Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate autumn!

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of, but shots are one of them.  (Shots and snakes.  That’s about it.)  As a kid, I remember being terrified about going to the doctor for yearly checkups.  I would lay awake at night dreading the moment the doctor pulled out the needle.  I’m much better about it now, but I still get a bit of anxiety about getting a shot or getting my blood taken for annual checkups.

As a kid, my mother used to promise me a comic book after each yearly doctor’s appointment.  There was an “old-timey” pharmacist next door to the doctor – you know, the kind with an actual ice cream counter and stools.  They also had a rack of comic books, and I was allowed to pick one out after each visit.  It didn’t completely negate the fear of the shot, but it certainly made the experience a little bit better.  And sometimes I even got an ice cream cone, too!

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!Once Robbie got old enough, we started the same tradition with him.  He’s not into comic books (yet), but that kid does love a good donut.  He knows that if he’s good for his doctor’s appointments, then he gets to get a donut afterwards.  And that’s where the trouble began…

After our last doctor’s visit, we set out to get Robbie his donut.  Our first stop was one of the five (yes, five) Dunkin’ Donuts shops in our town.  It was later in the afternoon (~4:30ish) when we pulled up to let Robbie pick out his donut.  We walked inside only to find no donuts.  That’s right.  Dunkin’ Donuts was out of donuts.  How is that even possible!?  Donuts is part of the name of the store for crying out loud!  Apparently they stop making donuts in the afternoon so they don’t have too many left at the end of the day.  While I support not wasting food, I still feel like Dunkin Donuts should never run out of donuts.

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!As our area is sorely lacking a good specialty donut store, we ended up going to a local convenience store chain for a pack of pumpkin spice donut holes.  Robbie was satisfied…but I wasn’t.  A couple of days later, I pulled out the mini-fryer and made him (and me) a batch of proper donut holes.

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

These Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are the real deal Holyfield!  Yes, they are fried.  No, they are not healthy.  But damn they are amazing!  These donut holes use canned pumpkin along with the traditional array of pumpkin spices for a magical combination of flavor.  But the real kicker is tossing these donut holes in granulated sugar while they are still warm.  The donut holes are good by themselves.  But once they get tossed in sugar?  Oh man, good luck eating just one!

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!Baker’s (fryer’s?) note: I used a small “mini fryer” to cook these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes.  It ended up taking me about 6-7 batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.  (They cook quickly, so the multiple batches didn’t matter.)  However, I did find that the first round of donut holes had cooled off by the time I finished with the last round.  The donut holes really should be warm so that the granulated sugar will stick better, so I just tossed them onto a sheet pan and put ’em in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.  Nice and warm.  Perfect for tossing in sugar.  And perfect for eating one or six.

I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes as much as we did!  They were a huge hit here.  I suspect Robbie will be asking me to make these for him after each visit to the doctor.  And if the choice is between Dunkin’ Donuts, convenience store donuts and homemade?  Well homemade is going to win that battle every time!  Enjoy!

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!Did you make these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 120 donut holes
Calories: 25kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • cups granulated sugar plus more for tossing
  • 2 Tbsp butter softened
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ cup 7UP or ginger ale soda
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Using a large bowl, add eggs, sugar and butter; mix until well combined.
  • Add pumpkin, vinegar and vanilla; stir until well combined.
  • Using a separate bowl, whisk together flour, milk powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add half of this mixture to the bowl with the eggs; stir until well combined.
  • Add soda; stir until well combined.
  • Add remaining half of the flour mixture; stir until well combined.
  • Using a large Dutch oven or a deep fryer, add enough vegetable oil to fill bottom 3” of the pot. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • Drop several teaspoon-sized balls of batter into oil. Dry, flipping occasionally, until golden brown (~1-2 minutes total). Transfer donut holes to a paper-towel or brown paper bag lined plate to drain. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  • While donut holes are still warm, roll in additional granulated sugar.

Notes

This recipe makes a lot of donut holes - approximately 10 dozen donut holes.  This recipe can easily be halved to make a smaller amount.

Packed with real pumpkin and your favorite baking spices, these Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes are an amazing way to celebrate Autumn!

Looking for more pumpkin spice treats?  Check out these other favorites, too:

These Pumpkin Spice Biscotti are a great Fall treat...and they're perfect alongside a Pumpkin Spice Latte!Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Packed with pumpkin and plenty of Autumn spices, this Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a tasty way to celebrate the season!Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Pumpkin Spice Cannoli are packed with pumpkin and your favorite Fall spices.  They're a great treat for a cool Autumn evening!Pumpkin Spice Cannoli

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16 Comments

  1. Will be making this soon can i use almond milk and vegan butter as am dairy free i never had pumpkin spice donut holes before will try this in the oven and my new air fryer perfect for my after office snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. Hey Ramya! I haven’t made donut holes with almond milk and vegan butter, but I suspect it would work just fine. And I think the air fryer would be a great way to try making donut holes! Let me know how it works out? Enjoy!!

  2. I don’t like shots either, or having blood drawn. I want to say that I’ve gotten better over time, but I think the truth is that needles have gotten smaller. In any case, I always look away. That’s the only way I can be OK with it. No one ever offers me doughnuts afterward! Or comics! But if they did, I’d insist on homemade pumpkin spice, for sure! These sound addictive, David! Interesting additions, the vinegar, dry milk, and 7-Up.

    1. Hmmm…have needles really gotten smaller? I just thought I was getting braver. Thanks a lot for that, Jeff. Thanks a lot. 🙂

      In other news, definitely try these donut holes. The dry milk softens the batter without adding more liquid and the 7-Up provides leavening – much like a 7-Up pound cake. They’re freakin’ delicious!

    1. Ah – it’s funny how memories like that influence our foods. Donut holes truly are delicious…they’re one of my favorite treats! I enjoy just popping one into my mouth – so much cleaner than eating an actual donut. Thanks, Marissa!

  3. Interesting! I love the Dunkin Donuts’ concept because stale donuts are the worst. But I’m just curious what would the staff do if they run out all donuts hours before their location closes?
    Next, donuts you can get in the grocery store are quite horrible (Although it’s hard to judge as a couple of attempts were enough to stop trying. Maybe they are improving?) I would say that professional donut shops are still a good option when you want something fancier (stuffed, filled with cream, more time-consuming dough recipes, etc). But if it comes to simple donuts (With a great flavour profile), I would say homemade would be my choice. And these pumpkin donut holes look terrific – so inviting and homey yet looking like baked in a good bakery! You can certainly turn this into snickerdoodle donut holes next time…or no sugar coating but served with dulce de leche for dipping!

    1. Well you make an excellent point here, Ben – stale donuts truly are the worst! There’s nothing worse than getting all excited about a donut only to take a bite and be disappointed. Grocery store donuts are always disappointing! (And honestly I think Dunkin Donuts are always disappointing, too – even when they’re fresh. They’re too bready for me!)

      Oooo…you’re onto something with the Snickerdoodle Donut Holes + dulce de leche dipping sauce. I just put that on my list of things to make!

  4. 5 stars
    Ha ha! That’s hilarious about Dunkin’ Donuts having run out of donuts. Reminds me of the time a few years ago Lynne and I went out for dinner to Pizza Express and they’d run out of Pizza dough! Ah but you can’t beat fresh donuts David so I forgive you for them not being healthy. Those spices too, yum!

    1. Hah – Pizza Express with no pizza dough. How does that happen!? You’re right, Neil. There’s just something magical about fresh doughnuts! If I’m going to be unhealthy and eat a donut…it better be good!!

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