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Fluffy baked gingerbread doughnuts

Fluffy Baked Gingerbread Doughnuts

Airy inside and golden outside, laced with spicy ginger, warm cinnamon and sweet molasses.  These Fluffy, Baked Gingerbread Doughnuts are the perfect addition to your holiday breakfast.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword baked doughnuts, Christmas breakfast, gingerbread doughnuts
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 18 doughnuts
Calories 270kcal
Author Lauren


Fluffy Baked Gingerbread Doughnuts

  • 1 ⅛ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons or 1 package Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 whole large eggs lightly beaten
  • 10 tablespoons 1 ¼ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour level and spooned¹

Gingerbread Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Gingerbread Doughnuts

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk over low heat to 110°F.  A candy thermometer will work great to temp this.  If you don't have a thermometer, the milk should be warm enough you can hold your finger in it for at least 30 seconds.  If the milk is too warm it will kill the yeast.
  • Transfer the milk to a standing mixer fitting with bread hook attachment.  Add sugar and yeast, mix to dissolve sugar, about 1 minute.  Let rest, without mixing, for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the beaten eggs and melted butter.  While mixer is running on low, add the spices, molasses, and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour, working in 2 to 3 batches is the easiest.  Once all the flour is added, increase mixer speed to medium low to incorporate ingredients, 1 minute.  The dough should be sticky to the touch, but most of the dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.  Return speed to low and mix for a full 5 minutes.  Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.
  • After resting, transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, scraping the dough from the bottom of the bowl if needed.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Cutting the doughnuts: Transfer the dough to a flat work surface lightly sprinkled with flour.  Roll out dough to ½ to ⅓ inch thickness.  Cut out doughnuts using a 3-½ inch doughnut cutter.  Transfer doughnuts to a sheet pan lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper.  Doughnut holes should be transferred to a separate sheet pan, as they will cook faster.  Form the left over scraps into a ball, kneading if necessary, and repeat the roll out and cut out process as many times until all the dough is used.
  • Let it rest, again:  Let the cut out doughnuts and doughnut holes rest for 1 hour before baking.². Pre heat the oven to 400°F.  (See note for tips to get the best rise out of your doughnuts.)
  • Transfer the baking sheets to the oven.  Bake full doughnuts for 8 to 10 minutes.  They should be golden on top and on the bottom.  Bake doughnut holes for 5 minutes.
  • Let doughnuts rest for 5 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle, and dip into glaze while still hot.

Gingerbread Glaze:

  • While the doughnuts are resting, prepare the glaze.  In a medium sized bowl, combine confectioners sugar, heavy cream, molasses and spices.  Whisk or stir together until smooth.  The icing should be thick.
  • Icing the doughnuts:. With the doughnuts fresh out of the oven, dip into the glaze.  Dip the doughnut top side down and gently press into the glaze.  Give it a turn before gently removing.  Place on a sheet pan or parchment paper to let icing set.  If you wish to use sprinkles, apply or dip while the icing is still wet.  If the doughnuts have cooled too much, heat the icing for 10 seconds in the microwave to thin it.  Note: the white icing in the photos is a thinner version of the glaze using just confectioners sugar and heavy cream, drizzled over the doughnuts after the gingerbread icing is set.
  • Storing and reheating:. The doughnuts will be good for up to 3 days if kept in an air tight container.  Reheat slightly before enjoying (about 10 seconds in the microwave.)


¹Spooned and leveled - scooping the flour with a small spoon into the measuring cup and leveling off is a common method for baking because in the United States we hate the metric system.  If this sounds like too much of an extra step, go on with your usual scoop methods but cut out the last ¼ cup and just use 4 cups of flour.
Side note: These doughnuts are equally delicious if you substitute half the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour.
²Yeast loves warmth.  During the hour of resting I preheat my oven with the sheet pans on or near the stove top.  The heat from the preheating oven will help get the doughnuts to rise as much as possible.  Also, if your house or apartment is generally pretty cold, this will help too.
What if I don't have a standing mixer?  You can still have doughnuts!  Prepare the doughnuts following the same directions but instead of using a bread hook, you'll be using a spatula to help work out the dough.   You can also use your hands to help the dough come together, but it will be very sticky so just keep that in mind.


Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg