Make every fall morning special with these soft, fluffy, baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze! The versatile donut batter can also be made into melt-in-your-mouth muffins, just don’t skip drizzling the delightfully cozy glaze on top!
Potato – Potahto. Tomato – Tomahto.
Donuts – Doughnuts.
I don’t care how it is spelled. All I know is that I’m so glad I have a batch of these gorgeous things to celebrate the first day of fall with today!
And considering how freakin easy they are to whip up, I won’t have to run on Dunkin’ all season.
Another year, another Pumpkin Week.
Yassssss friends, it’s that time! With the first day of Autumn comes all the excuses to bust out your fuzzy sweaters, fire up those fall-scented candles, and consume everything pumpkin spice-flavored.
No one can grief you for it anymore.
I suggest you start with a batch of the best baked donuts I’ve personally ever made.
I’m usually a yeast donut person, but there’s nothing quite like dipping a homemade baked cake donut in your morning cup of coffee.
Especially if your private donut moments have to happen early in the morning when the rest of the fam is still asleep. No need to get dressed and drive to the store!
What is the Difference Between Cake Donuts & Yeast Donuts?
A cake donut, also known as an old-fashioned donut, is made with a sweetened batter that’s leavened with baking powder. They are firm, sometimes slightly crunchy on the outside, with a soft, cakey interior. Cake donuts are often glazed or frosted, but are classically eaten plain or tossed in cinnamon sugar.
A yeast donut (AKA raised) are generally what comes to mind when people mention donuts. A classic yeast donut is made from a risen yeast dough that is cut into the classic donut shape, then deep fried. They are fluffy, light, and chewy, with a slight yeast flavor. They are usually glazed, frosted, sprinkled or filled (with custard, cream, or jelly)
Are Old-Fashioned Donuts Usually Fried or Baked?
Traditionally, all donuts are deep fried. Yeast donuts are better when fried, but I honestly think cake donuts taste just as good when baked!
As a bonus, baked donuts contain fewer calories than the fried variety!
The things needed for this recipe are mostly pantry and fridge staples, with the exception of maybe the pumpkin puree (which I personally have on hand all year round for when those wild cravings hit!)
- Pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Vegetable oil or coconut oil
- Large eggs
- All-purpose flour – you can also use a 1:1 gluten free flour here with great results
- Baking powder
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- Powdered sugar – also known as confectioner’s sugar
- Heavy whipping cream – also known as double cream
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, or fresh vanilla bean
How To Make Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a couple of standard 6-doughnut pans with cooking spray and set them aside. This recipe makes about 15 donuts, so you may need to bake a second batch, or grab a third pan!
- In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer), combine the pumpkin, sugars, butter, oil, and eggs. Mix until everything is well combined.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
- Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 of the way full, using about 1/4 cup of batter in each well. This can be done with a spoon, or you can transfer the batter to a large zipper bag and pipe the rounds for a more even donut. Gently tap pans against the counter to smooth out the batter.
- Bake the donuts for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. They will be soft and springy to the touch.
- Allow them to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool while you make your glaze.
The brown butter glaze is actually my favorite part of this donut recipe!
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it is flecked with brown bits and smells nutty and amazing, roughly 5 to 7 minutes.
- Transfer the butter to a small bowl, then whisk in sifted powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add more cream as desired until your desired consistency is reached
- Dip the warm donut tops in the glaze, return them to the wire rack to dry, and enjoy. Store any leftover donuts covered at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
LOOKING FOR MORE SWEET PUMPKIN RECIPES?
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING BAKED DONUTS:
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Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted & cooled
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Brown Butter Glaze
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two standard doughnut pans with floured cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, butter, oil, and eggs. Use a hand mixer to beat until well combined.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.
- Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full, using about 1/4 cup of batter in each well. If you'd like, transfer the batter to a large zipper bag, cut one of the corners off, and pipe the donuts for less mess. Gently tap pans against the counter to smooth out the batter.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Brown Butter Glaze
- While the donuts are cooling, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat 5-7 minutes. Brown flecks will appear and the butter will begin to smell nutty.
- Pour browned butter into a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla until completely smooth, returning to heat to further melt sugar if necessary.
- Dip donut tops in glaze and return to cooling rack to dry.
- Store leftover donuts covered at room temperature for 3-4 days.