Ballymaloe Balloons

Balloons are like doughnuts, but very simple and fast to make. These are one of my husband, Isaac’s, very favourite childhood treats. This is a recipe of Isaac’s grandmother Myrtle who used to make these with her mother when she was a child, and she still quite often makes these for the little guests staying at Ballymaloe for children’s tea .Our children love making these.

Makes about 12


  • 140g  / scant 5 oz plain flour
  • 2-4 tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 200ml / 7fl.oz milk
  • Extra caster sugar for tossing with the balloons when they are cooked – about 25g/ 1oz


  1. Heat a deep fryer to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time until you have a thick batter.
  2.  When the oil is hot take a dessertspoonful of the mixture and push it gently off with another spoon, so that it drops in a round ball into the oil. Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 12 balloons.
  3. Fry until deep golden, for about 4-5 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove and toss in caster sugar (I sometimes add some ground cinnamon to the sugar), and serve while still warm