Cooking with Kids: Fun Biscuit Donut Hole Recipe and Decorating Station Idea

Donuts in any flavor, filling or size are hits any time of the year with the little people in A Mama’s Corner of the World.  Friday was National Donut Day--giving us the perfect inspiration (excuse) to make a batch of donuts.  We have made the tried and true, biscuit donuts with the girls several times over the years—but, why not let the kids be a bit more creative with their donuts like we do with sugar cookies? 

This year, we transformed our usual sugar cookie decorating “station” design into a donut decorating station—and set up a variety of simple decorations, frostings, and donut toppers for a twist on our usual, semi-homemade, cinnamon-sugar donuts.  We also opted for a bit of fat and sugar moderation by making only donut holes instead of the large biscuit donuts so that the girls could sample a few different donut styles without a sugar coma.

Ready to cook with the kids and make this fun biscuit donut hole recipe and decorating station?

Pick a donut hole recipe.  Pick the recipe—and even prepare the donut dough--but, set up your decorating station before you fry or bake the donuts!

If you are so inclined to make your own donuts from scratch—this is one of my favorite yeast donut recipes—just skip the glazing and use our decorating station idea instead!  

You may also opt to make some baked sugar donuts—we haven’t tried baking them—but, the option is there for those ready to break the fried donut cycle!

If you are looking for a quick, fried, donut fix—as we were on a busy, Friday afternoon--try these simple biscuit donut holes.

Ingredients for Refrigerator Biscuit Donut Holes
1 Can Refrigerator Biscuits (I use Pillsbury Homestyle)
Cooking Oil (Enough to yield about 2 inches of oil in a Dutch Oven or a deep frying pan)
You will also need:  a large slotted spoon, paper towel lined plates for draining

Cut the donut holes or donuts.  Since we chose pre-made dough, we were ready to cut the donuts in less than a minute.  We placed the refrigerated, biscuit rounds on a large cutting board and cut approximately 1½ inch donut holes from the dough.  We used double shot glasses for our donuts—but, the little medicine cups that come with children’s cold or pain medicines work well also--they just make larger holes.  If you are just making donut holes—you will have a bit of scrap dough left from each biscuit round.  Simply combine those dough scraps to form a similarly sized ball of dough and gently shape into a lumpy ball.  You won’t notice the shape after the donuts fry—and the less than perfect, “lumpy” ones actually stand better for display!

Set up the decorating stations.  Much like with sugar cookies—let the kids use their imagination!  We used the following:
  • 2/3 can Buttercream Frosting, divided into four small bowls with spoons for each.  Next time—we’ll use a small bowl of chocolate frosting as well.
  • Food Coloring.  We chose purple, blue and green—and left one bowl of frosting uncolored.
  • Plates of Candy Sprinkles, Jimmies, Chocolate Sprinkles, Chopped Almonds, etc.
  • 1 Bowl of Powdered Sugar with a lid for shaking, if desired
  • 1 Bowl of Cinnamon Sugar (1 tsp. Cinnamon to 1/3 c. Table Sugar) with a lid for shaking, if desired
  • A few drops of Mint Extract (Added to the green frosting and used with chocolate sprinkles.), and a few drops of Lemon Extract (Added to the plain, buttercream and used with chopped almonds.)
  • Set up a platter for the finished donut holes.
Fry the donuts.  Heat the oil to approximately 350F—hot, but not smoking.  Drop the donut holes or donuts into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown on one side, flip and fry on the other side until brown.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain slightly on paper towel covered plates.  We slowed down the process.  We dropped 7-10 donut holes into the oil—drained them, decorated them and then cooked another group. 

Decorate and Serve.  We did plain, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar donuts first when the donuts were warm from the oil.  Frosting will melt on warm donuts.  We used this to our advantage on some donuts—creating a glazed-like, drips-down-the-sides appearance.  For other donut holes, we let them cool before applying the frosting and sprinkles.   Because the donut holes will be mostly rounded—you will need to press the bottoms gently to allow the ones with decorated tops to stand on a serving tray.

Get creative, have fun—and take lots of pictures.  You will notice that our donut holes are not necessarily picture perfect—they probably won’t be appearing on a cooking magazine cover any time soon.  Rather than showing what we adults can do--the purpose of our “cooking with kids” style recipes and ideas is to show what the kids can realistically learn and accomplish on their own. We aren’t out for the perfect images—we are out for the perfect family afternoon! 


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