Pumpkin Doughnut Holes are a super easy treat to make on the weekends as a breakfast snack for the family! These doughnut holes are so easy to make, they are soft, delicate, and have a great pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor throughout. These tasty treats are also coated in an easy spiced icing.
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
If you’re having a hard time getting your family up and moving in the morning, I have the most delicious solution for you! These pumpkin doughnut holes are guaranteed to get everyone up and running to the kitchen, no matter how much of an anti-morning person they may be. After all, who could ever resist the intoxicating smell of fried pumpkin spiced doughnut batter that’s sure to fill every corner of your home?
These are perfect to make on Thanksgiving or Halloween morning, but also any other morning that you just want to treat yourself and your loved ones! Skip the trip to your local doughnut shop, because I promise that these easy to make doughnut holes are so much better than anything you could snag at a drive-thru. They’re fluffy on the outside, crispy on the outside, moist as can be, and loaded with real pumpkin spice flavor.
When I say that they’re easy to make, I really mean it! This recipe is as simple as stirring up a dough, scooping the dough into the fryer, frying the doughnut holes for just a few minutes, letting them cool, then dusting them with sugar. Those steps couldn’t be easier to follow, and you’ll love the final result of perfectly pop-able doughnut holes! They’re the best little bites to snack on in the morning time with your coffee!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
- Low Fat Buttermilk – This helps create the fluffier consistency. Do use low fat buttermilk, full fat gives a different result.
- Pumpkin Puree – Use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling! Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and seasoned, and will result in different flavor.
- Butter – Unsalted butter works best to control sodium.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – you can buy it or make your own by combining cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
- Vanilla Extract – Keep in mind that pure vanilla extract will always be a better flavor than imitation vanilla extract.
- Salt – Just a pinch is all you need.
- Icing – a simple combination of powdered sugar, water, and pumpkin pie spice!
How to Make Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
Start off by heating your oil in Dutch oven or fryer until it reaches 350°F. While that’s heating up, line a large cookie sheet with paper towels and place a cooling wire rack over the paper towels.
Whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and egg until smooth. Then, whisk in the melted butter.
Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, whisking until everything is fully incorporated.
Use a cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, dropping each scoop of batter carefully into the heated oil. Work in batches of 5-6.
Fry the doughnut holes until they’re golden, about 3-4 minutes. Turn them every so often with metal tongs if they’re not turning on their own.
Place the cooked doughnut holes on the prepared wire rack to drain any excess oil.
While the doughnuts are frying, quickly prepare the icing. Whisk the powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and warmed water together until smooth. Set it next to the wire rack so you can ice the doughnuts while hot.
After taking the doughnuts out of the fryer, let them sit on the paper towel for about a minute to soak up excess oil. Then, dip each doughnut hole into the icing to coat it in a thin layer. Place iced doughnuts back into the wire rack to set.
Tips for the Best Doughnut Holes
- Don’t over mix the dough, mix it just until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Preheat the oil to 350°F exactly! Any higher and the doughnuts will cook too fast and be dark when done. Any lower, and the dough will soak up too much oil while cooking, resulting in greasy doughnuts.
- Make sure to use fresh oil so no other flavor interference. Old oil can also cause an undesirable bitter taste.
- Fry in batches! The dough will double in size while cooking, so don’t overcrowd the pot.
- Dip the scoop in the oil in between each doughnut hole to keep the perfect round shape.
Can I add a filling?
You sure can! If you decide to add a filling, I recommend a cream cheese one. Here’s how to easily do it –
Once the doughnut holes are cooled enough to handle, gently inert the pastry filling tip into the doughnut and squeeze some cream cheese filling inside. Repeat with all of the doughnut holes.
Storing and Reheating
Store doughnut holes in a food storage container with an airtight lid. I always recommend storing them in the refrigerator, where they’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. To reheat, you can always simply pop one or two in the microwave for a few seconds when you’re craving a warm doughnut.
More Doughnut Recipes To Try:
Bacon Brown Sugar Cream Doughnut Holes – soft, fluffy cream doughnut holes that are made with bacon and brown sugar, filled with cream cheese filling, and coated in powdered sugar.
Cranberry Sauce Doughnut Holes – these little cranberry sauce filled doughnut holes make a delicious and easy breakfast treat.
Lemon Curd Filled Doughnut Holes – super easy, no yeast doughnut holes made with a touch of lemon zest and then filled with tangy lemon curd.
Easy Ricotta Doughnuts – these simple doughnuts don’t require any yeast, only take about 30 minutes to make and finger-licking-good!
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Add oil to a Dutch oven or a fryer and heat it over medium heat until oil reaches 350° degrees.
- Line a large cookie sheet with paper towels to catch oil and place a cooling rack on top of paper towels.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and egg until smooth. Whisk in melted butter.
- Add flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, dark brown sugar, and salt. Whisk until the ingredients are completely incorporated.
- When the oil reached 350°, use a cookie scoop (#50) to scoop out dough and drop it into heated oil in batches of 5-6, depending on how big your pot is. TIP: I dip the cookie scoop into some oil and shake it off before doing each batch, this prevents dough from sticking and created smooth dough drops. I also rinse out the scoop between batches, to wash off any stuck on dough. Again, this is to help create smooth doughnut holes.
- Fry doughnut holes for about 4-5 minutes (until they turn deep golden), turning them over every couple of minutes if they haven't turned themselves. (Remember to use metal tongs or metal slotted spoon to take doughnuts out and turn them.)
- Take doughnuts out onto the prepared cooling rack. Repeat frying the dough in batches with remaining batter.
- Mix powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Once the doughnut holes are cooled enough to handle, dust them with the powdered sugar mixture.