Soft, tender Pumpkin Donuts are packed with fall flavors. These easy-to-make baked donuts are topped with a maple glaze. It’s the perfect weekend breakfast on a chilly, fall morning.
When fall arrives, I immediately begin with my fall baking. There is something so warm and cozy when the kitchen fills with the aroma of fall spices. And these pumpkin donuts are no exception. The wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie spice fills the room, and you know you are in for a delicious fall breakfast treat. These donuts are a great recipe for kids to join in.
Why this recipe works
- These donuts are baked and not fried.
- Simple to make without a mixer.
- You can easily double the recipe.
- Made in under 45 minutes.
- These can be eaten plain without frosting.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
Wire cooling rack
Allow all the ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
The four ground spices used in these donuts are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. They are typical fall spices that are also common ingredients in pumpkin pie spice. If you have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon for the spices listed in this recipe.
When baking, always use unsalted butter as you can control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe. For these baked donuts, the butter should be melted. It makes them slightly more tender and chewy giving it a lovely texture.
Although granulated sugar can be used for baked donuts, I prefer to use brown sugar, which pairs well with the fall flavors. Brown sugar is essentially granulated sugar with molasses added, which makes it naturally moist and results in softer and moister baked goods. Brown sugar also imparts a pleasant caramel-like flavor.
How to make pumpkin donuts
Whisk dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Combine wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and pumpkin until combined.
Add the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together until combined.
Fill baking pan. Pour the batter into a pastry bag. Cut the tip off and pipe the mixture into the donut cavities of a greased donut baking pan, filling each only 2/3 full. If you prefer, you could spoon the batter into the pan.
Bake. Place the baking pan into a preheated oven and bake for 10-11 minutes. To test for doneness, lightly press down on the donut. If it bounces back, they’re done. Alternatively, insert a toothpick into the center of a donut and if it comes out clean then the donuts are ready.
Cool. Allow the donuts to cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Two substitutes for pumpkin puree
If you don’t have pumpkin puree on hand, you can substitute with either of these ingredients for the same delicious fall donuts.
Sweet potatoes. Roast diced sweet potatoes with a little olive oil in the oven until fork-tender. Cool slightly and purée until smooth. Substitute equal amounts of pureed sweet potato for the pureed pumpkin.
Butternut squash. Like the sweet potatoes, you can roast the butternut squash and then cool, puree, and substitute an equal amount for the pureed pumpkin. You can also use frozen butternut squash. Thaw and sauté until tender then purée until smooth.
Toppings for pumpkin donuts
This recipe calls for a delicious maple spiced glaze. Here are some other options you may also enjoy.
- Sprinkle the freshly glazed donuts with chopped walnuts, fall-colored sprinkles, or toasted coconut for added texture and flavor.
- Warm some Nutella in the microwave for 10 seconds. Place into a piping bag and cut the tip off. Drizzle over the cooled pumpkin donuts for a fun chocolate twist.
- If you prefer a creamier frosting for these donuts, you could use a cream cheese frosting. And for a bonus, mix in some maple syrup and fall spices.
- You can omit the glaze in this recipe and instead dip each donut into melted butter and then generously dip into a spiced sugar mixture similar to these baked apple cider donuts.
How to store baked donuts
You can cover and store your baked donuts at room temperature for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Tips and takeaways
- Careful not to overfill your pan’s donut cavities. Only fill 2/3 full and up to 3/4 full. If you add too much batter to the pan, then the donuts will puff up in the oven and lose their shape.
- Do not overmix the batter, otherwise, these baked donuts will become dense. Ideally, you want to create a light, airy, and tender donut.
- The batter can be made the night before and stored covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
If you love pumpkin, try these other recipes…
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make these Pumpkin Donuts. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print