Cinnamon Sugar Donut Balls


Alright everyone, gather ’round.

In honor of March arriving so suddenly and catching everyone by surprise (truth be told, I thought leap day was yesterday) (I mean leap year) (whatever), all that to say – I’d like you to meet someone.

This is the Donut Ball.

Before you lose consciousness, let me assure you that usually the donut coma only lasts for about an hour, possibly more if there’s a fire going in the fireplace and Michael Buble softly playing and the dishwasher whooshing you into a nap. Possibly even more if you dunked your donuts in a creamy latte. I promise you will wake up with warm fuzzies in your soul and sugar crumbs in your hair.

But let me REALLY tell you about this here beauty.

The Donut Ball. He has a golden brown fried exterior and a slightly spiced, warm, cakey interior. By the way, he is a he, don’t you think?

As if that fried wonderful cakiness wasn’t enough already. As if.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Balls

In addition, he’s obviously rolled in cinnamon sugar at least twice. He’s bigger and therefore wayyy yummier than his cousin Donut Hole which is why I reserve the right to call him a Donut Ball. Holla all my donut ballas!

And apparently I also reserve the right to be annoying.

I’m just going to tell you right now. If you make these, ok, realistically, WHEN you make these, like, tonight, you need to get a locked safe in your kitchen. Overnight it on Amazon or something. Because sometimes when you “sleepwalk”, you might find yourself in the kitchen eating one or five in the middle of the night. “Sleepwalking” can be really dangerous.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Balls

5.0 from 5 reviews
Cinnamon Sugar Donut Balls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Cinnamon sugar for dusting
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until a sticky dough forms.
  2. Pour the oil into a large skillet or Dutch oven for frying, about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil to about 375 degrees or medium heat. You can test the oil by pouring a drop of water into the pan; if it sizzles across the top, it's ready.
  3. With floured hands, roll the dough into small balls, about 1½ inches in diameter. Drop the balls immediately into the oil (they start to lose their shape if you roll them ahead of time). The balls should start to puff out on the bottom and turn a golden brown color. If the tops of the donuts aren't covered with oil, flip the donut balls and fry for another 1-2 minutes. When the donuts are cooked through, remove them from the frying pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. When the donuts are dry to the touch, roll them in cinnamon sugar. These are best served fresh and warm, but they will also last for a day or two in an airtight container. This recipe makes about 20 donut balls.
If your donuts are dark brown after just 1 minute in the pan, you probably have the oil too hot and you'll end up with a crispy outside with an uncooked inside. Make sure you cook them for 3-4 minutes total to make sure the insides are fully cooked. I went back and forth between the medium-lo and medium heat settings on my range (because I don't have an oil thermometer).

What are the symptoms of withdrawal again?

I think I need an intervention.

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  1. Mmm such a classic, tasty, treat. Delicious!

  2. Ooh yum! Crunchy and soft and spicy and sweet and all things delicious. Also love that you didn’t use a thermometer either!

    • I’ve never been one for fancy kitchen tools. :). Although, if someone gave me an oil thermometer, I’m sure I could put it to good use! :)

  3. Every time I try to deep fry something, I end up with a burnt mess but your post and pictures make me want to try again rightthisminute. They look so tender but crusty and perfect. Ouch.

  4. Could these be any more adorable and mouth watering?! I want a million for breakfast!

  5. I want a donut ball.

  6. They look wonderful…I love making donuts but I bake mine…I need to take it to the next level and fry baby, fry!

  7. YUM!! This looks awesome. they remind me of munchkins at dunkin donuts and now that I can make these at home, I will probably eat the entire batch! No self control 😉

  8. oh donuts…so delicious. is it bad i want to go buy a huge jug of oil right now? mmm :)

  9. Deep frying things scares the bejeezus out of me, BUT…these look worth it. I will conquer my fears with donut balls! 😉

  10. Oh wow, these are calling my name! And really loud, I might have to make these soon, like maybe before the kids get home from school, so I can eat them all and clean up any evidence! Pinned!

  11. Holla!! OMG your so funny! These on the other hand look fab… a perfect accessory to my coffee!

  12. I want some!!! Did you get a snow day today so you can sit around and enjoy them???

    • Grrr. No. But I actually already took a 1/2 day today to take care of a few errands, so it kinda felt like one anyways. :)

  13. Yes! Thanks for the fabulous recipe and for making me laugh :)) You rock!

  14. Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks says:

    Holy cow. I love love love cinnamon sugar donuts. These look incredible!

  15. I made some mini muffins that were similar to these. I love how you add pumpkin to it! That automatically makes it delicious in my book. I will definitely try these. I love dounuts!

    • I remember seeing those cinnamon sugar mini muffins! They were so yummy looking! But I bet they didn’t have the added bonus of being fried…. :)

  16. These look like homemade donut amazingness!

  17. I’m one of those people that is totally scared of frying anything, but these are so tempting. They look sooooo good!

  18. These look amazing!

  19. Wow do those look terrific. I cannot wait to make these this weekend!

  20. I love that these are deep-fried. Yeah, baking is obviously healthier but like Joey Tribbiani says, “If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right!”

  21. This brings back memories of working in a restaurant when I was a teenager. We used to take bits of bread dough and fry them up into crude little donut balls, which we rolled in cinnamon and sugar. It did the job, but these look vastly superior. :)

  22. Donuts in a creamy latte sounds like absolute perfection. So I’ll be there tomorrow for breakfast? This school thing can probably be put on hold for one day :)

  23. Heaven. Absolute heaven. In a tiny little ball of yumminess.

  24. Drooling! Gorgeous donut holes, and so much better than the ones with powdered sugar!

  25. Ok, my kids are definitely going to want these. What a prefect weekend breakfast treat!

  26. I am ALL about the donuts right now. I just got a donut pan and I am officially a donut making MA-chine. I want to quit my job and spend the rest of my life making donuts. Usually fried donuts make me nervous (clumsy+forgetful=oil burns) but these look too yummy to resist!

    • And if I can do it, you can too! I’m now hooked on frying instead of baking. Not necessarily a great thing… :)

  27. Well, hello Donut Ball. Where have you been all my life??

  28. This actually reminds me of something my mom used to make when I was a kid. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  29. These look so good! I would love to have you come over & link up to Sunday Round Up
    -Kayla :)

  30. can i bake them instead? they look so delicious i wanna make them now but i’m out of oil

    • I don’t know… They don’t have yeast so I’m not sure how well they would rise, especially not in a pan or anything. You could try? :) Let me know if it works out!

  31. Looks like bite-size bliss to me! :)

    My daughter-in-law is from the Philippines, and my son is fluent in tagalog:)

  32. Hmm…where did i go wrong? I was happily frying these little gems, and suddenly they started growing tails…their insides were oozing out…and then, one of them flew right out of the oil and just past my face! when i took a good look at it, its raw insides had separated from the crispy outside, and had flown out separately, a small round raw ball. So strange! No wonder people are afraid to deep fry – I might just join them!

  33. OMG !! Donut holes Are One of the best things on earth. Yours look very beautiful :)

  34. This is an old post, but I am thinking about donuts so right on! I was first introduced to donut holes by Tim Hortons (Tim Bits) and I am till date in love with them… These look fantastic. Certainly a dessert on my list to make soon! =)

  35. Mariah Camilleri says:

    Hi , they loook delicious :) can I bake them instead of frying? 😀 x

  36. Almost tears of happiness that I came across this via Google. Also, drooling. Can’t wait to try this, Lindsay!

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