Brown sugar cinnamon donuts

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Donuts

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I’ve been on a bit of a donut kick lately.  I bought two donut pans about six weeks ago and have been testing out donut recipes since.

I woke up a little early this morning and decided to whip up a tester batch of brown sugar cinnamon donuts, and boy am I glad that I did.  These donuts came out light and fluffy, with a wonderfully rich cinnamon caramel flavor.

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Baked Brown Sugar Cinnamon Donuts

  • Servings: 12-16 donuts
  • Difficulty: easy
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Light, fluffy donuts with a wonderfully rich cinnamon caramel flavor, topped with brown sugar vanilla bean frosting.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177° C).  Spray two donut pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Make the donuts:  Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth.  Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until thoroughly combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Do not overmix.  The batter will be very thick.
  3. Spoon, pipe, or pour the batter into the donut cavities, filling 2/3-3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Allow to cool for 2-5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  5. Make the frosting:  Place brown sugar, butter, and cream in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir.  Remove saucepan from heat.  In a large bowl, add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Pour brown sugar mixture over the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste and beat until smooth.
  6. Frost the donuts:  Place a piece of parchment paper underneath the wire cooling rack.  Dip the tops of the donuts into the frosting and place on wire cooling rack, over the parchment paper.

Additional Notes:

  • You can use 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg instead of using 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.  My recipe only uses cinnamon, as I am allergic to nutmeg.
  • You can use skim, 1%, 2%, whole, almond, soy, or coconut milk, or even buttermilk.  While I like to use buttermilk, I used 1% milk.  Room temperature is best for this recipe.
  • Nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, or Greek yogurt is okay.  I used plain low fat yogurt.
  • You could use pure vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste for the frosting, but I strongly recommend using vanilla bean paste if at all possible.
  • You can make this recipe into 10-14 muffins using a muffin tin.  Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • Make ahead tip:  You can freeze the unfrosted donuts for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, warm the donuts in the microwave (it should only take a few seconds per donut), and top with frosting.

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