These super soft, super delicious pumpkin donuts are the perfect treat for all of your fall weekend adventures!
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It’s pumpkin time!
You never know what your going to get as far as the weather goes on pumpkin patch weekend, and this year it was probably the warmest we’ve ever experienced! I also never know what we’re going to get as far as what kind of pumpkins my little people pick out, and while I’m a traditionalist, and love an orange pumpkin, the girls always tend to find the coolest colors, varieties, and sizes just to stretch me 😉
A new pumpkin challenge!
As the girls get older, this time of year has gotten hard as they definitely know what they are missing when we take a pass on the pumpkin patch donuts. When they were little, we’d steer clear of the bakery area, and call it good. But, they know a little better now, and last year I ended up playing around with a new donut pan, coming up with some fun recipes so they could feel like they got to enjoy a special treat, and I could feel good about keeping the ingredients on the healthier side.
Roasted pumpkin or canned?
I’m an absolute sucker for fresh roasted pumpkin. I designed this pumpkin donut to make a good 15 donuts so that I only had to make them once per fall, freezing any leftovers, which absolutely makes it feel more do-able to go fresh on the pumpkin in my book. Canned pumpkin will work just fine as well, so go that route if you are shorter on time. If the kids have never seen a pumpkin go from the patch to the oven to a baked good though, it is so, so worth the time to do that! Simply pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees, use some good avocado oil or butter if you can have that on the flesh of the pumpkin, and roast flesh side down on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes until tender. You can scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender to puree from there. I don’t think you’ll turn back once you taste it!
Easy peasy, one bowl batter!
If you have been around these parts for very long, you know that I freely admit that I don’t enjoy baking – it is just not my thing! I love to cook, but baking is fussy and finicky, and I barely have the patience for it! So most of my baked items are super fuss free, including this one. You’ll whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the wet ingredients to mix, and then get them into the donut pan! The batter is thicker than a muffin batter, but not as thick as a cookie dough.
Let’s talk donut pans and how to bake!
Silicone is the way to go from my experience. I had metal donut pans last year, and the middle part didn’t come up very high, so it made it hard to fill the pan and keep the hole in the center of the donuts in tact as the donuts rose. My silicone donut pans have a nice high center, and the donuts come out of a silicone pan SO easily too! Since the batter is thick, I have found it easiest to pipe the batter into the donut pan so that you get a really pretty, and smooth donut. If you don’t have piping bags around, you can snip the end of a zip top bag just as easily.
That topping though!
I have played around with a few different donut toppings for these pumpkin donuts, and just love the traditional donut glaze that has a fun shiny top – it really looks like a store bought or bakery bought donut! You’ll just melt some butter or coconut oil in warm coconut milk and molasses, and then whisk the powdered sugar into the pan. Keeping the glaze warm is key in getting a really pretty, smooth frosting top. As it cools, it will harden and have that shiny gorgeous finish! Here’s the deal though – if you have really little ones at home, they are not going to know ANY differently if these donuts are glazed or not. It’s really just a mildly sweet muffin without the glaze, and if I had small children or toddlers at home, I’d be leaving the frosting off – they will still love them!
Storage and freezing options
This recipe makes a good 15 donuts – my kids do NOT need 15 donuts! You can certainly halve this recipe, but I like to freeze them. It’s nice to do a fun treat on pumpkin patch day, and then freeze some for Halloween morning! That is one less thing you have to make on Halloween, and they really do freeze up well. I freeze them with the frosting on, but you can also just freeze the donuts once they cool, and then make fresh glaze when you pull them out.
Fresh Pumpkin Donuts :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free
For the Pumpkin Donuts:
For the Pumpkin Donuts:
- Whisk the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, avocado oil, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar, and mix to combine.
- Snip the tip of a piping bag or Zip Top bag to make a thick circle for the batter to come out of. Scoop the batter into the piping bag, and pipe the batter into the donut pan. I filled my silicone molds up to the top.
- Bake the donuts at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden.
- Let the donuts cool for a few minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
For the Brown Sugar Icing:
- Put the coconut milk, butter, and molasses in a small saucepan, and melt together, whisking along the way.
- Turn the heat off, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
- You’ll want the glaze to stay warm so that the donuts will dip easily, so I just keep the glaze in the sauce pan and dip the donuts from there. Dip the donuts, let the glaze run off into the saucepan, and then set on the cooling rack to dry.
- Canned or fresh pumpkin puree will work just fine in this recipe. If the kids have never seen a pumpkin go from the patch to the oven to a baked good though, it is so, so worth the time to do that! Simply pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees, use some good avocado oil or butter on the flesh of the pumpkin, and roast flesh side down on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes until tender. You can scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender to puree from there. I don’t think you’ll turn back once you taste it!