Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

It’s probably safe to assume that at this point the country is replete with enough Thanksgiving dinner inspiration to last into the next millennium. A speedy Google search turned up 180 MILLION hits when I plugged in the words, “Thanksgiving recipes”. So let’s all stop talking turkey for the moment and consider something nearly as pressing:

What are we going to feed all the family and friends who descend for the holiday in the days following the famous feast?

Here’s what:  these homey, wholesome, homespun crazy good Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze.

If you don’t have a baked donut pan already, get ahold of one because a batch of these beauties alone is worth the 10 bucks it will set back your bank account.  I can boast about the recipe so very boldly because it’s not my own. I borrowed it — tinkering with the ingredients ever so gently — from Tracy Benjamin, the talent behind the immensely charming blog, Shutterbean.

Because these donuts are baked instead of fried, there is no vat of boiling oil to contend with and the fat content is cut in half, if not more than that. The whole-wheat pastry flour and pumpkin ups the nutritional value, offsetting the decadence of that heavenly glaze.

The glaze results from browning a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan until dark and aromatic, and then stirring it into confectioners’ sugar. I’d planned to top the donuts, as Tracy does, with toasted pecans, but when the kids caught wind of my plan, I thought they might slap the bowl of chopped nuts right out of my hand. Colored sprinkles on glazed donuts? Yes. Pecans? Absolutely not.

However you dress these babies up, do make them. They are tender, moist, and have the cozy, spiced flavors so redolent of fall. Piled onto a plate alongside a pot of coffee (and a pitcher of milk for the kids), I can’t imagine a better way to greet sleepy guests bunking in for the holiday.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

5 from 1 vote
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Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze

These tender pumpkin donuts are excellent warm from the oven or hours later at room temp. Either way, hot coffee for grown ups and cold milk for kids are a must here. The number of donuts and cooking time may vary depending on the size of your pan.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 9 donuts
Calories 266 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

Donuts

  • Oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Butter Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 teaspoons milk, plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Generously grease donut pan with oil or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, canola oil, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and blended.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and whisk until smooth and one even consistency.
  5. Spoon batter into a glass measuring cup with a lip for pouring or a small pitcher and fill donut pan about 1/4-inch shy of the top.
  6. Put in the center rack of the oven and bake until the top of the donut springs back when lightly pressed, about 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the counter for 3 or 4 minutes. Invert pan and gently release donuts onto a rack to cool for another 10 minutes or so.
  7. While the donuts cool, make the glaze. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles and then turns nutty brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and milk to browned butter and whisk until silky smooth with no lumps. If the glaze solidifies a bit as it cools, add more milk, a few drops at a time as needed.

  8. Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze, allowing any excess frosting to drip back into bowl.

  9. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*All-purpose white flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour Adapted from a recipe by Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean

Comments

11.19.2012 at 9:43 AM #

Cynthia

Katie,
Any chance this recipe could be used to make glazed muffins instead? If so, cooking time?
thanks

11.19.2012 at 9:43 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Cynthia

I haven’t done that but seems to me it would work. As for cooking time, I’d bake them until a toothpick comes out clean. I’d love to hear back if you give this a try and any details about cooking time, etc.

11.19.2012 at 10:15 AM #

Stacy @School-Bites.com

Mmmmm, yummy! Can’t wait to try these!

11.19.2012 at 12:08 PM #

Cynthia

Thanks Katie, I’ll give it a shot

11.19.2012 at 12:08 PM #

katiemorford

Great.

11.19.2012 at 8:09 PM #

Elizabeth

Pumpkin and brown butter squished together in a donut must be a dream come true. These look incredible!

11.19.2012 at 8:09 PM #

katiemorford

They are! Nice to hear from you!!

11.19.2012 at 8:19 PM #

Reed

Does the type of flour matter very much?

11.19.2012 at 8:19 PM #

katiemorford

They are delicious with either whole wheat pastry or all-purpose…can’t vouch for other types of flour.

09.21.2013 at 3:28 PM #

Jennifer

Super! I substituted applesauce instead oil. They came out fantastic!!

09.21.2013 at 3:28 PM #

katiemorford

Good for you … I will give that a try!

09.21.2013 at 3:28 PM #

Julie

Did you use the same amount of applesauce as the oil called for?

09.24.2013 at 9:30 PM #

Sheri B.

Do you know if you can mix up the batter the night before, to save time in the mornings?

09.24.2013 at 9:30 PM #

katiemorford

I’ve never done that with donut batter, but it’s is worth a try. Make it the night before and just bake up a hot batch in the morning. I’m going to try it myself. I’d suggest pulling the batter out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to fill the pans. If you get to it before I do, please let me know how it goes.

10.06.2013 at 8:07 AM #

Starla

My family and I loved these! Thanks again, Katie! You never steer me wrong

10.06.2013 at 8:07 AM #

katiemorford

Oh good! I just picked up some pumpkin yesterday with these in mind. It’s that time of year.

11.20.2013 at 8:20 PM #

Jane

Totally up my alley thank you. Yum.

11.20.2013 at 8:20 PM #

katiemorford

Now you just have to adapt the recipe for the slow cooker!

04.03.2014 at 7:50 PM #

Yossi

Hi Katie! Is the pureed pumpkin made of raw pumpkin?

04.03.2014 at 7:50 PM #

katiemorford

No, the pumpkin is cooked and then pureed. You can do it yourself or buy it in a can.

06.25.2016 at 4:54 AM #

Julie

Did you use the same amount of applesauce that the oil called for?

06.25.2016 at 4:54 AM #

katiemorford

I’m not sure I understand your question. Can you clarify? Thanks

11.05.2016 at 8:42 AM #

Terry Fest

When you are substituting applesauce for oil in this recipe/or others, how do you know what amount of applesauce? If the recipe calls for 1/4 C oil, how much applesauce would you measure out? I am sure there is a guideline on the web.

11.05.2016 at 8:42 AM #

katiemorford

I think there’s some trial and error. Best results probably come when you don’t completely eliminate all oil, but substitute some of the oil for applesauce.

11.12.2017 at 10:02 AM #

Lynn

I have a mini donut pan. Can you give me a suggestion on how long to cook them for if I use the mini pan?

11.12.2017 at 10:02 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Lynn,

I am not sure of the timing, because I always just do it to touch. You know they’re done when you press a fingertip into a donut and it doesn’t make a dent. You can also poke a toothpick in there to check as well. Next time I make them, I will time it and add that to the recipe!

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