It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking “game day” food. Traditional favorites like 7-layer dips, salsas, meatballs, trail mix and other munchies are ever-present, but what about something a little different? What about a popper of the dessert variety?
That’s where my Apple Butter Doughnut Hole Poppers come in! These puppies are eye-catching (who doesn’t spy a doughnut hole and bee-line right for the platter?!) and delectable, plus they’re easy to tote to a party to serve without the hassle of utensils. Lick-your-lips delicious, with an apple butter filling that’s not too sweet but still provides the perfect counter-balance for all those salty snacks, these poppers are guaranteed to be popular!
As if you needed another reason to love this recipe, these doughnut holes are still delicious on day #2 (not that you’ll have any leftovers, but hypothetically speaking …). That’s right boys and girls: make these ahead of time and you won’t have to rush to prepare anything on game day (or for breakfast tomorrow morning)!
But wait! There’s more!
Musselman’s Apple Butter and Wilton Armetale want to give 1 of my readers a prize pack to make your gluten-free cooking even more tasty and fun!*
One lucky winner will receive 1 jar of Musselman’s Apple Butter, a Wilton Armetale Grillware Pizza Tray and a recipe card for Caramelized Onion Bacon Pizza (would make great toppings for my gluten-free pizza mix or recipe!).
Our Contest is now OVER. Congratulations to our winner, Jennifer DeSantis!
*I was provided with these products to review before I agreed to offer them to my readers in this contest, however, all opinions or reviews are my own, and I am not compensated for hosting any such contests.
Apple Butter Doughnut Holes
- 2 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup apple butter (Musselman’s or make your own)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. apple cider
- 1 egg (or egg substitute like 1 Tbs. vegetable oil + 2 Tbs. water + 2 tsp. baking powder)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- vegetable oil for frying (unless baking instead)
- granulated or confectioner’s sugar for rolling doughnut holes
- apple butter for filling (Musselman’s or make your own)
Whip butter and sugar together until light. Add apple butter, apple cider, egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients, beating until there are no lumps.
To Fry: Prepare a small pot by filling at least 1 1/2 inches deep with oil. Heat to medium (no more than 350°F). *Note: a candy thermometer is super helpful to ensure the oil reaches and stays at the right temperature. If the oil is too hot, the doughnut holes will burn on the outside and remain uncooked on the inside.
Once the dough has reached 325-350°F, using a small cookie dough scoop or tablespoon measure, carefully drop doughnut dough into the hot oil, boil and flip as necessary to cook until lightly browned on all sides – approximately 4 minutes total.
Once cooked, immediately remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. (I recommend starting with just one doughnut hole and cutting it open after 4 minutes to be sure it has cooked through and not over-cooked, so you know exactly how long to leave the doughnuts in your hot oil.)
Quickly transfer to a bowl of sugar and roll to completely coat the doughnuts. Remove to finish cooling and repeat with remaining dough.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 325° F. Scoop out doughnut holes and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets or simply press dough into doughnut pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake for 10-14 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness (when inserted toothpick comes out clean, doughnuts are fully cooked). Remove to cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, then gently roll in confectioner’s sugar or sugar and cinnamon mixture. *Note: baking will somewhat flatten the round doughnut balls, but they will still taste delicious!
Once fully cooled, fill a pastry bag or cut a corner from a plastic sandwich bag and fill with apple butter. Use a metal icing tip in the bag to help pierce the doughnut and push into the center so that the apple butter will fill the hole.
Keep doughnut holes in a sealed tupperware-type container until ready to serve. They stay fresh for 1-2 days; thereafter, gently warm in an oven or microwave before serving.
Makes 16-20 doughnut holes, depending on size.