Eggless Mini Doughnut Holes rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and filled with Jam – these require no yeast and take under 30 minutes from start to finish to make!
Years back, I used to work at an office in downtown New York City where I had a Polish colleague named Sylvia. Sylvia had a small stature, but a very stern no-nonsense attitude and one knew almost instantly that she wasn’t to be messed around with. However there was one thing that transformed Sylvia’s personality Into something completely different and gave her a child-like demeanor and it was her love of doughnuts!
Sylvia was obsessed with doughnuts and 2-3 times a week she would pick one up on the way to work to eat as breakfast! No one was allowed to even talk to her during the time she savoured that doughnut with her morning coffee, let alone ask to share the treat!
However, once every few days, Sylvia would have a change of heart and in place of her usual doughnuts, she would get a bag of mini doughnuts – Munchkins – tiny doughnut holes coated in powdered sugar that she would ask us all to come and share with her. I’m not sure if it was her way of being nice to us or she just couldn’t finish the bag by herself but irrespective, thanks to Sylvias’ generosity, it became an office ritual for all of us to gather around the pantry once a week and grab a few munchkins before we started the day.
After moving to India, I’d never seen those munchkins anywhere and so when my son asked me to make doughnuts for him recently, and I was short on time, I decided that instead of my usual yeast doughnut recipe, I would try making these mini treats.
Until that point I had no idea that doughnut holes could be made without making actual doughnuts too. I mean didn’t one just fry the little roundels left behind when cutting the dough for doughnuts?
However the knowledge that doughnut holes could be made instantly and tasted so good was such an eye-opener for me that I may never make actual yeast doughnuts ever again!
Kiddin! I still love my chocolate-glazed doughnuts and will never stop making them. But these munchkins definitely make life so much easier when you need a quick sweet treat and they came out exactly as I remember eating them in the US. If only I could bring some over to Sylvie someday! But I’m equally overjoyed that my son enjoyed them so much and that I can now make them for him anytime I want to.
Since the traditional doughnut recipe calls for yeast, there is also proving time involved which although makes for a great final outcome, is also a very time consuming process. These mini doughnut holes however, are made without yeast, and thus come together in a jiffy. The dough uses baking powder to fluff up the balls and make them as light as their yeast counterparts.
The process is really quick and requires very few ingredients –
You start by mixing flour, sugar and baking powder, then cut in the cold butter and finally add milk to make it into a dough easy enough to break into balls and drop into the oil.
The milk quantity can be adjusted according to the dough. If it’s too sticky you won’t be able to shape them, and if it’s too dry, the doughnuts will be a bit hard/dense.
You also have to make sure to make small balls because they’ll expand and fluff in the oil owing to the baking powder. So start 20% smaller than you want. You could use an ice-cream scoop to directly make the balls and drop them into the hot oil but I prefer rolling them with my hands.
Baking vs Frying
I haven’t tried baking these munchkins although I’ve heard that it works fine. Honestly, I would still just deep fry these golden beauties and enjoy the soft cakey doughnuts in all their glory!
You have to use a neutral frying oil and let it get really hot in the pan. Fry at a medium-low heat to let the balls cook well from inside too while turning them over a few times to ensure they get cooked from all sides. If you fry at a very high temperature, the doughnuts will become brown quickly but will be still raw on the inside.
Don’t overcrowd the pan and fry only 4-5 at a time. It takes about 1.5-2 minutes to cook each mini doughnut. Also don’t let the balls get too dark in color. You want a light brown color. Remove the fried balls onto a plate lined with tissues to absorb the extra oil.
It’s better to dunk the hot doughnuts into the cinnamon sugar so it coats well. While I’ve used cinnamon powder and caster sugar, you could even use powdered sugar for a more powdery white look.
If you’re more of a chocolate lover, you could also use chocolate ganache to coat these mini doughnut holes. For that you have to let the doughnuts cool down first then dip in the ganache.
I filled the center of the doughnut holes with a spot of our favourite strawberry jam. It just made them look prettier and more fun to eat. Use any jam/preserve of your choice and run it in the microwave for just 10 seconds to make it easier to fill. A piping bag fitted with a really small tip nozzle will make this much easier.
You could also use Nutella, chocolate sauce, cookie butter, nut butter or anything else that you fancy in place of the jam. So go on, make these doughnuts in under 30 minutes and tell me what you think of this recipe below in the comments!
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Eggless Mini Doughnut Holes (Munchkins!)
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 3 tbsp Cold Butter (Cut into small cubes)
- ¼ cup Milk
FOR ROLLING AND FILLING
- ¼ cup Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 2-3 tbsp Jam of choice
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Using only your fingers, crumble the cold cubes of butter into the dry ingredients till the mixture resembles breadcrumb like texture.
- Add the milk 1-2 tbsp at a time and start combining to form a dough. Add more milk only as required till you have a soft but not very sticky dough. You should be able to make balls out this easily. If the dough is too difficult to work with, you could refrigerate it for 5-7 minutes.
- Divide the dough into small smooth balls and place on a tray/parchment.
- Heat oil in a pan. While the oil is heating, mix the cinnamon powder and sugar in a bowl and keep aside.
- Once the oil is ready, drop 2-3 doughnut balls into the hot oil and fry on each side for 1.5-2 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove the fried balls onto a plate lined with paper towels and let cool for 15-20 seconds.
- Immediately transfer to the cinnamon sugar and toss well to coat evenly. To coat in chocolate, let the doughnut holes cool first then dip in the chocolate sauce/ganache or melted chocolate.
- To fill the center – Fit a piping bag with a small tip nozzle and heat the jam in the microwave for 10-12 seconds till it’s flowy. Fill it in the prepared piping bag and fill the cooled doughnuts by pushing the tip of the piping bags into the sides of each doughnut hole.