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Craving Donuts but Missing the Pan? These 7 Tricks Have Got You Covered

Craving Donuts but Missing the Pan? These 7 Tricks Have Got You Covered

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So, you’ve got the perfect donut recipe but missing the pan? Well, you’ll be surprised by the amount of items in your kitchen that can double as a donut mold.

In fact, almost any pan can pass as a donut pan. You can also create your own mold using tinfoil or shape the donuts yourself.

In this guide, I’ll tell you how to make donuts without a donut pan. This way, you can enjoy the tasty treat without spending money or cluttering your kitchen. Let’s dive in!

How to Make Donuts Without a Donut Pan

Here are all the alternative ways you can make donuts without a donut pan:

1- Use a Mini Bundt Pan

There’s no need to spend your money on countless pans for different desserts. Mini Bundt pans can double as donut pans!

Bundt pans have intricate patterns, resulting in the most uniquely decorated donuts. Accordingly, if you want to impress your guests or are looking for an edgy way to bake your donuts, this trick is for you.

That’s not all. The grooves and pattern in the donut are amazing for glazing. Whether you’re using thin or thick glaze, the pattern will ensure the donuts are completely covered.

Ideally, cake donuts work perfectly for this trick. That’s because Bundt pans are typically deeper than regular donut pans. So, your donuts will have enough space to rise.

2- Invest in a Donut Cutter

Instead of shaping your donuts by adding them to the pan, simply use a donut cutter. This handy tool will make shaping the donuts a breeze.

Then, you can bake your donuts in any pan you own. If your donuts are the right consistency, they’ll hold their shape while baking, resulting in the same crispy exterior and fluffy interior.

The secret behind the dough consistency is the gluten content in the flour. You need a denser dough that won’t break or rise too much in the oven.

For this reason, if you’re using a baking sheet or another pan that doesn’t have a distinct donut shape, I’d recommend altering the recipe.

Bread flour is an excellent choice for donuts. Your donuts might not be as soft as ones made with all-purpose flour, but they’ll hold their shape.

The best part is that you can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour in the same ratio, and your donuts will turn out perfect.

3- Make a Donut Mold Out of Foil

Everybody has tinfoil in their kitchen. Well, you can make any type of pan you want from this multipurpose item, including a donut pan,

All you have to do is make small cups out of the foil, ensuring they’re the same size as the donuts. Then, roll small pieces of foil into balls, and place them in the middle of the cups.

Now that you have your makeshift donut molds, place them on a baking sheet and place the dough in them.

The tinfoil will adequately distribute the heat into the donuts, similarly to a donut pan. So, you shouldn’t alter the baking time.

4- Use a Cupcake Pan

If you already have various baking utensils, you should do your best to use them as often as possible. This includes converting your cupcake pan into a donut pan.

This doesn’t require any effort or additional items. Instead, flip the cupcake pan, and you’ll have a perfect donut mold.

Regardless of the recipe you’re going for, wrap the dough around each cupcake mold. Then, bake as you usually would. The resulting donuts will be identical to those made in a donut pan.

Alternatively, you can also use a muffin tin or a mini Bundt pan similarly. If you don’t own any of these baking utensils, utilize silicone cupcake molds. Just place them upside down on a baking sheet for a makeshift donut pan.

5- Use a Piping Bag

Piping bags are a superb choice for shaping any dessert. They’re also incredibly simple to use.

The trick is to use warm, or room-temperature dough. It’d be too difficult to pipe cold, refrigerated dough.

Additionally, you won’t have to knead the dough too much, as the softer and wetter the dough, the easier it is to pipe it.

Fill your dough into the piping bags, and start piping them to the size of your liking. Next, place the donuts on a baking sheet, and into the oven they go!

6- Bake Donut Holes

If none of the above options work for you, why not make delicious donut holes? You don’t need a specific mold. Instead, roll your dough into balls and bake.

This trick is exceptional if you don’t have time. That’s because you don’t need to roll out the donut dough, shape the donuts, find the right pan, and wash the pan’s crevices afterward!

Donut holes require the same recipe as regular donuts. Then, you can fill the tasty balls with any filling you like, glaze them, and add sprinkles.

7- Fry the Donuts

Lastly, fried donuts take minutes to make, and they’re fluffier and crispier than baked donuts.

There isn’t a specific recipe for fried donuts. All you have to do is make sure your dough is sturdy enough to hold its shape in the hot oil.

As for shaping the donuts, you might either use a donut cutter, shape the donuts with your hands, or even fry donut holes.

If you’re eating clean, you can still enjoy fried donuts. Just cut down on the amount of sugar you’re using in the recipe, and use as little oil as possible when frying.

Then, place the fried donuts on a cooling rack, allowing the oil to drain. Since frying will make the donuts irresistible, there’s no need to use sugar glaze.

Best Baked Donuts Recipe

There’s no shortage of kitchen items and utensils that you can use to bake your donuts. This leaves the perfect baked donuts recipe.

Here’s an easy recipe for baked donuts that beginners and seasoned chefs alike will love:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 ℉.
  2. To make the dough, first, whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (milk, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract).
  4. Next, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. You should have a soft and bouncy dough.
  5. Since you’re using baking powder instead of yeast, there’s no need to let the dough rest. Alternatively, you can immediately shape the donuts.
  6. Afterward, place the donut in the mold of your liking, and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.
  7. Lastly, take the donuts out of the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Once the donuts are warm, you can glaze and enjoy them!

Final Thoughts

Learning how to make donuts without a donut pan is essential if you dislike cluttering your kitchen with too many pans. A simple muffin tin, mini Bundt pan, or cupcake pan will do the trick.

Moreover, while the traditional shape of donuts makes for an exceptional crispy dessert, you can also use the dough to make donut holes if you’re in a pinch.

That’s not all. Frying the donuts is another great option to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just make sure you’re using bread flour, as it’ll make for sturdier dough.

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