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I love, love, love the idea of gingerbread with maple. If it’s mini, it’s wormed it’s way into my heart. To give you some context, these mini donuts are about half the diameter of a tennis ball.

These smell divine and they’re different from the same-old, same-old holiday desserts. (Santa-hat cheesecake squares, anyone? Despite the novelty last year, I soon tired of seeing them all over Pinterest). Besides, I’d be thrilled to receive these as a hostess gift, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one! (If you like the waxed paper, it’s handmade from our design studio, Frost and Fete, on Etsy. Sooo, cute right?)

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You can find the recipe here but do keep reading for my caveats and substitutions.

Substitutions: I just used regular white flour. I also used a donut maker rather than bake them in the oven. I’ve used the same Smart Planet mini donut maker to make these Miette mini madeleine donuts in the past if you want to read that old post. I would just keep an eye on the first batch to get the timing correct.

If they’ve slightly browned, they’re ready. They don’t take much time at all, but begin checking on them at the 5 minute mark. And once you start making them, you want to keep going until the batter is finished so clear your schedule for at least the next half hour to 40 minutes.

You may also consider dipping them in sprinkles but you’d have to act quick, dipping them in immediately before the frosting set. This is a bit of a messy job so clear your kitchen table or island.

Would I make these again? Maybe for a holiday potluck, if I had the morning to prepare, or for a brunch, because these don’t store very well. By the time a few hours had past, they had gone slightly soft and spongey. But fresh out of the donut maker, they are just lovely with some coffee or tea.

Grade: Four stars out of five. Full marks for creativity, but then I docked one for the fact you have to eat them right away and they don’t keep very well. And maybe also for the fact you are standing there and piping batter into the donut maker and watching them bake just a few at a time. Feels a bit tedious, to be honest. I suppose if I bought the donut pan for the oven I wouldn’t have this problem, but I don’t find it to be necessary.