As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Getting tired of regular pancakes? Change things up with this fun and delicious pancake donut recipe! They’re naturally sweetened and made with whole wheat flour for a healthy weekend or weekday breakfast the whole family will love.

Three pancake donuts stacked on top of each other.

Pancake Donut Recipe With Applesauce

Who doesn’t love pancakes in donut form? My kids always gobble up these pancake donuts and love adding on their own fun toppings!

Although this easy donut recipe uses a DIY pancake mix, you can easily substitute it with your favorite pancake mix. I prefer to make it from scratch to control exactly what’s going into the mix.

As a make-ahead option, try mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt together for a homemade whole wheat pancake mix you can use anytime. It’s great for so much more than donuts!

Pancake batter donuts on a white background with different toppings.

Pancake donuts

Like it? Save this recipe for later!

Why We Love These Baked Pancake Batter Donuts

  • Quick and easy: This homemade pancake mix donut recipe is seriously simple.  You’ll start by whisking the pancake mix together, then add a little milk, egg, applesauce, maple syrup, yogurt, and vanilla. There’s a good chance you already have these ingredients on hand anyway! Then, you’ll fill your donut pan and make delicious donuts ready to serve in no time.
  • Healthy alternative: These pancake doughnuts are a more nutritious option than regular donuts. They’re high in fiber thanks to the whole wheat, are sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, and have Greek yogurt for tenderness and a little extra protein. You can feel good about serving these easy donuts to your whole family!
  • Completely from scratch: By making your own homemade pancake mix, you can skip the oils, extra sugar, sodium, and preservatives that many companies add to their pancake mixes. It’s so much easier than you think!

Ingredient Notes

Labelled ingredients required to make pancake donut recipe.
  • White whole wheat flour: This flour looks like white flour, but is actually whole wheat! It’s a fantastic way to increase the fiber to make your homemade doughnuts more satisfying and filling for your little ones.
  • Baking powder: This will give your pancake mix donuts a nice rise and a cake-like texture.
  • Salt: This will season the donuts to draw out their flavor and help the baking powder rise.
  • Milk: Choose your favorite milk. A non-dairy milk alternative works, too!
  • Unsweetened applesauce: Either make your own applesauce or use unsweetened applesauce from the store.
  • Eggs: These bind the batter together and will help it rise. It’s always best to use room-temperature eggs for baking.
  • Maple syrup: These homemade donuts are sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. Use 100% pure maple syrup.
  • Vanilla extract: A little splash of vanilla gives these donuts a lovely aroma while they’re baking.
  • Greek yogurt: Use plain 2% Greek yogurt or sour cream.
  • Favorite toppings: There are so many ways to decorate these simple donuts! Try adding blueberries, strawberries, diced apple, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and nuts. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add the yogurt and stir.
  5. Spoon batter into the donut pan about 3/4 full. Place or sprinkle your topping of choice on each donut.
  6. Bake for about 12-14 minutes until slightly firm and springy with a golden brown color. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  7. Gently run a sharp paring knife around each donut to help release it from the pan. Brush the surface of each pancake donut lightly with some maple syrup before serving, if desired. Enjoy right away or freeze until ready to eat.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe!

RECIPE TIPS

  • Although you can dip or drizzle maple syrup onto these pancake donuts, I prefer lightly brushing the maple syrup over the surface. It helps more evenly distribute the sweetness, while being a lower sugar option than dipping or drizzling. 
  • If you want sweeter pancake donuts, you can also sub in overripe mashed banana for the applesauce.
  • If you want thinner pancake donuts, add less batter to the donut pan and reduce the baking time.
  • For easy filling, add the batter to a piping bag.
  • If the donut hole starts to bake over, you can use the end of a wooden spoon to form a bigger hole once the donuts are done baking.
  • If you’re glazing your donuts, set them on a wire rack over a parchment paper lined baking sheet to catch any drips.
  • For extra flavor, try using different flavors of extracts or add a teaspoon of your favorite spices!
Two pancake donuts on a plate with maplesyrup.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make donuts with pancake mix?

Absolutely! Pancake mix already contains the flour and leavening agents you need, so they help you make pancakes, muffins, and donuts in no time at all. Be sure to follow a pancake mix doughnut recipe to get the right proportions of ingredients.

Is donut mix the same as pancake mix?

Not exactly. Most donut mixes start with a basic blend of flour, sugar, oils, and other ingredients, but they are meant to make raised doughnuts. To do this, you need to add yeast and let the dough rise properly before shaping and either baking or frying.

Because you will be adding yeast, most donut mixes do not contain sufficient leavening agents on their own. Pancake mixes are meant to be baked without adding yeast and contain more leavening agents, like baking powder and baking soda, to get a good rise. They’re similar but not quite the same.

​Are doughnuts healthy for kids?

On their own, most doughnuts are not the healthiest option and the portion sizes are typically quite large for young kids. They are usually made from an enriched dough that is high in fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. Then they are fried in oil and glazed in more sugar and/or stuffed with high calorie fillings. They’re certainly delicious, but should be reserved as a “sometimes food.”

To make healthier doughnuts, try using whole wheat flour and sweetening it naturally with applesauce and maple syrup. Bake them instead of frying and top with fresh fruits or berries!

Storage Guidelines

  • Store leftover doughnuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.

Ideas for Toppings or Add-Ins

Invite the kids to help you decorate your doughnuts and add delicious add-ins! 

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Diced apple (add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter, too)
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts
  • Spread with jam (we like using strawberry chia jam)
  • Top with peanut butter
  • Lemon curd
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed cereal
  • Granola
  • Marshmallow bites
  • Top with this chocolate frosting without powdered sugar!
  • Make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and milk

Serving Suggestions

These homemade pancake mix donuts are a nice treat or dessert, but we love to serve them with our favorite breakfast dishes for a complete meal.

Recipe Variations

  • To make gluten free: Use your favorite gluten free all purpose flour blend in place of the wheat flour.
  • Use a donut maker: Fill the donut maker with your batter and adjust the baking time to suit your device. You can even make mini donuts!
  • Make donut holes: Bake the batter in a donut hole pan for little bite-sized fluffy donuts! You can also use a mini muffin pan.
  • Make in air fryer: If your doughnut pan is small enough, you can bake them in the air fryer! You typically need to drop the temperature 15-20 degrees or so and keep an eye on them. They will likely bake faster in the air fryer than the oven.
  • Pumpkin spice pancake donuts: Replace the applesauce with pumpkin puree and add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. So yummy!
A hand holding up a pancake donut with chocolate chips.

More Similar Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Scroll down to leave a star rating and review
Two pancake donuts on a plate topped with berries.
Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Baked Pancake Donut Recipe {Quick & Easy!}

Created by Elysia Cartlidge
Servings: 12 pancakes donuts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Getting tired of regular pancakes? Change things up with this delicious pancake donut recipe! They're naturally sweetened and made with whole wheat flour for a healthy weekend or weekday breakfast the whole family will love.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or use 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup plus a little extra for brushing on the surface of each donut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

Optional Toppings

  • Blueberries, strawberries, diced apple, chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts, etc.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add the yogurt and stir.
  • Spoon batter into the donut pan about 3/4 full. Place or sprinkle your topping of choice on each donut.
  • Bake for about 12-14 minutes until slightly firm and springy. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  • Gently run a sharp paring knife around each donut to help release it from the pan. Brush the surface of each pancake donut lightly with some maple syrup before serving, if desired. Enjoy right away or freeze until ready to eat.

Notes

  • Although you can dip or drizzle maple syrup onto these pancake donuts, I prefer lightly brushing the maple syrup over the surface. It helps more evenly distribute the sweetness, while being a lower sugar option than dipping or drizzling. 
  • If you want sweeter pancake donuts, you can also sub in overripe mashed banana for the applesauce. 
  • If you want thinner pancake donuts, add less batter to the donut pan and reduce the baking time.
  • For easy filling, add the batter to a piping bag.
  • If the donut hole starts to bake over, you can use the end of a wooden spoon to form a bigger hole once the donuts are done baking.
  • If you’re glazing your donuts, set them on a wire rack over a parchment paper lined baking sheet to catch any drips.
  • For extra flavor, try using different flavors of extracts or add a teaspoon of your favorite spices!

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1mg
Two pancake donuts on a plate topped with berries.

Did you make this?

Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for more kid-friendly recipes!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating