The softest and moistest Baked Pumpkin Donuts ever are right here! Prepared with both pumpkin puree and a homemade pumpkin spice blend, these donuts are the best pumpkin-flavoured donuts you’ll ever eat! They are brushed with melted butter and rolled in a cinnamon sugar coating. It’s a good thing each batch makes 18 donuts because they disappear quite quickly!
Everything pumpkin flavoured is here folks! Don’t wait before getting your fix though, because just as fast as a pumpkin-flavoured drink pops up on the menu at Starbucks, it disappears just as quickly. That’s why I’m about to make a second batch of these Baked Pumpkin Donuts. I have to get my fill! I suggest you do the same, Dear Reader.
One of the things that I love most about this recipe – other than the fact that these donuts are so delicious! – is that this recipe uses both real pumpkin puree and a pumpkin spice blend. So, you know you’re getting the real deal here! Many times, pumpkin-flavoured recipes only have the spices, so the addition of the puree really adds so much more pumpkin flavour, not to mention the fact that the puree helps to keep the donuts super soft and moist too!
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EVERYONE LOVES DONUTS!
If there is one thing in life that one should never live without, it has to be donuts! Am I right? This is precisely why I have opted to prepare donuts using one of my all-time favourite flavours – pumpkin! In these Baked Pumpkin Donuts, I’m doubling up on the pumpkin flavour. The question is, can you handle it? To be honest, any excuse I can find to break out my donut pans, I’m going to find it!
When we are in Toronto, it is so easy to go grab a donut whenever I feel like it. In fact, we live literally steps away from both a Tim Horton’s and a Starbucks. My go-to donut at Tim Horton’s is the apple fritter. And, if I’m at Starbucks, I always go for a cream cheese danish.
Now that we have been spending more time outside the city, the nearest Tim Horton’s and Starbucks are about a 35-minute drive from our house. To drive there and back would take over an hour. I can bake 18 donuts in much less time, so that’s what I often do. Before you ask, no, we did not eat 18 donuts! McKenna came to visit with a friend so they ate a few. I also packed up eight of them and dropped them off with the electricians who have been working on our kitchen renovation.
BAKED, NOT FRIED!
Now, for some of you, making donuts at home might seem daunting. But, it shouldn’t be. These donuts are baked, not fried, so there’s much less mess. And, the recipe is quite easy too. The only thing you might need are donut pans.
Baking the donuts makes them super healthy, right? Oh, if only that were true! In fact, baked is better than fried in terms of health-conscious eating. So, these Baked Pumpkin Donuts are indeed healthier, so at least we have that going for us!
DONUT PANS – A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR THE AVID BAKER
When I first thought about the possibility of making donuts at home, I thought long and hard about purchasing donut pans. After all, how often will one make donuts at home? Did I really need to spend money on a set of donut baking pans? Would I use them more than just twice a year? Then, I’d convince myself that I didn’t have much storage room and eventually, I’d leave the store without them.
Ever since I broke down and purchased a set of donut baking pans, I can’t stop thinking about making donuts. Truthfully, Dear Reader, I will try to find any excuse I can to whip up a batch. I try not to do that, though. If I can limit them to special occasions only, I won’t feel so guilty for eating so many of them.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare these Baked Pumpkin Donuts. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
For the Donut:
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Baking Powder – This is used to increase the volume of the batter and to add texture as well.
- Baking Soda – Commonly known as sodium bicarbonate, or just bicarb, it is a baking ingredient that helps with leavening or rising.
- Salt – This is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. In baking, it helps to enhance and balance the sweetness.
- Pumpkin Spice Blend – You can buy this or, if you have a spice rack at home, you can make it very easily. Here’s a very easy recipe that I use every year.
- Brown Sugar – First of all, it has way more flavour than regular white sugar! And, in this recipe, brown sugar helps to keep the donuts moist and soft.
- Sugar – Sugar will caramelize when baked, which will help to brown the batter as it bakes.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Eggs – Whenever you set out to bake, make sure your eggs are at room temperature too – just like your butter!
- Pumpkin Puree – Most of us buy this in a can, but you can make it yourself. It is peeled and cooked pumpkin that has been pureed without the addition of any other ingredients.
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For the Coating:
HOW TO MAKE BAKED PUMPKIN DONUTS
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat the cavities of your donut pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Just a bit goes a long way, so don’t over-grease the pan. Set the pan aside while you prepare the donut batter.
Add the brown sugar, regular granulated sugar, and melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat until well combined. Next, beat in the eggs followed by the pumpkin puree. Measure in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice blend. Beat until combined.
Transfer the batter into a large Ziploc bag. Cut one of the lower corners off the bag, and in a circular pattern, fill the donut pan cavities about 3/4 way full. Tap the pan firmly on the kitchen counter to get the batter to settle into the pan. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove the baked donuts from the oven and set the pan onto a wire cooling rack to cool for two minutes. Next, turn the donuts out of the donut pan. Coat the pan once again with non-stick cooking spray and repeat the baking process to use up any leftover donut batter.
While the donuts are still warm, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar amounts in the coating section. Melt the butter too. Working with one donut at a time, use a pastry brush to lightly brush the melted butter over the warm donut. Dip the donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat well. Return the donut to the wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Donuts will keep fresh in a covered container for 3-4 days.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE A PUMPKIN SPICE BLEND
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a spice created from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. The bark is dried until it curls into a roll known as a cinnamon stick. These are ground into powder. Commonly found in baked goods, cinnamon is aromatic with a warming flavour.
- Ginger – Ground ginger is fresh ginger that has been peeled and dried before being ground into a powder. It has a pale yellow in colour and a pungent, spicy smell. It adds a warming, spicy flavour to recipes.
- Nutmeg – Nutmeg is a seed that comes in whole or ground form. It is a key ingredient in many baked goods and is essential to anything eggnog related. I often use it in fall dishes, especially in mashed potatoes!
- Allspice – Contrary to what its name suggests, allspice isn’t a blend of other spices. Allspice comes from a dried brown berry from a tree. It is a warm-tasting spice and is very aromatic.
- Cloves – Ground cloves come from whole cloves which have been finely ground. They are a flower bud that comes from the clove tree. Whole dried cloves look like small nails. The name clove comes from the Latin word for nail. They are extremely fragrant and commonly found in spiced cakes and confections.
WHAT TO MAKE WITH HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICE:
Pile all of the spices listed above into a jar and whisk them to blend. You can find the exact amounts here. I make a big jar of this and I use it up rather quickly. The blend will last about six months, but if you love to bake, you can easily use it up all between fall and Christmas baking.
You can start by making these Pumpkin Spice Blondies, or these Spritz Cookies. They are seasoned with pumpkin spice, proving that spritz cookies are not only something we should bake at Christmastime! It’s easy to think of cake and cookies, but have you tried to make your own spiced nuts? We love these Pumpkin Spiced Almonds!
LET’S TALK ABOUT PUMPKIN PUREE
When it comes to pumpkin puree, there are only two types that I will use. If I’m travelling into the United States in the fall, I’ll stock up on Libby’s brand, which I can’t find here in Canada. And, here at home, I’ll opt for the E.D. Smith brand. It’s not that I favour the Libby’s over the E.D. Smith, it’s just that Libby’s comes in a smaller-sized can which results in little waste or no leftovers. That E.D. Smith can is huge!
For these particular Baked Pumpkin Donuts though, the E.D. Smith variety was perfect because it contained the two cups of puree I needed to make the batter. And two cups of pumpkin puree is what helps to keep these donuts super moist.
Canned pumpkin puree is a blend of winter squashes and/or pumpkins. Pumpkin puree can be labelled as 100% pure pumpkin, pumpkin puree, solid pack pumpkin, or simply “pumpkin.” Regardless of what it’s called, one thing pumpkin puree won’t contain is any sort of seasonings or sugar—it’s just cooked and mashed squash. Most recipes call for pumpkin puree and also call for adding seasonings to flavour the dish.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
These donuts will stay fresh for about 3 days in a covered container. I like to pile them all onto a cake stand with a domed cover. They look great on your countertop! But, if you plan to freeze these donuts, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight-fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that donut freshness locked in!
You can freeze these donuts for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh, and be just as soft, as the day you first baked them!
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Baked Pumpkin Donuts
For the Donut Batter:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend
For the Coating:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat the cavities of your donut pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Just a bit goes a long way, so don’t over-grease the pan. Set the pan aside while you prepare the donut batter.
- Add the brown sugar, regular granulated sugar, and the melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat until well combined.
- Next, beat in the eggs followed by the pumpkin puree.
- Measure in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice blend. Beat until combined.
- Transfer the batter into a large Ziploc bag. Cut one of the lower corners off the bag, and in a circular pattern, fill the donut pan cavities about 3/4 way full. Tap the pan firmly on the kitchen counter to get the batter to settle into the pan. Bake for 14 minutes.
- Remove the baked donuts from the oven and set the pan onto a wire cooling rack to cool for two minutes.
- Next, turn the donuts out of the donut pan.
- Coat the pan once again with non-stick cooking spray and repeat the baking process to use up any leftover donut batter.
- While the donuts are still warm, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar amounts in the coating section. Melt the butter too.
- Working with one donut at a time, use a pastry brush to lightly brush the melted butter over the warm donut. Dip the donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat well.
- Return the donut to the wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Donuts will keep fresh in a covered container for 3-4 days.
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