A baked pumpkin spice donut dipped in cinnamon and sugar makes the coziest fall breakfast! They are the ultimate fall treat, perfect with a cup of coffee and soft sweater. Best part? This pumpkin donut recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes and these cake donuts are baked, not fried!
I'm supposed to say something about how this recipe is popular in the fall as the leaves begin to turn and the air is crisp and cool, but let's just be honest for a sec.
Here's the deal. I would eat pumpkin spice donuts in July! I don't feel like a pumpkin recipe automatically has to be just a special fall thing. Let's make pumpkin season a year-round flavor!
If you are like me and absolutely love all pumpkin recipes, you've got to try my Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Marinara. It is absolutely drool worthy, and my kids don't even notice that the sauce isn't pure tomato.
And then there are Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. They are naturally gluten-free, and combine my favorite flavors: salty pretzels, creamy cheesecake and pumpkin spice.
Finally, if you love pumpkin baked goods, these easy Sourdough Pumpkin Muffins are a delicious way to use up extra sourdough starter.
I've added a helpful jump-to button (below) so you can skip right to the parts you need! Hope it helps!
Ingredients for pumpkin cake donuts
For the donuts
- All-purpose flour
- Dark brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Pumpkin pie spice mix
- Baking soda
- Pumpkin puree
- Whole milk
Cinnamon & Sugar Coating
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted butter
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make baked pumpkin donuts
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Prepare the donut pan by coating with cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, and butter.
Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pans. Another way to fill the pans is by pouring the batter into a plastic bag (or piping bag) and cutting a corner off to pipe it into the molds.
Bake for 10 minutes (give or take two minutes). The donuts are done when they spring back when touched and will pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.
Leave the pumpkin donuts in the pan until they have cooled so that they can be touched without burning fingers. Then invert the pan onto a wire rack.
In a shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. In a separate shallow bowl, melt the butter and let cool. Use a pastry brush to paint the butter onto the donut tops. Dip the warm donuts upside down into the sugar mixture so that the top of the donut is coated in sugar and cinnamon.
Hint: These baked pumpkin donuts are best eaten immediately, but can be stored in an air tight container for two days. I've also had good luck freezing them after they are fully cooled.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. For more delicious recipes from scratch and homesteading tips, follow me on instagram @NinnescahHomestead
Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon and Sugar
- donut pan
- mixing bowls & measuring cups
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs large
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
Sugar & Cinnamon Coating
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Prepare the donut pan by coating with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, and butter.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pans. Another way to fill the pans is by pouring the batter into a plastic bag and cutting a corner off to pipe it into the molds.
- Bake for 10 minutes (give or take two minutes). The donuts are done when they spring back when touched and will pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.
- Leave the pumpkin donuts in the pan until they have cooled so that they can be touched without burning fingers. Then invert the pan onto a cooling rack.
Sugar and Cinnamon
- In a shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. In a separate shallow bowl, melt the butter and let cool. Use a pastry brush to paint the butter onto the donut tops. Dip the pumpkin donuts upside down into the sugar mixture so that the top of the donut is coated in sugar and cinnamon.
Glaze variation instead of cinnamon sugar mixture
If you love glazed donuts, I have the perfect recipe for you! This is a simple maple glaze that can be used instead of the cinnamon and sugar coating.
Maple cinnamon glaze recipe
You will need 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk for thinning.
In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, unsalted melted butter (cooled), maple syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until the glaze texture is slightly runny.
Hold donut upside down and dip the top into the glaze. Keep holding the donut upside down to let the excess drip off. Transfer to a cooling rack to set up and cool.
Helpful tools for making baked cake donuts
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Silicon donut pans are a game changer! They allow the donuts to gently be popped out after cooling and are easy to clean. I recommend baking them on a baking pan (aka cookie sheet) to add a rigid and stable base.
Homemade cake donuts don't store for long. Make them the day you wish to serve them or store them in an airtight container for up to two days.
They can also be frozen for up to three months. Be aware that the sugar coating will break down when frozen and thawed, but the flavor will still be just fine.
Do not over mix the batter, or your donuts will be tough. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined so that your donuts are soft.
Can I substitute pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin puree?
Pumpkin pie filling is not a direct substitute for pumpkin puree in most recipes, including baked pumpkin donuts. Pumpkin pie filling is typically sweetened and seasoned with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, making it ready to use for making pumpkin pies. It contains additional ingredients, such as sugar and sometimes eggs, which are not present in plain pumpkin puree.
Using pumpkin pie filling as a substitute for real pumpkin puree in a recipe like baked pumpkin donuts can significantly alter the flavor and texture of the final product, making it too sweet and overly spiced.
If you only have pumpkin pie filling on hand and wish to use it in your recipe, you can try to adjust the sugar and spice levels in your recipe accordingly. Reduce the added sugar and spices to account for the sweetness and seasonings already present in the pie filling.
However, for the best results, it's recommended to use plain pumpkin puree in recipes that call for it, as it provides a neutral pumpkin flavor that can be customized with the right amount of sweetness and spices for your specific dish.
Yes, you can certainly use fresh pumpkin puree! Simply roast or steam a small sugar pumpkin, then mash or blend the flesh until smooth. You can use this fresh puree as a one-to-one substitute for canned pumpkin in the recipe.
Absolutely! Baked pumpkin donuts can be made in advance and reheated for a delicious treat later. To reheat, simply place them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or pop them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5 minutes. Remember to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar coating just before serving for the best taste and texture.
Yes, you can make gluten-free baked pumpkin donuts by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Make sure the blend includes xanthan gum or another binding agent. Additionally, ensure that all other ingredients, such as baking powder and spices, are certified gluten-free. You may also need to adjust the baking time slightly, so keep an eye on the donuts as they bake to avoid overcooking.
While brown sugar can add a rich caramel flavor, it's best to stick with granulated sugar for the coating to achieve that classic cinnamon sugar texture. Brown sugar might make the coating more prone to clumping and may not adhere as evenly. However, you can experiment with a mixture of both sugars if you want to incorporate a subtle caramel note while retaining the desired texture.
If you make this recipe, leave me a comment and tell me how you liked it! It's early September as I'm writing this, and I'll just be over here dreaming of fall! Be sure to pin one of these pictures to your Pinterest so you can easily find this recipe later!
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