What is a donut pan?
If you ever wanted to make donuts at home while not dealing with a messy deep fryer, then a donut pan is for you. They allow you to bake those tasty, ring-shaped treats in your oven, which is not only easy but healthier too.
Though donut pans may seem like a simple item, there are a few things to consider when buying one, and we cover it all in this guide. The Wilton 6-Cavity Nonstick Donut Pans are our favorite pan to use both for their durability and effective nonstick properties.
Donut pan or deep fryer
Donuts can be either baked or fried. While taste is subjective, we can unequivocally state that baking them does offer some benefits for the average person. There is no question that donuts will never be considered a healthy food, but baking them allows you to avoid the extra calories that frying adds.
Using a baking pan is easier, safer and less messy for the home consumer than a deep fryer. You won’t have to worry about hot grease splattering everywhere during the cooking process or finding an easy way to dispose of the oil that frying requires. Additionally, baking pans are smaller and more convenient to store than deep fryers, especially in small kitchens.
What to know before you buy a donut pan
Before you buy any donut pan, you should decide what size donuts you want to make. Most donut pans have roughly 3-inch molds. However, you can also find options that make 2-inch mini donuts, large 4-inch ones and donut holes. Mini donuts and donut holes are ideal for kids’ birthday parties or adult gatherings with dessert buffets where you want your guests to try several kinds of treats.
Donut pans come in different capacities ranging from four to 24 molds. If you are generally making small batches of donuts, you should choose a small pan with four to six molds since they will be the easiest to store when not in use.
The most common materials for donut pans are silicone and metal, though you can also find some ceramic-coated models. Silicone is often the most convenient as it is nonstick, highly durable and the flexible nature makes it easy to remove your donuts without damaging them. However, that same flexibility also means you have to be very careful not to spill the batter when moving them from the prep area to the oven.
Metal is also very durable but more prone to scratches. If it has a nonstick coating, it may wear off over time. However, metal is a better conductor of heat than silicone, which is important when trying to get a nice even browning on your donuts.
Features to look for in a quality donut pan
It’s critical to note that not all donut pans are nonstick. If buying a silicone pan, you don’t have to worry about this as the material is naturally nonstick, but if purchasing a metal pan, choosing one with a nonstick coating can make your life significantly easier.
When it comes time to clean up, a dishwasher-safe pan makes the process more convenient. Nearly all silicone pans will be dishwasher safe, but some metal ones may require hand washing. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines, so you don’t accidentally wind up damaging or warping your pan from improper use or cleaning.
If you want to make donuts with a bit of extra flair, you may want to consider a decorative mold. They are available in hearts, fluted, twists and other options.
How much can you expect to spend on a donut pan?
Depending on the capacity and build materials, donut pans range from $7-$30. Silicone molds usually fall towards the lower end of the spectrum and metal options towards the higher end.
Donut pan FAQ
How do I stop my donuts from sticking to the pan?
A. If you are using a nonstick pan and your donuts are still sticking, you may want to try greasing it before adding the batter. This should always be done with butter, as cooking sprays can damage the nonstick coating if cooked at too high of a temperature. On that note, cooking at too high of a temperature can also cause sticking.
Why are my donuts doughy?
A. If your donuts are coming out doughy, this is an indication that they are undercooked. If the outside is already very brown, but the interior is still doughy, you are likely cooking them at too high of a temperature.
What is the difference between a yeast donut and a cake donut?
A. Yeast donuts use yeast, which makes them light and fluffy. Cake donuts use baking powder, which results in a denser, cake-like consistency.
What is the best donut pan to buy?
Top donut pan
What you need to know: A set of two nonstick metal pans that are sturdy enough to stand up to regular use, this is an ideal option for avid bakers.
What you’ll love: Though they’ll last the longest if hand washed, they are safe to put in the dishwasher those times you want a quick and easy cleanup process.
What you should consider: Some may find them a bit too shallow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top donut pan for the money
What you need to know: These brightly colored silicone pans come for a budget-friendly price and make a fun addition to any kitchen.
What you’ll love: It’s easy to pop the donuts out of these highly flexible pans.
What you should consider: They feel a bit flimsy when filled with batter.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Containing two pans with different-sized molds, this kit is ideal for people who want the ability to cook standard and mini donuts.
What you’ll love: It comes with a spatula and five piping bags for decorating your creations.
What you should consider: It’s more expensive than many other silicone options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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