Chocolate pumpkin donut holes with amaretto glaze

These classically fried chocolate pumpkin donut holes are topped with a sweet amaretto glaze for a delicious treat!
Chocolate Pumpkin Donut Holes

You know that whole saying “know your audience”? Well, I’m abandoning that (very sound) advice today and throwing a classically fried donut hole with a sugary liquor glaze in your face in the middle of January. Moderation…let’s practice it. Today actually kicks off the start of Doughnut Week with a bunch of food blogger friends. A week that will be filled not only with blow your mind (someone has a monte cristo doughnut on tap….seriously) donut recipes, but also 3 amazing giveaways (see the bottom of this post for the first one!).
Doughnut Week |

Making a legitimate (fried) donut has been on my kitchen bucket list for quite some time, so when donut week came to be, I couldn’t pass it up even if it is smack in the middle of your resolution. Sorry, but not really. These are insane (as any fried donut is) and if you’re not willing to eat it now, save it for later. I mean, hi, that’s what pinterest is for, right?
Chocolate Donut Holes with Amaretto Glaze

So let’s talk about this frying business. Um, this ish is messy. It stunk up my whole house like a fast food joint forcing me to open windows when it was 37 degrees outside, necessitated apron wearing and burnt my fingers no less than 4 times. The Dunkin’ drive-thru is a heck of a lot easier. But…you’re not gonna find a munchkin with an amaretto glaze, that, I can guarantee.

I have a thing with amaretto. And by a thing I mean I freakin’ adore the stuff. It goes down like water and tastes like sweet candy, what’s not to love about that? The answer is the headache the next morning, but that’s just a tiiiiiny detail.

I promise these won’t give you a morning after headache. You’ll get a crispy fried outside, a super moist chocolatey pumpkin inside and a hint of sweet amaretto flavor from the icing, but no headache.
Pumpkin Donut Holes with Amaretto Glaze

Worth the burnt fingers and apron wearing. The smell however…worth it for 1 batch but with this kitchen bucket list item checked off, the next 2 recipes this week will be baked (and quite a bit healthier).

Chocolate pumpkin donut holes with amaretto glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These classically fried chocolate pumpkin donut holes are topped with a sweet amaretto glaze for a delicious treat!
Recipe type: donut
Serves: 35 donut holes
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • canola oil for frying
For the glaze
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons amaretto liquor
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. You want enough oil so that the holes can float, about 4-5 inches up the sides.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir together with a spatula until fully incorporated.
  5. Once the oil is hot (about 375 degrees), wet your hands and form about 1½ tablespoons of the batter into a ball. Carefully drop the batter into the oil and fry for about 3 minutes turning it over with a spoon half way through.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter. Make sure to not crowd the pot. I did no more than 4 donut holes at a time.
  7. Remove the donut holes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to dry.
For the glaze
  1. Heat the brown sugar in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Once dissolved, whisk in the amaretto and heavy cream.
  3. Turn off the heat, slowly add in the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
  4. Drizzle the glaze over the donut holes and let it set for 2-3 minutes before serving.

For more Doughnut Week recipes check these out!

Salted maple doughnut ice cream sandwiches / Strawberry cheesecake donuts / Triple coconut donut / Irish cream filled doughnuts / Spiced banana donut holes / Chai spiced donut muffins / Peanut butter and jelly doughnuts / Spiced baked doughnuts with nacho chili cheese / Chocolate stout maple bar / Kahlua and cream doughnuts


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  1. 3

    These look fantastic Gina! Thank you so much for participating in our rather unhealthy blog party!

  2. 4

    I was waiting for this post after seeing these babies on instagram yesterday! Gina, these look FANTASTIC! I didn’t think you could make pumpkin and chocolate even better…until you deep fried them and added booze.
    This is my kind of donut hole! Pinned!

  3. 5

    I have a thing for chocolate donuts, but eating a whole one reminds me why I don’t eat donuts. Sugar rush, sugar crash, belly ache. So I have a chocolate donut hole (much more reasonable) every once in a while and love every minute of it. Amaretto is a love of mine too, so I am guessing that I would pretty much adore these little puppies. I love the description of the frying, ha ha, yes! Beautiful pics Gina.

  4. 6

    I can’t stop thinking about your ball/cookies even though these are donut holes. Something about you and ball shaped food ;) Love the glaze mmmm.

  5. 7

    See, this is why I love you. I just drafted a post about how I’m missing carbs and I’m a grumpy-ass for being on my “let’s be friggan’ healthy” thing, and then I come here and find solace in the fact that you made these deliciously sweet-looking doughnut holes. Moderation is key. I keep forgetting that. :)

  6. 8

    I just licked my screen. Twice. You have a way with balls, my dear =)

  7. 9

    My step mom would go nuts for that glaze! I’m totally going to have to make these for her.

  8. 10

    Looks great! I love donuts, but haven’t tried making them at home yet. Definitely a must try.

  9. 11

    Your balls are always so scrumptious looking. Hahaha

  10. 12

    yum yum yum yum yum! I did a chocolate pumpkin baked doughnut last fall and the flavors are so perfect together. LOVING the amaretto glaze here!

  11. 13

    I have a thing for Amaretto too. So amazing and on a donut? You and I are the boozy donut twins. Ha! A badge of honor I will proudly display. Great recipe – and everyday is an apron day. :)

  12. 14

    Doughnuts and booze? Making Monday way more tolerable!

  13. 15

    These look INCREDIBLE!! Love the flavors!

  14. 16

    Sometimes we all have to get a little crazy! These look to die for!

  15. 17

    Chocolate, pumpkin and liquor?! This is my kind of doughnut!! These look awesome, Gina!!

  16. 18

    I love Amaretto but have never thought to turn it into a glaze! I can only imagine how amazing it tasted with the pumpkin chocolate combination…yum!

  17. 19

    They look soooo good!


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