Whether you consider donuts a special breakfast treat or a decadent dessert, these donut recipes will make you rethink your daily stop at the bakery for a basic glazed donut. We never thought we’d call sprinkles plain, but these dressed-up donuts make sprinkle-covered cake donuts look downright dull by comparison.

By Andrea Beck

Make breakfast a little cuter in the morning by serving these dressed-up donut recipes (we won’t judge if you save them for dessert). You can make your own homemade donuts, but these tricks for creating cute donuts work just as well with store-bought, too. We also have a few holiday donut dress-ups if you need a sweet breakfast for a seasonal occasion. We’ll teach you how to decorate each one so you can impress dessert-eaters and brunch-goers alike with donuts that are a treat for the eyes and taste buds.

1. Polar Bear Donuts

When you’re through decorating, no one will even guess that these sweet polar bears started out as plain cake donuts. A mix of white frosting and shredded coconut makes realistic-looking polar bear “fur,” but the real showstopper is the powdered donut 3-D face. Marshmallow feet, ears, and a nose also help take each polar bear to new heights. Tie it all together with chocolate frosting—piping on footprints and eyes brings these cold-weather creatures to life.

Get the recipe: Polar Bear Donuts

2. Donut Fruits

Making your donut look like a fruit doesn't count as eating fruit for breakfast. But even though these donuts are not actual pineapples, kiwis, and watermelons, you can make them look darn close. The trick is colored candy coating—you can use the different colors to coat the donuts—like pink for the watermelon center—and you can also pipe it to form the pineapple stem. A few extra touches, like using mini chocolate chips for watermelon seeds and crushed graham crackers to mimic a kiwi peel, make these cute donuts look like they’re fresh from the produce aisle.

Get the recipe: Donut Fruits

3. Panda Donuts

These might be the cutest donuts we’ve ever seen, and they’re super easy to decorate, too. For the most panda-like donuts, start with chocolate cake donuts, then dip them into melted white frosting. Mini chocolate sandwich cookies are easy to attach as ears—just cut two tiny slices in the top of each donut and slide them in. Finally, finish off each panda by creating a face using melted semisweet chocolate pieces. These cuddly panda donuts will be especially popular with the animal-lovers at your table.

Get the recipe: Panda Donuts

4. Scary-Good Halloween Donuts

Halloween is usually all about the candy, but these donuts deserve a spot around the cauldron, too. Decorate a donut to match your costume! Fake fangs and a drizzle of strawberry jelly make a convincing vampire, while strips of white frosting turn plain powdered sugar donuts into spooky mummies. You can also make creepy edible monsters with candy melts and candy eyes, and crawling spiders with a brownie-bite body and long, chocolate frosting legs. For a holiday that’s all about indulging in sweets, these spooky donuts will help you start your day with a treat—not a trick.

Get the recipe: Scary-Good Halloween Donuts

5. Winter Wreath Donut Bites

You can dress up more than just glazed and cake donuts, as this sweet recipe shows. Give donut bites their moment in the spotlight by arranging them into a festive winter wreath. The process is simple—just arrange donut holes in a wreath shape, then pipe on green frosting—and the result is a cute holiday wreath. To add an extra touch, pipe on a red bow after you’ve frosted all the donut holes green.

Get the recipe: Winter Wreath Donut Bites

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