Monday, January 30, 2012

Orange Olive Oil Doughnut Holes

Orange Olive Oil Doughnut Holes
These Orange Olive Oil Doughnut Holes are a cross between Dunkin Donut’s glazed cake-like Munchkins and Italy’s classic orange olive oil cake.  Everyone knows that the best tasting doughnuts are always fried.  But frying them in lard or whatever the doughnut shops use can’t be good.  So I figured I might do the frying in olive oil.  But the flavor of this heart healthy fat is a major obstacle in the dessert realm.  To solve that problem, I’ve borrowed the strong citrus taste in Italy’s orange and olive oil cake since it’s a flavor profile that's already a classic.  Then to add even more appeal to this portion controlled dessert these doughnut holes are dipped into an orange glaze so that each bite is sweet and delicious.

Ingredients list:

  •          1 cup gluten free Bisquick   
  •          ¼ cup sugar
  •          ¼ tsp cinnamon
  •          1 egg
  •          ¼ cup low fat Greek yogurt
  •          the zest of ½ an orange
  •          1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice. 
  •          enough olive oil to fill your pot with about an inch of oil for frying
  •          FOR THE GLAZE:
  •          the other ½ orange zest
  •          the remaining juice of 1 orange
  •          2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar 

Video Tutorial: 


1.      Stir together the Bisquick, cinnamon and sugar then in another small bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, zest of half the orange and 1 tablespoon of orange juice until smooth. 
2.      Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet and dry ingredients together until they are well combined.  The mixture might seem crumbly at first but keep mixing and the dough will come together nicely.  Transfer the dough into a clean bowl, cover it with plastic and refrigerate it for 15 minutes. 
3.      To make the glaze stir together the other half of the orange zest, with the remaining juice of the orange and confectioner’s sugar.  If the glaze looks too thin add more sugar, if it looks too thick you can add a drop or two of water.  When the mixture is smooth and has a thick syrupy consistency, set it aside.
4.      When you’re ready to form the doughnut holes, gently roll level tablespoonfuls like you would a meatball and set them aside on a plate.  Continue rolling the doughnut holes until they are all formed and let them rest for 10 minutes.  Make sure they are all ready before you begin the frying process since that step moves very quickly.
5.      When frying the doughnuts you’ll need to keep the oil’s temperature below 320°F or 160 °C.  Olive oil has a lower smoke point than other oils and can easily burn. 
6.      Drop the doughnut holes into the oil.  Try to get pretty close to the surface before gently releasing them to prevent splashing.  Let them fry for just under two minutes or until they are golden brown.   I fried about 6 at a time.  Remove them with a slotted spoon or spider and drain them on paper towels. 
7.      When they are all done toss them in the glaze to get them coated then put them on waxed paper to dry.  I dipped them all twice.  As they were drying I also rotated them a few times to get more of the dripping glaze back onto the donut holes.  Once they’re dry they’re ready to serve.  This recipe made 22 doughnut holes.

Notes:  Don’t forget to zest the whole orange before juicing it.  If you don’t like the orange olive oil flavor profile, you can make plain glazed doughnut holes by substituting vegetable oil for the frying and milk for the orange juice in both the doughnut and glaze recipes.   

Doughnut Hole Success and Failures
When I write these recipes there’s always a fine line between success and failure.  The orange doughnut holes were such a great success, I hurriedly tried to crank out a second recipe for a chocolate doughnut hole.  I replaced one fourth of the gluten free Bisquick called for in the recipe with ¼ cup of cocoa powder.  I also replaced the orange juice with milk in the dough and the glaze. I added cocoa powder to the glaze as well to make it chocolate.  Now while these chocolate doughnut holes look absolutely fantastic, I’m sad to report that they did not turn out well.  They were a little tough and chewy and could have been sweeter too.  There are several places where I believe I went wrong.  Bisquick has leavening agents added and cocoa powder does not.  I should have adjusted for that.  I think the ratio of cocoa powder was too high as well.  I also think the chocolate recipe might need a bit more sugar.  It won’t be long before I’m back to the drawing board to test the chocolate recipe again.  As soon as the recipe is as delectable as it should be I'll bring it to the blog.     


  1. These look yummy! I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

  2. Oh they were so good. I wish I'd made more. Whenever I'm testing recipes I make small batches so that if the recipe fails I won't waste too many ingredients.

  3. Frying in lard is actually healthier than frying in olive oil, because lard is a natural source of fat that remains stable at high heats and its molecules don't break down as easily as olive oil. :) These look really yummy & I can't wait to try them out!

    - Esther

    1. Thanks Ester, I like the sounds of that. What kind of lard do you suggest. Is Crisco lard?

    2. No crisco is not lard. Lard is animal fat. I would actually use coconut oil. it has a high smoke point, is healthy and would taste better than lard on a sweet item. But to each there own.


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