Fresh, homemade donuts are delicious but deep frying them in oil can make them one of the unhealthiest treats out there. Fortunately, there are specialized baking pans that can be used to make donuts in the oven. Baked donuts are just as light and fluffy as their fried counterparts, but don't have nearly as much fat. Once they're out of the oven, they can be topped with chocolate, caramel, or powdered sugar, just like store-bought donuts. For our list of these five best donut pans, we chose pans that are made from high quality aluminum, steel, or cast iron that heat evenly and will last for years.
For traditionally, full-sized, ring-shaped donuts, there's no better pan than the USA Pans Donut Pan. This pan is made from aluminized steel that heats quickly and evenly and is covered in corrugations that allow for greater airflow around the bottom of the donuts. The silicone coating allows donuts to slide out of the pan without any effort, and makes cleanup a breeze. Read Full Review
Our favorite donut pan is the one by USA Pans. This company is a long-time favorite of professional chefs and produces some of the best quality bakeware on the market. The USA Pans Donut Pans makes six traditional ring-shaped donuts. Made from aluminized steel, this pan heats up faster than many of its competitors, decreasing cooking time considerably. The surface is corrugated, which helps to keep the donut off the surface of the pan as it's cooking, decreasing the risk of burning. USA Pans also uses a special silicone-based coating on its pans that allows the donuts to slide right out of the pan once they're done.
With superior construct that's backed by a ten-year warranty, the Wilton 6-Cavity Doughnut Twist Pan is one of our favorites. This pan is made from a heavy-duty steel that heats evenly, and is coated with a non-stick finish that donuts slide right off of. It's also easy to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher. Read Full Review
Wilton is known for making bakeware in all shapes and sizes, and it's no surprise that their 6-Cavity Doughnut Twist Pan is a Best Pick in donut pans. This steel pan can make 6, full-sized, twist-shaped donuts at a time. Donuts cook quickly and evenly in this pan, and once they're cooked through, the non-stick finish makes it easy to slide them onto the cooling rack so you can decorate them. Wilton also includes a few recipes with the pan, in case you'd like to make baked donuts but you don't know how. Baked by a ten-year warranty, this pan is made to last, and can last longer than ten years with proper care. Wilton also makes pans for regular, mini, heart-shaped, and candy-cane shaped donuts.
For a high-quality donut pan at a great price, you'll definitely want to consider the Norpro Nonstick 6 Baking Donut Pan. This pan makes 6 ring-shaped donuts at a time and comes with a recipe, perfect for an impromptu breakfast. Read Full Review
Norpro is one of the most-well known names in bakeware, and makes some of the best pans for the price. The 13-by-8.5 inch Norpro Nonstick 6 Baking Donut Pan is the perfect size for full or half-size ovens. This pan can be used to make six ring-shaped donuts at a time, each with a diameter of 3.5 inches. Once you're done baking for the day, the non-stick surface cleans up easily and can be put in the dishwasher, though frequent exposure to such high humidity can damage the pan over time. In case you're not sure how to bake a batch of donuts, Norpro also throws in a recipe so you can get baking right away.
Though the company is better known for it's baking ingredients than its bakeware, King Arthur Flour makes one of the best donut pans you can buy. The Standard Doughnut Pan fits 6 standard-sized donuts, and with its non-stick coating, cleans up quickly and easily. Read Full Review
For a no-nonsense donut pan that's easy to use and easy to clean, the King Arthur Flour Standard Doughnut Pan fits the bill. This pan makes six, 3.5 inch donuts at a time and is made from a high-quality steel with a slick non-stick surface. The pan heats evenly and browns the donuts nicely. It's also dishwasher safe, though it'll last longer if you wash it by hand. If you need some help figuring out the best donut recipe to use, King Arthur Flour also makes a few specialty mixes that are designed for use in this pan.
The Fox Run Mini Donut pan can make twelve 2-inch donuts at a time. It's great for serving a crowd, and has a slick non-stick coating that doesn't need to be greased, so donuts don't come out oily. The pan's core is made of steel, and heats up evenly with no hot or cold spots. Read Full Review
If you're looking for a pan that'll bake up donuts by the dozen, the Fox Run Mini Donut Pan is a great choice. This pan can bake twelve donuts at a time, each one two inches across, which are the perfect treat to start your day with. Made from a high-quality steel, this donut pan heats up quickly and evenly. It's also coated with a non-stick surface so there's no need to add any extra oil or grease the pan before you bake. Though the pan is durable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher, it will last longer if you wash it by hand.