Monthly Morsel: Gluten-Free Donut Holes

Since putting our son on a gluten-free diet at the beginning of this year, one of the sweet treats our whole family has missed a lot is donuts. I know, I know. They aren’t good for us. There is nothing nutritionally redeeming about them. But donuts are somewhat nostalgic for me: When I was a kid my dad would often take me to play tennis early on Saturday mornings, and we’d always end our time on the court with a stop by the local donut shop. I have loved donuts ever since, a craving I seem to have passed on to our children. Ahem.

But since our very popular campfire donuts recipe was no longer something our whole family could enjoy, I have been on the hunt for a gluten-free option to add to our camping recipe repertoire. I’m just an average baker, and many of my gluten-free attempts have been flops. But I compared recipes and tweaked ingredients to create these Sugar & Spice Gluten-Free Donut Holes–and folks, we have a winner!

gluten free donut holes

These little donut holes were surprisingly simple to make–always a bonus when camping!–and very moist and flavorful. They were so good that everyone–even our camping buddies–kept coming back for more.

Gluten-free donut hole ingredients


2 cups gluten-free baking mix

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 T oil

1 cup of milk with 1 T of vinegar (let this sit for about 5 minutes to allow the milk to curdle)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Additional oil for frying

Donut hole coating:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1-2 tsp of cinnamon (depending on how much spice flavor you prefer)

Small paper bags


Before we left on our fall camping trip, I measured out all the dry ingredients into plastic containers and zippered baggies. This little tip is such a time-saver AND space-saver on our trips. 

Combine the gluten-free baking mix and sugar. Mix together the beaten egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir into dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble a thicker pancake batter. (The batter should be sticky so you will not be able to roll the dough into balls; it has to be dropped by the spoonful into the hot oil.)

Gluten-free donut holes

Add oil to a cast iron dutch oven and heat over a fire or camp stove. (How much oil you need will depend on the size of your dutch. You want the oil to be about three inches deep.) To determine when the oil is hot enough to fry the donut holes, drop a small amount of the batter into the oil. If it floats and sizzles, your oil is ready. Working in batches, begin dropping rounded spoonfuls of the dough into the hot oil–we used a spoon to scoop the dough and then another spoon to push it into the oil. Fry the donut holes until golden brown, turning them so they cook evenly.

Gluten-free donut holes

Once they are finished cooking, drain the donut holes on a plate with paper towels. Add the powdered sugar to one paper bag and the cinnamon/sugar mixture to the other. Gluten-free donut holes

Working in batches, drop a couple of the cooked donut holes into each bag. Fold the bag over and shake to coat. Serve warm.

Gluten-free donut holes

Mmmmm. You must try these on your next camping trip–you’ll be guaranteed to have a bunch of happy campers!

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