Start your day with some holiday cheer! These gingerbread donuts are packed with spice and molasses, with just a touch of orange zest for a bright citrus flavor. Make sure to save some for yourself, because these festive treats are going to disappear in no time!
Preheat oven to 400°F and butter a 12-hole donut pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip brown sugar with butter, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the orange zest on medium-high speed until mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
Blend in remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the applesauce. Add in eggs one at a time and mix just until combined after each addition while adding in 1 teaspoon vanilla with second egg. Stir in molasses.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold into batter with a rubber spatula, while scraping sides and bottom of bowl (don't over-mix, batter should be lumpy and a few streaks of flour are fine before going on to next addition) then add 1/2 of the milk and fold just until nearly combined, then repeat process and end mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold just until combined (batter should be lumpy).
Divide batter among 12 prepared donut pan cups, filling each well nearly full.
Bake in preheated oven 8 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake 8 - 11 minutes longer until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven and run a knife around donuts to remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough orange juice to make a smooth glaze.
When donuts are slightly warm, dip into glaze or spread over tops, then return to cooling rack and allow glaze to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons molasses
1 1/4 cups Dean's DairyPure Milk
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or Dean's DairyPure Milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract