Let the good times roll with a batch of these Mardi Gras Donut Holes!
As excited as I get about decorating for Halloween…and then Thanksgiving…and then Christmas…each year, I find it oddly satisfying to clean up all of the decorations and pack them away once the holidays are over. To be fair, taking down the holiday decorations is a bit of a bittersweet time. I love the warm feeling that comes when the Christmas tree is lit. (We often leave our tree up through New Year’s Day just so we can enjoy it as long as possible without becoming “those” neighbors who still have a Christmas tree up in February.) But with that said, I love putting the tree and other decorations away as it means we get all of that space in our house back. Of course, Robbie managed to fill all of that space with toys in less than 24 hours…but at least he had fun doing it!
A couple of years ago, I decided to create a Mardi Gras tree. Yes, a Mardi Gras tree. I missed that warm feeling of the Christmas tree, so I decided that a Mardi Gras was totally necessary. However, I kept the Mardi Gras tree small. I picked up an artificial Christmas tree and some colored strands of lights on super clearance after the holidays. Then I methodically changed all of the lights out until only green, purple and yellow lights were left. Add in some Mardi Gras beads and other festive decorations, and *bam* a Mardi Gras tree. I know it’s a bit ridiculous, but we find it fun to be a little festive around this time of the year…especially since it’s bitterly cold and snowy outside!
You know what else is fun? Mardi Gras Donut Holes. Truthfully, these are just donut holes sprinkled with purple, green and gold sanding sugar…but aren’t they fun!? I decided to actually fry these Mardi Gras Donut Holes, although you could totally do a baked version instead. I had our mini-fryer out for another recipe (ahem, cajun fried shrimp, ahem), and I decided to just keep it out for these Mardi Gras Donut Holes. One bite, and both Laura and I were hooked! Laura pointed out that these taste a lot like cake donuts, and I think that’s because there’s no yeast in the dough here. Now I love all donuts, and you won’t ever catch me turning down a good yeasted donut. But if push comes to shove, I’ll go for the cake donut first. (Seriously. I might shove an old lady to get to the last cake donut. Ok, maybe I’m not that bad…but I’m close!)
These Mardi Gras Donut Holes turned out a little larger than expected. I didn’t account for the fact that the donut holes would expand once they hit the hot oil, so these ended up more like 2-bite donut holes. But I’m ok with that. I mean the only thing better than a 1-bite donut hole is a 2-bite donut hole, right? We actually made this same donut recipe back in November when my sister, mom and niece were visiting, and we pulled out my decorating kit to let Blakely decorate her own donut holes. Isn’t that what Funcles are for? (Seriously…she calls me Uncle Funcle. And I gotta live up to that name somehow!)
If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to get into the Mardi Gras spirit, then give these Mardi Gras Donut Holes a shot! And laissez les bon temps rouler! (That’s the unofficial motto for Mardi Gras in Louisiana, and it means Let the Good Times Roll! It’s pronounced “Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay.”)
Mardi Gras Donut Holes
For Donut Holes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp butter melted
- ½ cup milk
- peanut or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- colored sanding sugar green, yellow/gold and purple for Mardi Gras
- Using a deep (at least 2½”) skillet, add enough oil to fill skillet 1” deep. Insert a candy thermometer and heat oil over medium-high heat. (Note: Target oil temperature for frying will be 350°F.)
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder; stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter and milk. Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients; stir until well combined. (Note: The dough will be thick and somewhat sticky.)
- Using a cookie scoop or 2 spoons, drop 8-9 (½”-¾” balls) of batter into hot (350°F) oil. Fry donut holes for 1-2 minutes, turning once, or until both sides are deep golden brown in color.
- Transfer donut holes to a paper-towel lined plate to cool.
- While donut holes are cooling, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. (Note: Start with 1 Tbsp of milk and gradually add more until icing reaches desired consistency.)
- Once cool, drizzle donut holes with icing and then sprinkle tops with colored sanding sugar. (Tip: I used a sandwich bag with one corner snipped off to drizzle the icing.)