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Baked Cranberry Vanilla Donuts Recipe

Cranberry Vanilla Donuts are soft, tender, and delicious. They can be made in a jiffy and topped with anything you desire. When you need a quick, homemade breakfast, brunch, or after-school treat, this is a great recipe to have in your hip pocket.

Two baked donuts on a white plate. The front forward one is topped with glaze and rolled in nuts. The back one is glazed. A cooling rack holding more donuts sit in the background.

The donut demon has been released. Since making the Dark Chocolate Baked Donuts recipe, I’ve been dreaming up other ways to show my once-neglected donut pan some love. This Cranberry Vanilla Donuts recipe deserves a whole lot of love. Who says you can’t make traditional donuts at home?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberries. Cranberries are delicious and can be used in many ways. It used to be that I bought a bag at Thanksgiving and made a delicious sauce. The small amount that was left went to waste. I don’t like wasting food, so I always think of other ways to use ingredients. Unfortunately, unlike other fruits, they are just too sour to eat as is.

Delicious. Last year, I made Cranberry Orange muffins. They were so delicious that I knew Cranberry Donuts would be delicious too, and I wasn’t wrong. The delicious vanilla flavor comes through and blends so well with the citrus of the cranberry. The crumb is delicate and melts in your mouth. They make a great food gift during the holiday season too.

Versatile Baked Donut. I glazed these babies and dipped a few in-ground walnuts. You could top them any way you please, dust them with powdered sugar, or skip the topping altogether.

Skip the donut shop. Instead of a traditional fried donut, this easy recipe makes perfect vanilla donuts with a soft tender cake-like texture in less than 30 minutes.

Items you may need to make the best Cranberry Vanilla Donut recipe!

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  • Donut pans – These non-stick donut pans are so easy to use and the baked donuts pop right out.
  • Cooling racks – I love these large racks. I can get an entire batch od cookies on one and they’re tough enough to hold large loaves of bread. It fits into my half-sheet pan for baking bacon too!
A stack of baked and glazed donuts tower over a white plate. Fresh cranberries and walnuts sit next to the donuts.

Ingredients for Vanilla Donuts

  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Sugar.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Salt.
  • Buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, make your own. You can also substitute it with sour cream or plain yogurt. The acidity works with the baking soda making a light and tender donut with a moist cake-like texture.
  • Canola Oil. Or another neutral oil such as Vegetable oil would be a great substitution. Use coconut oil for a subtle coconut flavor.
  • Eggs. We use large eggs.
  • Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Seeds or Paste. I love using pure vanilla extract and fresh vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste. The flecks just mean flavor to me.
  • Cranberries. Fresh or frozen, thawed.

Vanilla Donut Glaze Ingredients

  • Powdered Sugar.
  • Cream. Or milk.
  • Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Seeds or Paste.

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

How to Make Vanilla Donuts

Step One. Get it all ready.

Preheat your oven and prepare the pan by brushing it with oil or cooking spray. Set out all your ingredients ahead of time for the best results.

Step Two. Mix the dry ingredients.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together.

Step Three. Mix the wet ingredients.

In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg, egg yolk, and buttermilk. Whisk to combine. Add oil, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds or paste.

Step Four. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Mix the two bowls together first, then fold in the cranberries.

Step Five. Fill the donut pan.

Carefully spoon the donut batter into the donut cavities or use a reclosable plastic bag or disposable piping bag. Fill the prepared donut pan.

Step Six. Bake your cranberry vanilla donuts.

Bake until golden brown. Do not overbake. Cool before glazing.

Step Seven. Glaze the vanilla donuts.

Mix the glaze in a shallow small bowl and dip each donut. Add nuts, coconut, or sprinkles to the tops of the donuts immediately if desired.

Cooling rack filled with iced donuts. Some topped with crushed nuts. -

Vanilla Donut Recipe FAQ’s

How should I store leftover Vanilla Cake Donuts?

Leftover baked Vanilla donuts without vanilla icing can be stored at room temperature and lightly covered with plastic wrap. After glazing, store in the refrigerator. Glaze can be kept refrigerated and applied right before serving for the freshest flavor.

Can I freeze Homemade Donuts?

Yes, you can freeze homemade donuts with or without the glaze. Freeze donuts on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in a single layer and then move them to an airtight container after they are frozen. Thaw in the microwave for thirty seconds each or at room temperature.

The vanilla glaze can be frozen separately and applied to thawed donuts.

Hostess Tips and Tricks

When glazing donuts, set the donuts on a cooling wire rack to dry, with a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or a paper towel, underneath it to catch the drips. This makes cleaning up a breeze!

If you want to add topping to your donuts, dip the donuts in the topping immediately after dipping the donuts in the glaze. I’ve shared some topping ideas in the “Variations” section.

Half of a cranberry vanilla donut thats been glazed and rolled in nuts sits on a white plate. A cooling rack of donuts sit in the background.


Possible donut toppings are infinite! If you don’t love glaze, you can toss the donuts in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or just plain white sugar by putting the sugar and donuts into a bag and giving it a good shake.

To vary the sweet vanilla glaze flavor, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of another extract such as lemon, orange, vanilla, almond, maple, or your personal favorite. You could also add cinnamon or nutmeg to the donut batter.

You can make a thick glaze or frosting by adding less liquid. 

Make mini donuts instead of full-sized donuts using a mini donut pan. You can even use a mini muffin pan.

Instead of fresh cranberries, you can use dried cranberries (Craisins) or another dried fruit.

A fun activity for a birthday party. Instead of cake, pre-bake and cool the donuts. Separate the glaze into two or three bowls and color each with food coloring. Set out separate toppings and gather the kids. Let them make and eat their own sprinkled donut.

Other topping ideas to add to glazed donuts include:

  • Crushed walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds
  • coconut flakes
  • sprinkles
  • crushed cereal such as Fruity Pebbles
  • old-fashioned oats
Side shot of a rack showing iced donuts with some topped with chopped nuts.

If you liked this recipe, here are a few recipes you may enjoy

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Two homemade doughnuts on a plate. Both dipped in vanilla icing and one topped with crushed nuts - Hostess At Heart

Baked Cranberry Baked Donuts Recipe

Author: Hostess At Heart
Baked Cranberry Vanilla Donuts are soft, tender, and delicious. They can be made in a jiffy and topped with anything you desire.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Keyword: Baked Donuts, Cranberry Vanilla Baked Donuts, Donuts
Servings: 12 Donuts



  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs (you'll use 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean Seeds of 1/2
  • 1/3 cup cranberries finely chopped


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp cream or milk
  • ½ vanilla bean Seeds of 1/2


  • Ground walnuts or powdered sugar or other toppings as desired


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Oil donut pan and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine egg, egg yolk, and buttermilk. Whisk to combine. Add oil, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk again to combine.
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold cranberries into batter.
  • Fill a ziplock bag with the filling and clip the corner of the bag. Squeeze batter into donut pan until 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t over bake.
  • Let cool 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.


  • Add cream to powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until glaze is thin enough to dip donuts. Add vanilla seeds and stir to combine.
  • Dip donuts in glaze and immediately into ground walnuts or other toppings.
  • Serve immediately
  • Store leftovers in a sealed container at room temperature.


Calories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 141mgPotassium: 39mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 68IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 0.3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

What is your favorite way to use cranberries? I’d love it if you would share your ideas!

This recipe was originally shared on 11/23/2016 and has been updated to share tips and variations. No changes were made to the recipe.

Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline’s Cooking. We’ll be sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of National Cranberry Day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration. But first, see all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

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Two donuts on a plate. One is iced with vanilla glaze and the other topped with crushed walnuts - Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating


Thursday 16th of November 2023

I skipped the toppings but it was still AMAZING!

Julie Menghini

Friday 17th of November 2023

So easy to do, Mandy. Thank you!


Thursday 16th of November 2023

I did a test run of this recipe because I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving company. They didn't last long on the first run. I know my guests are going to love them.

Julie Menghini

Thursday 16th of November 2023

What a great idea, Ellen! These donuts are so good.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Wow. These were amazing! My daughter wanted donuts for her birthday and we tried these. YUM!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 16th of November 2023

What a great idea! Who doesn't like donuts.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Baking these amazing donuts right now, the house smells amazing!!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 16th of November 2023

I've got to make another batch. I crave these donuts!

Laura Ashley Johnson

Tuesday 14th of November 2023

These donuts didn’t last long at my house! So good!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 14th of November 2023

Ha! They never do here either but I'm probably guiltier than everyone else lol. Thank you, Laura!

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