These Baked Coconut Donuts showcase layers of tropical coconut flavors in a soft, sweet, and cakey dessert. Finished with a creamy coconut glaze and flaked coconut on top, they’re impossible to resist!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Attention fellow coconut lovers: this Baked Coconut Doughnuts recipe is for you! So moist and cakey, these delicious doughnuts are easy to make from scratch and enriched with layer after layer of creamy coconut. Enjoy one with a coconut pineapple margarita in hand to feel like you’re on vacation!
Although it may sound like a complicated tropical dessert, this baked doughnut recipe takes less than 1 hour from start to finish. Plus, you get to skip all of the excess oil you’d find in a fried doughnut recipe. Pretty great, right?
❓ Baked vs. fried doughnuts
Fried doughnuts, like these Blackberry Brioche Doughnuts, are made with a batter that contains yeast. Just like a loaf of bread, the yeast helps the batter rise and will give the doughnuts a nice puff once they’re cooked in the fryer oil. Properly fried doughnuts are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Baked doughnuts, however, are made with a smooth cake-like batter. The batter contains leavening agents, like baking soda and baking powder, instead of yeast to help the doughnuts rise in the oven. The finished result will be soft, delicate, and moist, just like cake and cupcakes.
- Coconut milk - I almost always use whole milk in my doughnut recipes, but coconut milk adds the same amount of moisture while infusing another layer of creamy coconut.
- Coconut extract - To intensify the smooth and sweet coconut taste in both the doughnut batter and the coconut glaze.
- Sour cream - For moisture, a hint of tang, and to help the doughnuts rise. You can use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt instead. For a dairy free option, swap the sour cream for coconut cream, dairy free sour cream, or plain coconut yogurt.
- Coconut flakes - Unsweetened coconut flakes are best here because they’re used in both the doughnut batter and as decoration. Sweetened flakes will make the doughnuts too sweet.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
Step 2: Whisk the wet ingredients. Whisk the butter, eggs, sugar, coconut milk, coconut extract, and sour cream in a separate bowl. Finish by mixing in the coconut flakes.
Step 3: Finish the batter. Fold the dry mixture into the wet and mix until just combined.
Step 4: Pipe the batter and bake. Pipe the batter into your greased doughnut pan. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown, then let them cool completely.
Step 5. Make the coconut glaze. Whisk the powdered sugar, coconut extract, and coconut milk together to make the glaze.
Step 6: Glaze, garnish and serve. Once fully cooled, dip the tops of each doughnut into the glaze and let the excess drip down the sides. Sprinkle coconut flakes over the top before the glaze hardens, then enjoy!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- The finished batter should be thick. I usually whisk the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then switch to a sturdy spatula to fold everything together.
- To check for doneness - You’ll know the coconut doughnuts are done baking when a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.
- Let them fully cool before glazing - Otherwise, the coconut glaze will melt right off the hot doughnuts instead of hardening in place.
- Invest in a doughnut baking tray to bake doughnut shop-worthy doughnuts!
- Ensure all ingredients, especially coconut oil and unsweetened coconut milk, are at room temperature for a cake-like texture in your coconut cake donuts.
- After baking, immediately transfer the donuts from the donut pan to a wire rack to cool, then sprinkle with toasted coconut for a delightful crunch.
- For even and smooth batter distribution in the donut pan, use a piping bag instead of a spoon to ensure perfectly shaped toasted coconut donuts every time.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
These doughnuts don’t have to be all about the coconut. Instead, get creative with different glazes, icing, and toppings. Any of these ideas would pair well with the coconut doughnut flavor:
- Keep things simple with vanilla doughnut glaze.
- Frost with raspberry french buttercream and garnish with shredded coconut.
- Swap the coconut flakes for macadamia nuts and fresh lime zest.
- Frost with a chocolate glaze instead of coconut glaze.
To store: Baked doughnuts are at their best when enjoyed fresh from the oven. If you have extra, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 2 to 3 days. Any longer and they tend to dry out.
❓ Do I need a Doughnut Baking Pan
The first time I saw a doughnut baking tray, I was not convinced that I needed yet another gadget to store in my kitchen. Then, my Fiance bought me a tray for a present (for him or for me... I have yet to decide) and I can honestly say I'm a believer. I've loved playing with all the different doughnuts, flavors, and glazes you can make using this tray as a mold.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Coconut extract adds a sweet, tropical flavor to the doughnuts and it’s pretty simple to make at home. Add equal parts (measured in volume) of unsweetened fresh coconut and vodka to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry area and shake every day for at least 1 month before using.
Yes, you can make this recipe in mini bundt pans or a regular muffin pan instead of a doughnut pan. The baking times will vary, so check the oven and double-check for doneness with a toothpick.
If you don’t own a doughnut pan, use a DIY doughnut tin instead. All you need is a regular muffin pan and squares of aluminum foil.
While coconut flour can be used, it's important to note that it absorbs more moisture than all-purpose flour. If substituting, adjust the liquid ingredients accordingly and be aware the texture might differ slightly from traditional cake donuts.
Store the coconut donuts in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days at room temperature once cooled on a cooling rack. For longer freshness, you can refrigerate them, but ensure the coconut cake doughnuts are brought to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.
Absolutely! Melted coconut oil not only enhances the coconut flavor but also offers a dairy-free alternative. Just ensure the other ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying when mixed.
More baked doughnut dessert recipes
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Coconut Cream Baked Doughnuts
- 120 g Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Extract
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Milk
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes for Garnish
Coconut Cream Doughnuts
- First off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F before making your doughnut batter.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.250 g All Purpose Flour, 2 teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, ¼ Baking soda
- Then in a larger bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, sugar, coconut milk, coconut extract, and sour cream mixing together until everything has fully combined. Finally, sprinkle and mix in unsweetened coconut flakes.30 Melted & Cooled Unsalted Butter, 1 Egg, 75 g Sugar, 140 g Coconut Milk, 1 teaspoon Coconut Extract, 125 g Sour Cream, 10 g Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined.
- Next, it’s time to pipe the doughnut batter into squeeze out all air and snip one corner creating a small hole. Spray donut hole pan with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray.
- Pipe the doughnut batter into your doughnut pan filling just over halfway, then place the tray in the oven to bake for 9-11 minutes. After the doughnuts pass the toothpick test, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a baking tray. Do not glaze doughnuts until they have completely cooled.
- Whisk together powdered sugar, coconut extract and coconut milk in a medium bowl to make your glaze. Dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze, allowing the excess to drip off. As the glaze starts to dry, add a few flakes of coconut flakes for garnish!120 g Powdered Sugar, 1 teaspoon Coconut Extract, 1 tablespoon Coconut Milk, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes for Garnish