I’ve been wanting to do a gingerbread old fashioned donut recipe for a while, I just haven’t found the right time when I felt like getting all the stuff out to fry them up. The other day I just got a wild hair in my ass and decided that was going to be the day for donuts! Since it’s so close to Christmas, I wanted a donut to reflect two of my favorite holiday flavors—gingerbread and eggnog! I had also just made my homemade boozy eggnog, so I used that in the glaze and these donuts turned out so good!
I usually only make donuts of the yeasted variety, but old fashioned donuts come together so quickly! There’s no kneading of the dough forever or waiting for it to rise and then proof. The whole shebang from mixing to frying was done in like just over an hour and that’s after resting the dough in the fridge!
TIPS FOR MAKING GINGERBREAD OLD FASHIONED DONUTS
This is the perfect recipe to throw together on Christmas morning for all the family to enjoy while opening presents. Or honestly, I would just make these any time—holiday or not. If you’re the kind of person who worries about frying things here are the most important tips I can relay for frying.
Choose a reasonably sized vessel: if you’re frying with 6 cups of oil, for the love of all things holy please don’t use a 2 quart pan. I used a 4 quart little dutch oven with 6 cups of oil which also helped minimize splatter since the oil level wasn’t near the top of the pot.
DON’T DROP THE DONUTS IN FROM UP HIGH: I feel like this goes without saying, but ease the donuts into the oil. Don’t be afraid to gently lower the donut into the oil with your fingers. The oil will not jump up and bite you, but it will splash up and burn you if you drop it from a foot and a half away.
Use a thermometer: This is important for regulating the oil temperature. You don’t want the oil too hot so that the donuts burn before they cook on the inside, and you don’t want the oil too cool so that the donuts absorb all the grease. Use a simple probe style thermometer (like the one below) and you’ll never have to play the oil temperature guessing game.
Practice patience: don’t overload the oil with too many donuts as this will cause the temperature to plummet quickly. Fry a couple at a time (they only take 4 minutes), remove those from the oil, make sure the temp is still good and start the next batch.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be frying donuts like a pro!
Products I used in this recipe:
If you love all the flavors of gingerbread, but really want a donut then this is the perfect recipe!
- 3 cups (450g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (120g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 stick (55g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) sour cream
- 1/3 cup (70g) whole milk
- Canola oil, for frying
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup eggnog
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugars and spices and whisk to combine. Add all wet ingredients to the bowl and mix on low until the dough comes together. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead a couple of times just to bring the dough together. Press the dough roughly into a circle and flour the top. Roll the dough out to about 3/4″ thickness. Using a 3.5″ circle cutter, cut out as many circles as possible and place them on the baking sheet. Gather the scraps of dough back up and re-roll out until you have 12 circles. Using a 1.5″ circle cutter, cut holes in the center of each circle. Save the holes as we will also fry up some small donut holes. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat up your oil. I used about 6 cups of oil in a 4qt dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until a probe thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Remove the donuts from the fridge and gently score a triangle into the top, making sure not to only cut about 1/4 of the way through. Line another baking sheet with a wire rack to help the oil drain off the freshly fried donuts. Gently place donuts (I did 3 at a time) into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove the donuts from the oil and transfer to the wire rack. Wait until the oil reaches 350 degrees F again before repeating the process. Repeat until all donuts have been fried. Add the donut holes to the oil and fry for 1 minute and 30 seconds, moving the holes around every 10 seconds so that they fry evenly. Remove from the oil and transfer to the wire rack.
- To make the glaze, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Dip the donuts in the glaze when they are just barely still warm. Donuts are best eaten same day!