SMiLes by Meg

Pumpkin Donuts

As promised, the pumpkin trend continues. It almost feels like cheating to make pumpkin bread, pumpkin bundt cake, and pumpkin donuts as separate posts, since for me they all serve the same general function: putting pumpkin in some kind of carb-heavy vessel. But hey, when you’ve been blogging for 3 years, you’re going to have to eventually do some stuff that’s kinda similar.

As much as I love pumpkin, this year’s pumpkin posts might need to come to an end after just two. With Halloween next weekend, I want to make something creative-looking (shout out to Camila for the inspiration), and after hiking in the snow today, I’ve got winter (and not-pumpkin) on my mind. To be determined if this mindset continues.

Anyways, I hosted a brunch this weekend largely as an excuse to make all of my favorite foods, and to have an excuse to use my donut pan, because if something is baked in ring-form, it becomes breakfast food. I also couldn’t decide how exactly I wanted to finish my donuts, so I did everything (other than actually frost them) that I found on Pinterest: cinnamon-sugar coating, glazed, and plain. Think of it as donut choose-your-own adventure.

Regardless, I used the same base for them all.

First, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.Pumpkin Donuts - 1In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined.  Pumpkin Donuts - 2Add the oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla extract. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Pumpkin Donuts - 3 Pumpkin Donuts - 4Beat in the dry ingredients until well combined.Pumpkin Donuts - 5 Pumpkin Donuts - 6Spoon evenly into a donut pan sprayed with cooking spray, filling each well about 3/4 full and spreading to make sure of even distribution. The recipe should make about 18 donuts, but I only have a pan for 6, which meant three batches.Pumpkin Donuts - 7Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until dry on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for five minutes before transferring to wire rack.Pumpkin Donuts - 8 Pumpkin Donuts - 10Having the three batches actually made my creative toppings that much easier to manage. I think these donuts are perfectly fine plain, but if you need a little more sugary crunch, try the cinnamon sugar coating.Pumpkin Donuts - 11To do this, melt some butter in one bowl and combine some cinnamon and sugar in another. Dip each donut in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar. Place back on wire rack to finish cooling.Pumpkin Donuts - 12If a sugary glaze is more your thing, that’s pretty easy, too.Pumpkin Donuts - 13Just whisk together confectioners’ sugar, warm water, and a bit of vanilla extract until a soupy consistency. Dip donuts in and allow excess to drip off, then place on wire rack to solidify.Pumpkin Donuts - 14Full disclosure on that one: they will melt if it gets hot in the room. Like when you have 12 people over for brunch. And then all of the donuts they are stacked with will be drenched in sugary syrup. You’ve been warned.

Solution? Just stick with the plain. That’s where you taste the pumpkin the best anyways.

Enjoy!Pumpkin Donuts - 15

Pumpkin Donuts


  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together granulated and brown sugars until no large clumps.
  3. Add oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla to sugars and beat with hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
  5. Spray donut pan with cooking spray and spoon batter into wells about 3/4 full, spreading evenly.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Top as desired.

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