Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts


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These are technically donuts but they’re savory so I don’t think of them as ‘donuts’.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts on green and white plate

I think of them more like a bagel or technically they’d be classified as a quick bread.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts on green and white plate

Yes, they are quick.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half

And yes, they are filled with cream cheese that’s been baked into them.

If you look closely into that hole you can see the cream cheese.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half

There’s also shredded cheese that’s been baked in.

And just to be sure you have the cheesy bases covered, don’t forget a side of whipped cream cheese and butter mixture that’s been spiked with herbs.

Whipped dip and cream cheese donuts

These savory donuts do not involve yeast, dough rising, proofing, kneading or any monkey business like that.  Monkey business defined as me not wanting to deal with anything complicated.

I simply made the batter with one bowl and a spoon (no mixer required since I don’t have one), poured it into a donut pan, baked, and voila…

…Cheese bread about 15 minutes later.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts

Or savory donuts.

Whatever you want to call them.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half

 Scott called them good and coming from a Jewish guy who loves his bagels and cream cheese and grew up eating in Jewish delis, I was happy to pass his bread test.


Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts with Herbed Buttery Cream Cheese Spread (with Vegan and Gluten Free options)


For the Donuts

1.5 tbsp butter, melted

1.5 tbsp cream cheese, melted

3/4 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or whatever spices/herbs you have on hand, can omit if necessary.  It’s not essential to have ‘fresh’ rosemary for the recipe.  Try dried thyme, oregano, basil, sage, etc.)

1 tbsp Mrs. Dash seasoning blend (or whatever seasoning blend you have and like, i.e. TJ’s 21 Salute, a McCormick blend, or other ‘all-purpose’ seasoning blend)

1 tsp salt, or to taste

black pepper, to taste

optional to taste: garlic powder, onion powder, curry, paprika, oregano,

1 egg

1/4 c shredded cheese (I used Pepper Jack or try mozzarella, Colby, Swiss, Jack, Munster, soy, Daiya, etc.)

6 tbsp+ buttermilk (I used 1/2 c which is 8 tbsp.  Add milk slowly until you reach a thick batter consistency)

Yields: 6 donuts in this Wilton doughtnut pan.  Pans vary by size but this is not a “huge” recipe.  Double or triple, or halve (beat the egg and then divide in half) the recipe as desired.  Can be made as muffins in a muffin pan, and I’d bake at 325F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



For the Donuts

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease or cooking-spray the donut pan (or muffin tin).

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt/soften 1.5 tbsp butter and 1.5 tbsp cream cheese.  No more than about 15 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and seasonings, egg, cheese, and add the melted butter & cream cheese mixture to it all.   Stir by hand to combine.

Then, slowly add the buttermilk.  You may need as little as 1/4 c or more like 1/2 c, or even a splash more.  The amount of milk needed is going to depend on the type of cheese and cream cheese used.  You are looking for a fairly thick batter.  Thicker than cake or brownie batter, more like cookie dough consistency.

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 which is what I did.

Bake 11 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until doughnuts spring back when touched or until dough is set.  Donuts will not be golden brown, but should be springy. (I always underbake my baked goods but in my oven these took 11-12 minutes to set up)

Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes.


For the Herbed Buttery Cream Cheese Spread, optional

While donuts are baking or cooling, make the spread by combining and whipping by hand:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp cream cheese

pinch of spice blend used in donuts, i.e. Mrs. Dash or similar

pinch of fresh herbs, i.e. rosemary

Double or triple the recipe as desired


To make Gluten Free: use your favorite gluten free flour blend

To make Vegan: Replace the buttermilk with almond milk + splash of vinegar; increase the amount of baking powder to 2 tsp, use melted margarine or Earth Balance, use vegan cream cheese such as Tofutti, use vegan cheese such as Daiya, and use a flax/chia egg rather than regular egg.  Multiple tweaks but do-able; however I have not made them as vegan so cannot personally attest to the finished product.



You could also make these as savory muffins if you don’t have a donut pan.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts

You could also pour the batter in a flat pan such as an 8 x 8 pan or into a bread or loaf pan and make the recipe that way, too.

Donuts just happen to be my current obsession:

Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze

Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

Even though I prefer sweet donuts (but that’s just me and my raging sweet tooth talking) because of the addition of butter, cheese, and cream cheese to the batter, you don’t have to worry about these little savory fellas being dry in the least.

There is nothing worse than dry baked goods or bread that’s too dry.  Blech.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half

Feel free to dive into the butter and cream cheese spread, though.

Everything tastes that much better with a hearty schmear of buttery cream cheese.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half

Even though you may think they would be like lead balloons with all that cheese, they’re actually not too heavy.  They’re not light and airy like phyllo dough, but they’re not total rocks, either.

I’d call them a cross between foccacia bread and a dinner roll with herbs.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts

You can add the herbs of your choice.  My choice was predominantly rosemary which goes so well with cream cheese, but use what you have on hand and enjoy such as basil, oregano, thyme; it’ll all work.

Score another one in Project Butter Up Husband: Obtain Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer mission.

These got me a step closer to my goal.

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts in half


1. Have you ever made bread?

These savory donuts do not involve yeast, dough rising, proofing, kneading or anything complicated.

I hardly have time to floss my teeth let alone make bread from scratch.  These are a perfect quick ‘n easy bread option.

No donut pan?  Pick one up for about $8 bucks.  Or just make them as muffins.

2. Sweet or savory?

Sweet all the way for me.  I had a couple bites of these so I could tell you what they tasted like but between the gluten and the savory factor, I would much rather save my shots for a Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bar

Savory doesn’t really even cross my radar screen when I could have chocolate or sweets.

Last reminder to enter the $50 Clothing Giveaway.  Winner announced tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

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.


  1. Will make these very very soon. Quick 2 questions… you use fresh or dried lemon zest? Wondering if one has more flavor than the other? Did you shred your own cheese or use bagged store bought shredded cheese? Always want to follow the expert :-) Thank You for all your great posts.

  2. I made these for dinner yesterday. They are delicious. I baked them as muffins, as my donut pan does not fit in the toaster oven, and I didn’t want to turn on the regular oven for baking a small batch.

    Will definitely bake these again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for trying these! You’re the second person who told me today they made them. The other gal didn’t leave a comment but emailed me. Thanks so much for coming back here to tell me they worked as muffins and that you plan to try them again. That’s wonderful!

  3. These are gorgeous and I bet the flavor combo is amazing! Must try a vegan version soon! And your photography is awesome, great colors and composition.

  4. What a brilliant idea!! I’ve never even thought of making savory donuts. I love both sweet and savory, and don’t think I could choose between the two. I even like sweet and savory combined at times!!

  5. I have never made bread from scratch and it always seems like such a pain. These seem super simple though! You always create amazing things and it looks like you’re sure getting a good use of your doughnut pan!

    And there is no way savory will ever trump sweet for me! My sweet tooth can not be tamed. :)