[Thanks to McCormick for sponsoring this post! This holiday season, I’ll be sharing a few more delicious recipes with their wonderful spices!]

 You GUYS! We must must, must, must discuss these pumpkin cider doughnut holes immediately.

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Homemade amazing spiced pumpkin doughnut holes that can come out of your kitchen in a few minutes?! YES. I said it.

And they are totally NOT that difficult.

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Okay, sure, they do require some frying. That’s one thing I didn’t want to go around because the flavor and texture needed to be spot on for me to be happy with these. Baking the doughnut holes just wasn’t working out.

But the excellent news is that all you need to do is whip up the dough and heat the oil in a small pot! There is no yeast here. Nothing needs to rise.

Meaning we don’t have to be impatient! We don’t have to wait for the dough to get all fluffy and wonderful because it’s already fluffy and wonderful! Seriously just wait until you take a bite.

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Two things!

First, I’m partnering with McCormick for this post to bring you a delicious treat using their Pumpkin Pie Spice. This spice is the best. It’s so versatile and EASY. While you can easily use their other amazing spices to create your own pumpkin spice base (which I did here with this tiramisu trifle!), using it straight from the jar is absolutely perfect. And easy!

I love the flavor. It’s not too SPICY spiced and seems to have just the right amount of ginger and clove, which is where I always get a bit hung up on my pumpkin spice.

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Now second, the other ingredient in these delicious doughnut holes? Oooooh just wait.

PUMPKIN CIDER! Like, hard pumpkin cider. Pumpkin cider beer. The carbonation gives a lightness to the dough and the flavor is perfect when combined with the Pumpkin Pie Spice. I am so, so, so in love.

If you want to make these for kiddos, you can totally sub a non-boozy apple cider or pumpkin cider.

The fact that these can come out of my own kitchen and taste so freaking good is a miracle! They took less work than I thought and you could easy whip them up for a morning brunch as long as you don’t mind heating some oil.

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

These flavors are so nostalgic for me around the Thanksgiving season. While we never made any sort of doughnuts at home, a lot of times we’d have special pumpkin ones the morning of Thanksgiving and eat them while watching the Macy’s day parade. Tastes like home!

And! You can get involved with McCormick’s virtual Friendsgiving this year by sharing photos of your table with the hashtag #noflavorlike home!

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

And now for what is REALLY the best part. I mean, for real. I think I’ve told you everything is the best part about these doughnuts and hello, look at them – everything is! – but the REAL best part is dipping them into a homemade hot fudge sauce that will also only take you a few minutes to make. It’s a silky chocolate ganache that is just dreamy for dipping.

It’s a rich treat so you don’t need a lot of the ganache. One of my favorite desserts that I see on a menu are hot doughnuts with dipping sauce after the meal. There is something just so exciting about eating that when you’re using to doughnuts for breakfast, you know? So while yes, I love the idea of these for breakfast and well, any other time of day, they are perfect for dessert too! The fudge sauce may be a little over the top for breakfast, but since when am I not over the top? They are an amazing way to celebrate the holiday season with your family and friends, because who DOESN’T want to share warm pumpkin doughnuts with rich chocolate fudge?

I know, right?

For some more nostalgic flavors on Thanksgiving I’m thinking of making a version of this smoked turkey (or even something with leftovers!) and then later than weekend, adding in a cheesy potato casserole like this because that’s one of my mom’s signature dishes!

pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Pumpkin Cider Doughnut Holes with Hot Fudge

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hot fudge

  • 6 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, pumpkin cider, pumpkin puree and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together until just combined.
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and fill it with about 3 inches of oil. Fit the pot with a candy thermometer - you want the oil to be about 375 degrees F to fry.
  • You can either take the dough and scoop it into the oil once hot, or you can lightly flour you hands and roll the dough into 1-inch balls so the holes are smoother. I did the latter.
  • Once the oil has reached 375 degrees F, add the dough balls 2 or 3 pieces at a time and fry until golden brown (keep an eye on the oil temp!), turning over a few times, for 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove the doughnut holes and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.
  • Once the doughnuts are finished, roll them in the mixture of the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Serve with the hot fudge!

hot fudge

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat just until the cream bubbles around the edges. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir it thoroughly until smooth and a chocolate fudge ganache forms. Use immediately for dipping.


lightly adapted from taste of home

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pumpkin doughnut holes with hot fudge I howsweeteats.com

Now I just can’t wait to eat!