How to make mini vanilla doughnut balls

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As much as my kids love a doughnut, the sticky fingers and faces that result make them a bother to enjoy on the go. At home, near a face cloth, there's no stopping them. I've taken to making tiny portable versions as a treat and they're now a favourite for my kids, without all the cleaning up for me. In goes the whole doughnut, without the need for managing the sticky, sugary deposits.

By making the doughnuts small, they're easier to fry and you can ensure they cook all the way through (raw oozing doughnut dough is not nice).

Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil – you don't need a flashy thermostat fryer; you just need to be judicious with the temperature of the hob. An ideal temperature would be 180C (356F) – a cooking thermometer will help with this. Too hot and the balls will colour too much and not cook within. Too cool and the dough will soak in the oil, turning flaccid and greasy. Try flavouring the sugar using cinnamon, nutmeg or whatever takes your fancy.

(Makes about 30 small balls)
3 tbsp baking powder
300g plain flour
140g caster sugar (and more for dusting)
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
225g milk
75g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Frying oil – enough to fill a small saucepan to about 4inMix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Beat the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla into the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter.

Rest the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pan until about 180C (356F).

Carefully drop teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry, turning all the time until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Drain on kitchen paper and dust with sugar.

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Powered by article was written by Claire Thomson, for The Guardian on Friday 6th December 2013 14.08 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © John Watson