When fall arrives and the days grow shorter, there’s something so comforting about the aroma of pumpkin and warm spices wafting from the kitchen. Which means it’s time to whip up a batch of these delicious baked pumpkin donuts. Whether you’re hosting a cozy brunch, celebrating a special occasion, or simply craving a taste of autumn, these homemade cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts will quickly become your favorite!
Ingredients you need for these cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts + substitutions:
- Avocado oil- You can use any neutral flavored vegetable oil. I love using avocado oil, because we get a giant one from Costco and it really helps to moisten the muffins. Melted and cooled butter works as well.
- Brown sugar- Brown sugar gives it that caramel note and adds the perfect sweetness as well as giving the muffins that deep rich flavor. You can use light or dark.
- Eggs- The eggs help to bind the recipe and really help give it taste and texture. Make sure these are room temperature as well (on the counter for at least an hour) to help the recipe bind together better.
- Vanilla extract- No baked good recipe is complete without vanilla extract in my opinion. It’s key!
- Canned pumpkin- Canned pumpkin makes these muffins so soft and delicious. It obviously adds the pumpkin flavor as well. Make sure you buy pure canned pumpkin. You don’t want to get pumpkin pie mix, although it would still be delicious but much sweeter.
- All-purpose flour– I typically bake with all-purpose flour. Almond and coconut flour do not have the same measurements so they will not work in this recipe. However, gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour should work just fine. Make sure to find one with xantham gum, I love Bob’s Red Mill, but any should do.
- Pumpkin pie spice- I love using pumpkin pie spice to really bring out the goodness! If you don’t have any, you can usually make it at home!
- Baking powder- Helps to inflate the donuts!
- Baking soda- Helps to produce a light and fluffy and perfectly cooked pumpkin donut.
- Sea salt- Salt is key in every recipe.
Tips for perfect pumpkin donuts:
- Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best results.
- Don’t Overmix: Avoid overmixing the batter to keep the donuts light and fluffy.
- Proper Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
FAQs about pumpkin donuts:
- Can I use canned pumpkin pie filling instead of puree?
- While you can use canned pumpkin pie filling, it’s recommended to use puree for a better texture and flavor. The pie filling will make them too sweet.
- Can I make these donuts ahead of time?
- Yes, you can make them ahead and store them in an airtight container for up to two days. I’d suggest waiting to dip them in the cinnamon sugar mixture however, because they do get a little wetter on day 2.
- Can I use a different type of sugar coating?
- Absolutely! Experiment with powdered sugar, maple glaze, or even a cream cheese frosting for different flavor profiles.
Variations for topping:
- Chocolate Chips: Add chocolate chips to the batter for a delightful twist.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Top with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.
- Maple Glaze: Drizzle with a sweet maple glaze for that classic fall flavor.
If you love these, you may also love:
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
Alright, let’s get to making the recipe! Enjoy friends!
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts
- Donut pan I have this one!
For the Donuts:
- ½ cup avocado oil or melted butter
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar packed
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
For the Coating:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tbsp melted butter
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a donut pan or two with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix until well combined.
- Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract to the sugar and oil mixture. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Next, add in the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Be careful not to overmix; just mix until no large lumps remain.
- Spoon or pipe the donut batter into the greased donut pans, filling each cavity about 2/3 full. I like to add my mixture to a gallon ziploc bag and then cut a small hole in the bottom corner to pipe it that way.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While the donuts are baking, prepare the cinnamon sugar coating. In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.
- When the donuts are done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes.
- Carefully remove the donuts from the pan and dip each one into the melted butter, then roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat it evenly.
- Place the coated donuts on a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your homemade baked pumpkin donuts!