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Baked pumpkin donuts are soft, moist, spiced and a perfectly easy way to enjoy fall flavors quickly. Glaze with white for a classic look, or follow my tips to make them look like festive pumpkins!
It’s that time of year! Even though the temperatures here in California are still in the upper 80’s and 90’s, I like to pretend we’re hanging out with the rest of the world in scarves and snuggling up with warm, spiced treats.
These baked pumpkin donuts are my latest addition to my fall baking collection. They’re everything you love about pumpkin bread, but a little healthier, a heck of a lot faster to bake, and already portioned for you!
Plus, since I made these in celebration of #HalloweenTreatsWeek 2021 I took the classic white glaze and put a festive spin on it. Making them look like pumpkins is easy, and your kids will love it!
For these I used my sponsor Dixie Crystals brown sugar for the donut and powdered sugar for the glaze. To keep these lighter and healthier pumpkin donuts, skip the glazes all together.
- Whole wheat flour
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Pumpkin puree
If you’re wanting to make icing, you’ll need a few more things. I’ve also included the optional ingredients here for making them into pumpkins.
- Powdered sugar
- Orange & Red food dye
- Edible food powder or green and brown dye.
A quick note on the age of your spices – when was the last time you checked the expiration dates? Pre-ground spices don’t ‘expire’ per say, but they do lose potency. If you have really old ones, and you’ve been missing the punch of flavor in your baked goods, either add more, or refresh your supply.
One of my favorite ways to handle this is with whole spices. Whole nutmeg, clove, and allspice berries keep FOREVER. At the beginning of my fall and winter baking season, I just grind up what I need, use it to make my own pumpkin spice blend. Next year, repeat. It saves money, uses less plastic, and adds really potent spice flavors!
How to Make Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Like most quick breads, these are made with a 2 bowl method – one for dry, one for wet. Simply whisk all the spices, flour, salt, and leavening agents into one bowl. Then beat the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, oil, and milk in another.
Combine the two and get them into your greased donut pan for baking.
I’ve always found that the most effective tool for filling a donut pan is a reusable piping bag with no tip. I usually add a coupler on for stability, but that’s really not even necessary.
Once they’re baked, turn them out onto a cooling rack right away to prevent them from going soggy, then let them cool all the way before icing. No heat can come off of those babies if you want the icing to set.
Decorate – Classy or Cute
Before we get ahead of ourselves, are you eating this all today? If not, wait to ice them. Once iced, these really are best on the same day. After that, the icing and cake get a bit too goopy for my tastes!
Classic White Icing
To make the icing, simply combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl. You want a thick icing or it’ll be too thin to coat, and you’ll see the donuts through it.
For white, classy baked pumpkin donuts, just dip it in as is. You could sprinkle some chopped nuts on top or dust with a light sprinkle of cinnamon if you need some more flair. Or, one of my favorite ways to mix it up is swap maple extract in for the vanilla and make a delicious maple glaze.
Pumpkin Pumpkin Donuts
To make them cute little pumpkins, you’ll need to add dye to the icing. The high intensity dyes I prefer required 6 drops of orange and 2 of red for that deep orange color.
When that’s mixed, you’ll also need to shape some pumpkin stems and vines. Just like my pumpkin layer cake, I prefer to use marzipan to create these types of things for a few reasons
- I can make it myself – I use this marzipan recipe (look to her recipe card notes for proper measurements) and left out the rose water.
- It tastes WAY better than fondant.
- Easy to shape and mold however I like, and easy to color
- Doesn’t have weird contrasting flavors – seriously, who wants to bite into a green apple twizzler on a pumpkin donut? Gross!
I should note that marzipan sets up quick after it’s in the open air, so be sure to shape it right away once it’s out of the fridge. To make stems, simply pinch teeny bits into small triangles with flat bases. For vines, roll out a log until it’s thin.
To color them, I painted them with a dry food powder. But you could also paint with edible paints, a bit of food dye, or mix the dye directly into the marzipan (but be wary, this makes it stickier!).
Then just place them on the donuts while the icing is still setting. It’ll dry and set as a part of the icing, and give you adorable pumpkin donuts.
Most baked donuts I’ve baked are really best the first day. They tend to get a little soggy after that, especially with a moist one that includes pumpkin. Once iced, I’d say eat them the same day! You could try popping them in the fridge to reduce that.
I consistently got 8 donuts out of a batch.
Yes you can double this, and double the icing too.
I’m a big fan of freezing quick breads like healthy oatmeal muffins or banana chocolate chip muffins, and I don’t see why this would be any different. Freeze them in a single layer, without icing, and then pop them into a reusable, freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw completely then you can ice or enjoy them plain.
If you’re loving these adorable and festive baked pumpkin donuts, don’t forget to check out my other fall bakes! Also make sure you check out the giveaway under the recipe card before it ends!
Baked Pumpkin Donuts #HalloweenTreatsWeek
- Donut pan
- 143 grams whole wheat flour 1 cup
- 100 grams brown sugar 1/2 cup packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 55 mililiters canola oil 2 ounces or 1/4 cup
- 169 grams pumpkin puree 6 ounces or 2/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 260 grams powdered sugar 2 cups
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk*
- 6 drops orange food dye optional, for pumpkins
- 2 drops red food dye optional, for pumpkins
- 30 grams marzipan 1/8 cup
Pumpkin Donuts Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350°F and greased a donut pan
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices into a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, egg, milk, oil, and vanilla extract in another bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Fold the dry and wet ingredients together until a smooth batter forms.
- Pipe into prepared pan and bake for 11-12 minutes, or until donuts spring back under a light touch, or a toothpick comes out clean.
- Immediately turn over onto a cooling rack.
- Repeat if you only have a 6 donut pan.
Glazing in white
- Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
- Dip or spoon glaze over completely cooled donuts and set on a cooling rack to set.
Decorating as pumpkins
- Make the glaze as directed above, but add in the food dye as well.
- Dip or spoon glaze over completely cool donuts.
- Roll marzipan into 8 long vines, and form 8 very small triangles for stems.*
- Dust the stems and vines with powdered food dye or paint with liquid color.
- Press stems into the glazed donuts on one side. Coil the vines near the stem. Let everything set.
Halloween Treats Week!
Check out all of these great #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes for today
- Haunted Mansion Bloody Wedding Cake from Big Bear’s Wife
- Frankenstein Cupcakes from Semi Homemade Recipes
- Poison Apple Mocktail from Jen Around the World
- Graveyard Dirt Cream Puffs from Pint Sized Baker
- Halloween Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes from Fresh April Flours
- Halloween Cupcakes from Devour Dinner
- Halloween Ghost Cake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Macarons from The Redhead Baker
- Monster Burgers from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
- Poisoned Apple Hand Pies from Cookaholic Wife
- Halloween Nachos from Eat Move Make
- Homemade Butterbeer from House of Nash Eats
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts from The Flour Handprint
- Caramel Apple Sandwich Cookies from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Hocus Pocus Spell Book Cupcakes from It’s Shanaka
- Halloween Cake Pops from Sweet Beginnings
- Deviled Egg Eyeballs from The Spiffy Cookie
- Poisoned Apple Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Pizza Skulls from Lemon Blossoms
- Bloody Dirty Shirley Float from An Affair from the Heart
- Reese’s Pieces Cookies from Back To My Southern Roots
- Oogie Boogie Dark Chocolate Brownies from Savory Moments
- Halloween Ghost Kabobs from Our Good Life
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.