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Applesauce Doughnut Holes

GRIT's Comfort Food Cookbook includes a great recipe for Applesauce Doughnut Holes. 

Boy, have I got a sweet treat for you. No, really. I spent the weekend making Applesauce Doughnut Holes, a miniature version of the Applesauce Doughnut recipe in GRIT’s Comfort Food Cookbook. And I want to give you one, or two, or maybe all 400 of them. All you have to do is join GRIT this weekend at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Topeka, Kansas.

Those springy, sweet treats will reside in Quarto Publishing Group’s booth (No. 4505). Quarto is the publisher of the GRIT Comfort Food Cookbook, and they’re a great group of folks to chat with, too.

The Road to 400 Doughnut Holes Was Paved With a Few Potholes

I love to bake, and this recipe is a keeper. (I’ve yet to run across one in the cookbook that isn’t …) I even made a separate batch for my son’s school party, and they’re kid-approved. However, I learned a few things along the way. You probably already knew these, but sometimes I have to try things myself before the aha moment sinks in!

Mixing batter for Applesauce Doughnut Holes 

Batter ready to go into the oven for Applesauce Doughnut Holes.

Applesauce Doughtnuts
Yields 3 1/2 dozen doughnuts or approximately 60 doughnut holes.

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup lard, softened, plus more for frying
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup apple cider
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, cream together lard, sugar and eggs. Beat in the vanilla, applesauce and buttermilk. Add the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating the dough smooth after each addition. The dough will be tacky and moist – a cross between quick bread batter and cookie dough. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll out to 3/8-inch thickness. Cut into pieces with a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. (I skipped this step for the doughnut holes.)

In a cast-iron kettle, heat lard to 2 inches deep and 350 F. Using a metal spatula, slide 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time into the lard and fry for 1 minute on each side, until golden brown all over. Remove from the fat with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Bring the lard back to temperature between each batch.

To prepare the glaze, whisk together the apple cider and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. After the doughnuts have cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, dip the tops in the glaze.

Yummy Applesauce Doughnut Holes cooling on the rack. 


The next time you need a sweet treat – whether it’s for a chilly winter morning, a bake sale or just because – I encourage you to give this recipe a try. They’re tasty right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk, or at room temperature. You’ll definitely have a few more friends after sharing these guys. Hopefully I’ll have a few more after this weekend’s FAIR, too.

Do you have a favorite baked treat that is your go-to comfort food? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Please share your favorites in the comments section below.