Donut balls make for a fun, tiny dessert offering—that is if you can eat just one! This dough creates a dense ball with sensational fall flavors of pumpkin and spice. Great to put out on a buffet for your next gathering.

Normally, I resist frying food, preferring to bake instead. But these donut balls take on a new life when fried in oil, making them dense and chewy and slightly sweet—something you can really sink your teeth into. My baking version of this recipe did not create anything that resembled a donut, unfortunately.

I’ve created an entire party menu, based on the idea of balls! That is, meatballs, fish balls, and some for vegetarians. I suggest you push the idea even further, and host a traditional ball. See the details of a fun-filled party.

MAKES ABOUT 50 BALLS

START THE DOUGH… MIX WET INGREDIENTS

1 CUP almond milk
1 large egg
3/4 CUP pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk ingredients together.

MIX DRY INGREDIENTS… MAKE THE DOUGH

1 1/2 CUPS white flour, sifted
1 CUP kamut flour, sifted
1 CUP pecans, ground in a food processor
4 TB turbinado sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 CUP salted butter, melted

In a large bowl, whisk together everything but the butter. Stir in wet ingredients, then the melted butter, till a soft dough forms.

HEAT OIL FOR FRYING

5 CUPS canola oil

Add the oil to an 8-inch heavy-bottomed pot. There should be 2 inches of oil in the pot and 2 inches to the top of the pot. Attach a deep-fry thermometer, heat oil over medium heat to 350ºF.

 

MAKE THE BALLS

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Take a small ice cream scoop and fill about halfway. Move the lever back and forth to get more of a round shape, then drop carefully into the oil. Do not overcrowd. Spin the balls in the oil to obtain an even golden brown, about 2 min.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donut balls to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Allow to cool slightly. [note: If the dough gets sticky, dip scoop into a small bowl with oil to lubricate the process. The balls expand while frying in the oil, so do a few tests before determining the final size.]

WHILE DONUTS COOL, MAKE THE GLAZE

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 TB almond milk

Sift confectioners sugar into a medium bowl. Slowly stir in vanilla extract and milk till smooth and drippy.

GLAZE THE DONUTS

Place a cooling rack over paper towel lined baking sheet. Dip the balls into the glaze one at time and coat thoroughly. Transfer to the rack, to allow excess glaze to drip off.

We've got more recipes for food in the shape of a ball in 10 Black Tie