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Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Holes

Joy Bauer
48 doughnut holes

Chef notes

It's National Doughnut Day and you can score a hole-in-one with these bite-sized delights. Best part? You only need two simple ingredients for the batter, and the recipe takes mere minutes to prep. They are so good: Think soft, moist, cakey deliciousness dusted with a cinnamon-sugar coating. Plus, they're each only 40 calories a pop (yes, really!). Trust me, you will love this recipe a hole lot.


SWAP OPTION: Swap applesauce for 1 cup of canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree. 

TECHNIQUE TIP:  Use a mini muffin pan if you don’t have a doughnut hole pan.


  • 1 box vanilla or yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, plain or cinnamon (or canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree)
  • 1 cup water
Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, melted


For the doughnuts:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Liberally mist a doughnut hole pan (or pans if you're using more than one) with nonstick oil spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, applesauce (or pumpkin/sweet potato puree) and water. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans (fill each compartment only about ¾ way, as they will puff in oven). Bake for 15 to 20 until doughnut holes are cooked and a toothpick comes out clean. Set the pans on the counter and let slightly cool before removing the doughnut holes.

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. One at a time, brush the melted butter onto each doughnut top, then sprinkle on some sugar followed some cinnamon (alternatively, you can dip the doughnut tops directly into the sugar-cinnamon mix). Enjoy warm or room temperature.