Gingerbread Donut Holes are bite-sized morsels of fluffy baked donuts glazed with a delicate vanilla-maple frosting. They’re so good, I bet you can’t eat just one!
When I was home in New York for Thanksgiving, we visited an upstate staple, Tim Horton’s which is a Northern donut and coffee shop. My go-to order at Tim Horton’s is a simple french vanilla coffee with a single Timbit on the side (aka a donut hole) on the side. In November, the seasonal TimBits are Gingerbread Donut Holes! Gingerbread is a seasonal flavor that I absolutely adore which made these donut holes my perfect match!
The Timbits were so delicious, I could have eaten a whole box of Gingerbread donut holes — luckily for me, Timbits come pre-portioned — so as long as I only order ONE. Also, lucky for me, I went to Tim Hortons 3 times during the week I was home so I was able to enjoy the Gingerbread Timbits a few times before heading back to Austin.
But, even though I had my fair share of Timbits while I was in New York, I still craved the gingerbread donut holes when I returned home to Austin. This craving inspired me to create a healthier version of the Gingerbread TimBits so I didn’t feel guilty eating 2 or 3 with my coffee in the morning.
My Gingerbread Donut Holes are made with half whole wheat flour for a boost of whole grains. I also incorporated Greek yogurt into the batter to sub out some of the butter for an extra boost of protein and a fluffy lift! Unlike traditional donut holes which are fried, I baked mine in a mini muffin pan!
To pay homage to New York, I frosted my gingerbread donut holes with a vanilla-maple glaze which has just a slight hint of maple syrup! The maple plays so nicely with the gingerbread flavor, adding just a touch of sweetness to the baked donut holes!
I loved cozying up next to the fireplace in the morning with a steamy cup of coffee and a few of these gingerbread donut holes, and I hope you do too! They’d also be perfect as a Christmas morning snack while you watch the family open gifts!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons ginger
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, separated
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ cup half and half or heavy cream***
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Lightly grease a mini muffin pan with shortening or butter and set aside
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt, molasses and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Slowly drizzle in the melted butter while whisking to incorporate. Do this slowly as not to cook the eggs
- Once combined, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined
- Fill the muffin tins two-thirds of the way full with batter*
- Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes
- Remove from oven and allow the donuts to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them the pan*
- While the donuts cool, make the glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and half and half (or cream, if using)
- Once donut holes have cooled slightly, dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, let excess drip off then place the donut holes on a wire rack**
- Allow the glaze to set for about 5-minutes before dipping a second time
- Store in a cool dry place for 2-3 days
** I dip my donut holes twice because it creates a thicker glaze which is more reminiscent of what you'd find on a bakery-style donut hole.
***You need to use cream or half & half. If you use milk, the glaze won't result in a thick frosting which is needed in order for the frosting to stay put on top of your donut holes. When making the frosting, add the liquid slowly until the glaze reaches the consistency of a shampoo or shower gel. That's when you'll know it's perfect for dipping.