Scrumptious Baked Cinnamon Breakfast Bites

I love a good donut, especially a homemade one. What I don’t love is the pain associated with deep frying them. It is messy, time consuming and certainly more fattening. These baked Cinnamon Breakfast Bites mimic what I love about donut holes but without all the added stress and calories. They are super scrumptious and I encourage you to try them out yourself and see how long they last in your house!


1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup crisp rice cereal, coarsely crushed
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted


Mix flour, crushed cereal, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl.

Cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add milk and stir just until moistened.

Roll dough into approximately 2 1/2 dozen 1 inch balls.

Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar in a small bowl. Drop balls into melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place balls onto greased 8 or 9 inch round pan.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in pan on wire rack before removing.

If you are looking for a perfectly rounded ball, try using a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan as mine baked together. They weren’t exactly round but they still turned out beautiful!

This recipe is courtesy of the 2001 Taste of Home Annual Cookbook and available on Taste of Home. It was submitted by Ruth Hastings.

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  1. says

    These are awful. Too much baking powder. Too high of heat. It would be better just to make biscuits and sweeten them a little. YUCKY recipe

    • Angelica says

      Okay everyone, THIS is what I did after looking over some bad reviews, and mine turned out FANTASTIC!
      1. I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of 3 tsp. (starting to wonder if some people used baking soda? NO!)
      2. I lowered the oven temp to 400 degrees instead of 425. (425 will definitely cause hardening and burning on the bottom)
      3. I only baked them for 12 minutes instead of 15+. (I did use the round cake pan as the picture shows AND sprayed it will cooking spray). They will continue to bake in the pan during cooling I think.
      4. I made the balls about 1 tablespoon in size instead of one inch, in order to get approximately 2 1/2 dozen in the pan. (I still ended up with 33 or 34 balls). 1 inch balls made way too many, and too small, and that is probably part of the reason why so many others’ balls were hard, burnt on the bottom, or like biscuits.
      After baking for 12 minutes, I pulled out the pan and put it on a wire rack. Let it sit for about 3-4 minutes and then lifted them out onto a plate. They turned out so unbelievably wonderful! They actually tasted similar to coffee cake, but more moist! I had started to make a sugary dipping frosting/glaze for them, but ended up stopping because these little babies need NOTHING to go with them except a glass of milk! These literally disappeared (with 4 of us) within 15 minutes! ALL OF THEM. I will be making more later tonight! SO glad I made them…I almost didn’t after reading some of the comments :/ Just needed a little tweaking :)

  2. lani says

    These turned out pretty bad for me. I knew 3 teaspoons baking powder in a 425 degree oven was a mistake. As someone else said they were much more like dense biscuits than doughnuts and mine unfortunately burned on the bottoms. I used a greased cookie sheet and baked for the minimum amount of time but now my place smells like burned sugar and most of the bites are stuck to the pan. Maybe the high oven temp and amount of baking powder make sense in a round pan but I think the cookie sheet was a fail. On the plus side, the un-burned bits were very delicious.

  3. Brandi says

    Oh my good golly.

    I doubled this recipe by accident (I slipped on the milk). I also added a flake cereal instead of the rice crisp cereal. I pulsed in the food processor before adding it. I only brushed the tops with butter and sprinkled on the cinnamon/sugar mixture the first time. They were still pretty good, and good to send with the kids with a yogurt dip or something. The second batch I rolled the tops in the butter, then the entire thing in the sugar mixture. THAT WAS DELICIOUS. The sugar doesn’t burnt a bit on the bottom, as sugar tends to cook quickly, but other than that, they are amazing!

    Watch the time. They are just like a scone basically!

  4. Michelle says

    So I made these today (Christmas morning), while they were ok, I don’t think they were something great and probably would never make them again. Hubby wasn’t fond of them at all, and he loves cinnamon sugar donuts. But thanks for sharing, it was worth trying.

  5. Emily says

    I made these for today and they were yummy. I followed the exact directions and baked in a round pan. They turned out great. They remind me of coffee cake. I just need to double next time.

  6. Missy says

    These didn’t turn out ANYTHING like I expected them to. I anticipated a donut hole experience, and I got a dry, crumbly, disappointing experience. I will not be making these again!

  7. Mary says

    I tried these and was a fail. I followed the recipe exactly, but forgot to see what ppl said in the comments first. I sadly have to report that they don’t live up to yummy goodness they should be.
    Too much baking soda! They came out as a crumbly biscuit that was too dry and salty. It wasn’t a donut hole experience at all. You would be better off finding a different recipe.

  8. says

    I made these today for breakfast, and after reading the comments I made a few changes…

    I used gluten-free flour (Pamela’s Bread Mix).
    I only put 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and they still puffed up and kind of ‘formed’ together.
    I also put 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into the dough itself.
    I only baked them for 12 minutes, and they were cooked through completely.

    The texture is a little strange with the rice cereal, but they taste amazing and I will probably be making them again. They are just delicious! I am tempted to try to make them without the crisp rice cereal, and just make them with 2 and 1/3 cups of flour. We will have to see, I love to experiment! The kids gobbled them up, and little Truman who is 3 kept asking for more!

    I hope this is helpful to some of you who were having issues with them being hard, and the large amount of baking powder!

  9. Erin says

    I had pinned this recipe some time back and decided to try it tonight. I made some changes based on some of the comments and I think they turned out okay. I processed everything in my food processor, used 3 TBSP of sugar and reduced to 2 tsp of baking powder. I substituted half of the milk with pumpkin puree and added pumpkin pie spice (to taste). I baked them on a parchment covered cookie sheet at 375 for only 12 minutes and they were perfect. While they were still hot, I tossed them back in the cinnamon sugar. I think if I make them again, I’ll use all pumpkin puree and add a little milk if needed to get the right consistency. I think the pumpkin adds more moisture. Overall I think they’re good. My son will love them for breakfast in the morning. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. sal says

    I’ve commented before, but I tried this recipes and mine turned out so bad!!! I followed the ingredients and was completely disappointed! Won’t make again:(

  11. Christy says

    After reading the comments I made these using self-rising flour, and omitted the baking powder and salt. They turned out scrumptious! The sugar makes almost a crunchy glaze over the doughnuts, but they aren’t too sweet. Will definitely make again!

  12. Kelly says

    Made these tonight for my daughter’s sleepover (for breakfast tomorrow). They were absolutely delish! I did the recipe exactly as stated, only I doubled the recipe, so yes 6 tsp baking powder and they turned out very well! Love that they are baked and still have that crunchy donut flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)


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