Simple Pumpkin Donut Holes


Perfect pumpkin donut holes that are done in about 15 minutes!


Perfect pumpkin donut holes that are done in about 15 minutes!

Few things are more wonderful in my world than a delicious fresh donut in autumn. Sure, donuts can be eaten all year long, but there’s something extra magical about a warm donut on a crisp fall day. This recipe for simple pumpkin donut holes is a little different than a traditional donut recipe, but you are going to love them.

Here are a few reasons why pumpkin drop donuts are my favorite-

  • Drop donuts only take about 20 minutes to make, from starting to eating.
  • They are easy! I love to make these to go with scrambled eggs on a special occasion (we have 3 fall birthdays in our house, so these are a really fun breakfast treat) or when we have company over. Who doesn’t love a donut?
  • You don’t have to use yeast or wait for dough to rise (if you are looking for a great yeast donut recipe though, I’d make this one).
  • If you can stir together a simple batter, you can make these.
  • Pumpkin donut holes don’t require any special cutters, just two spoons to scoop up the batter.
  • P.U.M.P.K.I.N. enough said.

If I were going to describe the texture to you, I would tell you that they are kind of like a sweet hush puppy. They are light and almost biscuit-like in the middle with a nice crisp exterior. They are sweet, but not too sweet. They are fairly small donuts, so they don’t make you feel gross after eating (unless you eat like a dozen, trust me on that one…). I love these fun little donuts and I think they are the perfect simple treat for all you folks who don’t think of yourselves as bakers.

Simple Pumpkin Donut Holes

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Simple Pumpkin Drop Donuts

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


Perfect pumpkin donut holes that are done in about 15 minutes!



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
  • Additional 1/2 cup of granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice for dusting


  1. In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice together until smooth. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
  3. In a dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Using two spoons, scoop out a ping-pong ball sized scoop of batter and carefully scrape the batter into the hot oil. Repeat about 5 more times and fry the donuts until the are crisp and deeply brown on all side, 3 to 6 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil at 350 degrees.
  4. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the fried donuts to a paper towel lined sheet. Repeat with remaining batter. Roll the donuts in the sugar + pumpkin pie spice mixture and stir warm.


You can make smaller donut buy scooping out a smaller amount of batter. Just adjust your frying time. My kids like little tiny donuts!

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This recipe is adapted from the Simple Drop Donut recipe on page 94 of the America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Baking Book. I love this book and use it often. It’s a must-have for all home cooks.

Pumpkin Donut Holes - Have no fear of frying and make these to celebrate something this fall. You won't regret it.

I know that frying food makes a few people nervous. Here’s a few tips:

  • I like to fry in cast iron. It heats nicely and holds the heat at a consistent temperature while frying.
  • I tend to fry in vegetable oil because it is inexpensive and that’s what my mom uses.
  • I’m not good at knowing what temperature the oil is, so I just check it with a thermometer. Some people can pop a little test piece of food in the oil and get an idea of how hot the oil is, but I just like to stick with an instrument for telling temperatures.
  • A metal slotted spoon is a must. It makes fishing hot food out of the oil much easier than anything else.

It’s really not as hard as it seems and once you try it a few times you’ll get a feel for it. Trust me, knowing how to fry food is a great skill set to have. You don’t have to use it all the time, but fresh donuts in the fall and homemade egg rolls at the New Year are reasons enough to give it a try.
Pumpkin Donut Holes in 15 minutes

Have no fear of frying and make these to celebrate something this fall. You won’t regret it.

Pumpkin Donut Holes

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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