Vermont Doughnut Holes

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Vermont Doughnut Holes

star rating (31) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Never mind the doughnut—this recipe is an easy way to make only the holes, crunchy little nuggets perfect for dipping into maple syrup. There’s no finicky rolling or rising involved. Instead, simply stir up a stiff pancake-like batter and drop it by spoonfuls into a shallow (1") bath of hot oil. Four minutes later—golden brown, ultra-crisp doughnut holes, golden and tender inside, ready to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar, or dunk in maple syrup or honey. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make these doughnut holes are available at Flourish, our King Arthur blog.

For frying
about 5 cups (35 ounces) vegetable oil  (peanut oil is a good choice for frying)

Doughnut batter
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) melted butter
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, King Arthur White  Whole Wheat Flour, or a combination
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg; optional, for flavor
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour the oil into a 10" skillet that’s about 2 ½" deep; an electric frying pan is a good choice here, especially since its adjustable dial makes it really easy to heat the oil to the correct temperature. You want the oil to be about 1" deep. If you don’t have this size skillet, use whatever similar-size pan you have, using enough oil to fill it 1" deep. Start to heat the oil to 350°F while you’re preparing the doughnut batter.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour the milk/egg into the bowl with the dry ingredients, stirring briefly; then add the melted butter, stirring to make a thick batter/soft dough.

When the oil has come up to temperature, use a cookie scoop (or a spoon) to drop balls of batter into the hot oil. This recipe will make 2" doughnut holes using a tablespoon cookie scoop and dropping in balls of dough about as big as an undersized ping pong ball; or 1 ½" holes, using a teaspoon cookie scoop and dropping in balls of dough about as big as a chestnut.

Fry the doughnut holes for 2 minutes on the first side, or till they’re deep brown. Some of them may turn themselves over; that’s OK, just use a pair of tongs to turn them back. After 2 minutes, turn the holes over, and fry for an additional 2 minutes (for the larger doughnut holes), or 1 1/2 minutes (for the smaller ones). Transfer the doughnut holes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain and cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with sugar and/or dipped in maple syrup or honey.
Yield: about 2 dozen larger doughnut holes, or 4 dozen smaller ones.


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  • star rating 12/24/2014
  • Teresa from kentucky
  • We used peanut oil as suggested. They fried up well and I am no expert with a frypan. We then shook them up with powdered sugar paper bags - beignet style. It was a fun way to get the family involved. They were great! Crisp and sweet. I think we have a new Christmas Eve morning tradition.
  • star rating 10/11/2014
  • Helen from State College PA
  • This doughnut hole is more like a fritter than a cake donut hole. The dough came together easily and quickly. The nutmeg was very faint in the finished product. I would add more the next time or add some cinnamon. The recipe was just ok, nothing special. I'm sorry it wasn't special for you! Your idea of the additional spices might make it spectacular. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 10/04/2014
  • BikerChicKnits from NH
  • Craving an old fashioned donut I drove to a diner thinking diners always have really good donuts. Not this particular one. In fact, both owners laughed at me just before they said they don't carry them! A no-donut diner?? So, I bought nutmeg on the way home KNOWING King Arthur Flour would have a recipe. I cut this recipe in half because really, I only wanted 1 donut. I melted the butter but forgot to add it to the liquids so I mixed it into the dough. I didn't have quite an inch of oil and I had to use a shot glass to cut the holes. I did add the nutmeg and 2T of fine sugar. DELICIOUS!!! I can't wait to make these for my granddaughter (correctly, of course).
  • star rating 09/20/2014
  • b from az
  • Irresistible, delicate, buttery, light, moist, tender little pillows of mouth-watering softness and spice enveloped in thin, crispy shells! Comes together in less than 30 min! Super easy! Reminiscent of fall and apple orchards : ) Makes about 40 doughnut holes (1T of dough each.) I added a couple teaspoons of Saigon cinnamon to the mix and dusted w/ cinnamon/sugar for more character/flavor. Best served warm (about 20 sec. in the microwave.) (Served with a side of warm apple pie filling, they might be better than pie!)
  • star rating 09/14/2014
  • juli from colorado
  • I made this gluten free with bobs red mill all purpose and a teaspoon of xanthan gum, otherwise I followed the recipe. They turned out great, just the teaspoon size ones cook better with the denser flour.
  • star rating 07/21/2014
  • Eshani from KAF Community
  • These doughnut holes are VERY quick and easy to prepare. It took me all of 20 minutes start to finish. The end result is a light and fluffy doughnut hole that melts in your mouth. I could literally see the air pockets inside. YUMMY!!! I used half All-Purpose flour and half White Whole Wheat, the taste is earthy and unique. I served them with a chocolate ganache drizzle, whipped cream and strawberries. Delicious with or without the chocolate. I love these tiny treats.
  • star rating 01/24/2014
  • Pauls Pies from Washington, DC
  • These were easy, tasty, and offer opportunity for fun variations / substitutions, like apple cider or different glazes. One thing I noted is that mine came out huge! No complaint, per se, but I was surprised that even the small dough balls expanded a lot (I am not a seasoned deep fryer). My only complaint is that I wanted to eat them all at once. Yum - what a treat! Thanks, KAF!
  • star rating 10/30/2013
  • Ray from Worcester, MA
  • Nice and light and the flavor is excellent
  • star rating 03/26/2013
  • from
  • Loved it
  • star rating 10/19/2012
  • CheesecakeBaker from KAF Community
  • The flavor was great, but the oil definitely needed to be hotter. They were very greasy until I bumped the temp up to 400*.
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