Pumpkin Donut Holes

I’ve heard lots of rumblings this season about people making donuts. Mostly they seemed to be doing baked versions which are maybe suppose to be healthier. But really, when it comes to donuts why try to make them healthier? I mean they’re donuts afterall. You know what you’re getting yourself into. If you want to eat one, you don’t want a healthier version right? Lots of questions but really the only answer is – keep is traditional and do a fried version.

I had actually been protesting and avoiding making donuts. Recipes kept popping up, ideas kept taunting me but I still wanted nothing to do with them. I used the excuse of not having a donut cutter, but that wasn’t good enough. Finally I caved. It was bound to happen eventually right? Last weekend I was just looking for something new, fun and easy to make so I turned to donut holes. Pumpkin donut holes to be exact. It’s a seasonal thing so why not.

The process couldn’t have been easier. If I had known just how easy making and frying them would be, I might not have protested the idea so much. I no longer fear the donut and you shouldn’t either. Really, they’re SO easy and are an asbolute treat for a lazy weekend or perfect for a brunch.These turned out to be just right, not greasy at all and had the perfect hint of pumpkin.

Yield: Makes roughly 50 donut holes

Pumpkin Donut Holes


2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 C canned pumpkin
1/3 C buttermilk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
oil for frying


In a large bowl, cream butter. Add sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and remaining spices. Mix well. Scrape bowl as needed.

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Whip until combined well. Pour liquid mixture in with butter, sugar and spices. Stir together. Add in pumpkin, followed by flour. Be sure to scrape your bowl well at this stage and mix until all flour and pumpkin has been encorporated into the batter. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Flour a work station (I used one of my silpats this time because you know how much I detest cleaning up the counter after playing with dough) and roll dough out to roughly 1/4" thick.

If you do not have a donut cutter, as I don't, use other household items such as a small glass for the outer portion and a shot glass for the inner portion. I only made donut holes, so I only used a shot glass and it worked perfect. I believe the diameter of the opening was roughly 1" maybe a teeny bit more. Sorry, I didn't measure it.

After cutting your donut or holes, transfer cut pieces to a sheet of waxed paper or a large platter until ready to fry. Repeat rolling and cutting process until you have used up all of your dough.

Heat oil to 365 degrees. Do not overcrowd the pan or fryer. I found frying 5 or 6 holes at a time worked well. Fry holes for 1 minute and 30 seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes. Flip them and move them around the pan as they're cooking, you want the color to be evenly golden.
Using a slotted spoon or similar item, transfer cooked donuts to a paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Continue fying process until all donuts are cooked.

Let sit for several minutes before eating. The longer you wait, the more the dough has had time to cool and set resulting in a better donut eating experience.

You can choose to store yours in an airtight container or as we did, leave them out uncovered overnight. I had hoped to crisp them up a bit... kind of like how donut shop donuts get crusty and stale like. Another day would have been better for that result and they didn't last that long.

Recipe source: Recipedose

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3 Responses to “Pumpkin Donut Holes”

  1. #
    Paula — November 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    My grand-mother made home-made (fried) donuts all the time. They were delicious. My favourite donut is a plain old fashioned one. I’ve never attempted to make donuts but your post (and great looking donuts) as well as so many other recent posts about donuts is really getting me curious enough to try and make them….one day :) Thanks for posting your recipe, love all the spices in it.

    • #
      Rachel — November 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Donuts definitely have been going around lately huh? You should try them sometime. I figured they had to be hard since so many were using pans to bake them in but they’re really easy.

  2. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — November 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I totally agree with you – if you’re going to eat a donut, make it unhealthy :) These look delicious!

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