Recipe: Easy Sourdough Baked Cake Donuts

Updated: Feb 24

Baked sourdough cake donuts are the move. Seriously, they're lighter than their fried cousins and save you the mess of cleaning up frying oil. These come together in just a few steps. Mix up a wet dough, cover and leave for four hours, mix in a few more bits and then put into the donut tray to bake! The resulting donuts are a spiced vanilla flavor with a light cake texture that goes especially well with a dusting of powdered sugar or a chocolate glaze. Get ready for an easy, decadent treat.

Recipe note: My recipes are intended to be straightforward guides for the home cook or baker to replicate with minimal fuss. However, keep in mind that recipes are just guides. A multitude of factors can affect how a recipe comes out - from the freshness and quality of your base ingredients to the ambient temperature and humidity. In particular, I recommend upgrading your spices if you are able, as there is a marked taste difference when you are using fresh, single-origin spices. For the best results when following a recipe, taste as you go and be sure to pay attention to any visual or tactile cues included in the instructions. For new sourdough bakers, start here.

Easy Sourdough Baked Cake Donuts

Makes 6-8 donuts

This recipe requires just a mixing bowl, kitchen scale, and a donut pan


For initial batter mixture

70 grams sourdough starter, fed a few hours before so it is very bubbly and active (I feed my starter so it's at 100% hydration. For a simple explainer on hydration levels click here)

50 grams granulated sugar

100 grams whole milk

115 grams all-purpose flour

42 grams melted coconut oil

For mixing in after the batter has rested

1 large egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

Scant 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. In a mixing bowl combine 70 g sourdough starter, 50 g sugar, 100 g whole milk, 115 g all-purpose flour, and 42 g melted coconut oil. Mix well until no dry bits of flour remain.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place such as the oven with the door closed and the oven light on. Leave for four hours.

3. After leaving the batter to rest for four hours, preheat oven to 375 F.

4. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl and add in 1 large egg, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, scant 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix well making sure that the egg is well distributed throughout the dough. The batter should be a bit gelatinous and sticky. When you draw a fork across the finished batter it should leave a furrow that remains visible for a second but dissipates quickly.

5. Grease a donut pan well. Fill the donut molds with the batter about 3/4 of the way full. You can do this with a spoon, by using a pastry bag, or by putting the batter into a ziplock bag and cutting off the corner to make a makeshift pastry bag.

6. Bake the donuts for 13-16 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. The donuts are done when they are a light golden brown on top.

7. Remove from oven and leave in pan for a few minutes, then remove to cool on a wire rack.

8. Once cooled dust with powdered sugar or your favorite chocolate glaze (see links to easy glaze recipes below) and enjoy! These donuts are best eaten the same day they are made.

Easy chocolate glaze recipes:

Easy Chocolate Glaze (requires powdered sugar)

Easy Chocolate Glaze (without powdered sugar)

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