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Pumpkin donuts are a fall favorite! Full of classic pumpkin spice flavors, these homemade donuts require no rising time. Roll them in cinnamon sugar for a sparkling finish.
Like most kids, mine go crazy for donuts.
Lucky for them, I do too, and I love to make a batch from scratch when we have a quiet Saturday morning.
Homemade donuts make me think of fall, apple picking, and pumpkin patches, so why not make pumpkin donuts?
These pumpkin spice donuts are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Made tender by the fresh pumpkin puree, they have just enough pumpkin flavor to get you ready for the season.
Ingredients for pumpkin donuts
The dough is easy to make, and if you’ve made enriched breads before, this is fairly similar (but without the yeast).
- All-purpose flour, including extra for kneading and rolling
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Softened butter
- Pumpkin puree
- Oil for frying
You can add other fall spices if you like, such as ginger, cloves, or allspice. Or, swap in your favorite pumpkin spice blend.
For the pumpkin puree, use canned or homemade pumpkin puree. It’s a great way to use up a can you might have left over from another recipe like pumpkin coffee cake.
Note that if you’re using homemade, like I did, your doughnuts won’t have a vibrant color inside, but don’t worry about it!
How to make homemade pumpkin donuts
First, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. Keep out the rest of the flour to add later as needed.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then beat in the eggs and pumpkin until smooth.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk, ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Now, add a little bit of flour at a time until you have a loose dough.
Before rolling out the dough, add oil to a deep fryer to the fill line, or add 3-4 inches of oil to a dutch oven. Make sure there is enough oil so the donuts float, not stick to the bottom.
Heat oil to 365°F. If you have a candy thermometer, clip it on the inside of the dutch oven to help you monitor the temperature.
Flour a work surface well, then scoop dough out onto it. Flour your hands and knead the dough to make stiff enough for rolling and cutting. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Once the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, roll out to about ½-inch in thickness.
Flour a doughnut cutter or 1 large and 1 small round cutter. Cut out donuts and holes, reflouring the cutters as needed.
Separate the donuts from the holes. Reroll scraps as desired until all the dough is used.
When the oil is at 365°F, gently slide a donut into the oil. It’s OK if they don’t stay completely round!
Fry the donuts in batches for about 2 minutes per side, turning over carefully. Donut holes will take less time to cook.
They should be golden brown in color. Adjust the heat if donuts are cooking too quickly on the outsides.
Remove the finished donuts with a skimmer, chopstick, or fork, and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a paper grocery bag. The paper will soak up the excess oil as the donuts cool.
Once all the donuts are cooked, mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
Dip the cooled donuts and donut holes into the cinnamon sugar mixture, turning to coat on all sides. Serve the donuts immediately, or let cool to room temperature.
Have leftovers? Homemade pumpkin donuts will keep at room temperature for about 3 days.
The donuts can be placed in an airtight container, or set on a plate and loosely wrapped with plastic wrap.
You can also store them in a loosely closed paper sandwich bag.
Homemade donuts are freshest on the day they are made, so they will lose a little bit of the crisp exterior the next day.
Other donut recipes to try
Looking for more donut recipes? Check out these:
Pumpkin cake donuts are such a great treat for fall. Make a batch for your pumpkin carving party!
- 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and cutting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup milk
- Vegetable Oil, for frying
For the Topping
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then mix in the eggs and pumpkin.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour. The dough will be more like a very stiff batter when finished — add remaining flour, a little at a time, to achieve this consistency.
- Pour vegetable oil into deep fryer or dutch oven and heat oil to 365°F.
- Scoop dough onto a very well floured surface and knead to make stiff enough for rolling and cutting, adding more flour as required to prevent sticking.
- Roll dough to about ½-inch thick and cut out donuts and holes. Gather the scraps together, reroll, and cut out more donuts, until all the dough is used.
- Place clean paper grocery bags on a cookie sheet, for draining donuts. (The bags will soak up excess oil.)
- Gentle lower donuts into oil. Fry donuts and holes in batches for about 2 minutes per side, turning carefully with a wooden chopstick or fork. Remove to prepared cookie sheets to cool. Repeat until all donuts are cooked.
- Mix together the 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. When doughnuts have cooled for about 10 minutes, roll them in the cinnamon sugar and serve.
Just in time for Fall, we had a lot of fun making these yummy donuts!
These are soo much more delish than any donut shop donut, and I loved making them! Your tips were on point!
OMG, THIS PUMPKIN DONUT RECIPE IS AMAZING!! What a great fall recipe that I will be making again and again!
These pumpkin donuts are perfect for pumpkin season! I love love love this little sweet treat.
Oh wow, these donuts taste SO good, I loved the pumpkin flavor and so did all my family!