The fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice used in these easy baked pumpkin donuts really shines through. They’re moist, cakey, and made without any deep-frying! Enjoy plain or drizzled with a glaze with your morning coffee or for a dessert!
Baked donuts are becoming more and more popular as a healthier alternative to the classic fried donut. And why shouldn’t they be? A delicious baked treat that can be flexible with ingredients, loaded with all kinds of flavor variations, and is so easy to make!
My Baked Apple Cider Donuts are a hit with my family, but they’re about to start sharing the limelight! Hmmm, maybe one kind for a quick and easy fall breakfast and the other for dessert?
Table of contents
Easy Baked Donuts
Baked pumpkin donuts are an easy way to get your pumpkin dessert cravings fulfilled without a ton of extra effort! As much as I love pumpkin pecan bars, pumpkin cheesecake trifle, or pumpkin pie smoothies, there’s something nice special about an easy donut recipe that results in the same pumpkin spice flavor. These moist cake donuts check all of the boxes and then some.
They’re baked, so they’re more cake-like and denser than your old-fashioned deep-fried donut, which is fine by me if I can bypass all of the extra grease! They’re still nice and fluffy, and have a beautiful balance of warming spices that remind you of the fall season and sweetness which remind you of, well, a donut! It’s perfect.
Why this recipe works
- It’s quick and easy and simple enough to make on a whim (when the pumpkin craving comes-a-calling!).
- They’re so versatile and can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, snack, and dessert.
- They’re always a hit at parties, especially when glazed for extra pizzazz.
- Leftovers can be kept at room temperature for easy access and then transferred to the fridge or freezer for an extended period.
- Similar to baked vanilla donuts and baked apple cider donuts. Two other recipes we love that are crave-able this time of year!
- All-purpose flour – I like using all-purpose flour for my baked donuts because I know it will hold its structure while remaining and fluffy as a cake-like donut can be.
- Sugar – Regular white granulated sugar adds a nice contrast to the otherwise spiced donut. We’re using pumpkin puree, which needs the added sugar for sweetness.
- Pumpkin pie spice – A ready-made blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. You can make your own if you don’t have the combination already made.
- Baking powder – Helps to make the donuts rise.
- Milk – Using whole milk as the liquid that combines everything adds moisture and richness to the consistency of the batter and texture once it’s baked.
- Pumpkin puree – Canned pure pumpkin can be found at your local grocery store. Do not use the canned pumpkin pie filling. If there is no shortage, of course! Otherwise, make your own from baking a sugar pumpkin!
- Egg – For binding the ingredients so the donut stays a donut!
- Vanilla – A beautiful flavor that pairs so well with almost any ingredient we use for baking. In this recipe specifically, it works with the pumpkin spice, the pumpkin, the sugar, and the combination of it all!
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe will come together in 4 easy steps, all in one bowl and baked in under 20 minutes!
Step 1: Combine flour and other dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
Step 3: Fill each prepared and greased donut hole about ½ full and bake in a preheated oven for 14-16 minutes. (using cooking spray is my favorite fro greasing)
Step 4: Test the donuts with a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, remove the donuts from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
A Simple Vanilla Glaze
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of confectioners sugar 2 tablespoons of milk of choice and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Once donuts are cooled, either drizzle the glaze with a spoon, piping bag or dip the entire side of the donut in it.
- Dip warm donuts in a cinnamon sugar mixture of ½ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the glaze.
- Add a teaspoon of maple syrup to the glaze for a simple maple cinnamon glaze. Or use a combination of cinnamon and maple syrup for a cinnamon and maple combination.
- Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the powdered sugar mixture for a sweet chocolate glaze
Tips & Ingredient Substitutions
- Allow donuts to cool completely before adding any glaze. Otherwise, the glaze will thin out too much and absorb right into the donut.
- Use whole wheat in place of all-purpose flour if desired.
- To make these gluten-free, use one-to-one flour (like Bob’s Red Mill) if preferred.
- Substitute regular milk with lower fat milk or any non-dairy milk like almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk.
- Substitute brown sugar for the white sugar in the donut.
- If you don’t have a blend of the ready-made pumpkin spice mixture, you can easily make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. All you need is cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and the option of allspice.
- They’re best served at room temperature!
Donuts can be kept stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, in an airtight container for optimal freshness. Transfer them to the fridge for another couple of days if you still haven’t eaten them all. Also, what are you waiting for?!
These are best enjoyed at room temperature, so as long as they’re not frozen, you can enjoy them at any time. If you do need a quick warm-up, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. Otherwise, dunk them in a hot cup of coffee and enjoy!
You can! There are some ways around this. You can crumple up a small ball of tin foil, place it in the center of the muffin tin and pipe the batter around it. You can pipe the batter in a ring right on top of a silicone baking sheet. Or, you can use a mini muffin tray and bake them as you normally would and call them donut holes 😉
Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grease the donut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the, milk, pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk until just barely combined (careful not to over mix).
- Fill each donut hole about ½ full.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.
- After removing from the oven, transfer to a wire rack.