Dessert Shop: Pumpkin Donut Holes and Fresh Slow-Juiced Cider


As a fruity alternative to your daily pumpkin-spiced hot beverage, a nice warm sip of fresh juiced apple cider takes the chill off of any autumn day- especially with a pair of donut holes for dunking!

And before we get to that, we wanted to clear up a common question about the difference between apple juice and apple cider. It turns out that apple cider is essentially unfiltered apple juice- hence the opaque appearance versus the clear apple juice you can buy at the store that has been both filtered and pasteurized to extend shelf life. So, if we're being technical, if you're juicing apples, your getting apple cider - which can be served cold or warmed with spices.


For our cider, we used our Omega Vert slow juicer (which presses the juice from the apples using an auger and screen process) and a collection of our favorite apple varieties including crisp greens and sweet reds. This can be made up to 24 hours prior to serving if stored in the fridge in a covered vessel.


Now donut holes are usually just the bite size bonus you get when cutting the center from a traditional raised donut, but using a portion scoop and chilled quick dough gives you a nice sized ball that is just as easily eaten in one or two dunkable bites. We wanted to make sure we had enough to share, so we doubled the batch and used a smaller scoop, and believe me, there were more than plenty to go around! They do puff up a bit in the fryer, so depending on the size you want, plan for some expansion.

If you don't have a fryer, you can use a pan on the stove top, or you could just bite the bullet and get one of these!


This particular T-fal fryer is our favorite because it's so easy to clean. Once the oil has cooled you just drain it out the bottom into the reservoir and all the sediment stays in the basin where it can be wiped out. Also, the basket and element are removable so that if need be- you can really scrub the unit for storage.

Pumpkin Donut Holes with Cinnamon & Sugar

recipe adapted from

1 ¼ C flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ C granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg
¼ C buttermilk
½ C pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
oil for frying

1 tsp cinnamon
¾ sugar

In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients less the sugar. Set aside. In the bowl of a KitchenAid Mixer, cream sugar & butter until smooth. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed and stir in buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla just until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms - do not over mix! Cover batter and refrigerate 1 hour until firm.


Heat T-fal fryer to 350 degrees.

Using a medium to small portion scoop, carefully drop batter into oil. Do not overcrowd. Allow balls to fry about 1 min or until dough begins to brown, roll each one over to equally brown other side.


Carefully remove finished balls from oil with a spider and place on a paper towel lined plate for excess oil to drain off. Put cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and toss to combine. Add warm donut holes and roll to coat.


Skewer 2-3 donut holes and use to garnish fresh juiced apple cider.


Apple Cider:
Juice of 3 apples, any variety
Warm in a small pan on the cooktop to just below a boil with a cinnamon stick and whole cloves.


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