Baked Vanilla Donuts Using a Cake Mix (with glaze)

These moist vanilla baked donuts are super easy, they’re made with a cake mix, have a delicious vanilla flavor and are covered in vanilla glaze and sprinkles.

These are really the easiest baked donuts you could ever make. Kids and adults alike will love them and they’re much easier and quicker than making traditional donuts. These donuts are made with a cake mix, which means they’re made without yeast and that makes them super convenient.

There’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen to get good vanilla baked donuts. Using a cake mix as the base makes this recipe so much easier than other recipes.

You will actually need a donut pan to make these, but they’re not expensive and then you can make homemade vanilla donuts any time you want them.

Top view of baked donuts on a rack with text overlay.

Hey there! Before you scroll, there are lots of helpful things in this post…including an FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!

Table of Contents:

Ingredient Notes:

Let’s talk a little bit about just some of the ingredients in this recipe. The full list of ingredients will be in the recipe card below. Also, check out the FAQ section to see other tips and ingredient questions.

Vanilla cake mix: This is the base of the donuts. I used a Betty Crocker vanilla cake recipe, but you could probably use any vanilla cake mix that includes the same weight of cake mix. The two brands of cake mixes that I prefer are Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines.

Eggs, oil and milk: This will add additional moisture to the donuts. You really don’t need to set these out ahead of time to come to room temperature if you don’t have the time. I used them all cold and it worked out just fine.

Vanilla extract: This will just add a little extra flavor and it helps make the cake mix taste more like homemade.

Confectioner’s sugar: This will be used for the glaze and it’s what will make it sweet and what will thicken it.

Corn syrup: This is optional, but it’s what will help firm up the glaze so it doesn’t transfer to everything around it. It doesn’t make it hard but will firm it up just enough to help keep things from being messy.

Top view of baked donuts on a rack.

Preparation and Mixing Method Notes:

Here’s how to prepare these donuts. The full instructions will be in the recipe card below.

Step 1:

Make sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray or grease two donut pans.

Step 2:

Next, add the cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium, until well combined.

Step 3:

Fill each donut cavity about 1/2 of the way full with the batter. You can either spoon the batter in or transfer the batter to a ziplock bag or piping bag and pipe it into the donut pan cavities. (If there is any leftover batter after filling the donut pans, cover it and place in the refrigerator. Once the first round of donuts are baked and removed from the pans, add the remaining batter to the pans and bake.)

Step 4:

Bake the donuts in a preheated oven for about 9-10 minutes. Set the baked donut pans onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then remove the donuts from the pan and set onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Collage of preparing baked donut batter.

Step 5:

While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter, confectioners sugar, corn syrup and about three tablespoons of milk. Mix well and check the consistency. If needed, add in another tablespoon of milk to thin the glaze.

Step 6:

Once the donuts are cool, dunk them face down into the glaze mixture about halfway up the donut, then twist and lift the donut up and out of the glaze.

Step 7:

Let the excess drip off a bit, then turn face up.

Step 8:

Set onto a cooling rack and add sprinkles if desired. Let the donuts set up for about 10 minutes so that the glaze firms up just a bit.

Collage of glazing donuts.

Tips & FAQs:

What type of cake mix should I use?

You can use any vanilla cake mix, but I find that Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines works the best. I used Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix for this recipe.

Can I use any flavor cake mix?

Probably. I haven’t tested them all out, but in theory, it should work with any flavor.

I don’t have corn syrup. Can I omit that?

You can, but the corn syrup is what firms up the glaze, so it isn’t quite as messy.

Do I need to use sprinkles?

No, you don’t have to use sprinkles.

Do I need a donut pan to bake donuts?

In my experience, it’s best if you have a donut pan. I have seen tutorials online on how to make baked donuts using foil, but it just seems messy and they just won’t look as good. It’s worth experimenting if you’d like though.

Tip for preparing the donut pans:

Make sure to either spray the donut pans with non-stick baking spray or grease them with vegetable shortening. It could be difficult to get the donuts out of the pan if the pan isn’t prepared well.

How do you know when the baked donuts are done?

The donuts are done when a toothpick inserted into one comes out with either a few moist crumbs or clean. Be very careful not to overbake these. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it and no raw batter, go ahead and pull them out of the oven. You don’t need to bake longer so that the toothpick comes out clean.

How do I store these donuts and how long do they last?

Store leftover donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

What’s the best way to serve/eat these donuts?

It’s best to serve or eat these donuts at room temperature and on the same day they’re baked or a day or two after that. Just like cupcakes, these will tend to dry out the longer they are kept especially if not covered in an air-tight container.

Baked donuts on a rack.

Supplies used for this recipe:

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Video:

Close view of vanilla baked donuts with sprinkles.

Baked Vanilla Donuts Using a Cake Mix (with glaze)

These moist vanilla baked donuts are super easy, they're made with a cake mix, have a delicious vanilla flavor and are covered in vanilla glaze and sprinkles.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla baked donuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Servings: 20 donuts
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Kara @ Quick and Easy Baking

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 1 (15 oz) box vanilla cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoon milk (add additional tablespoons if needed)
  • rainbow sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

For the donuts:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease two donut pans.
  • Add the cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium, until well combined.
  • Fill each donut cavity about 1/2 of the way full with the batter. Either spoon the batter in or transfer the batter to a ziplock bag or piping bag and pipe it into the donut pan cavities. (If there is any leftover batter after filling the donut pans, cover it and place in the refrigerator. Once the first round of donuts are baked and removed from the pans, add the remaining batter to the pans and bake.)
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 9-10 minutes. A toothpick inserted into a donut should come out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean.
  • Set the baked donut pans onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then remove the donuts from the pan and set onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  • While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:

  • In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter, confectioners sugar, corn syrup and about three tablespoons of milk.
  • Mix well and check the consistency. If needed, add in another tablespoon of milk to thin the glaze.
  • Once the donuts are cool, dunk them face down into the glaze mixture about halfway up the donut, then twist and lift the donut up and out of the glaze.
  • Let the excess drip off a bit, then turn face up and set onto a cooling rack. Add sprinkles if desired. Let the donuts set up for about 10 minutes so that the glaze firms up just a bit. If the glaze starts to firm up too much while dipping the donuts, heat it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and stir.

Notes

Store leftover donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional values are an estimate.
Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer any questions you may have. 
This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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Collage of vanilla donuts with text.

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