There are few breakfast treats as well-loved as a sweet, classic doughnut— so why in the world don’t we make them more often? We don’t know about you, but once we thought about it, the answer was obvious: the challenge of getting that classic doughnut shape!

Though they seem simple, making doughnuts can actually get kind of complicated. Frying them requires mess, time, and of course, careful shaping. You can forgo the ring shape, but those don’t really feel like doughnuts, now do they? We love skipping frying but keeping the shape by baking them, but for that, you need a special tin— and who can really justify buying a special pan just for an occasional doughnut treat?

Well friends, we don’t have to buy anything anymore! Our favorite baking genius, Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking, has figured out a way to quickly and frugally make a DIY doughnut tin, and her genius trick is making our lives so much easier. Watch to learn how – and to learn a great doughnut recipe! – then keep reading for our handy recap and step-by-step instructions. Prepare yourself for doughnut delight!

See how smart and easy this trick is?! All you need to do is borrow the tin used for those other breakfast pastries – muffins! – grab some tin foil, and start shaping. Let’s recap those easy steps.

  1. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that’s about 6 inches by 6 inches, or a little bigger.
    Use aluminum foil to turn muffin tin into doughnut tinGemma Stafford
  2. Take the foil and place it over one of your fingers, folding and crumbling the center of the foil around your finger to form the center of the doughnut mold.
  3. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil.
  4. Place the aluminum foil form into the cup of a muffin tin, and press it against the sides. Repeat until all the cups of the muffin tin are full.

That is IT! We love that this method is an easy way of temporarily transforming a muffin tin. No expensive specialty tins nor permanent, muffin-tin-ruining adaptations required!

And just what kind of doughnuts should you bake in this adapted tin? Well, there are lots of options, but today, it’s Chocolate Cake Doughnuts!


Makes 15 doughnuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 small eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream (or buttermilk or yogurt)

Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Gemma’s sharing the full, printable recipe over on the Bigger Bolder Baking site. Head there for your free copy! She’s also sharing tips for making this recipe vegetarian, vegan, and/or egg-free, so check those tricks out, too!

Filling DIY doughnut tin with chocolate cake doughnut batterGemma Stafford

So what makes this particular recipe so special? Well for one thing, take a look at which ingredient isn’t on that list. That’s right— no yeast! And you know what that means: this doughnut recipe is a no-knead one! No waiting for dough to rise, no rolling it out, no growing tired as you knead the dough. Just mix up the batter, pipe it into your handy DIY tin, and bake!

Homemade chocolate cake doughnuts made in DIY tinGemma Stafford

See how great those look? And you didn’t need to go buy a special tin or spend a ton of time on the recipe, either. Sure, they’re a different kind of doughnut than the usual, but who wouldn’t want a Chocolate Cake Doughnut? Nobody we know, that’s for certain!

Now it’s your turn! Will you give this homemade doughnut tin a try? Do you think you’ll use Gemma’s Chocolate Cake Doughnut recipe, or do you have your own tried-and-true recipe for baked doughnuts you’re dying to make? Have you ever done anything similar before? Whether this trick is old news to you or you’re trying it for the first time, share your experiences in the comments!