Remember how I said I wasn’t a doughnut person and yet I still bought a doughnut pan to bake doughnuts in? And how I used it once to try out a recipe? Have you heard me talk about doughnuts since then? Probably not. Mostly because I haven’t actually made doughnuts since then so I’ve had those doughnut pans sitting in the cupboard, neglected and reproachful. “Hey, you bought me. Dust me off and use me.” Every once in a while, I listen to my baking pans. Especially when their voices combine with the shrieks from the recipes on my pinboard, “Try me! Why’d you pin us if you weren’t going to use us? Are we just decorating your cyber space here??” Good questions – all of them.
To stop those voices in my head, I shut them all up by trying out this recipe for baked pumpkin doughnuts. We’re still having Indian summer weather but it’s October so I’m pretending it’s fall. Which means pumpkin stuff. Mostly because I wanted to use up the leftover pumpkin puree from the Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies I’d made before.
Baked doughnuts almost always have the texture of cake doughnuts rather than yeasted doughnuts. Which makes sense since you’re baking them like a cake rather than frying them. Healthier for you but it’s a small round cake with a hole in the middle, just to set your expectations. I liked these doughnuts in that they were cakey and the melted butter/cinnamon-sugar coating just made the doughnut. Honestly, the doughnut was just the vehicle to get the butter-cinnamon-sugar into your mouth. Pumpkin doesn’t have a strong flavor so these may be a bit bland if you don’t do the coating but why would you leave it out? These would also be good glazed with some royal icing (confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk).
Similar to cakes, these doughnuts are best served fresh the day they’re made. If you’re not going to serve them right away, don’t coat them at all; just wrap them individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and freeze them. When you’re ready to serve them, let them thaw, refresh them slightly by heating in the microwave or oven then dip them in melted butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar or skip the butter and just glaze them.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspooon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup butter-flavored olive oil (I used regular)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
6-7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a doughnut pan with non-stick spray.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
- In a separate, larger bowl, stir together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Spoon the batter into each cavity of the pan. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- For cinnamon sugar coating, melt about 6-7 tablespoons of butter. In a separate bowl, stir together about 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Dip each doughnut into the butter until completely coated and then dip into the cinnamon and sugar. Repeat with each doughnut.