These peppermint donuts have the perfect balance of mint and vanilla for that unmistakeable candy cane flavor. They’re a festive treat for holiday brunches and breakfasts!
We always love a good baked donut recipe, from baked apple cider donuts to classic pumpkin spice donuts. But when the holidays roll around, this recipe for baked peppermint donuts is our go-to, along with our gingerbread donuts. It’s fun, festive, and delightfully minty!
When it comes to baked goods, you don’t want to overdo it on the peppermint front—otherwise, it kind of feels like you’re eating toothpaste. These peppermint donuts have just enough peppermint to give them a zing, but it’s balanced with vanilla to round things out.
The donuts are topped with a simple vanilla glaze and crushed peppermint candies for a treat that looks as good as it tastes—no fancy decorating skills required!
About this peppermint donut recipe
This easy donut recipe yields tender, fluffy baked donuts that are healthier than fried varieties, not to mention much easier to make (no yeast needed!).
If you’re making these for holiday gifting, you’ll also be glad to know that baked donuts have a longer storage life than fried donuts because they don’t go stale as fast. These peppermint donuts also freeze beautifully, which can’t be said for fried donuts either!
Ready to learn how to bake donuts for the holidays? Read on for the recipe, along with our tips and tricks!
What you need
- Dry ingredients – All-purpose flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt
- Wet ingredients – Whole milk, unsalted butter, egg, peppermint extract, vanilla extract
- Vanilla glaze and topping – Confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, milk, peppermint candies (candy canes will also work!)
A note about the peppermint extract: Don’t grab a bottle of mint extract at the grocery store for these peppermint donuts! Although you might assume the two are interchangeable, mint extract is made with spearmint and peppermint, which means it doesn’t have that classic candy cane flavor and tastes a little more like gum.
How to make them
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease your donut pan with cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Finish the batter. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, egg, peppermint, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Tip: The milk and egg should be room temperature. This will give your donuts more lift because warm or room temperature ingredients are able to hold more air when whisked.
Bake. Scoop the batter into a piping bag and pipe it into the donut pan, filling each about halfway to prevent overflow.
Tip: No piping bag? You can place the batter in a zip-top bag and snip the corner, or carefully spoon the batter into the pan.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
Glaze and decorate. Let the peppermint donuts cool completely on a wire rack.
Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and milk; add another tablespoon of milk to thin the glaze, if needed. Dip the cooled donuts into the glaze and return them to the wire rack.
Sprinkle the peppermint candies on top.
Tip: To crush the peppermints, unwrap them and place them in a zip-top bag. Hit them with a rolling pin to break them into large pieces, then roll over them with the pin to break them up a bit more.
There’s no need for a donut pan if you don’t have one—simply bake the batter in a muffin tin! If you want holes in the middle, you can punch them out afterwards with a small circular cookie cutter, or use this method, which creates donut shapes with foil inserts.
Both work well, and have their own unique pros and cons. Because silicone is nonstick, the donuts are easier to remove, but the downside is that the flexible pan can be a recipe for pre-baking spills!
It’s really up to you, but we’ve found that for these baked peppermint donuts, waiting for them to cool is best because they’re less likely to fall apart.
How to make these peppermint donuts your own
Here are some easy ways to customize your peppermint donuts!
- Make them chocolatey. Swap the vanilla glaze for chocolate glaze.
- Or add some chocolate on top. Mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings can be added to the top of the donuts along with the peppermint candies.
- Color the icing. Add a teeny tiny amount of red or pink food coloring to the icing for a pretty pink glaze.
Store your baked peppermint donuts at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze these peppermint donuts for up to 3 months. Place the donuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them in the freezer until the icing is solid. Stack the donuts in a freezer bag or airtight container with parchment between the layers to keep them from sticking.
Let refrigerated peppermint donuts sit at room temperature before serving. Frozen donuts should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight, then set on the counter for a few minutes to come to room temperature.
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Get the Recipe: Peppermint Donuts
For the donuts
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla glaze
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- crushed peppermint candies, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the donut pan cavities with cooking spray and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients with flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl whisk together milk, melted butter, egg, peppermint, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Don’t overmix the batter.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag and pipe into a donut pan filling about halfway.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the donuts to a wire rack to cool down.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vanilla glaze. In a bowl mix confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth without any lumps.
- Dip the cooled donuts in the vanilla glaze. Allow the excess glaze to drip off by placing the donuts on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle some crushed peppermint candies on top. Once the glaze is set, serve the donuts.
- Using cornstarch in the recipe yields the cakey donuts.
- Avoid overmixing the donut batter.
- Make sure the milk and egg are at room temperature.
- To make the glaze thinner, add more milk. To make it thicker, add more confectioners’ sugar.