How to Make Homemade Doughnut Holes

In about 20 minutes, you can have delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, sugary doughnut holes.

Good news: It’s incredibly easy to learn how to make homemade doughnut holes. (Or maybe not so good news if you’re watching your carbs.)

Doughnut holes are like doughnuts, except easier. They’re basically blobs of doughnut fried up and sometimes rolled in sugar or drizzled with a glimmering sea of sweet glaze. Doughnut holes are basically what heaven would taste like if heaven were a food.

Set aside the fact that they’re not the healthiest snack in the land (sad, I know)—we all deserve a treat every now and then. If you’ve ever tried chocolate-dipped carrot sticks, you know that’s not going to cut it.

Hey, is it “doughnut” or “donut”?

Before the heated debates begin in the comments, you can spell it “doughnut” or “donut.” The former is the original spelling of the word, the latter is how people who want to spend less time typing and more time eating them spell it. You could also refer to them as the Dutch would—olykoeks—literally “oil balls,” but for some reason, that doesn’t sound as appetizing.

How to Make Homemade Doughnut Holes

We got this recipe from South Dakota reader Judy Jungwirth. She recommends them for brunch, as an after-school snack or, really, anytime. This recipe makes around 3 dozen doughnut holes.


  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar or glaze (recipe to follow)

Step 1: Mix the ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a different bowl, combine the egg, milk and melted butter. Add one bowl’s contents to the other bowl, mix, and bravo! You have doughnut dough. No yeast, rolling or magic required.

Step 2: Heat the oil.

You can use an electric skillet or a deep-fat fryer to heat your oil. I had neither, so I used a deep pan and heated my oil on the stovetop. You want the oil to get to 375º, which took about 8 minutes on medium temp. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temp (here’s why you really need one in your gadget stash).

If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer yet, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling, you’re good to go. If the oil goes crazy and starts leaping out of the pan with excitement, you’ll want to turn down that temp a little bit before you start frying.

Whatever you do, don’t use an air fryer for this job—or these things, either.

Step 3: Scoop up the doughnut holes.

Do you have a cookie scoop? It’s like an ice cream scoop, but smaller. (Here’s the one we like.) This is the perfect tool to get round, uniform balls of dough into your hot oil. If not, a spoon will do you just fine and frankly, does it really matter if your doughnut holes are completely perfect? Imperfection is overlooked when things are covered in powdered sugar.

Step 4: Fry.

Fry the doughnut holes for about 2 minutes per side and then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a drying rack or paper towels.

Step 5: Sugar them up.

While doughnut holes are still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar before they cool off completely (the sugar sticks better this way). Then, devour.

Want Glazed Doughnut Holes?

If you wanted to swap the powdered sugar for a sweet and colorful glaze, here’s how you make that happen: Whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar with 3 to 5 tablespoons frozen juice concentrate (thawed first) or lemon juice. The concentrate could be grape, cherry-pomegranate, cranberry—whatever your flavor and color choice may be. Then, just dip the doughnut holes in the glaze and place on wax paper until the glaze dries.

For even more berry flavor, you can also add your glazed doughnut holes to this Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole Trifle. Some people also add pork to them (see Pulled Pork Doughnut Hole Sliders). They’re sweet, they’re salty, they’re meaty. Yum.

Extra Credit: Jam-Filled Doughnut Holes

Love a filled doughnut? Just fill a piping bag, fitted with a round tip, with any flavor jam you fancy. Then poke it into the center of each doughnut hole to fill. Yes, Nutella would also work here in case you were wondering. Learn how to make whole doughnuts, too!

If you’re also thinking, Man, you know what would go great with these doughnut holes? Cake.—then you’re in luck. Try our Doughnut Hole Cake.

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Amanda Kippert
Amanda Kippert has been an award-winning freelance journalist for nearly two decades. She is based in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in food, health, fitness, parenting and humor, as well as social issues. She is the content editor of the domestic violence nonprofit