Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Donuts

It's Fall and I'm back wanting to bake everything with cinnamon, pumpkin, and apples. The temperatures have started to really cool off here, I figured out how to turn my heat on, and broke out the heated blankets and hot apple cider. And since donuts are always fabulous in my book, I figured I'd start my pumpkin-cinnamon-everything-baking obsession  with baked pumpkin donuts.

I wish every decision in life was as easy as deciding to make pumpkin donuts. 

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Yields 12 donuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes. Mixture should be fluffy and light tan. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs one at a time. Mix in pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add half the dry ingredients, then the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until only combined and don't over mix.

Spray donut pan with a light coating of nonstick spray. Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a large open tip (or a sandwich bag with a corner cut off into a 1/2 inch hole). Pipe into donut pan and tap the pan once lightly on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Bake donuts for 7-9 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack.

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Basic Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the three ingredients until combined. Once the donuts are cooled, dip each donut into the glaze and let the extra drip off a bit. Place on a cooling rack with aluminum foil underneath. Depending on how much glaze you want, dip each donut 3-5 times in the glaze, letting them dry in between. Top with ground cinnamon and embrace the drips!

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For some reason, I'm very sloppy at dipping donuts into glaze. When I was done with these, I not only had glaze all over the counter, but also spots of glaze all over my shirt, pants, and some on my face (??) If you're not the neatest of bakers, like me, be advised this can get a little messy. And maybe grab an apron.

Recipe: Caramel Delite Donuts

Sometimes, great things take a little bit of work, messy fingers, and a lot of caramel and toasted coconut to get right. These Caramel Delite Donuts fall under that category. These take a bit of time and good amount of ingredients to assemble, but the end results are impressive (if I do say so myself!) and delicious. They taste like caramel delite Girl Scout cookies (or you may call them Samoas), but they're donuts so they're already better. It's the truth.

Caramel Delite Donuts

Makes 12 donuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup coconut almond milk**
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 14 oz jar of favorite caramel sauce
  • 3 cups sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut almond milk**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by whisking both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and sand-like.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Stir in coconut almond milk, sour cream, and vanilla extract until combined. Using an wooden spoon, fold wet ingredients until dry until dough comes together. Small pieces of butter will still be visual throughout the dough. 

Now you have two options to get the batter into the donut pan: pastry bag or spoon. You can either spoon the batter into the pan, or cut a large 1-1 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of a pastry bag (or plastic sandwich bag) and pipe the batter around each donut. I prefer the piping method, since the batter is sticky and it's quicker. 

Before baking, tap the pan on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake each donut for 8-10 minutes. You'll know when they're done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After cooling 5 minutes in the pan, transfer to a wire rack with parchment paper underneath to continue to cool completely.

To build your topping, spoon a large tablespoon of caramel sauce over each donut to create a glue. Toast your coconut in a dry pan over medium heat until lightly brown. Mix toasted coconut with three or four heaping tablespoons of caramel sauce and mix together. This is where things get messy. Grabbing about a teaspoon of coconut, lightly press it around each donut until all are covered. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and start melting your chips, starting with one minute, then adding an additional 30 seconds. Mix in 1/4 cup of coconut almond milk so mixture is very thin. Using a spoon, immediately drizzle chocolate over coconut topped donuts. Serve the same day.

**coconut almond milk can be subbed for regular almond milk, buttermilk, or regular 2% milk.

Having messy fingers is worth it. You'll impress your friends.

Recipe: Nutmeg Donuts with Speculoos Frosting

I'm going to tell you a not-so-secret secret. I love donuts. I don't care if you spell it "doughnut" or "donut," I'm always on board. Every. Time. And you don't have to be hungry to eat one. There's always room for a donut (or two.)

So I don't know what took me so long to get on-board with the baked donut thing. Maybe I thought it would be hard? Maybe they wouldn't turn out great? But neither were the case, so get ready for me to spam you with donuts of all kinds and flavors. I'm starting with these simple Nutmeg Donuts...

PS: Do you know about Trader Joe's Cookie Butter? It's a peanut-butter-like speculoos spread that taste like a warm, spiced dream. It's the new Nutella. And it's better. Deal with it. 

Nutmeg Donuts

Recipe based off A Baker's Field Guide to Doughnuts

Makes 12-14 donuts

  • 2c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2c cake flour
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 rounded tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2c sour cream
  • 1/2c buttermilk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray donut pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl until combined. Add butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (or an electric mixer, or your hands if you are really in a pitch!). Cut in until the texture is slightly more crumbly and small bits of butter are evenly throughout the mixture.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Then add in sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick, with bits of butter throughout.

Now you have two options to get the batter into the donut pan: pastry bag or spoon. You can either spoon the batter into the pan, or cut a large 1-1 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of a pastry bag (or plastic sandwich bag) and pipe the batter around each donut. I prefer the piping method, since the batter is sticky and it's quicker. 

Before baking, tap the pan on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake each donut for 8-10 minutes. You'll know when they're done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After cooling 5 minutes in the pan, transfer to a wire rack to continue to cool completely.

Speculoos Frosting

Makes more than enough for 12 donuts

Combine butter and cookie butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in powder sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 2 tbsp of milk until smooth. If frosting is still too thick, add more milk until desired consistency. 

Using a spoon or a frosting spatula, dollop frosting on and spread evenly, but liberally, around each donut. And don't forget the middle! Dust with a little extra cinnamon so people think you're fancy. Donuts will keep 1-2 days max in a airtight container. 

These donuts are spicy and deliciously springy and moist. The nutmeg almost gives them a Egg Nog-like flavor, without the fancy little glasses and dairy overdose. 

And don't think that covering a donut in frosting takes it away it's breakfast quality, because donuts can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or after hours to prevent a hangover. (Don't quote me on that.)