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Easy Homemade Donut Holes


Donut Holes have to be the best part of making donuts. They are bite size and fun to eat!

Donuts are fairly simple to make and making them homemade is even better. For the best in homemade pastries try my tried and true donuts, Apple Fritters and Beignets.

A plate full of powdered sugared and cinnamon sugared donut holes.

Homemade Donut Holes

Whenever we make homemade donuts at home, everyone gobbles up the donut holes first. Donut holes are bite sized pieces of perfectly fried dough covered in a variety of toppings. They are a great way to try all the different coatings and glazes without having to eat a whole donut each time.

These donuts are truly the best, They are fast, no rise, no yeast donuts for starters. This means you can make your donuts and eat them too! You don’t have to wait forever for them to rise. These donut holes will cook faster than a regular sized donut, which will also save you time in the kitchen. The donut recipe calls for buttermilk which will make them light and airy, but have tons of flavor. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Don’t panic, you can make your own here in a matter of minutes. Toss them in your favorite topping or frosting and watch them disappear.

Ingredients for Traditional Donut Holes

These donuts holes can be made with ingredients you probably in have sitting already in your pantry. Whip them up in a matter of minutes and have a great treat or dessert in no time.

  • Flour: Both all purpose and unbleached flour work here beautifully.
  • Sugar: Need a little bit of white sugar for sweetness.
  • Baking Powder: This acts a neutralizer and a leavening agent.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda works with the buttermilk to create lift and flavor.
  • Salt: Brings out the flavors in the donuts.
  • Egg: Make sure your egg is at room temperature
  • Buttermilk: Your buttermilk also needs to be at room temperature. Make your own buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds an extra bit of sweet flavor.
  • Butter: Melt the butter in this donut hole recipe.
  • Oil for Frying: The best oils for frying are Peanut oil and Canola

How to Make Donut Holes at Home

These donut holes can’t be much easier and you are going to love it. If you have a legless dutch oven, it will work best for frying.

  1. Prepare Oil: Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 350°F, use a thermometer to monitor the temperature during frying as you may need to adjust the heat to keep the temperature constant.
  2. Liquid Ingredients: In a small mixing bowl, beat together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter. 
  3. Dry Ingredients: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in salt and sugar.
  4. Combine: Add the liquid mixture to the bowl and mix until a thick batter forms. 
  5. Fry: Use a small cookie scoop to drop dough into the fryer, and fry until golden brown, about 3 – 4 minutes, turning the donuts halfway through cooking. Don’t crowd the pot.
  6. Drain: Remove the donuts from the hot oil and rest them on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to drain excess oil or simply place them on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  7. Eat: Serve warm or at room temperature.

The donut batter in a bowl.

Toppings are Endless!

One of the best things about donut holes is that they are so easy to top or glaze. Add sprinkles or any other toppings you can think of to this mix. My kids love to do this part, so grab your whole family for the topping part. They will love it!

  • Powdered sugar: Classic white powder that is a favorite for many. Use a bowl to hold your powdered sugar and roll the holes in them once they are cool enough to touch. Fluff the powdered sugar with a fork if it gets matted down.
  • Plain sugar: Use a drop of food coloring to color your sugar before rolling the donut holes in for a fun festive twist.
  • Cinnamon sugar: Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and roll the cooling donut holes in the mixture.
  • Glaze: In a small bowl whisk together  1 cup of powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Roll the donut holes in the glaze and have them cool completely on a wire rack. The glaze will dry as it cools.
  • Chocolate Glaze: Don’t forget about the chocolate!  Use 1 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup unsweetened dutch cocoa powder, 3  Tablespoons milk and 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Whisk together and glaze!

Donut holes frying in a pan of oil.

Tips and Variations for Easy Donut Holes

These are perfect for a quick dessert or special treat for a party. Donut holes are the perfect size for a dessert buffet or party too. Easy to grab and better to eat, they will become a fast favorite.

  • Oil: Use a thermometer to keep your oil at the right temperature. This will help the donut holes cook evenly and for the same amount of time.
  • Start with One: Cook just one donut hole to start with. Check it at the recommended time and cut it in half to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. If it is still gooey cook one more adding on 30 seconds to 1 minute more or until you get the desired doneness. Use the time you get as your base time for all the donut holes. This way you can make sure your donut holes are cooked all the way through.
  • Cookie Scoop: To get the ideal round shape a cookie scoop is your best bet. If you don’t have a cookie scoop a good spoon will also work. They might be a bit oblong though, instead of super round. Either way they’ll taste the same!
  • Flavor: If you want a bit of a different flavor you can sub out the vanilla for almond, coconut or butter rum flavoring.
  • Store: Keep the donuts at room temperature in a plastic airtight container. They will sweat a bit, the longer they are stored, which will cause the toppings to dissolve and melt. These are best served immediately.

A tower of donut holes with one half eaten on top.

Donut Holes

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 40 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 40 Donut Holes


Donut Holes have to be the best part of making donuts. They are bite size and fun to eat!



  • 2
    all-purpose flour
  • ¼
    granulated sugar
  • 1
    baking powder
  • 1
    baking soda
  • ½
  • 1
    room temperature
  • 1
    room temperature
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • ¼
  • Oil for frying

Topping Options

  • Powdered sugar
  • Plain sugar
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Glaze

To dress up your donut holes, you can roll them in powdered sugar, plain sugar, cinnamon sugar or dip them in a glaze.
For plain sugar and cinnamon sugar topping, roll the donut holes in the sugar while they are still warm.
For powdered sugar and glaze topping, allow the donut holes to cool slightly before rolling, sprinkling or dipping.


Serves: 40

Calories44kcal (2%)Carbohydrates6g (2%)Protein1g (2%)Fat2g (3%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Trans Fat1gCholesterol8mg (3%)Sodium75mg (3%)Potassium47mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A52IU (1%)Calcium22mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

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