These easy baked homemade donuts are the cutest thing ever – mini any food is adorable – and these taste fantastic.
When Little Miss and I realized we had an entire day to ourselves with Mister Man at a Boy Scout campout and my husband coaching after a long week, we both realized we needed to do something fun and special. She suggested pancakes – again. I came up with a better idea, and Little Miss agreed. Not just homemade donuts, but mini homemade donuts.
I had originally planned to just make them with a chocolate frosting, but Little Miss went digging in the pantry and came up with colored sprinkles and begged to add them. How could I say no? It turns out that the little round sprinkles are the perfect size to fit on these min donuts. Even better, making baked homemade donuts is as easy as making pancakes. Truly. I was surprised they didn’t take much longer than pancakes either.
I have a bit of a donut fetish. (You’ve seen the apple cider donuts and the pumpkin donuts I’ve made in the past, right?) And I have a mini food fetish, too – witness my mini pineapple upside down cakes. So of course making “regular” mini homemade donuts is the next logical step. And if you’re dairy free or vegan, check out the end of the recipe for easy subs you can make so you can enjoy them, too!
We had an absolute blast making them, and half the fun is that since these are so easy to make, my ten year old daughter can help create them (please ignore her hair). She thought it was so cool that she could not just mix the batter and add the ingredients but even distribute the batter into the donut pans and more. I’m pretty sure I’ll be waking up in the near future to the smell of donuts she’s decided to make all on her own.
Of course the first thing we did when we finished them (ok ok ok even before they were all baked and done) was to sit down and enjoy some of our beyond fresh homemade donuts. What else did you expect? Happily, these homemade donuts meant Little Miss turned to me and gave me the biggest hug telling me that Saturday was our best Mommy Daughter Date Day ever. And a few homemade donuts is all it took? Yup, we’ll be doing these again.
I may even need to buy a full size donut pan at some point, although it’s so much easier to justify eating multiples of the mini homemade donuts! Plus, these are baked homemade donuts and not fried. Justification complete.
This recipe makes 48 mini donuts, but you could also make them in a regular size homemade donuts pan and my best guess is that this would make a little more than a dozen and probably about 18 of them. The key is the fill the donut pan about halfway. If you fill them more, they rise too much and look more like a cake than a donut. They still taste amazing, but it isn’t the perfect donut look.
How to Make Mini Homemade Donuts
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. The batter comes together quickly, and you’ll want the oven fully preheated. Grease your mini donut pans, as well.
Melt the butter just until it is most of the way melted, then remove from the heat and let the residual heat finish melting it.
In your mixing bowl, add the milk, mayonnaise, sugar, vanilla, and egg, and mix thoroughly. Pour the butter in while mixing to ensure it gets incorporated rather than hardening.
Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg to the liquid ingredients and stir. Yep, I really said nutmeg – I put it in almost everything I make. Trust me. Just a little goes a long way, but it really bumps up the flavor profile. Try it the next time you make cookies. Or cake. Or… these homemade donuts. Add the flour and stir slowly, just until the flour is incorporated. Stirring too much creates bubbles in your donut interior as they bake, which is not your goal.
Open up a zip top bag and place it in a glass with the top folded outside the glass to make it easier to fill. Close up your bag, and snip off just a little of the tip (you can always make it bigger if needed but trust me, it’s a pain to try to make it smaller later).
Squeeze the batter into your greased donut pans, filling them only halfway to give yourself a good donut shape.
Place into your 350 degree oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, until they spring back when you touch them.
While the donuts are baking, make the chocolate frosting to cover your yummy homemade donuts. It takes just a very few minutes to make, and I found that dipping the donuts directly as I pulled them from the pan after the cool a few minutes rather than removing all of them and then dipping one by one. I’m all about the efficiency when it means I can eat my homemade donuts faster.
To make the chocolate frosting, use a heavy saucepan. Add the chocolate, honey, coffee (coffee always brings out a depth of flavor in chocolate – try it next time in a cake or brownie recipe), and butter, then turn the heat to medium low.
Stir while the butter and chocolate melt, letting it go slowly so the chocolate doesn’t scorch. When the chocolate is almost all the way melted, remove it from the heat and stir until the chocolate finishes melting. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until it is completely incorporated. Set aside to dip your donuts. If you use a heavy saucepan, the chocolate should stay warm enough for all your donuts. If it starts to cool, return to the stove on low heat and stir until it’s a good texture for dipping again.
Back to the donuts. Once they finish baking, let cool in the pans for three or so minutes. They are far easier to remove once they’ve cooled a few minutes than right away (voice of experience). They don’t just shake out, generally. My best solution has been to use a fondue fork (you want something small and able to get into small spaces) to gently slide next to the homemade donuts and push them slightly away from the pan all the way around, then pop them out. They come out perfect every time!
Once they’re out of the pan, I turn them upside down and dip the baked side into the chocolate, pushing down to cover almost halfway down the donut and twisting slightly to ensure it adheres evenly over the donut.
I lift while still twisting then shake off any excess.
From there, it gets dipped into the sprinkles – if you want to use them. We started off with all yellow but then had fun creating rainbow sprinkled homemade donuts. The key with the sprinkles is to be gentle. You want to barely touch the sprinkles with the homemade donuts. If you push too hard, they end up getting too deep into the chocolate frosting and not sitting on top like they should.
If you can stand it, let them rest for the frosting to harden just a little. Otherwise, eat immediately. They will keep on the counter in a tightly sealed container for up to three days.
To make dairy free: Instead of milk, use coconut or rice milk using the same amount. Substitute coconut oil for the butter at a 1:1 ratio. Ensure your dark chocolate is dairy free – many are.
To make vegan: Make the dairy free changes to your homemade donuts. Additionally, use agave in place of honey and just a touch less as it is slightly sweeter. In place of the egg, use 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Use a vegan mayonnaise substituted in a 1:1 ratio.
These easy to make homemade mini donuts are as delicious as they are adorable and are surprisingly fast and easy to make.
- 2 T butter, melted
- 1/3 c milk
- 2 T mayonnaise
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 2 t vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1 c flour
- 2/3 c dark chocolate chips
- 2 T butter
- 1 T honey
- 2 T coffee
- 1/4 c powdered sugar
- sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease mini donut pans.
- Melt butter just until most of the way melted, then remove from the heat and let the residual heat finish melting it.
- In a mixing bowl, add milk, mayonnaise, sugar, vanilla, and egg, and mix thoroughly. Pour butter in while mixing to incorporate.
- Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg to the liquid ingredients and stir. Add the flour and stir slowly, just until the flour is incorporated.
- Open a zip top bag and place it in a glass, then fill with the batter. Close the bag, and snip off just a little of the tip.
- Squeeze the batter into greased donut pans, filling them only halfway.
- Place into 350 degree oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, until they spring back when you touch them. While donuts are baking, make the chocolate frosting.
- Use a heavy saucepan. Add chocolate, honey, coffee, and butter, then turn the heat to medium low. Stir while the butter and chocolate melt. When the chocolate is almost melted, remove it from the heat and stir until the chocolate finishes melting. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until completely incorporated. Set aside to dip your donuts.
- Once the donuts finish baking, let cool in the pans for three or so minutes. Use a fondue fork or other small utensil to loosen the donuts then remove from the pan.
- Dip into the chocolate, twisting to ensure it adheres evenly over the donut.Shake off any extra chocolate frosting, then just barely dip into sprinkles.
- Set completed donuts on a cooling rack to finish cooling, then eat immediately.
- They will keep on the counter in a tightly sealed container for up to three days