When it comes to sweet food items, donuts are one of the most popular items all over the world. This delightful dessert is widely available in almost every bakery, food stall, supermarket, and other places.
You can easily prepare donuts at home as the recipe is very simple, and you can decorate it with any topping you want. To make sure that you get the beautiful shape of the donut, it is essential to use a donut pan.
However, many people do not have a donut pan in their kitchen, but that should not stop them from baking delicious donuts. Therefore, in this guide, we will discuss a few donut pan substitute options that will help you to bake donuts at home.
What Is A Donut Pan?
This is a pan that both home bakers and professional bakers use to make sure that their donuts have the perfect shape. This pan looks very similar to a muffin or cupcake pan but has a little stem in the middle of each cup in order to make the hole of the donut.
The donuts made using donut pans are baked while the regular donuts are fried in oil. Therefore, using a donut pan would mean that the donuts will have fewer calories compared to regular donuts.
Top 5 Donut Pan Substitute for 2021
There are quite a few items that you can use in case you do not have access to a donut pan. These donut pan alternatives work perfectly as fine as a donut pan, so you do not have to worry about how your donuts will turn out to be.
1. Muffin Pan
One of the simplest and most common donut pan replacements is a muffin or cupcake pan.
You can use tin foil or baking/parchment paper to make holes in the center of the donut. Take a small piece of parchment paper or tin foil, roll it and make sure that the small roll is flat at the bottom so that it remains still on the muffin pan.
Apply oil to the pan to prevent the donuts from sticking and place the roll in the center of each mold like a log. You can pour the donut mixture into the muffin pan using a pastry bag to avoid any mess caused by dripping donut batter.
2. Temporary Donut Pan
A temporary donut pan is a homemade donut mold that is usually made up of tin or aluminum foil. Take a piece of parchment paper and roll it to make a cylinder. Wrap the cylinder properly with tin foil until you get the thickness you want.
Once you reach the thickness you want, shape the cylinder into a proper circle and secure the ends of the circle with tape.
To make temporary donut molds, take a large piece of tin foil and fold it in half. Cut the folded piece of foil into two and put the parchment paper circle you prepared earlier in the middle.
Take the other half of the tin foil and add it around the edges of the circle and then remove the parchment paper circle. You now have your alternative to donut pan ready in your hands. Keep in mind that these temporary donut pans are for one-time use as you will have to cut it off to get your baked donut out.
3. Round Mold
Many people do not want their donuts to have a bottom shaped like a muffin, and the work of making a temporary donut pan is time-consuming. That is why a lot of bakers prefer using a round mold for baking donuts.
Round molds are very easy to find as they are available in almost every store and online marketplace.
Place a layer of parchment paper on the mold and grease it well with oil. Fill the round mold with donut batter up to 75 percent of the mold capacity as the batter will rise in the oven.
You can use your finger or a small bottle cap to make a hole in the center of the batter to get the proper donut shape. Make sure that you make the hole a bit thicker than usual, because the gap will close in a little as the donut is baked.
4. Cookie Cutter
If you are not into the use of round molds, then we have another easy solution, and that is use a cookie cutters. Prepare the dough of the donut and let it rest until it rises to double size.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough on a table or countertop. Flour the surface to make the work easier. You will have to roll the dough until it has a thickness of half an inch.
Take your round cookie cutter out (usually 2-3 inches) and cut the half-an-inch thick dough into circles. Place the circles on a baking or cookie tray and use an olive oil bottle cap or so on to cut small holes in the middle of the dough.
5. Free Form Donuts
If you are not interested in any of the substitutes for donut pan mentioned above, then you can easily go for this one. You can just make free form donuts. In this solution, you will have to take a small amount of donut batter that is enough to make one donut and place it on a baking tray.
Make sure to place a layer of baking sheet on the tray and grease the baking sheet with oil before placing the batter. Shape the batter into the shape of a donut using your fingers and keep shaping it until you are satisfied with the look.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Make Donuts Without Frying Them?
Since our childhood, a lot of us have seen that donuts are always fried in deep, hot oil before they are decorated with love. But it is not the only way of making donuts.
You can make donuts by baking them in the oven like bread, cake, and so on. The way is simple; put the batter in a donut pan or muffin tray or shape them with your bare hands. Then put the tray in the oven, and let the donuts bake.
A lot of people prefer the baked donuts as they contain fewer calories than the oil fried donuts and are a healthier option.
2. Are Temporary Donut Pans Worth It?
While a temporary donut pan is a cheap option, it is a time-consuming process. You will have to make them one by one, and as they are not reusable, you will have to throw them away after one use.
It is still a feasible idea if you are making a small batch of donuts, but in case you are making a medium or big batch, then temporary donut pans are not worth the hard work.
3. Are Aluminum Foil Donut Pans Safe For Baking?
Yes, an aluminum foil donut pan is safe for baking in the oven, and aluminum foil also works great as a baking sheet. However, when you put aluminum foil in the oven, make sure that you put it over a tray or plate; otherwise, the foil can get overly hot and catch fire.
Donut is not a food item that everyone makes on a daily basis, so it is not essential to have a donut pan in the kitchen. Many people do not want to invest in a donut pan because this is not a regular item in the household. For those, the alternatives mentioned in the guide above are good enough for occasional uses.
As for our personal preference, the donut pan substitute that we would choose is most certainly the cookie cutter. The reason behind this choice is that it’s not time consuming, and almost every baker has a cookie cutter at home.
However, if you are a professional baker, making and selling donuts on a regular basis, then you must get yourself a donut pan.
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