This healthy baked pumpkin donuts recipe is easy to make and irresistibly delicious! These homemade pumpkin donuts are moist, fluffy, and ready in under 30 minutes! They’re baked and not fried and made with whole wheat flour!
Happy first day of my favorite month of the year! Seriously, I love everything about October. The beauty brought about by the changing of the seasons, the delicious fall produce being harvested daily, and the eager anticipation for the holiday season.
This healthy baked pumpkin donuts recipe is super easy to make and is ready in under 30 minutes! They are baked and not fried and made with whole wheat flour! Plus the cinnamon glaze makes them absolutely irresistible!
How do you make Pumpkin Donuts?
There are three steps to making these pumpkin glazed donuts…
- Make the donuts & bake them.
- Make the glaze.
- Glaze the donuts.
So we’ll walk through each step together and I’ll give some helpful tips and tricks for getting your pumpkin donuts to turn out perfectly every time!
1. Make the Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Mix the wet ingredients. This is a super simple one-bowl pumpkin donut recipe. I recommend mixing all the wet ingredients together first until they are silky smooth.
- Add the brown sugar. Then add the brown sugar and stir really well. Sometimes brown sugar can clump and leave hard sugary lumps in your baked goods. We do not want that! So make sure it’s fully dissolved into the batter before adding the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients. For the sake of filming this recipe I simply dumped all the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients and then made sure to mix them really well. If you prefer, you can mix the dry ingredients first in a separate small bowl, and then add them to the wet ingredients.
After a good mix, your batter is done and you’re reading to move onto the next step…
2. Bake the Pumpkin Donuts
I have made my fair share of baked donuts around here, so I implore you to learn from my experience and use some of these helpful tricks!
How to fill a donut pan
I have tried filling a donut pan in numerous different ways, but by FAR the easiest is pictured below. You don’t need any fancy equipment, simply put the batter into a quart-sized plastic bag and cut off the tip.
Then evenly squeeze the batter into the wells of the greased donut pan and bake! This is so much easier than trying to use a spatula or spoon to evenly spread the batter into the wells. The final product is so much prettier and the process is neater!
If you prefer, use a decorator bag with a large, circular tip, or leave the tip off all together!
Bake & Cool
Next bake the healthy pumpkin donuts until the tops spring back when touched and they are slightly browned around the edges.
Let the baked pumpkin donuts cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. This will ensure that they hold their shape when transferred. I recommend using a metal spoon to release the edges of the donuts from the pan before removing!
While the donuts are cooling, it’s time to move on to the next step…
3. Make the cinnamon glaze
Sure you could leave the glaze off these pumpkin donuts…but I do NOT recommend doing that! The cinnamon glaze takes this recipe from great to WOW.
And it’s so easy to make! Simply mix together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Then add milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. At first it won’t seem like the amount of milk is sufficient to make a smooth glaze, but just keep stirring and it’ll all work out!
However, you can add more milk 1/2 tsp at a time if you notice the glaze isn’t smooth or spreadable enough. Just be careful because a little milk goes a LONG way.
4. Glaze the donuts
There are two ways to glaze the donuts:
- Spoon the glaze on each pumpkin donut. I attempted this method first, and while it works, it’s not my favorite because a lot of glaze drips off the donut onto the surface below. So if this is your method of choice, I recommend placing the cooling rack on top of a large plate or baking sheet to catch the glaze so you can collect the extra and use it!
- Dip the tops of the pumpkin donuts into the glaze. I found this method much easier and less messy. I also like the look of the top of the donuts better when they are dipped once and left to set.
Let the glaze set. Once the donuts are glazed, they need to sit at room temperature until the glaze is hardened. To speed up this process feel free to pop them in the refrigerator!
How to store Pumpkin Donuts
Since I made a few batches of these at once to test them to be sure they were spot-on, I stored them a few different ways. If you plan on eating them the day they are made, simply leave them out on the cooling rack or on a serving dish at room temperature!
To keep them fresher longer, store the pumpkin glazed donuts in the refrigerator. I recommend putting them in a single layer in an airtight container. Stacking them can cause the glaze to crack!
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Donuts
These baked pumpkin donuts can easily be made dairy-free! Simply use coconut oil or ghee for the butter, and use your favorite dairy-free milk (I recommend coconut milk for the richest flavor).
Pumpkin Donuts: Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, let’s chat about the ingredients used in this pumpkin donut recipe, as well as the possible substitutions.
- All-purpose flour. I chose to use a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for a lighter texture. Feel free to use your favorite flour (spelt, buckwheat, white whole wheat, etc), but be aware that it will effect the texture of the final product.
- Whole wheat flour. I love using whole wheat flour in baked good for the extra nutrition and fiber. You could skip it and simply use entirely all-purpose flour if you don’t regularly keep whole wheat flour on hand. You can also use white whole wheat flour!
- Pumpkin puree. Please use 100% pure pumpkin puree. Not pumpkin pie filling! You can use homemade puree if have have some!
- Butter. I adore the slight buttery taste in these pumpkin glazed donuts. However if you prefer you can use coconut oil or ghee for a dairy-free version!
- Milk. I used whole milk because that’s what we buy! 2%, half and half, heavy cream, etc. should all work well in this recipe! I don’t recommend 1% or skim, as the higher the fat content, the richer the donuts will taste. You can also use a non-dairy milk to make this pumpkin donuts recipe dairy-free. I recommend full-fat coconut milk for the richest taste!
- Brown Sugar. Coconut sugar can be used in place of brown sugar for a refined-sugar free variety. You can also use granulated sugar, however I prefer the richer taste of brown sugar! Light or dark works well in this recipe, I used light in these photos and in the video.
- Powdered Sugar. For a refined sugar free version you can make your own powdered sugar. However the glaze will be darker in color!
Essentials for making Baked Pumpkin Donuts
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Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Make the Pumpkin Donuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 6-well standard donut pan, set aside.
- In a small bowl combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, sea salt) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin and melted butter until smooth and combined.
- Add egg, milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add brown sugar and stir until it’s completely combined and dissolved into the batter.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined and the batter is homogenous (uniform throughout).
- Transfer batter from the mixing bowl into a quart Ziploc bag or piping bag. If using a plastic bag, cut off one tip of the bag.
- Pipe batter into the wells of the donut pan.
- Use your finger to smooth out any air pockets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and are slightly golden brown.
- Let sit in the donut pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze:
- In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and cinnamon.
- Add 2 TBS milk and stir to combine.
- The mixture should be firm but flowy (easily poured with a spoon but not liquidy).
- If necessary, add more milk ½ tsp at a time (a little goes a long way).
Glaze the donuts:
- Once the pumpkin donuts are completely cooled, apply the glaze in one of two ways:
- 1) Dip the tops of the donuts in the bowl filled with glaze and then set on a wire cooling rack to harden.
- 2) Use a spoon and scoop the glaze onto the donuts. Let sit on the wire cooling rack to harden.
- Let the glazed pumpkin donuts sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until glaze is hardened, then enjoy!
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