Donuts, Food, Recipes

German Gingerbread “Pfeffernüsse” Donuts


Whenever I think of Christmas treats, I think of gingerbread. Specifically, Pfeffernüsse, those round German cookies covered in powdered sugar you often find in the grocery store at this time of year (I got mine from Aldi).


Image from Claire K Creations

So what exactly are Pfeffernüsse, I hear you ask?


If you can’t find them, you can use normal store-bought gingerbread or you could make your own!

German Gingerbread "Pfeffernüsse" Donuts

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 30
Author: Swah



  • 70 g butter softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Cream Cheese glaze

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • Crumbled Pfeffernusse cookies to decorate



  • Preheat oven to 160°C and grease your donut pan with flavourless oil OR turn on your donut maker (you won't need any oil if you use the latter).
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until just combined. The mixture may look curdled but the dry ingredients will pull it together.
  • Add in the baking powder, flour and cocoa powder and stir until just combined.
  • Transfer mixture to a medium zip lock bag and cut the corner tip cut off. Pipe the mixture into the donut pans until each is approximately ⅔ full.
  • If using a donut pan, bake in the oven for around 10 minutes until they spring back when pressed. If using a mini donut maker, bake for 2-3 minutes.
  • Allow donuts to cool completely before decorating.

Cream Cheese glaze

  • Crumble Pfeffernusse cookies (or any type of gingerbread cookie) and set aside.
  • Stir cream cheese and icing sugar together until mixed, and then add milk slowly until you have a thick glaze.
  • Dip the top of the donuts into the cream cheese mixture, sprinkle over crumbled gingerbread cookies and place on a cooling tray to set.

The dark chocolate donut contrasts nicely with the slightly salty cream cheese glaze and crumbled spiced gingerbread. It’s an easy to make and very festive treat, perfect for people who don’t like super-sweet desserts.



This is the second recipe in my series of Christmas Donuts, you can find the first treat here.


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  • Reply Alana December 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Awwwhhh hell yeah, pfeffernusse are like crack. These look like such perfect little morsels. (y)

    • Reply Swah December 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      They sure are! Once I open a packet I can’t stop :O

  • Reply Lucy @ Bake Play Smile December 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Oh my goodness! I didn’t think you could top last weeks donuts, but you soooo have! These look incredible. Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Foodie Fridays. Have a great weekend xx

    • Reply Swah December 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Aw thanks Lucy!! I am on a massive donut binge by the looks of it! ;)

  • Reply Denny Nikkel April 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm


  • Reply Christmas Bling Donuts May 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

    […] This is the 3rd instalment of my Christmas Donut series. See my Candy Cane Donuts here and Gingerbread Donuts here […]

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