Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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These fluffy and golden fried donut holes are coated with sweet cinnamon sugar! Freshly made and served warm with a cup of coffee, these homemade donut holes will disappear quicker than you can make them.

Why You’ll Love These Homemade Donut Holes

  • Sweet & Fluffy: Nothing beats fresh and warm, homemade donuts coated in sweet cinnamon sugar with soft and fluffy insides!
  • Easy: There’s no rising time for the dough or complicated techniques that could make this recipe go wrong. Bonus: they’re ready in just 30 minutes.
  • Versatile: Easily create different flavors with add-ins, spices, and extracts. Or, by topping the donuts with different frostings and glazes!
  • On The Go Breakfast: Pack them into a bag and grab them on your way out the door for an easy breakfast or sweet afternoon snack.

Love making donuts at home? Try my recipes for homemade filled donuts, Autumn ready pumpkin donuts or easy air fryer donuts using canned biscuits!

Ingredients for donut holes recipe arranged in bowls, from top to bottom: granulated sugar, milk, butter, flour, nutmeg, egg, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.

What You’ll Need

Always check the expiration date on baking powder to make sure the donuts come out super light and fluffy. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

  • Flour: I used all purpose flour, but you can also use bread flour in this recipe.
  • Spices: Ground nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
  • Baking Powder: This is what makes the donuts so fluffy. Don’t swap it for baking soda.
  • Egg
  • Sugar: Granulated or light brown sugar will both work for the dough, but only use granulated sugar for the sweet cinnamon coating.
  • Butter
  • Milk: Use whole milk or 2%, but avoid plant-based milk. You want milk with a higher fat content to keep your donut holes moist.
  • Oil: Choose a frying oil with a high smoke point, like vegetable, corn, or canola oil.
Freshly fried donut holes coated with cinnamon sugar.

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Making the homemade dough, frying, and tossing the donut holes in cinnamon sugar shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes! Ensure you have all the ingredients ready to go within reach, then get started. Scroll to the recipe card at bottom of the post for full detailed instructions. 

  • Wet and Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Whisk the egg, sugar, melted butter, and milk in another bowl until well combined.
  • Combine: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in a large bowl until dough is formed. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  • Shape Donut Holes: Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot. Grease your hands and roll the dough into small balls.
  • Fry: Carefully drop each ball into the hot oil, working with a few at a time. Fry donut holes on all sides until golden brown.
  • Toss in Cinnamon Sugar: Remove the donuts from the oil and immediately transfer them to a large bowl with cinnamon sugar. Quickly toss until completely coated. Serve immediately!
One bitten-into donut hole in a bowl of cinnamon sugar donuts.

Chef’s Tips for Making Homemade Donut Holes

  • Hot Oil: It’s very important that your frying oil is at the correct temperature. Too hot, the outsides will cook too quickly, leaving raw centers. Too cold, the donut holes will take too long to cook and become soggy. Using a clip-on pot thermometer is the best way to ensure your oil stays at the desired 350°F throughout cooking!
  • Toss The Donuts Hot: Don’t let the donuts cool before tossing them in cinnamon sugar. Once they’re cool, the sugar won’t stick to them.
  • Even Sized Donut Holes: The balls of dough need to be evenly sized to ensure even cooking. If not, you may end up with some donut holes that are under or over cooked. I used a large cookie scoop to ensure mine were similar in size.
  • Fry In Batches: It is best to work in batches when frying the donut holes. Too many donut holes in the pot at once will quickly drop the oil temperature. Also if the pot is too crowded, the donut holes won’t have enough space to fry evenly on all sides.
Close up shot of cinnamon sugar donut holes with glistening sugar on the outside.

Donut Hole Variation Ideas

  • Traditional Glaze: Looking for that thin and sweet traditional glazed donut instead? Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup half and half, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Dunk warm donut holes in after frying.
  • Citrus Flavored: Mix 1 tablespoon of lime zest, orange zest or lemon zest into the dough for subtle hints of citrus.
  • Extracts: Add up to 1 teaspoon of your chosen extract to the dough. I would suggest almond or coconut extract!
  • Powdered Sugar: Swap the cinnamon sugar and coat the donuts in powdered sugar. Transfer donut holes to a paper towel lined plate after frying. Wait until the donut holes are fully cooled before tossing in powdered sugar!
  • Chocolate: You can add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the dough for an easy chocolate fix. Or whip up a batch of the chocolate glaze, for my chocolate peanut butter cake, and dunk them in it!
  • Filled Donut Holes: Add your desired filling, I recommend something like a raspberry jam or homemade Nutella, to a piping bag with small round tip attached. Pipe filling into the center of each donut hole.
A serving plate filled with homemade donut holes tossed in sweet cinnamon sugar.

How To Store Leftovers

Just like store-bought donuts, these donut holes are best enjoyed the day they’re made. However, you can still save them for later! Here’s how:

  • Store: Place cooled donut holes in an airtight container lined with a paper towel for up to 3 days. Don’t store them in the fridge, or they’ll dry out and turn stale.
  • Reheat: For that fresh fried taste, microwave a few leftover donut holes for 10 seconds before enjoying!
  • Freeze: I do not recommend freezing any leftover donut holes. Texturally they just are not the same once frozen and thawed.
Landscape photo of donut holes.
4.5 from 210 votes
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Yield: 18 donut holes

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

This donut holes recipe with cinnamon sugar is a 30-minute sweet treat for breakfast. Freshly made and served with a cup of coffee, they are likely to disappear quicker than you can make them.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Oil, for frying

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Whisk together the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the cinnamon sugar coating and set side.
  • Pour oil into a large, deep skillet for frying. You want the oil to be about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil and keep it between 365°F to 375°F (I use a clip-on pot thermometer to ensure the temperature stays the same). You can test the oil by pouring a drop of water into the pan; if it sizzles across the top, it’s ready.
  • While the oil is heating up… Whisk together the milk, egg, sugar, and butter in a large-sized bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.
  • The batter will be sticky, so either use a spoon, or cookie scoop, to separate the dough. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, with floured hands to prevent sticking. Quickly drop the balls into the hot oil a few at a time. (They will lose their shape if you roll them ahead of time, so work quickly and drop them in as you go).
  • Cook donut holes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, flipping as needed. When the donuts are cooked through and golden brown, remove them from the oil and immediately toss donuts in cinnamon sugar. (The fresher the donuts are out of the oil, the more the cinnamon/sugar coating will stick to them.) Serve immediately!

Notes

Store Leftovers: Place cooled donut holes in an airtight container lined with a paper towel for up to 3 days. Don’t store them in the fridge, or they’ll dry out and turn stale.
Reheat: For that fresh fried taste, microwave a few leftover donut holes for 10 seconds before enjoying!
Fry In Batches: It is best to work in batches when frying the donut holes. Too many donut holes in the pot at once will quickly drop the oil temperature. Also if the pot is too crowded, the donut holes won’t have enough space to fry evenly on all sides.
Traditional Glaze: Looking for that thin and sweet traditional glazed donut instead? Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup half and half, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Dunk warm donut holes in after frying.
Powdered Sugar: Swap the cinnamon sugar for dusting the donuts in powdered sugar. Transfer donut holes to a paper towel lined plate after frying. Wait until the donut holes are fully cooled before tossing in powdered sugar!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 donut hole, Calories: 96kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 47IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg

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60 Responses
  1. Jeanette

    I have made these three times now. We love them! I use a medicine syringe and inject filling in them. Sooo good!

  2. Deanne

    4 stars
    I doubled the recipe. I tossed all ingredients into my mixmaster and used the dough hook until combined. Super sticky dough. Dusted a plate with flour and dropped 8 blobs by spoon onto it. Dusted my hands with flour and I could roll one easily in my hands. Into the hot oil it would go, re-floured my hands to make the next one.

    Turned them over a few times as they cooked until I got the desired colour. I pulled the 8 out with a slotted spoon onto a plate with paper towel. In a cereal bowl I had pre mixed 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon. Put them one at a time into the cinnamon sugar quickly and roll them several times to generously coat.

    I made these larger by the tablespoon as we like more donut in our bites. Thank you for this recipe These were delicious and I will definitely make these again. They didn’t last long.

  3. Christmas_of_miracles_is_lulu

    I love this! first time I’ve joined and it’s awesome! (and im a ten yr old, WOW) I hope the next generation learns from this amazing site!

  4. Aya M

    I have never written a recipe review but I couldn’t not do it. I was fantasizing about these and was on the couch with my husband devouring these in 20 minutes. All ingredients every house should always have. I used a cookie dough scoop to drop them into the oil. I made a dipping sauce on the side with 8oz cream cheese microwaved till melted, then I whisked it and added tsp vanilla, pinch salt, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 3tbs milk. It was AMAZING! Think Taco Bell Cinnabon delights but a million times better. THANK YOU!!

    1. Christmas_of_miracles_is_lulu

      Donut rolls have a different substance then donuts, so you will be in a bit of glue there.

  5. Smidge

    They are tasty to be sure! As noted, the dough is VERY sticky. I didn’t like the results using a piping bag, so next time I will use a spoon. Actually, probably a large melon baller so I can make them a tad smaller. Had issues with my oil being to hot, once I sorted that out they came out great. I will probably pipe in jelly or white cream on some of my next batch also. All in all, great flavor, great recipe!

  6. Jenni Giesler

    OMG! These are so good and so easy! I was totally craving cinnamon donuts last weekend and in under 30 minutes, I was noshing on these warm crispy beauties! Thanks for making my weekend! :)

  7. Courtney

    These look really delicious :) I have a project for my culinary arts class and i’m definitely making these. But I was wondering what the consistency of the batter was and if I would be able to shape them by hand.

  8. The Cilantropist

    I WANT THESE. Oh wow do I want these… The sparkling cinnamon sugar coating is just calling my name! I will definitely be trying this out. :)

  9. Tracy

    I’m totally drooling! I’ve only ever made apple cider doughnut holes, but these look SO good. I can’t wait to give them a try!!

  10. Amy

    Yum, yum, yum. and another Yum.

    These look fantastic! I can’t wait to try them.

    I’m scrolled through the comments, but I’m wondering…I’m a little bit Type A… I’d worry about not getting the donuts in a perfect ‘donut hole’ shape because you’re sort of piping them into the pan. Did you find this to be a problem?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Amy,

      Yes it is difficult. About half of mine came out kind of funny looking. But either way they tasted delicious!

  11. The Teacher Cooks

    I am so tempted to make these today since there is no yeast involved. I’d love to pop some in my mouth right this minute!!!

  12. Vickii

    Yum, yum, yummy yum yum! I’ve never tried to make donuts – I’m not a big fan of the frying process – but I absolutely have to try these!

  13. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Your new site design looks great! Yay for Lindsay!

    I’d eat all of these. Better just drool and observe :)

  14. Jim @ Comfort in Crumbs

    These do look amazing and I’m guessing since they’re so small, you could eat a lot more, right? (that’s how I convince myself that these are diet food).

  15. Paula

    Man oh man these look good! I could eat up that entire bowl full. Thanks for posting your recipe, I’m going to bookmark and try these myself!

  16. ErinsFoodFiles

    OMGOMGOMG… Seriously, these look like perfection, and I need you to bring them to ATL. For real. For real for real.

  17. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    OK, so definitely no “ass friendly” label on these little beauties, right? They look AMAZING, Jessica. I could easily pop the whole batch in my mouth without thinking twice!

  18. Joanne

    I used to make cinnamon, sugar, and butter toast when I was a kid. I was fairly sure that I invented it and that I should win some prize for being so smart. Little did I know…

    Donut form sounds good to me! And yes, way more acceptable than just pouring the stuff all over bread and pancakes haha.

  19. Chung-Ah Rhee

    I actually made pumpkin doughnut muffins, which is probably a healthier alternative, and it’s a bit similar to this recipe but deep-frying a donut is so much better!

  20. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    YES! I’m so glad you fried them. Too many baked donut recipes going around. I actually have a McCormick cinnamon/sugar bottle lol I ran out so mixed my own to put back in it but it’s so handy especially for toast. mmm mmm!

  21. Kelly

    Yum! I think we’re on the same wave length as I have some brioche dough in the refrigerator to make donuts for tomorrow’s blogger bake sale. I have to admit, I’m more of a fan of cake donuts than yeast donuts but it seems harder to fry them at home though I love the idea of the pastry bag.

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.