Cinnamon Roll Baked Doughnuts

What are birthdays for? Presents, movies, inside-joke-filled birthday cards?
Yeah, all that.
But about 90% of the birthday celebration day is all about food. To the reals.

So when it was one of my best friend’s birthdays last week, I knew I had to make something special :

About 3 years ago, in the winter, me and Bea decided to go to Oxford Street for Christmas Sale Shopping. Of course, it started to snow / rain, as whenever we meet up, precipitation is guaranteed.

We got off the tube a stop early where I dragged Bea to the only Cinnabon store in London. We split a cinnamon roll while we walked towards Oxford Street.

It turns out that our navigation skills we’re..a little off..

We ended up in Leicester Square.

It was still snowing, it was still cold.

But we had the cinnamon roll, and a milkshake that Bea had bought (yeah, she crazy.)

We didn’t actually buy anything else in the end, but Bea did fully join me in my cinnamon obsession.

I made these a little reminder of that day, with their gooey, cinnamony warmth and cream cheese icing, though they also have an important advantage; they’re way quicker to make, so you get the satisfaction of eating them 10x faster than:
a) making cinnamon rolls or
b) trekking out to central London.

So if you find yourself craving cinnamon and nostalgia (everyone must have some nostalgic memory conjured up by cinnamon!), bake up a batch of these cinnamon roll baked doughnuts to enjoy and share with plenty of your cinnamon-loving friends.

Cinnamon Roll Baked Doughnuts

makes around 24 mini baked doughnuts*
recipe for the cake part from the back of the doughnut pan

6 tbsp (3oz / 85g) butter
2 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp milk
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (7 oz / 195g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (4 oz / 110g) granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 tbsp cream cheese (low fat is fine)
1/4 cup (1 oz / 28g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp finely chopped pecans (or walnuts) (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), grease a mini doughnut pan well**.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, pour 1/4 cup of it (that’s 4 tbsp) into a jug and set it aside.
To the saucepan containing the remaining (2 tbsp of) butter, add the cinnamon, dark brown sugar, milk, cornstarch and vanilla extract. Heat just until it bubbles then take it off the heat and pour around 3/4 tsp of the mixture into the bottom of each cavity of the doughnut pan.

Add the egg and milk to the jug containing the butter and whisk together.
Stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and grated nutmeg in a medium bowl. Pour in the contents of the jug and stir together until just combined, the mixture may look slightly lumpy, don’t over mix it.  Spoon or pipe the batter into the doughnut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full.

Bake the doughnuts for 8 minutes and turn out a wire rack*. Once they’re cool, glaze with cream cheese frosting:

Cream the frosting ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a small sandwich bag and cut the very tip of one of the corners off. Pipe the frosting in zig-zags onto the cooled mini doughnuts. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans / walnuts if using.

*My mini doughnut pan can only make 12 doughnuts at a time, so I washed the pan after baking and turning out the first 12 doughnuts. Then I just refilled the pan with the remaining cinnamon-caramel + doughnut batter and baked them to get a total of 24 doughnuts.

**If you don’t have a mini doughnut pan, I have a tutorial here on how to make a temporary one with foil


  1. says

    These little donuts look just amazing! It’s fun that they remind you of such a great day spent with a friend! Also, your pics are really pretty. They show of the donuts so well.

  2. says

    Hi, just came across your blog and I must say these will now zoom right to the top of my baking list! But I was just wondering if it would work with doughnut cutters other than doughnut pans? Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    I love baked doughnuts and this recipe looks so fabulous! What a great idea when you are craving cinnamon rolls, but don’t want to go through all of the yeasty hassle! I cannot wait for an excuse to make these!

  4. says

    youve got a beautiful blog here, fantastic pictures! I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger awards, as your blog continues to impress me.

  5. Sarah R. says

    These look SO delicious! I don’t have a mini doughnut pan, but I have a standard size one. Would the recipe still work, do you think? :)

  6. says

    I made these recently and for some reason the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture didn’t meld well with the donuts and when I popped them out the donuts came out and the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture had solidified at the bottom of the pan. Any suggestions as to how to get them to look beautiful like in your photo? Should I have heated the mixture longer or did I heat it up too long? Regardless, they tasted amazing!! I just want them to come out pretty and delicious!

      • says

        Thanks for the reply! After reading your response I did a really low and fast heating to dissolve the sugar and it came out much better this time! My nephew is obsessed with these donuts and requests them constantly!

  7. Anna says

    Hi, I’ve just found your blog and really like it.
    I really want to try this recipe and have even bought the pan. Could you tell me – is cornstarch the same as cornflour? Many thanks!

  8. Réiltín says

    Ooh, can’t wait to try these! I love cinnamon buns AND doughnuts so this must taste INCREDIBLE!! Always wanted to make doughnuts, but the deep-frying is such a bother… Thank you so much!!!


  1. […] The cooler, wetter weather has me wanting nothing more than to curl up with warm drinks and comfy clothes and cozy blankets. We put the duvet on the bed this week and picked up some fuzzy pillows to make it even more of a dream, and I DEFINITELY have not wanted to get out of it in the mornings. I’ve been wearing a lot of wool socks and flannel shirts. I’m really into the idea of homemade soup. Every fall I get into the idea of soup and every fall I only make it once, but now I have an immersion blender so I declare that for really real this will be the year I make soup more often. And baking! I need to bake more things. I’ve started following a lot of tumblrs that are just pictures of trees and mountains and fog and clouds. And I was finally able to put this dress on Gwen. I bought it when I was 9 months pregnant because I couldn’t resist the little foxes and it’s been in storage for the past two years. Too sweet. Anyway now I’m off to make hot apple cider and cinnamon roll baked donuts. […]

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