I made these itty bitty cinnamon oat bites the other day and they were so addictive I found myself making more and more batches. Super simple, sort of like cookie dough or oatmeal bites, super cinnamony, and very light. And sooooo good with almond milk or some coffee. I couldn't get enough ✨
I say bites, but you see mini-donuts. You're probably wondering what's up..? Story time: one day a few weeks ago I decided I really needed a silicone donut pan to make some raw donuts. But I didn't want one of the really big ones, but the smaller sized pan (like this one) that makes these cute mini donuts -- the kind I see at the junky bakery aisle at the grocery store all the time (in fact that's where the hankering for donuts hit me! All those cute little sugar coated donuts in a package looked so enticing).
Anyways, I was shopping online, it was late, all the pans sort of started to look the same. So I ordered the one that seemed the best deal / fastest shipment at the time and ordered my very own mini donut pan, soon to hold my very own mini donuts...
When it arrived I was treated to this:
Who knew there's such a thing as a mini mini donut pan! I mean, this is pretty much candy chain-sized!
I honestly had no idea they come this small, and also had no idea what to do with the pan now that I had it. I mean it could be used to make chocolates or candy, but it's not exactly the shape I'd go for typically unless I was doing something themed...
Anyhow, when I went to make these cinnamon oat cookie dough bites, after rolling some into balls I thought, hey why not not make baby donuts while I'm at it... May as well do something with this completely unnecessary accessory in my pantry.
Well they turned out pretty cute. Whether you need the pan or not is entirely your call -- they taste good as little balls too. But there was something fun (or maybe the whole thing was just altogether funny to me) about eating these bitty donuts :)
So back to these cinnamon bites.. they really are simple to make -- ready in no time and they last a good while. I had some at room temp, some in the fridge, and some frozen, and all were put to good use in the end.
They sort of taste like a good oatmeal-on-the-go snack. Very satisfying, but also very light somehow.
Just a couple of quick notes from experimenting with these:
- I found they work best taste-wise small, i.e. as bites or bliss balls (as opposed to a large donut, for example).
- Sorry to the Aussies and for those in countries where there are no gluten-free oats. I tried this out with quinoa flakes for you, and let's just say that didn't go over so well... I think this would be great with almond flour and a bit of tapioca or something along those lines, though the ratios would need to be quite different.
Satisfying, mini cinnamon bites in a cute donut shape. Make them as cinnamon donut balls too. Light, sweet, perfect snack size. Gluten-free, vegan. No bake.
Cookie Dough Bites:
- ½ cup dates, pitted, pre-soaked and strained*
- 4 tbsp hot water
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or ½ tsp raw ground vanilla bean)
- 1 ½ cups instant oats (gluten-free)
- Additional 1 cup instant oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or maple sugar or date sugar for coconut-free version)
- Place all cookie dough bites ingredients in a food processor, except the additional 1 cup instant oats, and process the mixture to combine. Add in half of the remaining instant oats and process to combine, then add the remained and process once again. The mixture at this point should be sticky but not too wet -- test if you can pinch the mixture with your fingers or form into a small ball -- if it's too wet, add a bit more oats and process until you can roll a ball with the mixture.
- Prepare a tray lined with parchment (or set donut pan on a flat tray if using). Set aside. Stir the coating ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside as well.
- Take out about 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon oat bites mixture (or more) and roll into a ball with your hands**. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture to lightly coat as you go along, then set on the prepared tray. Repeat until you run out of mixture.
- Chill for 20 mins in the fridge, then transfer into an air-tight storage container and enjoy! You can keep them at room temp if planning to consume within a day or two, or keep refrigerated. They also freeze well and thaw out very fast if you want to save some for a longer period of time.
*To soak the dates, place measured out pitted dates in a glass bowl, cover with boiled water (or room temperature water if you prefer to keep them on the raw side) and allow to soak for at least 15 mins to rehydrate and soften (if water was at room temp instead of freshly boiled, then soak for about 4 hours). Then strain and discard the water.
**If using the mini donut pan, press the ball into the mold and shape into a donut shape with your fingers, then freeze for 30 mins and pop out gently. Then coat in the cinnamon coating, chill and enjoy.