I am part of a rare breed known as "morning people". My dad is the only other person in my family (and on earth, I think) that likes the morning. So when I was growing up, the two of us would wake up before everyone else on Saturdays or family vacations and sneak out of the house for donuts and chocolate milk together. Donuts hold a special place in my heart and remind me of who I inherited my sweet tooth from.
These days, I still wake up early on the weekends and enjoy eating something sweet with my coffee (that's a cutesy way of admitting I primarily eat sugar for breakfast). I've been looking around for the perfect donut recipe; specifically one that wouldn't involve me splashing hot oil all over myself. I came across this recipe on Sunday morning and was enjoying hot and fresh donut holes 30 minutes later. It's simple, quick and incredibly delicious. They would be the perfect thing to serve with coffee to a house full of guests over Thanksgiving weekend. Or in my case, the perfect fall treat to keep you quiet while you're tip-toeing around the house waiting for your husband to wake up. The best part is the buttery, sugary finish on the donut holes. (This recipe isn't deserving of adjectives like "skinny" or "light" in the title. I don't really play that game when it comes to treats.) I couldn't stop popping these in my mouth! They are best when served fresh out of the oven, which won't be a problem. Trust me.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice, coconut oil would be good!)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup cinnamon & sugar
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside. (The first time I made these, I used regular muffin tins and filled them half full because that's all we had and because I was secretly hoping if I made them bigger than standard donut holes, I would eat less. I didn't, but either way they turned out great. The mini ones are of course cuter...)
-In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
-Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
-While the donuts are baking and filling your home with a heavenly aroma, prepare the butter and cinnamon & sugar into two separate bowls. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple minutes. While they're still warm, dip them into the melted butter and then roll them in the bowl with the cinnamon & sugar mixture until coated.
Serve them warm with a big mason jar full of chocolate milk or a cup of chai!