Baked pumpkin donuts are warmly spiced and taste like a cake-y pumpkin bread. They’re covered in a maple vanilla glaze and more chopped pecans for a festive fall dessert!
Hello! You’ve found my very first recipe blog post, though it may not look like it. These photos got a much-needed makeover in September 2016. Scroll down to see what they originally looked like (if you dare).
Is there a relationship more alluring than the one between bloggers and pumpkin?
As a long-time blog reader (now first time blogger!) I’d always look forward to the seasonal deluge of pumpkin recipes, judiciously stocking up on cans of pumpkin puree long before Thanksgiving rolled around, just in case.
One October my pining for pumpkin muffins happened to coincide with a shortage of pumpkin puree at my local grocery store. Cue the panic!
These baked pumpkin donuts are such a great treat for fall. And a healthier one, at that.
Well, they still contain sugar and decidedly qualify as dessert, but they’re made in a baked donut pan instead of being fried, so there’s something.
The ingredients here are fairly straight-forward. I like to use a mix of granulated and brown sugars in this recipe to bring the sweetness with a warm flavor. Doesn’t brown sugar mix so well with pumpkin?
The spice blend here is cinnamon-heavy, with ground ginger and nutmeg joining to lean into that pumpkin spice flavor. If you’d rather, you can use a similar quantity of pumpkin pie spice in its place.
The glaze is powdered sugar based, but includes as much or as little ground cinnamon as you like and maple syrup to deliver a smooth but just thick enough glaze for your donuts. Extra chopped pecans is a festive decorative touch.
Baked donuts are just about as easy as muffins. After combining the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, mix them together and fold in the pecans. Then scoop them into a donut pan and bake.
Take care not to overmix the wet and dry ingredients, as that can lead to tougher and less tender baked goods. The gluten proteins in the flour start developing once they hit liquid, so mixing them too much can lead to a whole host of texture issues. Not that pumpkin bread-esque vibe we’re going for.
This baked pumpkin donut recipe will yield a little more than six donuts worth of batter. I have one of these baked donut pans (affiliate link) with six wells, so I after I filled my pan, I pulled out a mini muffin tin and used the rest of the batter to make a few of those. Easy!
That link features a double set, which means you’re good to go when it comes to making a full batch of donuts. Whatever works.
And there it is – the very first photo I took for the blog. I’m self-taught and certainly not a photography expert, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve come a long way. 🙂
P.S. Since I mentioned it a few times in this post, this recipe for naturally sweetened pumpkin bread is our household favorite! More maple + pumpkin goodness.
- When buying pumpkin, be sure you’re getting pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. The cans will likely be right next to one another on the store shelves and look similar. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and spiced already, which is not what we want here.
- I use a regular-sized donut pan, not mini, jumbo, or whatever other size you might find out there.
- If the glaze is too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar. If it’s too dry, add more maple syrup (or water) a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Vanilla Glaze
For the Donuts:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
For the Maple Vanilla Glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 shakes of ground cinnamon, to taste
- Chopped pecans, for topping
To bake donuts:
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to eggs and mix until combined.
- Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir to combine, but take care not to overmix. Fold in chopped pecans.
- Spoon mixture evenly into donut pan wells, or add batter to a large plastic bag, seal it, and snip off a corner so you can pipe the batter into the pan. Make sure the snipped corner is large enough for the pecan pieces to come through.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Invert donuts onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Once donuts have completely cooled, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth and to your preferred consistency. Dip smoothest side of donuts into glaze.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans over top and let harden before serving or storing.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.