Dihydroxyacetone variants have been explored as donors in organocatalytic aldol reactions with various aldehyde and ketone acceptors. The protected form of dihydroxyacetone that was chosen for in-depth study was 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxan-5-one, 1. Among the catalysts surveyed here, proline proved to be superior in terms of yield and stereoselectivities in the construction of various carbohydrate scaffolds. In a fashion analogous to aldolase enzymes, the de novo preparation of L-ribulose, L-lyxose, D-ribose, D-tagatose, 1-amino-1-deoxy-D-lyxitol, and other carbohydrates was accomplished via the use of 1 and proline. In reactions using 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxan-5-one 1 as a donor, (S)-proline can be used as a functional mimic of tagatose aldolase, whereas (R)-proline can be regarded as an organocatalytic mimic of fuculose aldolase.