Cinnamon-Sugar Baked Pumpkin Donuts

4 Jun


What better way to start a rainy Friday morning then with some delicious (and heart shaped) pumpkin donut goodness! I’ve been seeing lots of recipes for donuts floating around food blogs and pinterest, so when I was at Target the other day and saw this heart-shaped donut pan on clearance I knew I just had to buy it. Yes, had to buy it. I mean, everyone needs a donut pan, right? While I love Krispy Kremes as much as the next gal I wanted something I could easily make at home and that was slightly healthier.

Laura showed me this pumpkin donut recipe and I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, she missed out on the donut baking experiment. She was busily making sure that our high school friends had everything they needed to enjoy a weekend at our favorite Young Life camp, Sharptop Cove.

I took over Sarah’s kitchen and Megan provided the moral support while I whisked away. Maybe the second best thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a fancy mixer to pull it all together. Just a whisk and some good arm muscles. All the dry ingredients get mixed into one bowl and the wet whisked together in another. Then you stir it all together just until combined. The hardest part was getting the batter into the heart-shaped molds… but that’s only because I can be a little spastic and I ended up getting batter everywhere but IN the molds. I probably should have followed the instructions and used a Ziploc or piping bag. The first batch tasted great but didn’t look so pretty. Turns out if you smooth the dough once you get it into the molds they look pretty once you bake them. Getting the cinnamon sugar on them was a little messy but simple enough. Dunk the donut in melted butter and then dip it into a bowl of cinnamon sugar goodness. The flavors were great and donuts were addicting. I could have eaten an entire pan myself!

Cinnamon-Sugared Baked Pumpkin Donuts

The Recipe

Makes: makes 18 donuts

The Ingredients:

For Donuts:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk

For Coating:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (more if you’re a cinnamon lover)

The Method:

  1. Preheat oven 350 F. Butter/spray a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Fill each donut cup about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed. Turn donuts out onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. While the donuts are cooling, melt butter in one bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another. While donuts are still warm, dip each donut in melted butter then coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

The Source:

What we learned: Fortunately the first baked donut experiment was free of any epic failures or kitchen disasters! The recipe notes that you shouldn’t coat them with the cinnamon-sugar until you are ready to eat them otherwise they may get soggy. Also, if you don’t have a donut pan simply make muffins (or mini muffins) and them dip the tops in the cinnamon sugar mix.
As far as flavors go, I loved the spiced pumpkin batter. The only thing I’d change would be to add some pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg/cloves/allspice) to the cinnamon sugar coating for some extra spiced goodness. I also think the donuts would be great with a simple powdered sugar glaze drizzled over the top. Either that or a chocolate glaze for a sweet dessert!
A simple, tasy and potentially healthy alternative to store-bought donuts.

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