Baked gingerbread doughnuts with a maple glaze are a higher protein “nicer” Christmas breakfast treat!
Christmas morning is all about spending time with family, presents, capturing all the sweet little “Christmas” moments, and not being in the kitchen. But breakfast is important, and a sweet Christmas breakfast recipe that pairs well with much-needed coffee is a must for many families! So, I like to whip up a batch of Greek yogurt baked gingerbread doughnuts. When you realize how easy it is to make this baked doughnut recipe, you just might whip some up too.
Sometimes, when I bake for family, I like to swap out some of the more decadent ingredients like butter with alternatives like Greek yogurt. By using yogurt as a substitute for butter, I increase the protein content, lower the fat, and add enough moisture to ensure the doughnuts still taste fabulous the next day! I know… we tested again this morning. Hard work this food blogging business. 😉
I’ll only make swaps if the recipes will still taste good though. There’s nothing more disappointing than biting into a treat and having it taste “too healthy”. It is a treat, after all. And these baked gingerbread doughnuts are definitely tasty!
What I love about these easy gingerbread doughnuts is that there’s just the right hint of gingerbread spice. The slight tartness of the plain yogurt helps cut the sweetness and keeps all the flavors beautifully balanced. But to really make them special… we add a maple glaze!
Doesn’t that just look amazing? The maple glaze over the gingerbread doughnut looks so beautiful to me! Why a maple glaze instead of just a plain vanilla glaze? Because the maple helps bring out the molasses flavor in the gingerbread base. The tasting committee (i.e. – the Godfather and the princesses), all preferred the maple, and we bake for the people here. If you don’t like maple glaze on your donuts, go ahead and use a vanilla glaze. You’ll just swap out the maple syrup for a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
While it really doesn’t take long to whip up a batch of baked doughnuts in the morning, you can bake them the night before too.
To keep your doughnuts at their best, cover the COMPLETELY cooled doughnuts with plastic wrap touching the surface and place in an airtight container. You can add the glaze in the morning. You can also glaze the night before, and then store in an airtight container. They’ll still taste fresh enough in the morning.
Depending on the humidity where you live though, the glaze may sweat a bit. I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture above, but if I’m baking the night before, I’ll double glaze my donuts. By that, I mean I will make my glaze a little thinner, and apply one coat.
I’ll press a sheet of plastic wrap over the unused glaze and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, I’ll take the glaze out of the refrigerator, let it sit about 10-20 minutes, remove the cover, give it a quick stir, and add a second coat of glaze to the donuts. That way, even if the first coat cracked, my second will set perfectly. There’s a large doughnut chain that double coats their doughnuts, and part of the reason for that is because it helps keep them from drying out.
Baked doughnuts, like regular doughnuts, are usually best within 24 hours of preparation.
This recipe makes about a half dozen doughnuts, and they smell heavenly. If you’re planning on making them in advance for Christmas morning, I might recommend waiting to bake until the kids have gone to bed. Otherwise they may not make it until morning! Another trick is to measure out your dry ingredients the night before, then just add the rest in the morning for baking fresh.
If you don’t have a baked doughnut pan or two, this recipe bakes up beautifully in a mini muffin tin. You’ll get around a dozen and a half. Alternatively, you could also make a batch of my Nutella mini donut muffins. Or make both.
Enjoy, darlings! Time to bake the doughnuts!
Baked Gingerbread Doughnuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
Maple Doughnut Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2-3 teaspoons water
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray a baked doughnut pan with nonstick spray (or rub with coconut oil or butter) and set aside.
- Combine all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add all the wet ingredients (yogurt, egg, molasses, honey, buttermilk, and vanilla) at once and mix until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
- Spoon the batter into a zip top plastic bag or piping bag and snip off a corner, or the tip of the piping bag. Pipe the mixture into the doughnut pan. If you have extra, you may either wait and bake a second batch, or make some "doughnut holes" in a mini-muffin pan.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the doughnuts are baked through and spring back to the touch. Be careful not to over bake. Remove immediately and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Make the glaze while the doughnuts are cooling. Mix together the powdered sugar and maple syrup in a bowl. Add the water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Dip the just-cooled doughnuts top down into the glaze and return to the wire rack until the glaze sets.
- If not serving the doughnuts after baking, store completely cooled doughnuts in an airtight container at room temperature. They are best consumed within a day.
You may use either full fat Greek yogurt or nonfat. The texture is obviously more tender with full fat yogurt, but about 80% or more of the time I use nonfat when baking this recipe. Use what you have. Vanilla yogurt is also a good substitute if you don't have plain.
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