When looking at all that donut pans offer, it’s not surprising that they’ve been gaining in popularity in recent years. Use a donut pan to create delicious treats that are healthier and less messy than those prepared in a deep fryer. The pans quickly pay for themselves compared to buying donuts from a donut shop or bakery.
When looking for the best donut pan, pull out your apron and read through this guide. Keep reading to find some of the most important features to consider when selecting the right product to meet your needs.
- BEST OVERALL: Wilton Non-Stick Silicone Donut Baking Pans
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Gezan 3-Pack Silicone Donut Baking Pan
- BEST SILICONE: Chefast Silicone Donut Pans Combo Kit
- BEST NONSTICK: Tiawudi Non-Stick 6-Cavity Donut Baking Pans
- BEST MINI: Norpro Nonstick Mini Donut Pan, 12-Count
- BEST WITH DECORATIVE MOLDS: Webake Donut Pan
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Donut Pan
Just as a variety of different types of baking sheets are available, donut pans differ as well. Read the key features outlined here to help determine what’s most important in a donut pan and guide the search for the most suitable product.
Most donut pans are made from either silicone or metal, both of which have pros and cons. Silicone is very flexible, which can make it easy to remove the baked donuts from the pan. However, a silicone pan is not as sturdy as a metal pan, and the donut mix can spill out of the wells as the pan goes into the oven.
Silicone is nonstick, and donuts typically pop out of a silicone pan easily. Silicone is also freezer safe, so not only can silicone pans be used for donuts, but they can also be used to make frozen treats. Because silicone is dishwasher safe, it’s easy to clean as well.
Unlike silicone, metal is very sturdy. It’s durable and relatively easy to clean, but hand-washing is typically best to preserve the finish. Donuts may stick to a metal pan, especially one without a nonstick finish. If metal utensils are used on a metal pan with a nonstick coating, it can ruin the finish.
Size and Capacity
A standard donut pan makes donuts with a diameter between 3 and 3.25 inches, while mini donut pans make donuts almost 2 inches in diameter.
Consider the capacity of each donut pan. Donut pans with a smaller capacity likely are smaller in size, which may make them a better fit for kitchens tight on storage or that have a smaller oven.
Next, decide if a nonstick coating is important. Just as nonstick pans are manufactured for baking, many donut pans also offer a nonstick surface. A nonstick coating on a donut pan makes it easier to remove the donuts from the wells, and it’s also easier to clean. Silicone donut pans are nonstick, as are many metal donut pans.
A dishwasher-safe donut pan cleans quickly and easily. The wells in a donut pan are relatively small and may be challenging to scrub by hand. A dishwasher-safe donut pan simplifies the task.
Silicone is a dishwasher-safe material. Many metal pans are also dishwasher safe; however, they must be hand-washed to protect the finish.
Finally, consider whether the donut pan package includes any accessories. For example, some donut pans may come with piping bags or baking spatulas. Piping bags can help users neatly and evenly fill each well on the donut pan and reduce splatter on the rest of the pan and surrounding countertops. Spatulas come in handy when removing donuts from the pan and transferring them to a cooling rack or plate.
Some donut pans have a special design. Rather than the traditional round donut shape with a hole in the center, donut pans with decorative molds can help create flower-, heart-, and star-shaped donuts.
Our Top Picks
The best donut pan makes creating homemade treats a bit easier. Continue reading to explore some of the top picks in the best donut pans on the market. With consideration to the above features, these selections feature a variety of high-quality and affordable options in several categories.
These two donut baking pans from Wilton feature steel construction with a nonstick coating. The steel construction adds durability to the pans, while the nonstick coating ensures the donuts release with ease. These donut pans offer even heat distribution to ensure each donut is evenly baked.
Each donut pan holds six donuts, and the donut wells are 3.25 inches in diameter to yield standard-size donuts. These pans are dishwasher safe; however, the manufacturer recommends hand-washing to increase their lifespan and deliver consistent baking results.
Bake up to 18 homemade donuts per batch with this set of three donut pans from Gezan. Each pan is made from BPA-free food-grade silicone that doesn’t contain toxins or dangerous chemicals. The silicone construction of these pans means they’re flexible, ensuring donuts can pop out with ease. They are oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, freezer safe, and dishwasher safe.
Each pan can make up to six 3-inch donuts. This set includes one blue, one pink, and one orange pan to add a splash of color to a kitchen or for a fun baking session with kids.
This kit from Chefast features all the essentials to bake tasty standard-size and mini donuts. Two silicone pans are included with the kit: one nine-well pan that makes 3.15-inch donuts and one 12-well pan that makes 1.85-inch donuts. In addition to the two pans, the set also includes a silicone spatula for mixing ingredients and five disposable piping bags for filling the donut wells.
Each pan is made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone. The pans, which are oven safe to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, can also be used in the freezer to make frozen treats. The silicone material is nonstick and allows donuts to pop out with ease. The pans are dishwasher safe.
These donut pans from Tiawudi are made from a durable carbon steel material. They feature a food-safe nonstick coating to ensure donuts release cleanly and easily from the pan. The nonstick finish makes them easy to hand-wash after baking.
Three donut pans are included in this set, and each pan has six wells for standard-size 3.25-inch donuts. These donut pans are heat safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make smaller donuts, consider Norpro mini donut pans. Each pan in this set provides 12 wells to create bite-size donuts with a 2-inch diameter. The nonstick coating of the stainless steel pans allows donuts to slide out easily. To deliver consistent results, Norpro’s pans are designed to evenly transfer heat across the entire baking surface. Also note that a few delicious donut recipes are included for baking inspiration.
The Webake donut pan features decorative molds that allow users to bake flower- and fluted-shaped donuts in addition to standard donuts. Constructed from a durable carbon steel material, it offers even heat conduction and a nonstick coating to remove the donuts easily.
The donut pan boasts 12 wells: four flower-shaped, four fluted, and four standard wells. Each well measures 2.75 inches in diameter.
FAQs About Donut Pans
Ready to bake but still have questions? Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about choosing the best donut pan below.
Q. Are silicone donut pans safe?
Yes, silicone donut pans are considered safe. High-quality silicone donut pans won’t discolor or emit odors during use. Silicone, safe to use for temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, is approved as a food-safe material by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Q. How do you fill a donut pan?
For best results, fill each well of a donut pan almost all the way to the top with batter. Leave a bit of room so the donuts don’t overflow the wells when the batter rises during baking. Using a piping bag can help reduce mess and ensure the batter makes it into the wells and not on other parts of the pan.
Q. Should you grease silicone donut pans?
Some silicone donut pans must be greased prior to baking; consult the care instructions from the manufacturer for your specific pan.
Q. How do you keep donuts from sticking to the pan?
Since each donut pan is different, consult with the manufacturer’s use and care instructions if your donuts stick to the pan. Some pans may have specific cleaning instructions to preserve the nonstick surface.