Pumpkin Patch Donut Holes

Cooked pumpkin patch donut holes.

David WilhelmRecipesLeave a Comment

I don’t know… blame it on the tidal influence of the ‘Great Pumpkin’ rising. Just when I thought I was finished making yet another pumpkin something I watched the 50th anniversary of the Emmy nominated Peanuts Classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and I lost all self-control. All it took was sitting in front of a fireplace while the first rain of the season fell and I knew I had to make another of my all-time favorite pumpkin dishes… Pumpkin patch donut holes.

charlie brown in a pumpkin patch

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

I’ve always preferred holes to donuts, they’re easier to eat, there’s a greater ratio of crunchy glazed exterior vs mildly bland interior, and eating them somehow seems more guilt-free than eating a hole donut… that is, until you realized you’ve popped a baker’s dozen of them down your pie hole. Anyway, many of you out there are not even going to consider making fried donuts at home. I beg you to reconsider… especially using the following recipe… trust me… it’s worth the effort. Maybe it’s because I’m a chef but I can’t imagine not having a deep fryer as part of my kitchen. Trying to fry anything with a pan of hot oil and the thermometer on stove stop is either a disaster, accident, or both waiting to happen. Go on Amazon and buy a home model fryer… there are plenty of choices for under $50 bucks. You can keep it in the pantry out of sight and then pull it out, pop it on a sheet pan under your exhaust hood and you’re good to go.

I call these pumpkin patch donut holes in honor of Linus and his endless optimism. This recipe creates light, moist and airy donut holes. The dough can made the night before and held overnight in the fridge, then all you have to do is roll it out in the morning, punch out the holes and they fry in a matter of minutes. Same with the glaze… easy to make and can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to use and it is the flavor bomb. I like to sprinkle these with Malden sea salt after glazing to create a salty yin against the sugary yang but this is optional. Do yourself a favor… take the effort to make these, or better still, find someone who loves you to do it… you’ll both be glad you did… and so will Linus.

maldon sea salt flakes

Maldon Sea Salt

Recipe – Pumpkin Patch Donut Holes with Salty Pumpkin Spice Glaze

Note: Makes approximately 18

1-1/2 cups Cake flour (yes, you have to use cake flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup Sugar
1 TBS Butter, room temp
1 each Egg yolk
1/3 cup Sour cream
¼ cup Pumpkin pie filling
As needed Malden sea salt (optional)


Combine the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in bowl. In stand mixing bowl beat the sugar and butter for 90 seconds. Add egg yok and beat another minute, scraping down as needed. Reduced mixer to low and gradually add the flour. Add pumpkin filling and sour cream and mix until combined. Remove dough, place in container, cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.



When ready to fry, preheat fryer to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface, first sprinkling flour on top or dough, to a thickness of ½”. Using a 1-1/2” cutter punch out dough circles. They don’t have to be perfect circles so use up as much of the dough as possible on the first pass as they create move funky, fun shapes. Any leftover dough can be combined and rolled out for a second pass….they still will be light and delicious. Drop in to the fryer and wait until they float.


Frying the Donuts

Once they do cook for another 20 seconds then flip and fry for another 45-60 seconds or until they are golden brown. (These are so moist it’s hard to overcook them so when in doubt, cook them a little longer) Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool for 60 seconds then dip in the pumpkin glaze, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and serve.


Pumpkin Patch Donut Holes

Pumpkin Glaze


» 2 cups Powdered sugar
» 1 tsp Corn syrup or Agave nectar
» ½ tsp Pumpkin pie spice
» 1/8 cup Pumpkin puree
» ¼ tsp Vanilla extract
» 1/8 cup Hot water


In mixing bowl whip the first 5 ingredients until combined then slowly add hot water whipping constantly. Refrigerate covered until ready to use. Stir before use.


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