Gingerbread old-fashioned donuts are the perfect holiday breakfast recipe! They are so easy to throw together and who doesn’t love fresh donuts? Gingerbread old-fashioned donuts have all the gingerbread flavors with a crispy exterior and super soft cakey interior. You don’t need yeast to make these donuts which means they’re done in just about an hour, including chilling time!
Old Fashioned Donuts vs Yeasted Donuts
If you haven’t ever had an old-fashioned donut, you’re missing out! They’re the easiest donut to make. An old-fashioned donut has the texture of cake while a yeasted donut is super light and fluffy, like bread. Both are often glazed, but the difference is the texture. I love both equally, but old-fashioned donuts are definitely easier to make and take less time.
How to make gingerbread old-fashioned donuts
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make and you can do parts of it ahead of time for ease!
- Circle Cutters
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowls
- Pot for Frying
- Probe Thermometer
- Wire Rack
- Baking Sheet
- Nutmeg Grater
Ingredients you’ll need
- Dry Ingredients. You’ll need some all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk all your dry ingredients together.
- Spices. Ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg create the best gingerbread flavor.
- Sour Cream. Sour cream is a key ingredient to old-fashioned donuts and gives the donuts the best flavor and texture.
- Eggs. Make sure your eggs are room temp for easy mixing.
- Molasses. Opt for unsulphured high-quality molasses. My favorite brand is Wholesome and you can find it at Whole Foods.
- Butter. Melted butter gives the donuts the perfect touch of richness so they don’t dry out.
- Oil. I use canola oil for frying, but you can swap in any high-heat neutral oil like vegetable or peanut.
Tips for frying donuts like a pro
If you’re the kind of person who worries about frying things here are the most important tips I can give you for doing it easily and safely.
- Use the right vessel. I use my 4 qt dutch oven for frying because it maintains heat and has high sides which minimize oil splatter. Don’t use something too small, you want to have at least 3 inches between the surface of the oil and the top of the pot.
- Ease the donuts into the oil. Even if you’re scared of getting burnt, dropping the donuts in from up-high will definitely cause a ton of splatter and potential burns. Get the donuts close to the surface and just gently ease them in.
- Use a thermometer. Maintaining the oil temperature is a huge key to frying successfully. Too hot and the donuts burn, but too cool and the donuts absorb oil and become soggy. Use a probe thermometer to make sure you’re frying at the right temperature.
- Exercise patience. Between batches, let the oil heat back up. The donuts are cold and will bring the temperature back down so have your heat at medium-high and give the oil to heat up between batches.
- Don’t crowd the pot. Depending on the size of the vessel, you can only fry about 3 donuts at a time. Fry in batches for best results.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be frying donuts like a pro!
Making the perfect donut glaze
Powdered sugar is a must here! It dissolves easily and will dry so that you have a nice, shiny glaze coating. Whisk the powdered sugar together with enough eggnog to give you a thick, but smooth consistency. Not an eggnog fan? Swap in heavy cream and omit the nutmeg.
Making gingerbread old-fashioned donuts ahead of time
If you’re serving these during the holidays, you might want to break up the work to make things easier on yourself. Follow the until it’s time to fry. You can roll out the dough, cut and score the donuts, cover them with plastic wrap, and keep them in the fridge overnight. Then you can just fry them up first thing in the morning and everyone has fresh donuts!
Gingerbread Old-Fashioned donut FAQs
Can I use blackstrap molasses?
Yes! However, blackstrap molasses is a really strong flavor so just keep that in mind.
Should I cool the donuts before glazing?
Absolutely. They should be just barely warm when glazing and then let them dry until the glaze is dry and shiny.
How long do donuts stay fresh at room temperature?
Store your donuts in an airtight container for 1-2 days.