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Cranberry White Chocolate Baked Donut Holes

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trays of baked donut holes on platters on a Christmas dining table

Just imagine- rows and rows of baked donut holes, lined up in neat little rows, like little donut soldiers. Just waiting to be eaten on Christmas morning!

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had donuts on Christmas morning actually. But that’s something that needs to change! Especially if it’s these little cranberry white chocolate donut holes.

This recipe is my inspired recipe for this month’s Cozy Mystery Cooking Club read, Deck the Donuts by Ginger Bolton. It is, as you might imagine, a Christmas themed donut cozy mystery!

Ah, Christmas and Donuts. A heavenly pairing, amiright? To say that I was excited for this one was an understatement!

three baked donut holes on a green plate with a plaid napkin underneath

I don’t often make donuts, but I love to eat them! So when we decided on this book and theme, I was excited to try my hand at making some.

Now, I have no patience for frying things if I can help it. So I decided on doing baked donuts! Baked donut holes specifically, since I found it easier than cutting out donut shapes.

And then, to make it hard on myself, cause that’s what I do, I decided to do yeast raised donuts!

I actually like to work with yeasted doughs though…it’s just super satisfying to watch them turn out. So with that settled, I just needed a flavor- cranberry white chocolate! Quintessential Christmas flavors.

These baked donut holes have chopped cranberries in the dough, and are coated in a white chocolate glaze after baking.

They are messy, your fingers will be sticky, but they are delicious! Since they are not fried, they are kind of like a cinnamon roll texture type of donut. I’m not ashamed to admit that my husband and I polished off a batch, like really quick, by ourselves.

That’s how we do!

baked donut holes on a green plate, one bite taken out of one

Okay okay, enough rambling from me. Let’s get on with it!

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Cranberry White Chocolate Baked Donut Holes

What Ingredients Do You Need?

For these cranberry white chocolate donut holes, you will need the following:

  • 3 cups, plus ½ cup (divided) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups cranberries, finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup milk, lukewarm* It should be about 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. I microwave for about 30 seconds and then check the temp.
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm temp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tbsp half and half, whole milk, or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

So, to chop the cranberries, I like using a blender or small food processor to pulse them up. Just like I have no patience for frying, I have no patience for chopping tiny round berries that roll all over the place!

It’s super important to make sure your milk is not too warm! Check the temperature if you have a thermometer. It should be just lukewarm. It’s really easy to over heat it, so careful with microwaving.

For the white chocolate, I just use those 4 oz. baking bars you can find in the groceries. I get two…just save that extra 2 oz. for snacking (or something)!

three cranberry white chocolate donut holes on a green plate, with a Christmas plaid napkin underneath

What Equipment Do You Need?

For this recipe you will need the following:

tray of baked donut holes on a Christmas decorated dining table

Other Notes:

This recipe does take a bit of time, since it’s a yeast dough and there’s rising, rolling, shaping, and glazing involved.

Nobody wants to get up at 3 AM in the morning to make donuts, so, you can do some prep work ahead of time for these. The best option, is to make the recipe up until you have cut out the donut holes and placed them on the baking sheets.

At that point, you can lightly cover them with plastic wrap and stick the baking sheets in the fridge overnight. When you get up in the morning, take the trays out of the fridge and let the donuts come to room temp and rise, about 30-45 minutes or so. Uncover and then proceed with the recipe as written!

These donut holes are best on the day that they are baked. You can technically make these ahead in two other ways…by baking the holes the day before and then slightly warming them and glazing them the next day.

Or you can make them completely the day before, and then warm them slightly (not too much or the glaze will slide off!) to bring them back to life. But I definitely recommend my first method for making ahead of time, as they will taste the freshest.

And finally, if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge, single layers or layers separated by parchment. And slightly warm them, like 10 seconds, in the microwave when you want to eat some!

Phew, I think that’s it!

These baked donut holes were a lot of fun to make! And Deck the Donuts definitely got me more into the Christmas spirit.

Don’t forget to check out my partner in crime- Sip + Sanity’s- inspired recipe!

Have you made baked donuts before?

xoxo

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three baked donut holes on a green plate with a plaid napkin underneath

Cranberry White Chocolate Baked Donut Holes

Cranberry baked donut holes covered in a white chocolate glaze.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 hr
Cook Time:12 mins
Rising Time:2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:3 hrs 27 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plus ½ cup (divided) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast 1 packet
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups cranberries finely chopped
  • cup milk lukewarm* It should be about 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. I microwave for about 30 seconds and then check the temp.
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled to lukewarm temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 oz white chocolate melted
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp half and half, whole milk, or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast, salt, and cranberries. Add your warmed milk and melted butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix it together with a spatula or wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough.
  • Add ¼ cup of the remaining flour and mix it in or knead it in with your hands. You want the dough to be soft, but just slightly be pulling away from the bowl so it can be kneaded in the next step. If it is still too sticky to knead, add the final ¼ cup of flour and mix/knead it in with your hands in the bowl.
  • Once the flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and soft. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for about 1 ½ hours, until it has doubled.
  • After rising, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out until about ½ inch thick, being careful not to roll any thinner. Cut out the donut holes using a 1 inch donut or biscuit cutter. It’s easier if you flour the cutter so it doesn’t stick! You can re-roll the scraps if you wish to use up the remaining dough.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and place the cut donut holes on it, spaced out about a half inch or so from each other.
    ***At this point you can place them, lightly covered, in the fridge overnight if you would like. Take them out when you are ready to bake, and let them rest at room temp for 30-45 minutes, then proceed with the recipe.***
    Cover lightly with a towel and let them rise again for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the donuts have risen and the oven is preheated, bake them for 10-13 minutes, until just baked through and the bottoms are slightly golden.

Meanwhile, make the glaze:

  • Whisk together all of the glaze ingredients until incorporated together, and a glaze is formed. Set aside for now.
  • After cooking, turn the donuts out onto a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes until you can touch them without burning yourself. Place some paper towels or a tray under the cooling racks for the next step.
  • Roll the donut holes into the prepared glaze to coat and use a fork to lift up and let the excess run off, then set them back on the cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

***See more options in post above for making ahead of time
Store leftovers in the fridge, single layer or layers separated by parchment in a container. When you want to eat some, heat them slightly (like 10 seconds) in the microwave.
 
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: baked, breakfast, brunch, cranberry, dessert, donuts, holiday, snack, winter
Servings: 60 Donut Holes

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4 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, these look absolutely delicious! I love anything cranberry around the holidays so I will have to try these out. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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