Using donut pans is easier than the machine because with twelve cavities instead of six, you can obviously make more donuts faster. You also don’t have to worry about filling the cavities too slowly and ending up with some donuts being overcooked or burnt since they all go in the oven at once.
One thing you do have to be careful of is overfilling the cavities- your donuts with puff up and close over the hole and you’ll end up with a weird donut/cupcake hybrid. Another thing to look out for is the overall batter quantity; I used half a box of funfetti mix I had leftover, and ended up with 56 donuts: 24 overfilled mutants and 32 perfect cuties. If I hadn’t overfilled the first two batches I could have made four batches with that batter, for a total of 80 mini donuts. Unless you either have six or seven pans or don’t mind washing the pans between each batch I would suggest quartering your recipe.
All in all I like these pans- I have two that I bought at a store here and have ordered another two, and once I have four it’ll be a lot easier/less time consuming to make lots of little donuts at once. I want to use these to retry my chocolate chip cookie donut experiment, since the pans would solve the cooked-to-a-crisp-all-over problem I encountered when making them in the donut machine.