Updated April 2022
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Buying guide for Best donut makers

Sometimes donut o’clock strikes at the most inopportune times. Donut cravings often start in the comfort of your own home, so why leave the house to satisfy your hankering? A donut maker is a happy solution for creating sweet treats in your kitchen within minutes. Simply whip up a simple batter, pour it in the donut molds, bake, and indulge — all within about 15 minutes.

Donut makers are geared toward those interested in baking small quantities of mini donuts, so they’re ideal for families and party hosts. They’ve also gained popularity among those who are ready to enjoy healthier homemade donuts using their favorite ingredients. Donut makers are also favorite housewarming and wedding gifts because they put a fun spin on small kitchen appliances.

If it’s time to satisfy that craving, take a look at some of the donut makers we recommend. Read on to find out more about these gadgets so you can start baking your own tasty treats.

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Freshly baked, non-filled donuts stay fresh up to two days in an airtight container at room temperature. If the donuts have a cream or dairy filling, keep them in the refrigerator.

Key considerations

Donuts you cook in a donut maker aren’t deep-fried in fat or oil; the batter is baked on hot cooking plates, similar to those in electric waffle makers. If you’re interested in baking more healthful donuts, you can experiment with different types of batter, including gluten-free, low-fat, and whole-wheat recipes.

Size and quantity

Donut makers are generally designed for home and hobby use, not commercial. They make up to a dozen mini donuts (a few inches in diameter) at a time, though they’re built to make multiple batches back to back. It’s a practical solution — keeping the appliance small enough to store while producing a reasonable quantity of donuts to accommodate families and parties of all sizes.

Expert Tip
Commercially made glazed donuts are run through a machine with a glaze waterfall. This process is called enrobing. For your home donuts, it’s easier, less messy, and less wasteful to pick up the donut and dip the top in a bowl of glaze.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Cooking plates

  • Removable: Many donut makers are multi-purpose appliances that come with additional cooking plates for making pancakes, waffles, or cake pops. Even if you don’t take advantage of the extra plates, the fact that they’re removable is a convenient design feature. It makes the plates easy to clean right in the sink. A donut maker with non-removable plates could be more difficult to clean, especially since you don’t want to damage the donut maker by getting it wet.

  • Nonstick: The donut makers we examined have nonstick cooking plates, and some don’t need to be oiled before baking your donuts, but it depends on what the manufacturer recommends because there are different qualities and grades of nonstick coating. There are also some models that might require oiling after a certain amount of use because the nonstick surface breaks down after time.

    Other donut makers, on the other hand, require appropriate oiling before baking. Butter and spray oil seem to be the most popular, and some consumers report using coconut, olive, canola, or vegetable oil. It’s largely driven by preference, what’s on hand at the time, and the smoke point of a particular oil.

Donut maker features

Temperature settings

The most basic donut makers have only one temperature setting, though considering these typically cost less than $30, it’s not too surprising.

Models with three or four temperature settings are harder to find and tend to be more expensive. However, some consumers prefer a model with adjustable settings because there are so many batter recipes with different ingredients and different baking times. Having a donut maker with adjustable temperature settings means you can experiment with different recipes and degrees of doneness.

Quick heating

Because of the small surface area on the cooking plates in donut makers, several models boast quick heating times. On average, a regular donut maker heats up in around ten minutes, whereas quick-heating models can be hot enough to bake in as little as four or five minutes. Donut makers with this feature are designed to trap and concentrate the heat, which also means they have a unique lid-locking mechanism or strategically placed donut molds.


Because baking of any kind requires a variety of kitchen tools and utensils, some manufacturers package their donut makers with these items. Mid-range and expensive donut makers, sometimes come with forks, tongs, cooling racks, or patented cleaning cloths. Considering the cost of each of these items if purchased separately, opting for a fully equipped donut maker is a sound and cost-effective choice.

Expert Tip
Any donuts with granular sugar or powdered sugar on the exterior lose their coatings when stored in an airtight container. This is because sugar is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture and melts into a liquid. In an airtight space, moisture naturally evaporates from the donuts and gets absorbed by the sugar. You can always store your donuts in an airtight package, then re-dip them for eating the next day.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


Many donut makers come with a recipe booklet to guide bakers new to using this appliance. While it might seem like a minor item to include, the recipes are tested by the manufacturer in its own devices, so you’re assured they’ll work well in your donut maker. In addition to any booklet included with the donut maker, many manufacturers’ websites include a dedicated section of new recipes so you can stay on top of your baking game.

Donut maker prices

Donut makers range in price from $12 to $60, so you can essentially satisfy those last-minute donut cravings at home on any budget.


The $12 to $ 30 range features small-capacity models, which typically bake four to six donuts at a time.


The $30 to $40 range includes the majority of donut makers, and these models bake six to eight donuts on average and often come with higher-quality nonstick surfaces that bake more evenly.


Premium models fall in the $40 to $60 range and include a combination of features, such as removable and additional cooking plates, adjustable temperature settings, and matching accessories. Some donut makers at this price also cook as many as a dozen donuts at a time.

Expert Tip
Wait until donuts are cool to add toppings to avoid a melty glaze situation. You might even try refrigerating them for an hour to make sure the centers are cool.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


  • Keep the original box. Because donut makers often have nontraditional shapes, you can keep it in its box for easy storage.

  • Invest in cooling racks. Donuts and other baked goods cool best on dedicated racks that allow for adequate airflow.

  • Stock up on deep containers. Stack your donuts in airtight food containers that have some depth to them. You’ll also be able to stack multiple containers to optimize refrigerator space.

  • Protect the nonstick plates. Store any extra nonstick cooking plates carefully to keep them from getting scratched. Styrofoam sheets or silicone plate protectors work well.

  • Take the donut maker on road trips. For quick snacks, a donut maker is a fun appliance with fast and easy cleanup. Most are compact, so they’re ideal for RVs and hotel rooms.

  • Use a brush. Oil helps keep the batter from sticking to the cooking plates. If you’re making waffles or other treats with intricate designs, using a pastry brush is a good way to make sure you cover every nook and cranny with oil.
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Create an assembly line to make your donuts so you can seamlessly decorate, fill, and add toppings to your treats.


Q. Can I use different types of batter, or do I have to stick to donut recipes?

A. Feel free to experiment with any batter recipe you find, though changing the batter could affect the baking time. For your first batch with a new recipe, make some extra batter so you can experiment with the time and make any necessary adjustments without ruining an entire batch.

Q. What should I use to clean the nonstick plates on my donut maker?

A. You can use a regular cloth or a special sponge that is safe for nonstick surfaces. You’ll also want to choose a mild dish soap because harsher ones can be too abrasive. For a definitive answer, refer to the owner’s manual for care and cleaning advice.

Q. Do I need to flip the donuts during baking?

A. Because donut makers are equipped with two cooking plates, you don’t have to flip the donuts during baking. Donuts bake evenly and with minimal supervision, so all you need to do is close the lid and wait for the signal that indicates the donuts are done.

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