The 5 Best Donut Pan Substitutes

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Who wouldn’t want to make donuts at home? Unfortunately, as much as you might want to get donut-making, many of us do not have donut pans just sitting around in the cupboard waiting to be used.

Donuts are fairly easy to make at home with the right pans, but there are some substitutes that you can use if you do not own a donut pan.

What are the best donut pan substitutes? The best donut pan substitutes would be a muffin pan or a baking pan. These can be used with some aluminum foil or parchment paper to make a donut mold, which will help to bake donuts into the right shape, with the hole in the middle.

Using a muffin pan is possibly the easiest substitute to use, as the round shape of the muffin wells helps to easily shape the donuts. With a little centerpiece constructed out of aluminum foil, you’ll have donuts in no time!

Below is everything you need to know on using a donut pan substitute, how to choose one, and some of our top picks.

Donut Pan Substitutes – What To Look For

There are a few things you need to look for when choosing a donut pan substitute. The substitute will not be exactly like a donut pan, but there are some factors to look for that will help you make some perfect donuts!

1. Material

When it comes to baking pans, choosing the right material is really important. Here are some of the better options to choose from:


Aluminum is a reliable heat conductor and helps to give even baking results. It is lightweight and non-toxic and is usually coated with a protective layer to make it scratch-resistant and non-stick.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is heavier than aluminum, which means it is stronger and more durable. It still conducts heat well, but not as well as aluminum.

Stainless steel is non-stick and will last for quite some time in the kitchen. Many stainless steel muffin pans are also made with an inner core of aluminum or copper to help with even baking.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a popular bakeware choice. It heats up quickly and conducts heat well, ensuring even baking results. It does need to be seasoned with oil or fat for a non-stick surface, but otherwise, it is strong and durable!


Silicone muffin pans are lightweight, durable, flexible, non-toxic, and nonstick. The silicone is resistant to heat but does not conduct heat as well as metal. While it may not bake as easily as some other materials, it still offers good results.

2. Size Of The Pan

The size of the pan will definitely matter if you need it for donuts.

The holes in a muffin pan should not be so small that you do not have enough space to construct the mold for the donut inside the muffin hole and not have a decent size donut afterward.

A larger muffin tray would be better for making donuts, possibly one with 6 or 12 holes.

These are usually called jumbo muffin trays, with the wells measuring around 3.75 by 1.5 inches. You might be able to use standard-size muffin trays, which measure around 2.75 by 1.4 inches, but the donuts would be smaller.

3. Handles

Not all muffin trays have handles, but it does help to give you a more secure grasp when placing the muffin tray in the oven, and when removing it.

This is especially helpful if you want to avoid knocking the molds you have made for the donut shapes.

Using A Muffin Tray As A Donut Pan Substitute

To use a muffin pan as a donut pan substitute, you will need to use some aluminum foil to make the molds inside of the muffin wells.

You will need a muffin pan, aluminum foil, and some cooking spray. Here is how to make the molds:

  • Cut a square piece of aluminum foil to around 5 by 5-inches. The foil needs to be large enough to cover the bottom of each muffin well.
  • Gently fold the foil around one of your fingers, folding the sides up to create a mold. Place this into the muffin well and press it down into shape to stand upright.
  • Continue doing this for all of the muffin wells.

This should leave you with foil covering the muffin wells, and with a spike in the center which will form the hole in the donut.

5 Best Donut Pan Substitutes

If you aren’t planning to make donuts too often at home but want to try it out at least once while not having to spend money on a donut pan, here are some of the best substitutes for you!

RankProductKey Features
1.Wilton Non-Stick Jumbo Muffin Pans2 pack, dishwasher-safe, 6 muffin wells
2.Silivo Silicone Jumbo Muffin PanNon-stick, silicone, microwave safe
3.CasaWare Jumbo Muffin PanJumbo wells, carbon steel, ceramic coating
4.Bake Boss Jumbo Muffin PanHandles, stainless steel and silicone
5.Wilton 6-Cup Jumbo Muffin PanAluminum, non-stick, durable

These can be used to make donuts, muffins, cupcakes, and more. Of course, if you’ve decided a donut pan will work for you after all, you can check out our article for the best donut pans available on the market!

1. Wilton Non-Stick Jumbo Muffin Pans

Check Current Price On Amazon

The two-pack of jumbo muffin tins from Wilton means you can bake double the amount of donuts at one time!

With a non-stick surface and durable construction, these muffin pans help to spread heat evenly, which means even cooking and baking for donuts and muffins.

Once your donuts are baked, you can pop the muffin pans into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Each pan has 6 muffin wells which are large enough to be transformed into donut molds! Enjoy countless hours of baking using these reliable muffin pans, which can be used for so much more than just muffins.

2. Silivo Silicone Jumbo Muffin Pan

Check Current Price On Amazon

These flexible muffin trays are large and non-stick, ideal to use as a donut pan substitute!

The size of the muffin wells are 3.5 by 1.7 inches, so they have more than enough space to be converted into a donut mold.

Made from high-quality, eco-friendly food-grade silicone, this muffin pan is safe to use and will help to bake donuts and muffins evenly in the oven.

Not only is the muffin pan heat-resistant, but it can be placed in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, seeing to all of your kitchen needs!

3. CasaWare Jumbo Muffin Pan

Check Current Price On Amazon

CasaWare products are always reliable, and it makes sense to use their jumbo muffin pan to make some delicious donuts at home!

The pan is made from carbon steel and coated in granite ceramic, which allows for easy release with a non-stick coating. The large muffin wells measure 3.25 by 1.75 inches, giving you enough space to make donuts.

Being made from carbon steel, the muffin pan conducts heat well and evenly, and along with the ceramic coating, is durable and safe to use in the kitchen.

It is a great option for making donuts at home, but also for many other baking purposes too!

4. Bake Boss Jumbo Muffin Pan

Check Current Price On Amazon

If you are looking for an easy-to-handle muffin tray that you could use for donuts too, this is a great option! 

The muffin tray features a patented steel rim handle design that gives the muffin tray some stability and strength, with the muffin wells being made from silicone for flexibility and non-stick properties.

With both the benefits of stainless steel and silicone, this is definitely a muffin pan that is sure to be used often in your kitchen, and will help you make some delicious donuts when the craving comes calling!

5. Wilton 6-Cup Jumbo Muffin Pan

Check Current Price On Amazon

The Wilton 6-Cup Jumbo Muffin Pan is made from aluminum, meaning it conducts heat beautifully, while being lightweight, non-stick, and durable. 

There are 6 large muffin wells in the pan, which offer up enough space for you to mold up donut holders to bake donuts at home. Each well holds 8oz, which is a decent amount for donuts or large muffins.

When not using the pan for donuts, you can bake jumbo muffins, frittatas and so much more!

Related Questions

What Do I Use If I Do Not Have A Donut Cutter?

If you are cutting donut dough, but do not have a donut cutter, there are a few options available. The first is to use cookie-cutters in similar sizes to what you need.

If you do not have a cookie-cutter, you could instead use a large glass and a baby food jar to cut the larger shape of the donut, and then remove the dough from the middle with the smaller jar.

Do I Need To Oil A Donut Pan?

It is a good idea to oil a donut pan. This prevents the donuts from sticking to the pan and allows you to easily pop them out when they have finished baking.

Can I Use A Baking Sheet To Make Donuts?

You can use a baking sheet to make donuts. To do this, you would need to create donut molds out of aluminum foil, like you would if using a muffin pan.

These need to be fairly strong as they will be freestanding and will need to support the batter throughout baking.

Up Next: Baked Sour Cream Donuts – Recipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *