Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

Okay, back to fall. I ended last week with a last hurrah to summer sweets, but after a weekend of apple-picking, those baked peaches seem like a lifetime ago.

Good thing fall baked goods are the best kind of baked goods.

Most people who know me know that I look for an excuse to use my deep fryer. But sometimes, I'll admit, it's kind of a pain to break out. And (for better or for worse), your house will smell like fried chicken for 2 days after use.

These baked donut holes are really just mini muffins in disguise. That's right. They're made from more of a batter than a dough, and you bake them right in mini muffin tins. But THEN you cover them with butter and cinnamon sugar so they really turn out pretty donut-esque in the end.

Simply put, they're easy to make and they look adorable. Bring them to work on a Monday morning to make people like you. And your house will smell like pumpkin pie while they bake, which you may or may not prefer to fried chicken.

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes
Recipe adapted from The Comfort of Cooking blog
Makes 24-36 donut holes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray one 24-cup or two 12-cup mini muffin tins with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (approximately 2 Tbsp batter per cup). Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl, and measure powdered sugar into a third. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar to coat. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature. (Powdered sugar will sink in fairly quickly so I recommend serving those quickly!)