Eggnog Donut Holes

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Healthy eggnog-flavored donut holes that are baked, not fried!
Dipped in sweet cinnamon sugar for a festive holiday treat.


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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!


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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.)


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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.


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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.


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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!


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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!


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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!)


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


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!


Skinny Eggnog Donut Holes -- only 41 calories each!


Eggnog Donut Holes

Yield: 22 donut holes

Serving Size: 2 donut holes

Eggnog Donut Holes

Light and airy eggnog donut holes, speckled with a bit of nutmeg and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re best if eaten the day they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. (If they last that long!)

¾ c all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
¾ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 c light eggnog
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ c granulated sugar, divided
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp skim milk

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg. Mix in the eggnog, vanilla, and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Place the batter into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag.
  2. Preheat an electric cake pop maker. While it preheats, mix together the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour the milk into a separate small bowl. Set both aside.
  3. Once the cake pop maker is hot, lightly mist with nonstick cooking spray. Snip the corner off of the Ziploc bag, and pipe the batter into the cavities, filling almost all the way. Close the lid and bake for 4-6 minutes. Remove onto a wire rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Working with one donut hole at a time, dip into the milk with one hand, shaking off any excess drips. Place in the cinnamon sugar, and roll around with your other hand until coated. Place back on the wire rack, and repeat with the remaining donut holes.

Notes: The nutmeg flavor is very subtle. If you prefer a more pronounced spice flavor, increase the nutmeg to ¼ teaspoon. Or instead of cinnamon sugar, roll the donut holes in nutmeg-sugar!

For a vegan version, substitute ½ tablespoon Ener-G + 2 tablespoons warm water + ½ tablespoon oil for the egg, and substitute coconut “nog” for the light eggnog.

View Nutrition Information


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  1. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says on December 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I love my cake pop maker! You can make so many things in it. And eggnog, so good. I can’t believe you just tried it!

    • Amy says on December 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      I was a pretty picky eater growing up, so I’m guessing my parents figured I wouldn’t like eggnog. More for them! 😉 With how good it tastes, I’m trying to stick to the lighter stuff… At least until Christmas day! Besides cake pops, what else do you make in your cake pop maker?

  2. Nancy says on December 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    My cake pop maker overheated and caught on fire the third time I used it. :( Fortunately, the only damage was to the machine.

    • Amy says on December 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Oh my goodness! I’m sorry about that Nancy; it must have been really disappointing. It sounds like it’s worth investing in some cake pop pans for baking in the oven!

  3. meg says on December 7, 2013 at 4:48 am

    These look fantastic! You mention using a mini muffin pan instead of a cake pop maker; would using a regular muffin tin work? Or would they be too dense if that large? Thanks!

    • Amy says on December 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      The donut holes were light and airy, so I don’t think regular-sized muffins would be too dense! I’m not sure about the bake time, but the toothpick test should work (barely any crumbs when inserted into the center). I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try baking them as muffins!

  4. Kim says on December 7, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Amy, these look delicious! Thank you for often offering healthier versions of great things to make! I’m an email follower, which means you rate high on my list. I’ve had to really narrow things down due to time constraints. There are many wonderful blogs in this world, and now that I’m included in the thousands, I’ve been exposed to more than I have time to read. I read yours every day but rarely comment. Your recent comment about blog traffic tears made me realize I need to tell you how you inspire me in my non-professionally-trained cooking skills – and photography! I hope to try these beautiful egg nog treats as soon as I get some egg nog in the house! :-) Your orange cranberry granola is on the list for today, though. I can hardly wait to try it but had to buy a couple of ingredients first!!!
    Christmas blessings!

    • Amy says on December 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Kim, your sweet and thoughtful comment brought the biggest smile to my face and warmed my heart. Thank you so much; it means the world to me that you take the time to read each of my posts. I understand what you mean about time constraints. I also wish I had more time to devote to reading blogs, writing comments, and baking. If only there were 36 hours in a day instead of 24! I hope you enjoy both the granola and donut holes, and I’d love to hear what you and your loved ones think. Have a wonderful holiday season, full of happiness and cheer!

  5. Karey @ Nutty About Health says on December 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    These sound really good! I LOVE egg nog!! :)
    So sweet of you to offer that family first dibs on your goodies.

    • Amy says on December 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks Karey! I’m already obsessed after trying it for the first time… This could be deadly, seeing as it’s only sold in stores once a year!

  6. Mary @ Fit and Fed says on December 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I was wondering how you got those so perfectly round, I guess a cake pop maker would do that. But the thick, even coating of cinnamon sugar is all your own handiwork, and I must say it looks very tempting! I’m glad that you did your civic duty by being a juror, and made a friend along the way.

    • Amy says on December 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you Mary! You’re so sweet to notice the little touches. :) It’s funny how fate has a way of placing us where we’re meant to be. I cried on the way home after being selected for jury duty, but in hindsight after meeting my new friend, I would’ve cheered for the entire car ride instead!

  7. Dina says on December 9, 2013 at 6:40 am

    these look like yummy and festive bites!

    • Amy says on December 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks Dina. It’s hard to go wrong with eggnog during the holidays!

  8. Cyndi says on December 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Brilliant! What a fantastic idea. I’ve been so-so about the whole cake-pop phenomenon (finally, something I can pass up in the pastry case at Starbucks/Peet’s!), but the donut holes seem so civilized and portable. Great idea for a holiday gathering/potluck! I’m thinking the recipe makes 22 – so 10 to sample, and a dozen to take to a potluck….

    • Amy says on December 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Thanks! I was lukewarm about the cake pop craze too, until I discovered that I could bake the balls instead of crumbling perfectly good cakes and combining them with frosting. I love the way you think about taste testing! We must be related…

  9. Jennifer says on December 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Made these tonight and they were so delicious and so easy! My cake pop maker had been collecting dust for too long and I’m so glad I got it out to make these! Thanks, Amy!

    • Amy says on December 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      My pleasure Jennifer; I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Cake pop makers are really fun to play with but can be easy to forget about. Hopefully I can come up with a few more donut hole recipes soon so you can use yours more! :)

  10. anonymous says on January 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    I was really sad to see that, at the top, you called these ‘healthy’ donut holes! these ARE NOT HEALTHY! no wonder our country is full of obese people when people are posting false options for a healthy option. you didn’t even select a flour that has some nutrient content! all-purpose flour usually consists of what’s left of a ground wheat berry after it’s been stripped of it’s nutritious parts (germ and bran). if you’re gonna claim ‘healthy’, please at least suggest using sprouted flour (ideally spelt, over wheat)…. but that’s not even healthy. healthy, would be to not eat donuts! ‘lower fat’ may be more fitting!?

    I am gonna try this recipe b/c it sounds interesting (though, who really has a cake pop maker?!? I’ve never even heard of that)… but just wanted to make the point that it is NOT healthy. anything that has a cake-like texture is absolutely not healthy. not to mention… do you know how toxic most sugar is?

    sorry for harshness… I just wish people would stop misleading people into thinking super fatty, carby things are healthy. you could have even substituted the egg for apple sauce. that would be healthier, but still not healthy!

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