Dipped in sweet cinnamon sugar for a festive holiday treat.
While serving jury duty in April, another lady and I exchanged pleasantries in the spacious courthouse break room during our 15-minute Afternoon Recess. Eventually, the topic turned to food (it always does, with me!), and she revealed how her family created multiple bread recipes from scratch and exclusively purchased Penzeys cinnamon for its superior spice quality. I opened up about my baking obsession and blog. Conversation continued to develop and, well…
Eight months later, I always give her, her husband, and her two kids first dibs on anything I make!
After offering them my recent Cranberry Apple Crumble, she and her son stopped by to pick it up last week. I mentioned the Dreyer’s ice cream deal I spotted at Safeway—because you know how well vanilla ice cream goes with fruit crisps!—and sheepishly admitted that I caved and purchased the Slow-Churned Eggnog holiday flavor too.
Her son piped up. “I love eggnog! It’s really good with nutmeg on top.”
Wait… WHAT? Her 8-year-old son had tried and liked eggnog before me??
(Yes, it’s true. I’d never drank eggnog before, and I sampled the ice cream to determine whether I’d actually enjoy the beverage.)
The next day, I headed back to the store to purchase a quart of real eggnog, mulling over what recipes I could create with it as I walked home. Cookies? Muffins? French toast?
My answer appeared in the form of a big cardboard box. The mailman delivered the purple cake pop maker I ordered from Kohl’s—perfect for donut holes!
After my apple fritter episode last spring, I stopped frequenting donut shops. My self-control shot straight out the window with every one of their treats—bars, twists, old-fashioneds, and especially chocolate sprinkle donuts—which really annoyed my waistline and skinny jeans. With their small size and innocent glaze, donut holes were also deadly. I’d stick my hand into the white paper to-go bag and nibble on one… two… three… until the entire dozen disappeared down my throat.
But I don’t experience an ounce of guilt with these skinny Eggnog Donut Holes. Each cute sphere tastes like the festive holiday drink, complete with that hint of nutmeg, and is doused in a sweet shower of cinnamon sugar. Plus they’re baked—not fried—and only 41 calories each!
The batter recipe is really basic: mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and stir to combine just until moist. Do not over-mix the batter! If you do, the donut holes will turn out tough and chewy instead of soft and airy. To prevent over-mixing, stir the batter with a fork instead of beating with an electric mixer. (Fewer dishes to wash too!) Some small lumps of flour may persist; that’s perfectly fine.
I turned to light eggnog to keep the donut holes low in fat and calories. Regular eggnog will work too, although the Nutrition Information will change. If following a vegan diet, substitute Coconut Nog for the eggnog; I sampled the So Delicious brand, which actually tastes like the real deal!
I created these healthy eggnog donut holes with an electric cake pop maker, found at Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, and other stores. Many of these establishments (and Amazon too) also sell cake pop pans for baking in a regular oven. If you’d rather not splurge on either of these items, a mini muffin pan will work too. Although not perfectly spherical, the muffin “donut holes” still taste exactly the same!
Once cool, I dipped the donut holes in milk—just enough to make the coating stick—before rolling in cinnamon sugar. Don’t be shy; they should be completely covered. The more cinnamon sugar, the better! It creates a sweet crunchy exterior, similar to churros, and melts on your tongue as you bite into the donut holes. Pure bliss!
If cinnamon sugar isn’t your thing, try rolling the donut holes in nutmeg-sugar instead to boost that subtle nutty flavor. Or to increase the eggnog taste, dip in a simple glaze made from light eggnog and powdered sugar. (I’m definitely trying that next time!)
These skinny Eggnog Donut Holes are light and airy with a crisp sugar coating. Creamy eggnog flavor infuses every bite, revealing its distinctive eggy custard taste. While baking, they filled my house with a festive holiday aroma, tempting me to turn on Christmas carols and sing along. Before I ran out of tunes, all of the donut holes disappeared…
Time to bake more!