Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donut Bites

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These cinnamon sugar baked donut bites are so easy, you’ll want to make them all week long!

We’re keeping with the easy theme this week, and I’m pretty sure y’all aren’t mad about that, are you? With back to school in full swing, the seasons changing and the stress, I mean excitement, of upcoming holidays, easy is something we all need a little bit more of.

Especially when it comes to donuts, which is one of the hardest things I’ve had to give up on my quest for fitness. Can I live without meat? Yes. Dairy? Probably. Donuts? UGHH.

The thing is, I rarely indulge in a flakey, cakey, sprinkle topped donut, but when I do, it’s like armageddon. I black out and before I come to, all of the donuts in sight are devoured and I’m in a sugar and fat induced coma that’s nearly impossible to shake. Maybe it’s because as a kid, I’d enjoy donuts anytime I went home to see my grandparents and have such fond memories of them.

Or maybe it’s just the simple fact that they’re sweet little balls of dough that are deep-fried, dredged in glaze or chocolate and often filled with an insatiable variety of creams, jellies or custards. I’ve never met a donut I didn’t like, and considering how many people I meet that I loathe, that’s saying something. I kid. Mostly. Even though I adore these baked banana nut donuts and could consume 62 of these bite-size whole wheat strawberry ones, these decadent little morsels might be my favorite yet. I feel a bit like a hack, though, because they’re not homemade at all, actually.

They’re made with biscuit dough! Doing my best Sandra Lee impersonation, I really just made these out of boredom one day. I had two rolls of biscuit dough in the fridge, enough cinnamon to coat a baby (thanks to a recent trip to India) and heaps of milk (thanks to a farmers market impulse buy). Normal people would probably bake the biscuits for dinner, but I decided to turn them into little donuts and then slather then in a cream cheese cinnamon roll icing glaze.

You could omit the glaze, but why would you? Only truly terrible people would do that, and none of you lovely folks fit that category. So just don’t, okay?

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donut Bites

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Yields about 12 – 16 donut holes, depending on size. Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.
Prep time: >8 minutes
Cook time: About 18 minutes

Ingredients: 

For the donuts:

  • 1 can (16.3 ounces) buttermilk biscuit dough (I used the reduced-fat version)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. (Note, you can also use an 8 x 8 round cake pan or a 9 x 13 glass baking dish as well).
  2. Remove the biscuits from the canister. Using your hands or a knife, break each biscuit apart into two or four pieces (depending on how big you want the bites to be).
  3. Melt the butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds (at 100% power). Whisk the cinnamon and the brown sugar together.
  4. Using a fork or your hands, dip the dough bites into butter and then cover liberally in the cinnamon brown sugar dusting. Place into the skillet. If you want, you can place them further apart to make separate bites, or do as I did and lump them together. This gives you almost a pull apart doughnut cake in the end.
  5. Bake for about 16 – 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. While the bites cool, make the icing. In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, butter, almond extract and vanilla extract. While the bites are still warm, drizzle the glaze over them (or pour liberally, your call). Garnish with chopped nuts and enjoy!

Nutritional information per serving (about 2 bites):

Calories: 322
Fat: 12.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 42 grams
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 4.2 grams

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