Served with homemade dulce de leche for dipping, these Snickerdoodle Donut Holes are packed with cinnamon sugar flavor!
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A couple of years ago, Laura and I went out on a date night to a new, trendy restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY. The meal itself was great, and since we were out with friends, we decided to splurge and order dessert. The group consensus was to split an order of zeppole – Italian “donuts” filled with various creams or sauces.
Delicious! Those zeppole didn’t last long. The restaurant served ’em with a variety of fillings – some with the traditional pastry cream, some with chocolate and some with dulce de leche. Say what!? Dulce de leche stuffed inside of donut? Ummm, yes, please!
Snickerdoodle Donut Holes
The dessert that evening led me to jot a note to myself to recreate a similar recipe back home. Well, as things often do, that note made its’ way to the bottle of a pile on my desk…until I recently stumbled across it. Oh yeah! Donuts with dulce de leche! I was on a mission.
That mission led to these Snickerdoodle Donut Holes with Dulce de Leche Dipping Sauce. Instead of zeppole, I went with donut holes instead. Donut holes that were tossed in cinnamon + sugar after they were fried. Thus the name – Snickerdoodle Donut Holes. A snickerdoodle cookie is a basic cookie (i.e. sugar cookie) that gets rolled in cinnamon sugar. So a donut hole that gets rolled in cinnamon sugar? A Snickerdoodle Donut Hole, of course!
While I deviated away from the zeppole concept here, I did keep the dulce de leche dipping sauce idea. Have you ever made dulce de leche at home? (Hint: It’s insanely easy. Like downright silly easy.) Simply take an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in a slow cooker and cover it with water. Turn that slow cooker on low and walk away for 8 hours. When you come back, *boom* that can of condensed milk is now dulce de leche.
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is a popular Latin American treat that is traditionally made by heating milk and sugar over low heat for several hours. The result is a spreadable “sauce” that is very reminiscent of caramel. It is often used to top other sweet treats…or you can just eat it with a spoon. (I mean, not that I know anything about this…)
I made these Snickerdoodle Donut Holes just slightly larger than a traditional donut hole so that they would be easier to dip. They are more like 2-bite donut holes, but they work well for dipping into dulce de leche!
If you’re looking for a fantastic dessert idea, then put these donut holes on the list! In truth, these donut holes don’t even need the dulce de leche sauce…but the dulce de leche does take this to a whole new level. If you’re not into dulce de leche, you could certainly serve these with a chocolate dipping sauce instead. Either way, I can promise you these will be a hit! Enjoy!
Did you make a batch of these Snickerdoodle Donut Holes at home? Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Snickerdoodle Donut Holes with Dulce de Leche Dipping Sauce
For Dulce de Leche Dipping Sauce
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
For Dulce de Leche Dipping Sauce
- Place unopened can of sweetened condensed milk on its side in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover can by ~2”.
- Cook on LOW temperature for 8 hours.
- Remove can from water and let cool before opening. (Note: To cool the can quickly, submerge it in cold water for 10 minutes.)
- Open can and transfer Dulce de Leche into a bowl for dipping. (see note)
For the Donut Holes
- Using a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut the butter into ½” cubes. Using a pastry cutter (or two table knives), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add milk and stir until well combined.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead for 1-2 minutes or until dough comes together into a ball. (Note: If needed, add another 1-2 Tbsp of flour at this stage.)
- 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.
- Pinch off ~1½ Tbsp of dough and gently roll into a ball; set ball aside. Repeat process until all dough has been rolled into balls.
- Before you start frying the donut holes, combine the sugar and cinnamon (for rolling) in a shallow bowl; set bowl aside.
- Drop several dough balls into oil. Fry, flipping occasionally, until golden brown (~2-3 minutes total). Transfer donut holes to a paper-towel or brown paper bag lined plate to drain. Repeat process with remaining dough balls.
- While donut holes are still warm, roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Looking for more donut recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: