Baked Gingerbread Donuts

These baked gingerbread donuts are tender, fluffy, and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other holiday spices. They’re a very merry way to celebrate Christmas morning.

gingerbread donuts topped with icing.

Gingerbread donuts that are baked, not fried, and topped with a drippy vanilla glaze are my idea of a fun, festive, and easy way to usher in a holiday. Think mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, cozy pajamas, and a plate of these baked donuts to pass around – the holiday feels are built right in.

a stack of donuts.

How to Make Them

And, because they’re baked, they’re so easy to make. It’s basically a modified quick bread recipe turned into donuts that are tender, fluffy, lightly sweetened, and drizzled with glaze. They’re easy enough to make the morning of or bake and glaze a batch a day ahead to make things even easier.

More Holiday Treats

| Gingerbread Muffins | White Peppermint Mocha | Hot Chocolate Mix | Spiced Candied Pecans |

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Baked Gingerbread Donuts

gingerbread donuts topped with icing.

These gingerbread donuts are a fun holiday breakfast! The donuts are tender and fluffy, lightly sweetened, and have a hint of warm spices. 

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 baked donuts 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • For topping: vanilla glaze or cinnamon sugar (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two donut pans with non-stick cooking spray and set them aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients– first add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and finally the remaining flour. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag (or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off) and pipe the batter evenly into the prepared donut pan, filling each one about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake the donuts for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.
  7. Leave the donuts in the pan for five minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. You can serve them plain or add the glaze or cinnamon-sugar topping (see the recipe notes for details)

Notes

These donuts are delicious on their own, or you can coat them with cinnamon sugar or top them with an easy vanilla glaze.

Cinnamon-sugar: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a shallow bowl wide enough to dip a donut in. Mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a separate bowl. Dip the donuts in the melted butter and then into the bowl with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Vanilla glaze: Whisk 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk in a bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the donuts, or you can dip the tops of the donuts to coat them in the glaze. If you’re feeling fancy, transfer the glaze to a ziplock bag, seal it, snip off the corner, and pipe the glaze onto the donuts. Allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes before serving.

For more tips, check out the recipe blog post!

The nutrition estimate does not include the glaze or cinnamon-sugar topping.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 donut
  • Calories: 161
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Sodium: 47.9mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 26.7mg

Keywords: easy baked gingerbread donuts, holiday donuts recipe,

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

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Ingredient Notes

Molasses: For this recipe, I use unsulphered molasses (Grandma’s Molasses brand). It’s the type most commonly used in baking. Molasses is the key ingredient in gingerbread – it has a caramel, slightly bitter, rich flavor. A little goes a long way.

Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves also help enhance the gingerbread flavor, and you probably have most of them in your spice rack already. If you happen to have some gingerbread spice mix (a blend of all of these spices), you can use two teaspoons in place of the individual spices.

ingredients for gingerbread donuts.

Recipe Tips

When you measure the flour, use the spoon and level method. This ensures you don’t add too much flour, which can happen if you scoop the flour out of the package with the measuring cup. I like to stir the flour first in the container and then lightly spoon it into the dry measuring cup before leveling it off with a knife.

The donut batter is very simple and as easy as making a quick bread. For tender, fluffy baked donuts, be careful not to overmix the batter.

Alternating adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients makes it easier to fully incorporate the flour without overmixing. Also, mixing by hand (instead of with a mixer) until the batter is just combined makes a big difference, too.

Storage Tips

You can make the donuts ahead and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for several days.

You can freeze them, too. Store them plain (no glaze or cinnamon sugar topping) in a freezer container. They will keep for several months. Thaw them at room temperature and then add the glaze or cinnamon topping.

a donut with a bite taken out of it.

If you love gingerbread, these baked donuts are a fun recipe to try! I hope you love them.

Happy baking,

April

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