Soft and fluffy baked pumpkin donuts tossed in crunchy cinnamon sugar are the perfect sweet way to start fall mornings.
In 2015, I shared these Pumpkin Donuts With Maple Glaze. They were one of my favorite recipes I posted that season, and I loved them so much that I wanted to revisit that pumpkin donut recipe and try something a little different.
So this time around, the donut base is still the same fabulous moist and soft pumpkiny dream of a baked donut, but instead of topping them with maple frosting, they get coated in crunchy cinnamon sugar
And friend, they’re real good.
My mom was my donut taste tester for the original maple version, and she loved those. She took one bite of these cinnamon sugar donuts and was immediately like, “These are my favorite donuts you have ever made.”
So don’t just take my word for it, my mom thinks you should make them too. 😉
Baked Pumpkin Donut Ingredients
Baking staples: This recipe uses a handful of pantry baking staples: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, an egg, and milk.
Butter: You’re going to use butter both in the donut base and to coat the donuts after baking so the cinnamon sugar sticks. I call for unsalted butter in the recipe, but if all you have is salted, it will work fine. Just cut the added salt in the recipe by half.
Pumpkin puree: Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin puree is just pure, pureed pumpkin. You can usually find it in the baking aisle near the premade pie fillings. This recipe won’t use a whole can, so check out my post on Leftover Pumpkin Puree for storage tips and recipe ideas for the leftovers.
Pumpkin pie spices: These donuts are made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves to really boost that fall pumpkin flavor. If you have premixed pumpkin pie spice, you can replace the spices with 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Cinnamon sugar: While I normally think the perfect cinnamon sugar ratio is 1 part cinnamon to 4 parts sugar, this recipe uses much less cinnamon. This is because you’re already getting a ton of cinnamon flavor from the donuts themselves and too much cinnamon in the cinnamon sugar mixture will make the coating dark and splotchy.
How to Make Pumpkin Donuts
- Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in a second bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Overmixing can create tough donuts, so mix just until there are no longer any streaks of flour at the bottom of your bowl and them move on.
- Fill the donut pan using a piping bag or gallon plastic storage bag with a hole snipped off of one corner. You can fill your donut pan with a spoon, but trust me, piping the donut batter is so much faster, cleaner, and easier than trying to spoon it.
- Bake the donuts until they’re springy. Instead of whipping out a cake tester, the super easy way to tell if these donuts are done is to press a finger gently into the top of one of the donuts, and if it springs back or almost completely springs back, it’s done.
- Let donuts sit until cool enough to handle. You don’t need to completely cool the donuts before coating. As soon as they’re cool enough to handle you can start rolling them in butter and cinnamon sugar.
More Pumpkin Donut Toppings
If you’d like some other topping options for your pumpkin donuts, try:
Do I need a donut pan to make these donuts?
Yes, you’ll definitely need one if you want that classic donut shape. I’m a fan of this Wilton model. I’ve owned it for years and use it for all of my donut recipes.
But can I make these without a donut pan?
If you don’t own a donut pan, you can also make donut muffins in a regular muffin pan. This will make about 6 muffins. Bake at the temperature called for in the recipe for about 14 minutes.
Can I make these into pumpkin donut holes?
Yes! This will make about 20-ish donut holes using a mini muffin pan. Bake at the temperature called for in the recipe for 7 to 10 minutes.
How to store pumpkin donuts?
Baked donuts are best on the first day, but if you’d like to store them, keep them at room temperature laid out in a single layer in an airtight container (stacked donuts will stick and pull cinnamon sugar off each other).
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Mini Pumpkin Cake
- Small-batch Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mini Pumpkin Pie
- The Best Pumpkin Pancakes
- Small-batch Pumpkin Cupcakes
Cinnamon Sugar Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Donut Pan or mini muffin tin
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon *
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (81g) pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup milk any percentage
- 2 tablespoons (1oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1/4 cup (2oz) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease your donut pan (or muffin tin).
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, milk, and melted butter. Whisk together until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Place a large disposable plastic bag over a cup and transfer batter to the bag. Snip off one of the corners and "pipe" the batter into your prepared donut pan, filling about 3/4 of the way full. This will make exactly 6 donuts.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the donut tops spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. When pan is cool enough to handle, turn donuts out on a cooling rack.
- Add melted butter to a small bowl large enough for dipping. In a second bowl of the same size, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Dip a donut first in the butter, letting any excess drip off and then dip in the cinnamon sugar, tossing to coat.
- Repeat with remaining donuts and enjoy!
Donuts Adapted From Live Well Bake Often
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