The truth about these Snickerdoodle Donuts? I originally posted this as a holiday recipe but months later it remains one of the most popular recipes on Sweet New Roots. And, really, there’s never a bad time for a Snickerdoodle Donut (Can I get an amen?!).
Here’s the backstory:
I found this Snickerdoodle recipe in Southern Living shortly after my husband, David, and I got married. My mother-in-law makes delicious Snickerdoodle cookies each year and David absolutely loves them. He says he can’t remember a time when his mom hasn’t had Snickerdoodles waiting for him upon his return home for the holidays.
As a newlywed, I wanted to create a new tradition that would taste like home without impeding upon his favorite holiday cookies that only a mother can make so special. I served these Snickerdoodle Donuts on the morning of our first Christmas married and settled into our new home and our teenage nephews – the entire family, actually – gobbled them up. I knew I’d found the perfect holiday breakfast recipe.
These days, David gets to enjoy his mom’s Snickerdoodle cookies and his favorite Snickerdoodle Donuts, too!
What makes these Snickerdoodle Donuts so darn delicious?
I made several key tweaks to Southern Living’s Snickerdoodle Doughnut Hole Muffins recipe. Don’t get me wrong, the original recipe is amazing in its own right (as Southern Living recipes tend to be).
First things first: I took upon myself to determine that these little nuggets of cinnamon-sugar goodness most definitely look, feel and taste more like cake donut holes than muffins. Next, I replaced the nutmeg with extra cinnamon. I know, this is sacrilege for the Snickerdoodle purists out there. I’m just not a huge fan of nutmeg. I’ve included details in the recipe notes for those who would like to use nutmeg in their Snickerdoodle Donuts.
Most importantly, I replaced the vegetable oil with blood orange-fused olive oil and it changed everything about this recipe! The blood orange flavor comes from a bright, citrus-fused olive oil that we purchase from the Alpine Olive Tree in Dahlonega, Georgia. This specialty store carries an array of high quality, infused and fused extra virgin oils (learn about the difference) and balsamic vinegars, and ships throughout the continental United States. That said, specialty olive oil stores have been popping up across the country for years. A quick online search may reveal a local distributor in your area.
If orange-infused olive oil isn’t an option but you’d like to capture the sweet citrusy taste, add orange zest to your batter and a little to you cinnamon-sugar based. Delish!
Why are Snickerdoodle Donuts the Perfect Breakfast Recipe?
- This recipe is super duper quick. In addition to being darn delicious, this recipe is easy and comes together in less than an hour all in – and I mean a lot less. Think 35-40 minutes. You can even prep the ingredients the night before. That’s right – suddenly these Snickerdoodle Donuts are sounding extra yummy for your family’s tummies.
- Your little ones can help. Big kids may enjoy dipping the donuts in melted butter while tiny hands are perfect for rolling these donut holes in a delicious cinnamon-sugar coating. Forget those sugar plums … visions of the most adorable assembly line are dancing in my head.
- The spices are versatile. Holidays or not, these Snickerdoodle Donuts are a hit all year long. Think brunch on the weekend, bite-sized treats for sleepovers and school parties … swap out the cinnamon for pumpkin spice, pour a cup of coffee, grab a blanket and you’ve got a cozy fall treat (patio with a view of beautiful fall foliage highly recommended!).
However you chose to enjoy these Snickerdoodle Donuts, I hope they bring a little extra sweetness to your day.
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup blood orange-fused olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a pastry brush to lightly grease the mini muffin pan with about 1 tablespoon of the blood orange olive oil or simply use cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix the room-temperature egg, blood orange-fused olive oil, sour cream , pure vanilla extract and granulated sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, flour, salt and cinnamon. Use a spatula or large spoon to combine and mix the ingredients of the two bowls. Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon to add about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the donuts are lightly golden in color and the tops are slightly springy when touched. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer one to a wire rack. It will take the donuts 10-15 minutes to cool completely.
- While the donuts are cooling, prepare the cinnamon-sugar coating. In a small bowl, melt the butter, Combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar in another bowl. Once the donuts have cooled, dip each one first in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon-sugar coating. Place on a serving platter and repeat.
- Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea or a cold glass of milk.
- To make this recipe with nutmeg, use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg in the donut mix. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg in the cinnamon-sugar coating.
- Feel free to use a lemon- or orange-fused olive oil. If you can’t find a citrus-fused oil for this recipe, do not fret. The Snickerdoodle Donuts are delicious when using vegetable oil as well.
- Add orange zest to your batter and the cinnamon-sugar base if you’d like.
- Prep Time: 35 mins.
- Cook Time: 10 mins.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: snickerdoodle recipe, snickerdoodle donuts, holiday breakfast recipe, snickerdoodles, snickerdoodle donut holes, snickerdoodle recipe
Original holiday recipe posted 12/21/22 and updated on 5/4/2023.