These light and fluffy pumpkin spice donut holes are baked instead of fried, and decadently dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re the perfect Fall breakfast or treat!
This is one of my Breakfast recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
If you love pumpkin, then these are the perfect donut holes for you! Light and fluffy, and bursting with pumpkin spice flavor.
Donut holes are my favorite type of donut… so cute and pop-able, they’re the donut you can eat in one bite!
These are baked instead of fried, although if you’d like to fry them, I’ve included those directions as well. I’d just personally rather save my calories for the butter dip and cinnamon sugar coating.
Whether you think donut holes are a breakfast food, dessert, snack, or all of the above, I know you’ll love these!
How to make pumpkin spice donut holes?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk in a mixing bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients. Whisk eggs, then whisk in other wet ingredients.
- Stir the dry into the wet. Stir until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
- Stir in butter.
- Scoop into muffin tin. The mini muffin tin is what you’re looking for.
- Bake. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
- Let donuts cool.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar. Use a bowl big enough to roll the donut holes around in.
- Melt butter.
- Dip and roll. Dip a donut hole in the butter, shake off excess, and roll in sugar mixture. Repeat.
I find the easiest way to transfer the batter to the mini muffin tin is to use a cookie scoop. This one is the size you want for this recipe. I’ve had it in my kitchen drawer for years, and it’s really held up through a lot of use!
Variations of this recipe
- Homemade pumpkin pie spice – if you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own! Mix together 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp ground cloves. This will keep in an airtight container, just use 1 1/2 tsp of the mix for this recipe.
- Full donuts – I’ve not officially tested this, so the cooking times are an estimate. Pipe the batter into a greased donut pan (filling each cavity about half full) and bake at 375°F for approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Fried – if you’d rather fry the donuts, please see the frying directions in the “Chef Tips” section right below the recipe card.
- Filled – for a boost of extra flavor, try adding some melted chocolate or cream cheese frosting to a piping bag and use the tip to poke a hole into the donut. Pipe into the hole, being careful not to over-fill.
These donut holes would be classified under the “cake” variety. When it comes to donuts, and donut holes, there are two main types; cake donuts and yeast (or raised) donuts. Cake donuts are made using a sweetened dough that uses baking powder to rise. Yeast or raised donuts are made using a dough that uses yeast (I know you’re shocked right?), and involves a rising time. A classic glazed donut from Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts would be a good example of a yeast donut.
Traditionally yes. When donuts were rolled out and cut into that classic donut shape, the dough where the center hole was removed and no doubt used in an effort to reduce food waste (and money!). But you can absolutely make JUST the donut holes, like we are in this recipe.
Unfortunately not as many as you’d think. Approximately 4 donut holes are equivalent to 1 standard donut.
Making donut holes ahead of time
These donuts taste best when made fresh, so I don’t recommend making them completely ahead of time. However, you can prep a few things ahead of time!
- Dry ingredients – the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt can be mixed together and added to an airtight container. Store at room temperature until ready to bake.
- Wet ingredients – the egg, pumpkin, milk, and vanilla can be mixed together and added to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
- Cinnamon sugar – the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon can be combined and stored in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to bake.
Leftover donut holes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and eaten within 1-2 days.
For best results, I only recommend dipping and rolling the donut holes in sugar that you’ll be able to eat in one sitting. The plain donuts will store better, without getting soggy. You can always dip and roll them at a later time.
For longer storage, the un-dipped and rolled donut holes can be frozen! Add them to a wax paper lined baking sheet and place the whole sheet in the freezer for about an hour, or until donut holes are hard.
Transfer donut holes to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw either in the refrigerator or at room temp. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, then dip in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.
This brand is the same one I use for my regular muffin pan, and it’s held up SO well over the years. Easy to clean, even baking… what more could you ask for?
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
Cinnamon sugar topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt) in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add egg and beat with whisk. Add in pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla, whisking until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, stirring with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in melted butter, until everything is well mixed.
- Scoop about 1 Tbsp of the batter into each muffin cavity.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let donut holes cool on a wire cooling rack.
- While donuts are cooling, make the cinnamon sugar topping by combining the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
- Melt the butter and set aside.
- Dip cooled donut holes, one at a time, into the melted butter (shaking off the excess), then into the cinnamon sugar mix, rolling them to coat.
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- Recipe makes approximately 30 donut holes.
- I find the easiest way to transfer the batter to the mini muffin tin is to use a cookie scoop. This one is the size you want for this recipe. I’ve had it in my kitchen drawer for years, and it’s really held up through a lot of use!
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.