini Donut Maker, filling the bottom well as shown below. (Spray the unit once with nonstick spray before beginning.)


Once all 6 wells are full, close the donut maker and wait 3 minutes. Open it back up and use the included fork to remove the donuts from the maker and allow them to cool.

Now, for the glaze! Melt 1 tablespoon butter, then whisk in 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and about 2 tablespoons of milk (start with less milk and add a little more as needed). The glaze should be somewhat runny, as you see below. Dip the donut halfway into the glaze, then turn the donut sideways to allow extra glaze to run off. Let it firm up on a cooling rack, adding sprinkles immediately if desired. After a few hours, the glaze gets firm enough to stack donuts on a plate without smooshing.

great idea! you can use a cake mix to make quick & easy donuts in any flavor with this simple recipe. baked not fried!


You’ll need to experiment a little with how thick or thin you like your glaze – thin glaze dries fairly clear, allowing the color of the donut to show through, while thick glaze stays opaque white. If you want pretty donuts, allow them to cool completely before glazing – the glaze doesn’t look as nice if it melts on a hot donut. But hot donuts taste great, so if you want to glaze and eat them immediately, go for it!

One last note, the donut maker will lightly brown whatever edge it comes into contact with, so if you are making strawberry donuts and want the tops to look pink, not brown, you should slightly under fill the wells so the tops don’t completely touch the unit while cooking.

We went hog wild last week and make 10 dozen mini donuts using 5 different cake mixes – and even when making that many it took us less than 2 hours. Fun!

great idea! you can use a cake mix to make quick & easy donuts in any flavor with this simple recipe. baked not fried!


  1. 1

    Helen says

    after your post I ordered the mini donut maker … just arrived yesterday!!!! can wait to give it a try.

    thank you for your wonderful site, ideas and all

      • 4

        R says

        I had bought one a week ago and it came yesterday. So I googled donut maker doughnuts and couldn’t believe how many came up. So I was going though and found yours and I really liked the way you have how you make them and your write up. I’ll be excited to make them, so thank-you.


    • 6

      Chiara says

      I’ve really needed to do something with my dad in the holidays, so he doesn’t think I’m sending it on my iPad watch videos and playing, instead of hanging out with him. Some of these pins are really going to help not being in my room all the time and actually doing something with my dad. And of course, getting creative 😘

  2. 7

    Linda Merillat Komondy says

    So simple – I may have to order a donut maker! I’m wondering if you could substitute some other liquid for the water; maybe apple cider if you’re using a spice cake mix?

  3. 22

    Katie says

    I wonder how using a pineapple cake mix with pineapple juice would work, or a yellow or white cake with marchino cherry juice

    • 23

      wljmrill says

      might be abit to much sugar ( unless unsweetened juice ).. I noticed in mine that if sugar is to high they burn or will not come out of the baker easily. perhaps add a little flour to offset the sugar might well work.

  4. 26

    Sophie says

    Hi, I don’t have a doughnut maker but I am considering buying a doughnut tray to put in the oven. Would there be a difference between the two in terms of how the doughnuts turn out? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • 27

      Mandy says

      I have a mini and large donut pan for the oven and they work great!! You would cook about 7-8 min (mini) and check them…depends on the batter you choose. I’ve done cake donuts and pancake ones. Pancake mix in the donut pan with a little bowl of syrup on the side and the kids love it!

    • 29

      Linda Hindman says

      I just ordered 2 donut pans from Wilson. They were $9.99 each. Shipping was almost $9. I googled the other brand and it came up $15.

      • 38

        Gayle says

        I received a mini doughnut pan and a regular doughnut pan and just baked 2 dozens and they were great! It only took 12 minutes and my grandson could help out too!

    • 39

      Winnie says

      I tried using cake mix to make mini donuts in an oven pan and it was way too fluffy.. i couldn’t even get it out of the pan without having it crumble to pieces. any tips?? would using milk instead of water make it denser? or is that gross?

      • 40


        Winnie, Did you follow the directions on the cake mix box or what was written on this site? Just wondering as I’m planning on making these.

        Which says:
        (Ok, ready to make cake mix donuts? All you do is mix one dry cake mix with 1 egg, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined – a few lumps will remain. I like to dump the batter into a large resealable plastic bag, then snip off one corner and use that to “pipe” the batter into the Mini Donut Maker,)

  5. 41

    Jenni says

    Thank you for this post. This is perfect for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party we are having in the morning.! Any idea how long the donuts last once they are made? I would like to make in advance. Thanks!

  6. 42

    Lauren McGreevy says

    Hi! I wanted to make these treats today in my donut pan for the oven! What temperature do you recommend I use?

    Thank you so much!

  7. 45

    Bev says

    I have a donut hole maker and was wondering if you could use this recipe in there? I also have the donut pans for regular full size donuts and was wondering the same thing as to whether I could use these pans and for how long would I have to bake the donuts. Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. 46

    Kathy says

    What a great idea! I have a mini donut maker and hardly ever use it because the mixes are expensive. My girls love mini donuts, and can have them all the time now. Thanks!

  9. 49

    Michele says

    I’ve used muffin mix as well and they turn quite fantastic! YUM!! May have to dig my mini donut make out today, lol…

  10. 51

    Emma says

    This is really helpful. They look delicious…. I don’t have all of the ingredients right at this moment, but one day when I have them all I will definitely make this recipe.

  11. 52

    Deanna says

    Last year when I saw your post, I almost asked for a donut maker for Christmas. I found one at a Church rummage sale for a dollar. I had not even been used. They had three of them. Can’t wait to try out your recipe.

  12. 55


    The trouble I am having with baked donnughts is they all seem to taste like a cupcake but in the shape of a donught. Do these taste like donughts? They certainly look great!

    • 56

      autumn says

      Hi Rachel! When these are hot and fresh they taste more like a donut, and once they are completely cool they taste more like a cupcake. I guess there’s just no way to get that donut flavor without actually frying them 🙂 but I think when these are warm they’re pretty close!

  13. 57

    Destiny says

    I was wondering if these would work if you made them into balls and dropped them in a fryer? What do you think?

    • 58

      autumn says

      I’m really not sure. The batter is pretty soft so you couldn’t really shape it into a ball… I guess you’d just have to experiment and see what happens. If you do, come back and let us know!

  14. 60

    Judy says

    I purchased a mini doughnut baking pan here in Australia some years ago and have never used it because I lost the recipe that came with it. I have seen it from time to time haven’t kept it aside. If I find it again, I will post the recipe on here. I can’t remember the ingredients or wether it is similar to a cake recipe. I might be some time getting it put on your page as I’m going away soon and may not have time to get it on.

  15. 61

    terry says

    I have a mini donut msaker. Kohls sells them. I make these all the time. Going to make some tomorrow. Walmart has a mango cake mix I’m excited to try.

  16. 63

    Mary says

    don’t know what kind of cKe mix you are using but I just tried this in a regular donut pan me the cake mix is so light that the donuts all fell apart, all I got is drums. What a mess. Will try again. It have to find another mix.

  17. 64


    I just made these yesterday and they were heavenly! I used a red velvet cake mix and followed autumn’s instructions (1 egg, 1/4cup oil, 1cup water) and they were so moist and delicious. I used a 6ct doughnut pan which I baked at 350 for 15mins and they were perfect. allowed them to cool and dipped in a glaze of cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk). oh and sprinkles of course 🙂
    this recipe made 18doughnuts

    • 65

      Connie Griffin says

      just got a mini donut maker, and need to do Gluten Free donuts.
      I love the recipe with the cake mix egg and water. Wondering if you could use applesauce instead of the water?

    • 66

      Willidean Witthoft says

      Was you donuts baking at 15 minutes firm I tried for 10 minutes were very good and moist but little crumbly ty

  18. 67

    Mary says

    I don’t have the doughnut maker but the pop/doughnut hole maker. This worked just as well. My husband loved them. So did the ladies a work with! Thanks for this fun recipe.

  19. 69

    Caroline says

    I picked up one of those mini donut makers at a thrift store for $4. Best $4 I’ve ever spent! And now that I know we can use a cake mix in that baby I think we’re going to go a little nuts for my kids’ bake sale next weekend!

    • 70

      Mariana says

      Just wondering, how did the bake sale go? What flavors did you make? Which sold best? I was thinking of making these for a bake sale too.

  20. 71

    Judy Moreno says

    Tried the pink lemonade cake mix following directions on back of box .After mixing put in oven donut pans 400 degrees for 13 minutes. After letting cool took out of pan.Ice if you like.They are delicious

    • 72

      Mia says

      THANKYOU THAT IS SOOOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

  21. 73

    Anitra Cape says

    Needed a recipe for using my donut baker. Used this recipe with a pumpkin quick-bread mix. Turned out deliciously! Dipped them in cinnamon-sugar. They taste just like Tim Horton’s Pumpkin-Spice donuts, only cheaper! Thank you for the recipe. I also used the pumpkin quick-bread mix to make the lightest pancakes–superb!

  22. 74

    Gary Huddleston says

    I watched my brother make these for his wife’s church group about 3 years ago. The only thing I saw different was that his doughnuts turned out a lot flatter and not as rounded as in the picture. They did taste pretty good though. Not like a regular doughnut but more like the cake. I can’t get the machine here so I will use mini bundt pans to try the recipe. Thanks for the post ans the comments.

  23. 76

    Michelle says

    I just bought a mini donut maker at a used store and I was just hoping there would be someone to give me some “direction” in using it 😉
    Thanks! Now I know I can use a cake mix and it takes 3 minutes. Yay!!! This should keep four 13 year old boys busy for an hour or so. In fact, the birthday party will almost take care of itself if there’s enough icing and sprinkles 🙂
    Thanks again!

  24. 77

    Caitie says

    I tried these in doughnut pans and they did NOT work. I baked them on 350 for 25 minutes before they were baked through, but they would not come out of the pan and just crumbled apart (I greased the pan beforehand).

    • 78

      Ann says

      Tried this in my silicone mini donut pan. Crumbled to bits. I followed the directions as given here. It sounds like it’s much more successful in a donut maker.

  25. 80

    Beverly says

    I’ve been craving donuts, went on a Pinterest search, and these are sooooo good!! I made them with a gluten-free, dairy-free cake mix (Pamela’s); followed Autumn’s recipe here, and they were absolutely delicious!! I glazed them with a powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond milk combo so they’re a sweet treat the whole family can enjoy. Thank You!!

  26. 81

    Melinda says

    My daughter and I made these and they turned out awesome!! We didn’t have powdered sugar, so I just used regular frosting and it still worked 🙂

  27. 82

    Mia says


  28. 89

    Mary B says

    I can’t wait to try this with gluten free cake mixes!! My mom will love it! I always add different flavors to her cake mixes. This will be a fresh new treat. Awesome 💗

  29. 90

    Melanie H says

    We’ve had a mini donut maker collecting dust because it seemed like too much effort for these tiny donuts, but these take no time! Thanks for sharing!

  30. 91

    Andrea says

    Made this tonight with donut baking pans for my son and daughter’s 10th birthday tomorrow. I did yellow cake first and it was a bit running for my taste but the donuts came out okay. Once they were cool they were firm enough to handle. The chocolate donuts I did the same recipe but I added extra flour to this batter and they came out more dense but still great. I think both batches came out well and my kids will be quite pleased in the morning. Thanks for posting this easy recipe!

  31. 92

    Kimmi says

    I used your recipe in a regular sized Wilton 6 donut cavity pan & it worked like a charm with the oven being at 425 degrees for 7 minutes! Thank you!!! ☺️

  32. 93

    Andrea says

    This does not work with Betty Crocker cake mix in Wilton pans. The cake is way too soft still and I followed your exact instructions. I’m a “from scratch” baker most of the time but wanted something quick for my son’s school party Tuesday. I’m so glad I did a test run on these because they all fell apart even after waiting for them to cool and being very gentle handling then. I think the donut maker is the only way these will work.


  1. […] to use our mini donut maker that I haven’t used since our first married Christmas. I found a super simple recipe on Pinterest (where else?) that led me to the original blog post and I found a chocolate frosting […]

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