Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe

This baked pumpkin donut recipe yields spiced pumpkin donuts so fluffy, it’s like they’re fried! Best enjoyed after a dunk in brown butter and cinnamon sugar.

Want the light, fluffy texture of a yeast-raised donut but not the extra grease from frying?

Enter: Our baked pumpkin donut recipe.

These donuts are full of spiced pumpkin flavor, so you no longer have to wait for fall to satisfy your Dunkin Donut pumpkin donut cravings!

What is a Baked Pumpkin Donut?

The baked pumpkin donut is, well, a donut made with pumpkin puree. 

If you love the pumpkin donut from Dunkin Donuts, this is also a fitting alternative.

Flavored with warm spices, pumpkin donuts are definitely something to consider if the OG fall favorites( i.e., pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie) are no longer hitting the spot. 

But wait, this pumpkin donut recipe is not just for fall!

Baked pumpkin donut

Unlike other baked donuts, which are usually cake donuts or donuts leavened with baking soda or baking powder, these baked pumpkin donuts are made with yeast!

The result? Light and fluffy donuts—a match made in texture heaven with crunchy cinnamon sugar coating. 

Why You’ll Love This Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe

  • Fluffy, But Not Fried: These baked pumpkin donuts are fluffy because of the yeast dough but not oily because they’re baked. If you’re not a cake donut person or find fried yeast donuts too oily for your taste, this baked pumpkin donut recipe is for you!
  • Complex Flavors: Do you find the flavor of the Dunkin pumpkin donut (or any store-bought donut) pretty tame? Besides the cozy pairing of pumpkin and warm spices, these baked donuts are made with salt, vanilla, and BEER, giving them a more complex flavor profile.
  • For Fall and Beyond: This baked pumpkin donut recipe can be enjoyed year-round with its simple ingredients. And with different topping variations you can try, they’re also perfect for any occasion! 

What Do Pumpkin Donuts Taste Like?

So, what does a baked pumpkin donut taste like?

As you can expect with the warm spices and pumpkin puree in the dough, these baked donuts taste like fall. Imagine the flavors of pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie but in the form of a fluffy donut!

The beer also adds depth of flavor with its spiced, caramel malt sweetness. 

Baked pumpkin donut

Then, instead of spraying the donuts with vegetable oil to help the crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon sugar stick, they’re dipped in brown butter. 

This coating adds a rich, toasted flavor that’ll make you crave these “fall donuts” regardless of the season. Trust me.  

Ingredients For Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe

Pumpkin donuts:

  • Butter -For buttering the bowl and, of course, the brown butter. Unsalted butter is preferable so you can easily control the saltiness of the donuts. 
  • Whole milk – Helps with the fluffy texture of the pumpkin donuts.
  • Pumpkin ale beer – Adds complexity to the baked pumpkin donut’s flavor profile. Beer also helps with the light texture of the baked donuts. 
  • Instant dry yeast – This baked pumpkin donut recipe relies on yeast to rise instead of baking soda or baking powder. 
  • Granulated sugar – Other than imparting sweetness to the baked pumpkin donuts, sugar plays a role in the rising of the dough as it’s the food source of the yeast. 
  • Light brown sugar – For sweet, moist homemade donuts.
  • Kosher salt – Enhances the sweet flavors of the baked pumpkin donuts and helps the dough rise quicker.
  • Pure vanilla extract – Adds another layer of flavor to the pumpkin donuts. Vanilla also pairs deliciously with the rich, buttery flavor of the brown butter coating. 
  • Ground cinnamon – You can’t make a pumpkin donut without this cozy spice!
  • Ground nutmeg – Nutmeg is another spice that easily complements pumpkin’s subtle, sweet, earthy flavor.
  • Egg – Binds the dough together.
  • Egg yolks – Lends richness and their fat content improves the texture of the baked pumpkin donuts.
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure it’s a can of pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling! The additional ingredients in pumpkin pie filling can affect the overall flavor and texture of the baked pumpkin donut. 
  • Bread flour – This baked pumpkin donut recipe uses a blend of bread and pastry flour. The former adds a bit of chew to the donuts.
  • Pastry flour – Helps with achieving a light, soft texture on the baked donuts. 

Cinnamon sugar topping:

  • Brown butter –  To help the cinnamon sugar stick to the pumpkin donuts. 
  • Granulated sugar – The crunch of the sugar coating is the perfect contrast to the fluffy donuts!
  • Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon’s woody, spicy taste balances the sweetness of the sugar coating. 
Pumpkin donut ingredients 1

Tools Needed To Prepare Baked Donuts

  • Microwave-safe bowl for the milk-butter mixture
  • Stand mixer for making the dough
  • Mixing bowls for the ingredients
  • Plastic wrap for covering the dough bowl
  • Baking sheets for baking the donuts
  • Parchment paper for lining the baking sheets
  • Rolling pin for rolling out the pumpkin donut dough
  • Baked donut cutters for shaping the donuts
  • Saucepan for the brown butter
  • Silicone whisk for mixing the butter

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Pumpkin Donuts

Pumpkin pie spice

You can also use pumpkin spice instead of individual spices. This blend has cloves and ginger, other, dare I say, essential spices in pumpkin desserts.

Then, you can use your leftover pumpkin spice on dark chocolate pumpkin truffles! 

Simply Organic Pumpkin Spice, 1.94-Ounce Jar, Organic Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger & Cinnamon, Enhances Tea, Seasoning, Kosher

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Chocolate drizzle

Instead of a cinnamon sugar coating, you can skip the brown butter and just drizzle melted chocolate on your baked donuts. Just microwave chocolate chips and coconut oil.

Guittard Baking Chips, Semi Sweet Chocolate, 12 oz

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Toppings

Want an extra festive baked pumpkin donut? Top it with candied pecans or maple sprinkles!

Nut Cravings - Candied Pecans Honey Glazed Praline, No Shell (16oz - 1 LB) Bulk Nuts Packed Fresh in Resealable Bag - Healthy Protein Food Snack, All Natural, Keto Friendly, Vegan, Kosher

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How to Make Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin donuts:

  • 3 tbsp butter for the bowl
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp pumpkin ale beer
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cup pastry flour

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Tools you need:

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Stand mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic wrap
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Baked donut cutters
  • Saucepan
  • Silicone whisk

Instructions:

For the pumpkin donuts:

STEP 1: Whisk milk and beer in a microwave-safe bowl.

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 1

STEP 2: Microwave the mixture in 10-second intervals until it’s 105°F.

STEP 3: Pour the beer mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Add the sugars, salt, vanilla extract, spices, egg, yolks, and pumpkin puree.

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 4

STEP 5: With the dough hook, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until thoroughly combined.

STEP 6: Add the bread and pastry flour and mix on medium-high for 4 to 6 minutes or until it forms a soft, sticky dough.

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 6

STEP 7: Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 7

STEP 8: Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Flour your hands for easier handling of the sticky dough.

STEP 9: Knead for about 1 minute, punching it down and adding a bit more flour if the dough becomes too sticky to work with.

STEP 10: Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

STEP 11: Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick with a floured rolling pin.

STEP 12: Using a floured 3-inch cutter, cut out donut rounds. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets, with 2 inches between each donut.

STEP 13: Re-roll the dough scraps and cut out more donuts until the dough is used completely.

STEP 14: Punch out the center of each donut with a floured cutter that is 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Transfer the small donut holes to another lined baking sheet.

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 14

STEP 15: Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and allow the pumpkin donuts to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

STEP 16: Preheat the oven to 400°F.

STEP 17: Bake the donuts for 20 minutes and donut holes for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. 

How to make pumpkin donut holes - Step 17
baked pumpkin donuts

For the brown butter:

STEP 1: Heat a saucepan over medium heat.

STEP 2: Add the butter, stirring frequently to help it melt.

STEP 3: Continue whisking as the butter crackles and bubbles up. The foam will then recede.

STEP 4: Once the butter turns amber brown and smells nutty, remove it from the heat and transfer it into a heat-proof bowl. Let it cool before use.

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

STEP 1: Combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon on a plate.

STEP 2: Dip each baked pumpkin donut and donut hole into the melted brown butter, then coat with cinnamon sugar.

baked pumpkin donut with cinnamon sugar coating

What To Serve With Baked Pumpkin Donuts

If you love getting a coffee and pumpkin donut from Dunkin, why not recreate the experience at home and make your own drink?

These flavorful pumpkin donuts will be perfect with pumpkin spice Vietnamese iced coffee and pumpkin pie smoothie!

You can also give any of your favorite drinks a fall twist any time of the year with pumpkin spice syrup or pumpkin spice creamer.

Easy baked pumpkin donuts

Or, for a more decadent experience, top these baked donuts with pumpkin curd or pumpkin spice butter!

Easy Pumpkin Curd Recipe
Pumpkin Curd
Whipped Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread
Whipped Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread

Tips About Making This Pumpkin Donut Recipe

  • For make-ahead, you can refrigerate the dough overnight. Just don’t forget to take the bowl out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Do not let the donuts rise for over 90 minutes; they will overproof and turn flat!
  • Stir frequently when browning your butter to ensure even cooking and keep it from burning.

How To Store Baked Donuts

  • Fridge: Wrap the pumpkin donuts and transfer them into an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezer:  You can also wrap individual donuts and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Reheating: Nothing beats warm donuts! Reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds if from the fridge or 25 seconds if frozen.
Homemade pumpkin donuts

Can You Bake Donuts Instead of Frying?

Yes! Baked donuts are actually another common type of donut. 

They’re usually cake donuts made from a batter piped into a donut pan and then baked. The result is dense donuts, similar to cakes, hence the name. 

However, as seen in this baked pumpkin donut recipe, yeast-raised dough can also be used for baked donuts. Instead of piping the dough into a donut pan, the yeast-raised dough is cut with donut cutters. 

Do Baked Donuts Taste the Same as Fried?

No. Fried donuts will always have that signature rich bite we love in classic donuts because of the oil.

You’ll also notice that fried donuts are light and fluffy with a crispy exterior compared to baked donuts, which are denser and crumby. 

Cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts

FAQ About Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe

Are pumpkin donuts back at Dunkin Donuts?

They are seasonal. In 2023, Dunkin Donuts released its fall menu, which includes the Dunkin pumpkin donut, in August. 

How long can baked pumpkin donuts sit out?

You can let the baked pumpkin donuts sit out for a few hours. If kept in an airtight container, baked donuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. 

Can I make these into baked pumpkin donut holes?

Yes! When you cut the dough into donut rings, you can bake their centers as donut holes. Just note that they’ll have a shorter baking time. 

Can I fry these pumpkin donuts instead of baking them?

While this recipe is intended for baked pumpkin donuts, yeast-raised donuts can typically be fried in medium-hot oil. Fry each side for about 45 seconds or until golden brown.

What other topping can I put on pumpkin donuts?

Pumpkin donuts are perfect with a simple salted maple glaze made from maple syrup, powdered sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla extract!

Baked pumpkin donut

Baked Pumpkin Donut

Yield:
8 donuts

Prep Time:
2 hours 20 minutes

Cook Time:
20 minutes

Total Time:
2 hours 40 minutes

This baked pumpkin donut recipe yields spiced pumpkin donuts so fluffy, it's like they're fried! Best enjoyed after a dunk in brown butter and cinnamon sugar.

Print

Ingredients

For the pumpkin donuts:

  • 3 tbsp butter for the bowl
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp pumpkin ale beer
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cup pastry flour

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

For the pumpkin donuts:

  1. Whisk milk and beer in a microwave-safe bowl. 
  2. Microwave the mixture in 10-second intervals until it’s 105°F.
  3. Pour the beer mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let it stand for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla extract, spices, egg, yolks, and pumpkin puree. 
  5. With the dough hook, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add the bread and pastry flour and mix on medium-high for 4 to 6 minutes or until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
  7. Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 
  8. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. Flour your hands for easier handling of the sticky dough. 
  9. Knead for about 1 minute, punching it down and adding a bit more flour if the dough becomes too sticky to work with. 
  10. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  11. Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick with a floured rolling pin. 
  12. Cut out donut rounds with a floured 3-inch cutter. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets with 2 inches between each donut. 
  13. Re-roll the dough scraps and cut out more donuts until the dough is used completely.
  14. Punch out the center of each donut with a floured cutter, anywhere from 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Transfer the small donut holes to another lined baking sheet.
  15. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and allow the pumpkin donuts to rise in a warm spot for about an hour up to one hour and 30 minutes. 
  16. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  17. Bake the 3-inch round donuts for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Bake the donut holes for 10 minutes or until golden. 

For the brown butter:

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the butter, stirring frequently to help it melt. 
  3. The butter will crackle and bubble up. Eventually, the foam will disappear. Continue whisking!
  4. Once the butter turns amber brown and smells nutty, remove it from the heat and transfer it into a heat-proof bowl. Let it cool before use. 

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

  1. Combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Set aside. 
  2. Dip each baked pumpkin donut and donut hole into the melted brown butter, then coat with cinnamon sugar.

Notes

  • For make-ahead, you can refrigerate the dough overnight. Just don't forget to take the bowl out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Do not let the donuts rise for over 90 minutes; they will overproof and turn flat!
  • Stir frequently when browning your butter to ensure even cooking and keep it from burning. 

*This recipe was originally published on 9/2011 by Jaclyn. Notes and photos updated on 04/2024.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 654Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 47gProtein: 3g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Cuisine:

American

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Category: Desserts

Baked pumpkin donut

Conclusion

All rise for the baked pumpkin donut!

Made with a yeast-raised dough, these homemade pumpkin donuts get an amazing light texture without the oiliness because they’re baked, not fried. 

Nothing also goes to waste because the centers make amazing donut holes! I imagine dipping them in caramel. 🤤 

Pumpkin donuts healthy

Watch them turn golden brown, and let cozy aromas envelop your kitchen. I promise these fluffy, cinnamon sugar-coated, spiced pumpkin donuts are worth the wait!

Satisfy your fall cravings with other pumpkin recipes! Here are my favorite recipes for the sweetest pumpkin season:

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
  • Pumpkin Roll
  • Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
  • Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  • Pumpkin Bran Muffins
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