These adorable little Elf Donuts are perfect for your “Elf on the Shelf” that visits! They also are fun to make with your kids for Santa’s elves on Christmas Eve.
If you have an elf on the shelf that stays at your house during the holidays, these little elf donuts are something you have to make and leave out for the elf. Kids love to make these for their elves!
They are fun and easy to make. Only a few ingredients and you are good to go!
Grocery Shopping List:
- Cheerios cereal
- powdered sugar
- chocolate chips
- small sprinkles
- empty matchbox, optional
We use an empty matchbox to make a “donut box” for the donuts as if you were buying them from the store. This is optional but does make this even more fun.
To make the Elf donuts:
For the powdered sugar donuts:
Before starting, place some parchment paper over your work area to place the Cheerios on to dry. This makes for easy clean up.
Mix the powdered sugar with the milk in a small bowl until it makes a frosting consistency. You want it to be thick enough to stick to the Cheerios and not run off.
Toss a small amount of Cheerios (about ten) into the frosting at a time and coat them with the powdered sugar frosting. I use a toothpick for flipping them in the frosting. Flip them over a few times until the are completely covered with the powdered sugar mixture.
Using a toothpick, take each one out individually. Let the excess powdered sugar drip off before placing it onto the covered surface with parchment paper.
If making them look like a “sprinkled donut”, place the Cheerios on the parchment paper and drop some colorful sprinkles over them right after they are dipped into the powdered sugar mixture. Let them sit to dry.
To make them look like a “powdered donut”, dip them into the powdered sugar and milk mixture and then into a small bowl of powdered sugar. Using a toothpick flip each Cheerio over a few times until covered with the powdered sugar. Set them aside onto the parchment paper to dry.
Make sure you don’t wait too long to add the powdered sugar or sprinkles so that the frosting doesn’t start to set before you add them. Doing a few at a time works well for this part.
An easy way to pick up the Cheerios is to use a toothpick and pick up them up through the middle. They need to sit for about an hour or so to completely dry.
To make the chocolate donuts:
Before starting, place some parchment paper over a baking sheet to place the Cheerios as the chocolate sets. This makes for easy clean up.
Melt the chocolate chips in either the microwave or on the stovetop following the directions below:
To melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, place them in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds and stir. If the chocolate chips are not completely melted after stirring, continue to heat at 15 second increments, stirring after each one. The chocolate chips should be smooth and creamy.
To melt the chocolate on the stovetop, place the chocolate chips in a medium sized pot and heat on low to medium heat. Stir often and as soon the you see just a little bit of chocolate chips left, turn off the heat and stir until all the chocolate chips are melted. The chocolate should be smooth and creamy.
Pour the melted chocolate into a small bowl. Dip a small amount of the Cheerios at a time into the melted chocolate. (I do about ten at a time.) Using a toothpick, flip the Cheerios a few times to cover them completely.
Using toothpicks, take each one out individually and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place them on your covered baking sheet to set.
You can leave them as plain chocolate donuts or add some sprinkles to them. If you are doing the sprinkles, make sure you add the sprinkles quickly before the chocolate starts to set. Doing a few at at a time helps with this step.
Place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets. (about 30 minutes).
How to make the Donut Box:
For our donuts, we wanted to make a “donut box” like you get in the stores. I used an empty matchbox for the donut box. Just take some plain white paper and cover the box where you need to cover up the print or cardboard.
You can write on it or have your kids add their touches to the box. Another option is to print up a small label. Only about 12 elf donuts will it into the box, so some will have to be placed on the side.
Our elf is named Sparkles and our daughter is so excited to see where our elf is every morning after she goes to the North Pole at night. Have you heard of this? The Elf on the Shelf visits your home and then goes back to the North Pole at night to let Santa know how everyone is doing.
Looking for some Christmas cookies ideas?
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Elf Donuts are fun to make and leave out for your “Elf on the Shelf” and all of Santa’s elves this Christmas season.
- 1 cup Cheerios, plain
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, with a little extra for sprinkling
- ¾ teaspoon milk
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- small sprinkles
For the powdered sugar donuts:
Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a bowl until it makes a frosting consistency.
Place a small amount of Cheerios at a time into the frosting.
Cover them completely with the powdered sugar, flipping them over a couple of times with toothpick.
Take each Cheerio out individually using a toothpick and allow excess frosting to drip off.
Place the Cheerios onto working area covered with parchment paper.
Sprinkle them with either powdered sugar or sprinkles.
Set them aside to dry, about an hour.
For the chocolate donuts:
Melt the chocolate chips either on the stovetop on low to medium heat or in the microwave, stirring often until chocolate is smooth.
Place a small amount of Cheerios into the melted chocolate and flip them over a couple of times, using a toothpick, to completely cover them in the chocolate.
Take each Cheerio out individually using a toothpick and let the excess chocolate drip off.
Place the Cheerios onto a baking sheet or large plate covered with parchment paper or foil.
Cover the donuts with sprinkles or leave them as they are.
Chill them in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
Cover your baking sheet or work area with parchment paper for easy clean up.
Place the chocolate donuts on a covered baking sheet so they can be transferred to the refrigerator to set easily.
Melting the chocolate chips:
If using a microwave, pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 45 seconds and stir. If more time is needed, heat at 15 seconds, stirring after each one until the chocolate is creamy.
If using the stovetop, pour the chocolate chips into a pot and heat them on low to medium heat, stirring often. When you see just a little bit of chocolate chips in the pot, turn off the heat and stir.
The melted chocolate should be creamy. Make sure not to overheat it as it will be clumpy and will not work for the recipe.
How many Elf Donuts you make depends on how many you would like to make. When I make them in my house, we make about 40 for each one.
Update Note: This recipe was originally posted earlier, but was published again in 2020 to include step by step directions and new photos.