Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cubicle kitchen: Mini Gingerbread Cake Donuts

There are two reasons I like to bake mini things.  The first is practical: you get more servings of something when you make it smaller.  More servings means more people to share the sugar love with.  The second has nothing to do with practicality: mini things are cute!  Making anything miniature magically makes it more adorable.  It's a rule of cuteness that translates from bunnies to baked goods.  So I was really excited when I found these Wilton pans on clearance over the holidays:

I foresee many different donuts being baked, but I started with a gingerbread flavor, while the spicy holiday notes were still familiarly festive.  I used a cake mix because I have a few stashed away after the post-holiday clearance sales and there's no point in hoarding them.

Using a piping bag, whether it's a 'real' fancy one or one made from a plastic bag, really helps to fill the pan with a minimum of mess.  My first batch was slightly overfilled and ended up more like bundt cakes, but eventually I got the hang of it and ended up with another genre of desserts to add to my repertoire.

Mini Gingerbread Cake Donuts
Adapted from the recipe on the back of the Wilton pan packaging

Makes about 3 dozen


  • 1 3/4 cups cake mix (I used a Gingerbread Cake and Cookie Mix)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Optional glazing: cinnamon honey butter, powdered sugar glaze with pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar crumbles


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mix together cake mix, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter until just combined.
  3. Transfer batter to a large plastic bag, cutting the tip of one corner off to pipe the batter into the pan, filling half full.
  4. Bake 4-6 minutes until done.  Let cool in pan for a few minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
  5. Place lining beneath the cooling rack and add any glazes you prefer.  Here's what I did:
    • Heated about a cup of cinnamon honey butter and dunked the top half of the donuts
    • Mixed a glaze of powdered sugar and buttermilk with some pumpkin pie spice and drizzled that on top
    • Sprinkled on some crumbs of cooked brown sugar from a previous baking adventure

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