What if I told you that you could make sweet, fragrant pumpkin donuts at home in just about a half an hour?
Sound like I’m trying to sell you snake oil?
But seriously, this recipe really does turn out gorgeous, gloriously orange, baked pumpkin donuts in about 30 minutes.
They’re baked, not fried, if you wanna make the argument that they’re healthier, yada yada.
I’m betting that you could fry these babies up and they’d turn into crispy, pumpkin-fritter type things.
I may have to try that, actually. (Stay tuned.)
I turned to the good folks at King Arthur Flour for a recipe, and, as usual, they didn’t disappoint.
This is their cake donut recipe, tweaked ever so slightly.
Get yourself a couple of donut pans—or don’t
If you like donuts a lot—and want to bake them—invest in a donut pan or two.
They’re inexpensive, and make baking donuts on the fly a lot easier. I have two Wilton pans, and also one of their mini donut pans.
They work great. (Get them here on Amazon.)
If you don’t want to bother with the extra pans, you can totally bake these in muffin tins.
You’ll just have to screw around with the baking time a little.
I’d check them around 15 minutes, then give them a little longer, because they’ll be thicker than the ones made in the special donut pan.
Glaze or sugar?
For this recipe, I rolled half of the donuts in cinnamon sugar.
The other half, I glazed using this recipe from Alton Brown.
The sugared donuts were a house favorite.
(Funny thing, though, the glazed ones disappeared almost as fast…)
About canned pumpkin
Be sure to use 100% pure canned pumpkin (which is straight up, unadulterated pumpkin), NOT canned pumpkin pie mix (which is pumpkin with sugar and a bunch of other crap in it).
Wolves like donuts, too
I made a little batter without nutmeg (which isn’t great for dogs) and baked a few mini donuts for them as a special treat.
They were a huge hit!
Alright, enough small talk.
To the ovens!
Baked Pumpkin Cake Donuts
oil or butter to grease the pans
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (that’s about one ~15-oz. can)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cinnamon sugar for dusting
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Yields about 15 donuts
Do a little prep
Grab your donut pans, give them a quick spray with oil or rub them down with butter. Set them aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the pumpkin donut batter
Put the olive oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Toss in the flour. Mix just until the batter comes together.
(The more you stir, the more gluten the flour will develop.
The more gluten, the tougher your finished product will be.
Great for French bread, not so great for donuts. Go easy.)
The batter will be thick, kind of like good brownie batter.
And that’s your batter! (So easy, right?)
Bake the donuts
Fill your donut pans about 3/4 full and smooth the batter down. Don’t make yourself nuts with this.
For my pans, each donut used roughly 2 Tablespoons of batter.
Pop the pans into your preheated, 350-degree F oven.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
(If you’re improvising with muffin tins, check them at 15 minutes, they’ll likely need at least a few more minutes, depending on how much you filled the muffin cups.)
I yanked mine at just about 15 minutes.
They were puffed up, gorgeously orange, and the surface sprung back when pressed gently with a finger (another way to tell if a cake is done).
When they’re done, pull them out of the oven.
Let them rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool.
Sugar or glaze the donuts
While they’re still warm, sugar or glaze the donuts to finish them.
(Or, hell, just eat them as is off the rack. They’re that yummy.)
For a cinnamon sugar coating, toss the sugar and cinnamon in a bag until well combined.
Then, one at a time, gently roll the warm donuts in the sugar to coat.
Set the sugared donuts back on the rack to finish cooling.
For a glazed coating, whisk the milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small pot.
Cook on medium heat for a minute or two, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
Take the pot off the heat and (carefully) dip the donuts on each side in the hot glaze until coated.
Put the glazed donuts back on the rack to finish cooling.
Serve and enjoy!
This batch of donuts lasted an hour. Maybe less.
I’m really happy with this recipe, and know it will be a regular at the Mouse House, especially with Halloween season looming large already here in Salem.