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Test Kitchen Approved

Donut Holes with Chocolate Sauce

Recipe By Janet C. Johnston, Savory Spice founder


6 servings

Recipe By Janet C. Johnston, Savory Spice founder

Both the donuts and the sauce come together quickly, so this recipe makes a great weekend brunch treat or weeknight dinner dessert.

Recipe Notes

*To use vanilla beans: split beans in half lengthwise and scrape seeds out from pod with the back of a knife. Use empty pods to make homemade vanilla extract or flavor homemade vanilla sugar.


For donuts:

1/2 cup water

1/2 vanilla bean of choice*:

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

Vegetable oil, for frying

For chocolate sauce:

1 cup milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

2 Tbsp. bittersweet chocolate chips

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste

    Our Madagascar vanilla bean paste is formulated to match Madagascar vanilla extract in flavor, strength, and usage. The paste holds hundreds of van...

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  • Madagascar Vanilla Beans

    Our Madagascar Vanilla Beans are Grade A, the highest quality available. Grade A beans, also called prime or gourmet beans, are pliable and plump w...

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  • Mexican Vanilla Beans

    Our Mexican Vanilla Beans are Grade A, the highest quality. Grade A beans, which are also known as gourmet or prime quality, are plump and pliable....

    View full details
  • Ugandan Vanilla Beans

    Ugandan vanilla beans are a premium quality. These beans are plump, pliable, succulent, and flavorful. The purchase of these beans supports local f...

    View full details
  • Mayan Sea Salt

    Mayan Sea Salt has a clean appearance and flavor but is also an interesting tie to the ancient Mayan way of life. This sea salt was harvested off t...

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  • Cinnamon Sugar

    Spice blends don’t need to be complex to have a big flavor impact. Such is the case with our Cinnamon Sugar Tableside Sprinkle. We handcraft this d...

    View full details
  • Mexican Cocoa

    Mexican Cocoa powder is inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, which combines Mexican chocolate spices and cinnamon. Our Mexican chocolate powder ta...

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For donuts:

Combine water, vanilla of choice, butter, sugar, salt, and orange zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until butter is melted. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add flour. Mix on medium-low speed until flour is incorporated and mixture begins to cool down, about 10 min. Add eggs one at a time; the mixture will break apart as you add each egg but will become smooth again once the egg is incorporated. Once eggs are incorporated and dough is smooth, remove bowl from mixing stand.

To get ready for frying, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a heavy bottomed pot. Set a baking sheet lined with paper towel next to the stovetop. Set the cinnamon sugar in a wide bowl and set that next to the baking sheet.

Oil a 1-ounce ice cream scoop and scoop balls of donut batter into the hot oil. Fry the dough balls until golden brown on all sides. Remove one and test to make sure that the center is cooked and then remove the rest. Fry in batches, about 8 min. per batch. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fried dough balls to the paper towl baking sheet. Once cool enough to handle (but still warm) roll the donuts in cinnamon sugar.

For chocolate sauce:

Bring milk and sugar to a simmer, whisking to dissolve sugar. Turn heat to low and whisk in cocoa powder, corn syrup, and chocolate chips. Stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and drizzle over donuts or serve alongside for dipping.