The cutest Christmas donuts you have ever seen! These mini cake donuts made with a chocolate batter and topped with icing covered in smashed candy canes are a super fun idea for Christmas morning or any time during the Christmas season.
This past fall, I made these mini pumpkin donuts that tasted so yummy and looked so cute.
It was the first time I used the Mini Donut Pans I got from a friend when they were ridding themselves of items in preparation for a move across country.
When I bite into that first donut it helped lessen the sadness of them moving away. It also got the creative juices flowing. I thought I have to make a Christmas version.
That could only mean two things – chocolate and peppermint.
I love, love, love that combo. I eat beyond my fair share of chocolate peppermint treats in the month of December. It was the first treat I made for this year’s Christmas season.
Cake Donuts Made with Oil
When I was searching out recipe inspirations for the base for these donuts one thing I had in mind is I wanted to use oil, not butter. Not just because I was currently very low on butter at the moment, but butter doesn’t make for moist cake and these donuts are in fact cake.
Oil does a better job, even though butter tastes better, I am all about using oils in my cake. It’s what I do when a make Devil’s Food Cake. The recipe I liked the most I found on the blog, Delicious Shots, I used that as a guide to making my peppermint version.
How to Make the Donuts
Here are some notes to read before trying this recipe:
1. SPRAY THE PANS! I cannot express this enough. They need to be sprayed really well or your donuts will not come out whole. I don’t care if your pans are non-stick that isn’t enough. I like using the Coconut Cooking Spray you can get from Trader Joe’s or order online.
2. To crush the candy canes, I put them into a zip top plastic bag and then smashed them with a rolling pin until they are pretty much dust. You can do less if you want larger chunks. It’s a great way to get your aggression out!
3. For the glaze I always just eye ball it. I pour powdered sugar into a bowl, then add enough water to make it into a glaze.
The amount of humidity varies so much that it is hard to really give exact measurements, plus it’s easy enough not to screw up. It it’s too thin add more sugar, too thick, add more water.
What If I Don’t Have a Mini Donut Pan?
If you don’t have mini donut pans , you can always make them in a mini muffin pan, they will just be more like donuts holes or bites than mini looking donuts. The baking time will increase by a few minutes. Just check them with a tooth pick. It should come out clean looking.
More Recipes to Make this Christmas
Chocolate Peppermint Mini Cake Donuts
A chocolate cake batter donut with a powdered sugar glaze topped with crushed candy canes.
For the donut batter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cooking oil vegetable, canola, sunflower
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or a couple drops peppermint oil
- 1/2 cup hot water
For the glaze
- powdered sugar
For the topping
- One box of candy cane crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Start by mixing together the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
In another bowl combine the oil, egg, and milk, stir to combine.
With the mixer running, slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients, when just combine, slowly pour in the hot water. Then add the peppermint. You can taste to make sure you have the right strength if you like. The batter will be thin, don’t worry that is what you want.
Spray very well your mini donut or muffin pan. Add enough batter to come about 1/2 to 2/3 ups. If using a min donut pan, don’t go above the grove that makes the hole.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Wait for at least 10 minutes before de-panning. They should come out easily if you sprayed the pans enough. Allow to finish cooling on a rack before glazing.
Make your glaze by mixing powdered sugar and water until the right consistency. Dip the donuts in the glaze. Then immediately into a bowl of crushed candy cane. Allow the donuts to sit for a few minutes for the glaze to harden before enjoying.
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