These homemade Maple Doughnuts are busting with cozy fall flavors and sinfully delicious – without the guilt! Baked not fried, these fluffy cake donuts feature pure maple syrup, warming cinnamon, light brown sugar, toasty pecans and the most amazing sweet maple glaze. Simple to make and always a crowd-favorite, this maple glazed donut recipe is the perfect addition to any breakfast, brunch, or dessert spread.
Update: This post was originally published in March 2016. I made edits to the post below to include more information about pecan donuts with maple glaze. Plus, there’s also a recipe video showing you *just* how easy these homemade doughnuts are to make!
Fluffy and full of welcoming cinnamon-spice fall flavors, these homemade donuts taste just like a warm hug on the coldest of days!
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About this maple doughnuts recipe
These glazed cake donuts are the bomb diggity, my friends! Or, they’re “fire” as the kids say these days.
These homemade maple donuts are light and fluffy, yet delectably dense with warm, cozy notes of cinnamon, brown sugar and oodles of crunchy, salty, nutty pecans. Topped with a simple, yet remarkably delicious sticky donut glaze that’s sweet, maple-y, barely boozy and magically delicious.
And, since this maple glaze donut is baked (versus fried) they are healthy – well, healthier! So you can totally have six donuts (or a baker’s half dozen) without feeling guilty. At least I felt zero doughnut guilt as I was shoveling these beautiful baked goods down my cake-hole, on repeat. But, you do you!
Why you’ll love this baked donut recipe!
- Amazing Maple Flavor – If you love everything maple flavored, this easy baked maple donut recipe is a no-brainer!
- Delicious Texture – Moist and cakey, yet dense and tender in texture with the most amazing sticky, sweet maple glaze, these baked maple donuts are legit delicious!
- Simple and Easy – There’s no fancy equipment or ingredients like yeast required. You just need a few simple ingredients, a donut pan, and less than 20 minutes to bake the best donuts at home.
- No Frying – No large pot of hot oil and unnecessary saturated fat. These donuts are baked so you can indulge without the guilt!
- Small Batch Recipe – This recipe for baked donuts yields six maple doughnuts per batch. No more wasting ingredients or money! If you are looking to feed a large crowd, use the slider to scale the recipe up.
Ingredients for maple syrup doughnuts
You’ll need mostly pantry staples for these pecan donuts with maple glaze. Here’s your list:
- Flour – Cake flour is essential for making baked cake donuts.
- Sugar – Light brown sugar lends the perfect sweet warmth.
- Baking Powder – To help your maple donuts rise!
- Spices – Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt all provide flavor.
- Egg – One large egg binds the donut batter together.
- Butter – Unsalted butter lends richness and fat.
- Sour Cream – Full fat sour cream lends moisture to your cake donuts.
- Substitution: For donuts that pack more protein, swap out the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt. Or if you’re in a pinch, use 1/3 cup of buttermilk.
- Maple Syrup – You just need a tablespoon to add the most delicious maple flavor to your donuts. Make sure you use pure maple syrup; not maple pancake syrup.
- Substitution: If you prefer a less sweet maple donut, swap the maple for an equal amount of bourbon. The alcohol will evaporate when you bake the donuts and what you’re left with is a rich flavor with a hint of sweet vanilla flavor. Alternatively, you can use a good-quality honey.
- Pecans – A half a cup of chopped pecans lends the ideal amount of crunchy, nutty flavor.
- Maple Bacon Donuts: Swap out the pecans for crispy cooked bacon.
- Ultimate Donuts: If you prefer your donut to pack a welcoming maple punch, add 1/2 teaspoon of each vanilla extract and maple extract to your donut batter.
- Pumpkin Maple Donuts: If you can’t imagine a fall donut without pumpkin, try adding about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix to the batter.
How to make a maple cake donut?
Since these maple and pecan cake donuts are baked – not fried – they’re ridiculously easy to make – you don’t even need a stand mixer! Here’s how it’s done:
- Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.
- Wet Ingredients: Add all the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
- Add Nuts: Pour the pecans into the donut batter and fold to combine.
- Pour Batter into Pan: Carefully pour the maple doughnut batter into the donut pan.
- Bake in the Oven: Transfer the pan of donut batter to the oven and bake the donuts.
- Cool and Glaze: Remove the donuts from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let the donuts cool before dunking or drizzling with the maple donut glaze.
- Enjoy: Grab a glazed donut, devour and enjoy!
- Flour: Make sure you use cake flour. After all, these are cake donuts. Plus, cake flour gives this maple doughnuts recipe a lighter, airy texture.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Bring any cold ingredients to room temperature to ensure your ingredients mix together evenly.
- Don’t Over-Mix the Donut Batter: Make sure you gently fold your ingredients together until they are just combined. Over-mixing will create tough doughnuts.
- Adding Donut Batter to the Pan: Transferring the donut batter into a disposable piping bag or gallon-size plastic bag isn’t necessary, you can most definitely spoon it into the donut molds. However, it is much easier to use the piping method.
- Cool Donuts Before Glazing: Make sure you fully cool the maple syrup doughnuts before dipping them into the maple glaze. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes for the donuts to completely cool to room temperature.
- Toppings: I topped my donuts off with gold sprinkles. You could say these are optional, but I would say sprinkles are a necessity of life – sparkly, edible goodness. However, crispy bacon, cinnamon sugar and/or toasted nuts are also delicious toppings for these donuts.
Kitchen equipment you’ll need
- Donut Pan: While you don’t need a stand or hand-held mixer for this maple donut recipe, you will need a donut pan. You can use either a metal or silicone donut pan for this recipe.
FAQs: the best maple glazed donuts
Is the donut batter supposed to be thick?
Yes – maple doughnut batter should be thick and wet. If your batter seems dry, add a splash of maple syrup or a small dollop of sour cream to the donut batter and fold the ingredients again.
Can I make maple doughnuts in a different pan?
You bet! If you don’t have a doughnut pan you can still make this recipe for maple doughnuts – just use a regular muffin pan instead.
To make muffin donuts: Fill the cavities of a 12-count muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with donut batter. Bake in an oven preheated to 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the donut muffins bounce back when gently pressed.
Can I double dip doughnuts in maple glaze?
Absolutely!! If you love a decadently glazed donut and you have extra maple glaze, go ahead and double dip that donut! Just make sure you let the first glaze completely set on the donut before dipping it into the glaze again.
Storing baked maple donuts
I’ve got great news – storing leftover cake donuts is super easy! Follow the simple instructions below to ensure you keep your donuts fresh for longer.
- Room Temperature – If you only have a couple donuts left and you plan to eat them within a day or two, you can store them at room temperature. Place the maple syrup donuts into an airtight container, seal, and store in a cool, dark place.
- Refrigeration – If your home is warm or you want to store the donuts for longer, you’ll need to store them in the refrigerator. Place the donuts into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Please keep in mind that the cold temperature will slightly change the texture of the donuts. Let the donuts come to room temperature before enjoying.
- Freezer – Unfortunately, freezing donuts causes them to get quite firm. However, you can store them in a freezer-safe airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months if you’d like. Thaw the donuts at room temperature before glazing and enjoying.
Storage Tip: If you plan on making this maple doughnuts recipe and want leftovers, I recommend keeping your donuts plain and glazing them just before eating. If you’ve already glazed the top of the donuts, use parchment paper to stack the donuts in your storage container.
Skip the gourmet donut shop and grocery store donuts; make this maple doughnuts recipe the next time you’re craving strikes!
Until next time friends, cheers! To three of my favorite things – donuts, maple syrup, and sparkly sprinkles!
More baked donut recipes!
More recipes using maple syrup!
Maple Donut with Maple Glaze recipe👇
Maple Doughnuts Recipe
- 1 Mixing Bowl (for mixing donut batter)
- 1 Whisk / Spatula (for mixing batter)
- 1 6-Count Donut Pan (for baking donuts)
- Preheat oven and Prepare Pan: Preheat your oven to 425-degrees F. Then, spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add Wet Ingredients: To the dry mixture, add the egg, melted butter, sour cream and maple syrup. Fold until almost combined.
- Add Nuts: Add the pecans to the donut batter and gently fold until just combined. (Note: The batter should be thick and wet.)
- Add Batter to Pan: Transfer the donut batter to the prepared donut pan - you can do this by spooning the batter into the pan OR transfer the batter to a large piping bag or resealable bag with a corner snipped off (wide enough from the nuts to pass through the hole). Spoon or pipe the batter into the donut pan, filling the cavities to be about 3/4 full(Note: The batter will expand and rise during baking, so don't overfill the pan.)
- Bake: Transfer the donut batter to the preheated oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the top of donut springs back to touch. Cool: Remove baked donuts from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then, remove them from the pan and transfer them to the rack to cool completely before glazing.
- While the Donuts are Baking, Make the Glaze: In a small, shallow bowl (you want to be able to dip the donuts) whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, bourbon, maple syrup, milk and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust for flavor and consistency.
- Glaze Donuts: Dip the cooled donut tops into the glaze, then transfer back to a wire rack and generously sprinkle the top of the donut with your favorite toppings, such as sprinkles. Repeat with remaining donuts.
- Serve Donuts: Allow donut glaze to set completely before enjoying.
- Flour: Make sure you use cake flour. After all, these are cake donuts. Plus, cake flour gives these a lighter, airy texture.
- Adding the Batter to the Donut Pan: Transferring the donut batter into a disposable piping bag or plastic bag isn’t necessary, you can most definitely spoon it into the donut molds. I just found it much easier to use the piping method.
- Storage: Donuts are best served fresh, but unglazed donuts will keep, stored in an airtight container on the counter, overnight. Glaze before serving.
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