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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ 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
- 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.
Looking for more pumpkin spice treats? Check out these other favorites, too: