It is surprisingly easy to make homemade fritters from scratch! Just mix up the batter, heat up some oil, and fry.
Make Fritter Batter – Start by whisking together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and spices) in a bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the dry flour mixture to the wet and mix until the batter is just combined with no lumps.
Prepare Oil for Frying – Fill a large dutch oven with at least 2 inches of the vegetable oil and heat on medium-high until the oil is 320-350°F. A candy or deep fry thermometer is really handy for these types of recipes.
Fry Fritters – Dollop the fritter batter into the hot oil. You can do this using a regular tablespoon or a cookie scoop. Fry the fritters in batches – about 4-5 at a time and fry until they are a deep golden brown.
Finish Fritters – Use a metal strainer to remove the fritters from the oil and place on a paper towel lined tray or plate. Dust the fritters with cinnamon powdered sugar and enjoy!
Storing leftovers: These are best eaten soon after frying them. This gives you the best texture. But you can store leftover fritters for a day or two in an airtight container. Fritters will lose their texture when frozen, so freezing is not recommended.
Make Ahead – If you want to prep the fritters in advance, you can make the batter ahead of time. Mix up the batter and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 24 hours until ready to fry. I recommend bringing the batter back to room temperature before frying in the oil.
Fry in batches – You want to avoid overcrowding the fritters when frying. This ensures better cooking and helps the oil temperature stay hotter.
Use a thermometer to measure the oil temp – For frying, it’s important that your oil is the right temp. Too low and the fritters will be greasy but too hot and they may burn. I like to use the thermometer throughout cooking so I can adjust as needed since adding the fritters will lower the temp.
Use a deep, dutch oven – Although you only need 2 inches of oil, it’s best to use a larger, deeper pot so that the oil splatter stays in the pot.
Drizzle with a vanilla glaze – Try topping with an easy vanilla glaze. Just mix together about 2 cups of powdered sugar, ¼ cup milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Mix until smooth and combined – you can add more or less powdered sugar and milk to get your preferred consistency.
Dust with powdered sugar – Dusting with powdered sugar gives the best presentation! For the pumpkin pairing, I like to use the cinnamon powdered sugar but you can use plain powdered sugar as well. It’s easiest to use a fine mesh sieve to dust and sprinkle the fritters.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are fritters?
Fritters are a variety of fried foods. They can be made from a batter or even savory ingredients. A popular American choice is the Apple Fritter but there are also savory fritters such as corn or veggie fritters.
What is the difference between a donut and a fritter?
Fritters and donuts are very similar in that they are both fried. The difference is that fritter batter has all the filling and ingredients in the batter, while donuts can have the filling ingredients piped into or on them after frying.
Can fritters be baked?
No, this recipe cannot be baked. The fritters puff up a little as they are fried, creating the fluffy texture. The batter is too thin to be baked.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
In a separate large bowl, add the pumpkin puree, milk, egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk the mixture until smooth and combined.
Add in the flour mixture. Mix just until combined and no lumps remaining.
Fill a Dutch oven/cast iron pot with at least 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat on medium-high until it reaches 320-350°F.
Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop, dollop the batter into the oil, cooking 4-5 at a time until deep golden brown.
Remove fritters from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels.
Dust the fritters with cinnamon powdered sugar.
Storing leftovers: Pumpkin fritters are best eaten soon after frying them. This gives you the best texture. But you can store leftover fritters for a day or two in an airtight container. Fritters will lose their texture when frozen, so freezing is not recommended.Make Ahead – If you want to prep the fritters in advance, you can make the batter ahead of time. Mix up the batter and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 24 hours until ready to fry. I recommend bringing the batter back to room temperature before frying in the oil.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.