homemade donut pan on a baking sheet next to baked chocolate cake donuts
Interesting Info

Homemade Donut Pan


I love donuts! Whether they are chocolate cake donuts or Krispy Kreme style donuts. Hook me up! But what if you want to make cake doughnuts and don’t want to buy yet another pan for your kitchen? No worries, I have got you covered. You can make a homemade donut pan with foil!

I have gotten several questions over the years on my chocolate cake donuts recipe if it is necessary to have a donut pan. And the answer is no! Although I will say, it is much more convenient to have one, especially if you are going to be making them all the time. I own this wilton nonstick donut pan, which I like.

But I get it, not everyone loves hoarding and collecting kitchen gadgets as I do. So this homemade donut pan is a perfect option. Especially if you only want to make homemade doughnuts once in awhile. They are super easy to make if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the items

aluminum foil, scissors, and round plastic cookie cutters on a table with a homemade donut pan.

In order to make a homemade donut pan or tray you need just a few items:

  • Aluminum/Tin foil
  • Scissors
  • Baking pan/cooking sheet
  • Wire rack
  • Muffin pan (optional)
  • Round cookie cutter (optional, for a guide)

Step 2: How to make a homemade donut tray with foil Option #1

Hand holding a homemade donut tray made out of foil

There are a few options that you can try when it comes to the homemade donut tray. The first option, which happens to be my favorite option, is a stand alone donut tray that rests on a cookie sheet or sheet pan.

The other two options require a muffin pan. One is a smaller version of the first one and rests inside the cavity of a muffin pan, or it can go on the sheet pan as well. And the other option is just a round ball of foil set in the middle of the cavity of the muffin pan.

Hand placing a piece of foil in the middle of a flat piece of large foil.

For option 1, cut a large piece of aluminum foil about 12×12 inches. Then cut another piece of foil that is about 12×6 inches. Ball up the smaller piece into a cubed/oblong ball of foil.

Place that piece in the center of the large piece, flip it over and mold/shape the foil around it. This creates the center of the homemade donut pan.

Hand folding aluminum foil around a round cookie cutter.

If you like, you can place a round cookie cutter on top. Then fold up the foil around it. That creates a nice guide for the walls of the donut tray. But it isn’t necessary to use a cookie-cutter. You can just fold and shape the homemade donut pan with your fingers.

Large homemade donut pan on a wooden table.

Now, if you like, use your fingers and round out the bottom edge, most likely it will be a flat 90-degree edge instead of a rounded donut type edge. Smooth out the bottom of the pan as much as possible. This will help keep the cake donut from sticking after it bakes.

And there you have it, a nice homemade donut pan ready to be used.

Step 3: Donut pan option #2

Hand placing a ball of foil in the middle of a muffin pan cavity

For the next option, cut a 6×6 inch square of aluminum foil. Then ball it up, similar to what was done for option one.

Now place it in the middle of the cavities of a muffin pan. This will create the hole for the donuts. It is really that simple for option two. If you want the hole for the small donut larger, you can make the ball of foil bigger.

Step 4: Donut Tray option #3

Hand placing a foil ball in the middle of a square piece of foil

The third option is a smaller version of the first option. But it involves using the muffin pan as well. Or you can place it on a sheet pan like option 1.

Take two 6×6 inch pieces of foil. Ball one up, then place it on the other piece of foil, flip it over and form the foil around the middle ball.

Small homemade foil donut pan in a muffin pan.

Then place it into the cavity of your muffin pan and smooth the walls out. Smooth the bottom as much as possible as well. This will help keep the cake donut from sticking.

Step 5: Bake those donuts!

chocolate cake donut batter being poured into homemade donut pans.

Place the standalone homemade doughnut pans on a sheet pan or cookie sheet. This helps when transporting them in and out of the oven.

Spray each donut tray/pan generously with cooking spray.

Make up your favorite cake donut batter. I have a few here on my website. Then use a small measuring cup or even a piping bag and pour batter around the center piece of foil. Fill up the mold about half full.

Homemade donut pans filled with chocolate cake batter.

For the muffin pan versions, spray those as well. Make sure to spray the little ball that is used for option 2. Then fill those with batter.

Freshly baked chocolate cake donuts in homemade donut pans

Bake the donuts in a preheated oven at 350 F/176 C for 8 to 10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Mini chocolate cake donuts in a muffin pan.

Now allow the cake donuts to cool in their homemade donut pans for about 10 minutes.

Mini chocolate cake donut in hand.

Now for the option 2 donuts, just gently remove the middle piece of aluminum foil. It may mess up the hole a little bit, depending on how much the foil was sprayed. Set the donut on a wire rack to cool completely.

Hand holding large homemade chocolate cake donut in hand next to two donuts in homemade donut pans.

Now for option 1 and 3, gently peel away the homemade donut pan from the cake donut. And set the donuts on a wire rack to cool completely.

There you have it! Homemade cake donuts baked in makeshift homemade donut pans.

Freshly baked homemade cake donuts on a wire rack.

Now you can decorate the donuts however you like. Cover them in powdered sugar, dip the tops in a glaze, add sprinkles, etc.

Once again, while this method is fun and works well if you are going to be making cake donuts frequently, it may be worth it, to just pick up a donut pan from Amazon, or maybe your local Walmart, Target, Supermarket, etc. may have them in stock.

Can you reuse the homemade donut pan?

Sure! You can rinse them out and reuse them.

Homemade Donut Pan Tray pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

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  1. Looks like something my family would love. Can’t wait to try this with them.

  2. Renee Thiegpin

    This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing this great idea!

  3. This is such a brilliant idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. What a great idea!! It seems to work perfectly to get that donut shape!

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