Applesauce Donut Holes with Caramel Glaze

These round objects are Applesauce Donut Holes with Caramel Glaze and yes, you need to make them!  They have a drippy and crunchy exterior with a tender and fluffy interior.  Be still my heart!

The traditions of the Chanukah holiday include frying foods in oil (see my potato latke recipes:  Classic Potato Latkes, Garden Vegetable Latkes and Potato-Artichoke and Feta Latkes).

A traditional dessert for the holiday is sufganiyot, or donuts.  They check the “fried” box.  If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I love baked donuts (check out my Banana Baked Donuts or Lemon-Poppyseed Donuts)But this holiday demands that we get the fryer out.  I don’t own a deep fryer so a deep pot will suffice!

The flavor of these jumbo donut holes is sublime.  We are using applesauce to sweeten and moisten the batter and the pumpkin pie spice says “Hello, Winter”!  Once fried, they are dipped and coated with a caramel glaze.  Oh my!  These treats will have you spinning faster than any ol’ dreidle!

Begin by combining all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Separately, cream the softened butter and the sugars together until fluffy.  Add the eggs and then the applesauce & vanilla.  Finally, add the flour mixture alternating with the milk in 3 batches and mix until just combined.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot to 375°F.  If you have a candy thermometer, use it to determine the heat of the oil.  It’s very tricky to do this without one.  

Using a scoop or tablespoon, drop balls of batter into the hot oil.  Don’t over-crowd the pot. Four or five donuts is plenty.  Fry these bad boys until they are nice and browned, about 3 minutes, flipping about half way through.  Watch the temperature of the oil, trying to keep it at 375°F.  I had to lower the heat level to do that.  Remove the donut holes from the oil, and drain on a paper-towel lined plate or pan.

The caramel glaze is super easy!  I use a shortcut of combining store-bought caramel sauce with powdered sugar and milk.  There are some very good brands and it helps to shorten the workload!  

Dip the cooled donut holes in the glaze.  You should add enough milk to make the glaze runny, but still clingy.  You be the judge.  If you dip it and half the donut hole stays in the bowl with the sauce, it’s too thick, so add some additional milk.  If you dip it and none of the sauce clings, it’s too thin, so add some additional powdered sugar.

Once dipped, let the donut holes sit on a rack set inside of a baking pan so that the excess can drip off.  If you have any extra glaze, you can serve it on the side or pour it over the dipped donut holes.


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Lastly, if you make Applesauce Donut Holes with Caramel Glaze, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Applesauce Donut Holes with Caramel Glaze

Makes: 40 donut holes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


For the Donut Holes:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Oil for frying

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 1 & 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cups caramel sauce
  • 2 tbsp milk


Prepare the donuts by whisking the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs in, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Beat in the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, until all the ingredients are added and mix until just combined.

Heat 3-4″ of oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot or deep fryer to 375°F. Drop batter, one tablespoon at a time, into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot, cook 4-5 max at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping once halfway, 3 to 4 minutes. Pay attention to the temperature; you’ll want to adjust the heat level to keep it at 375°F.

Remove the donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate to cool. Continue until all of the donuts have been fried.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, caramel sauce, and milk in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. You might have to add a bit more milk if the glaze is not thin enough to dip the donuts in. Dip the drop donuts in the glaze, turning to coat, and place on a wire rack set over a lined baking sheet. Allow the excess to drip off, let dry, and serve.

Recipe by Host the Toast


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