Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze


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Do you like cinnamon buns?  Brownie points if you love Cinnabon cinnamon rolls like I do?  If you’re a cinnamon roll fan, you’re going to love these donuts.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate and white plate

Really, who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll?

Warm baked dough that’s sweet, dense, cinnamony and sugary, ooey gooey, with frosting everywhere.

Yes, please.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate

I worked at the mall when I was in high school and between Panda Chinese food, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, and Cinnabons, I ate more sodium, grease, and sugar than should be legal or is good for the complexion.  But hey, you’re only 16 and working next to the food court once.

I have such fond memories of Cinnabons.  The dense texture of them, the flavors of the cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter, the warm dough, and that cream cheese frosting.

I always ordered extra frosting and it was 50 cents for that extra cup of frosting but when you’re in high school working at a minimum wage job, you notice the price of tea in China the price of extra frosting.  But best use ever of 50 cents.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate

My grandma made the best cinnamon rolls, but since she’s not around and I had a cinnamon roll craving come over me, I knew I needed to figure something out.  Working with yeast-based doughs is a kitchen fear I still need to tackle.  Truth be told, I’ve never made traditional cinnamon rolls.

However, I thought that cinnamon bun style donuts was something I could handle.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze And my hunch proved successful.

These donuts are baked but they are not cake, or dry the way that most baked or cake-style donuts are.

Not in the least.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate with fork

They are actually pretty heavy, dense, and very moist.   The texture reminds me of an underbaked muffin-top in some ways.  Gooey and thick, not light, airy or fluffy.

The flavor is what you’d expect from a cinnamon bun.   There’s cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter.

And frosting.  I paired the donuts with a vanilla cream cheese glaze that makes you want to dive in and bathe in it.  I actually like a little donut with my frosting.  A little coffee with my cream.  Can you relate?

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on green and red plate

No donut pan?  I’m sorry.  You can buy one for $8 bucks at BB & B with a coupon or $10 without a coupon.   You’ll be happy you did.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts in panAnd if you really don’t want to do that, you can make these donuts as muffins in a muffin pan.  I tried that with the leftover batter.  The recipe yields what would be 7 donuts in my donut pan but rather than waiting for my one donut pan to come out of the oven, I made the remaining batter into two small muffins in my muffin pan.  I baked the muffins for about 15 minutes and they turned out just dandy.

The whole donut recipe from start to finish, including making them, cooling, glazing, and doing the dishes is 30 minutes.  That’s success.

But the fact that they remind me of Cinnabons is the best.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

The recipe yields 6-7 donuts and we polished off 5 at once, right out of the oven.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Bu there was that one, lone, straggler donut.  The next day, that straggler had become the perfect sponge for the cream cheese glaze.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Soaking up all that magical stuff and getting even heavier in weight and more full-bodied with flavor, which is just the way I like my baked goods: heavy, rich, dense, and intense.

Couldn’t think of a better way to Christen my new donut pan than with these.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

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5 from 9 votes

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

By Averie Sunshine
These donuts are what a Cinnabon cinnamon roll that met a vanilla glazed donut on the way to the oven would taste like. They’re soft, moist, and full of great cinnamon flavor. Donuts are a cinch to make at home, but if you don’t have a donut pan, recipe may be make in a muffin pan.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 -7 donuts
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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, add more if you like cinnamon or want a stronger ‘cinnamon bun’ taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

  • ½ cup+ confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon+ cinnamon
  • splash Milk, Half & Half, Cream, Heavy Cream, vegan milk


  • Donuts – Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease or spray a Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan with cooking spray. Or, use a muffin pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and optional salt.
  • Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla and melted butter.  Whisk to combine.
  • Use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off) to pipe the batter into a 6-donut pan.  Or just be extra neat and do this with a spoon (my preference).
  • Bake 8 to 11 minutes, or until doughnuts spring back when touched are are set.  Donuts will not be golden brown, but should be springy. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes.
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – While donuts are baking or cooling, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon, with a small splash milk.  Whisk to combine, adding the milk as necessary, until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Dip the donuts into the glaze. Donuts are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1, Calories: 227kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 292mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating


  1. Just bought a donut pan so of course I had to try one of your recipes.
    I had to make buttermilk with 1% milk and vinegar. I added the salt and used Egg Beaters instead of a real egg.
    THESE ARE AMAZING. I wondered how strong the cinnamon taste would be with only a teaspoon spread between 6 donuts, but you can definitely taste it.
    Instead of cream cheese, I used the vanilla glaze from your vanilla donut recipe.

    These are so moist and sweet and delicious. Way better than Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts. I’ll definitely make these again.

    1. Thanks for trying these and glad you loved them and are a big fan! Sounds like your DIY buttermilk did the trick and that vanilla glaze, too! And yes, I think they’re better than KK or Dunkin’, too :) Thanks for the compliments!

  2. Averie, are these okay o make ahead? I want to make them for Easter (with sprinkles!) but would need to make the day before.

    1. Donuts are one of those things like a pancake or a waffle, it’s truly best to make them fresh. I would suggest making muffins, a cake, or really almost anything else other than donuts if you absolutely have to make them a day ahead. Just being honest! Check this out – I’m sure you’ll find something!

      1. Okay!!! Thank you for the honest answer. I knew that…just couldn’t let it go! Your soft cherry bread will be perfect. THANK YOU!

  3. Would you say these have the same texture as your chocolate donuts w/ pb glaze, because those were good donuts? Cinnabon really are the best cinnamon rolls ever and that is funny because I just realized my local mall now has one. They used to a really long time ago and then went away, but it’s BACK :)

    1. These are more dense than those I think. There is something about cocoa powder that tends to dry things out and the crumb is a little dryer…so these are a smidge heavier maybe? and moister. When you dump a pound of cream cheese glaze on them, they’re bound to get heavy. Of all the non-choc/non-PB donut recipes I have, this is my fave one bc they’re super moist. I’d rather it be heavier and moister than lighter and drier! Bottom line, make them. You’re going to enjoy them. Now, they’re not Cinnabons, but the flavor profile is similar. But nothing can compete with a 1000 calorie yeasted Cinnabon. :)

  4. I’ve been meaning to make these for quite a while now, but just got around to it. I am notorious for forgetting ingredients and tonight’s victim was the brown sugar. I realized it right before I was putting them in the oven, so I sprinkled it on top instead. This batch turned out amazing! The brown sugar made a crunchy crust on top, which was awesome. We also made another batch the “right way”, but still preferred the brown sugar as a crunch instead of incorporated. Either way, they’re delicious. Thanks for the post!

    1. I love it when happy accidents turn out to be so awesome. Sounds like the brown sugar is perfect and I can see that being amazing! Great idea & thanks for LMK how it all worked!

  5. Ahh! I just got a donut pan off my wedding registry, and have been looking for the perfect recipe to try to break it in. These look AMAZING! Can’t wait to try!

  6. Hello Averie, I made these last night and I tried one straight away, it was very good but a bit dry, I probably slightly overbaked it by a minute or 2. Anyways, Ive put them in a plastic container and had one today, you are right they are definetely better the day after, it was so much more moist and I loved the fact that the glaze was partly absorbed by the donut. Next time I’m gonna try to dip them twice in the glaze, I love it, I think I could just eat it by itself! :) Thanks for the recipe, another great one! :)

    1. Donuts are exceedingly prone to drying out. You have to be REALLY careful with them. 1 minute can make a big difference, 2 mins can be the difference between good and gross. So just reduce baking time next time and yes, the glaze does soak in by the next day so sealing them off in a baggie while glazed and still warm will render them softer the 2nd day. They do get kind of gooey but I don’t mind :)

  7. My first high school job was at Cinnabon. I never was taught to make the rolls, so I still have the fear of yeast baking and rolling things out. These look so good, I’ve been looking for a donut pan but haven’t tried BB&B. will get one soon so I can make these!

  8. I am married to a cinnamon bun lover, and this rainy Sunday seemed like a perfect opportunity to break in my doughnut pan and surprise him with this recipe. And he is in LOVE. Two of these and he had to stop himself. This was a great introduction to your blog! You’ve got a huge fan in me – and apparently, my husband as well. :)