Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Homemade spiced doughnuts finished off with a pumpkin glaze.

Belula October 21, 2015
Overhead shot of the glazed pumpkin doughnuts on a wire rack

Fall has arrived and so have pumpkins! All kinds. So recipes using pumpkin/squash will be coming your way for a while! There are at least 3 being finely tuned to bring to you.

I have been using pumpkin and butternut squash a lot lately in the kitchen: squash soup, gilled pasta, gnocchi, just baked with a little mozzarella, you name it! I absolutely love love squash in all of its forms. I must admit that I always eat it in a savoury dish, never have I had it as dessert, or have I used it in a sweet recipe. Until now that is!

I do remember that when I was a kid there was often pumpkin in a syrup served as dessert. I never tried it off course, being somewhat narrow minded about what was dinner and what was supposed to be dessert, and squash was not it. My parents loved it though.

Cutting the doughnut dough using a round cutter
Overhead shot of the glazed pumpkin doughnuts on a wire rack
Glazing the doughnuts
Overhead shot of glazed pumpkin spice doughnuts

So, after eating a lot of squash lately, I had off course some leftover in the fridge. I decided I was doing something sweet with it. Yes. Yes. Yes. So naturally because I've never gone down this road before, I looked for inspiration elsewhere. I searched, and searched and when I saw the words doughnut and pumpkin in the same sentence, I knew. I would be making doughnuts.

And they happen to be my favourite thing in the whole world. Or one of them :). But, the tricky part being that I'd never made this pastry before. Ever. So this became a challenge. Sort off. In my mind doughnuts would be hard to make and succeed. This being the reason I never attempted to make them before. But to my astonishment and happiness (or maybe disgrace! If I end up making them too often), it's relatively easy.

Well I made them twice before sharing them with you here. I wanted them to be as perfect as possible. And I wanted to be able to pass along tips and helpful details necessary to succeed in this endeavour. The first thing I realized (once I was done the first time) is that I'd use a cutter one size too big. I'll tell you more once we start making these babies!

Glazing the doughnuts

Most importantly I borrowed this recipe from Marcela Dilonardo. I have made slight changes, but only concerning the spices I used. Marce's original recipe calls for ground ginger and all spice, and I didn't use any. I replaced it with cardamom. Also, I replaced the vegetable shortening for neutral oil (sunflower for example). Other than that I stuck to her recipe, and it was delicious. At least that's what my guinea pig (a.k.a boyfriend) thought so!

90° shot of the glazed doughnuts stacked
If you made this recipe I would really appreciate it if you leave a rating or comment below! Also, if you share on social media please use #cookwithbelula, I would love to see what you create!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 10 doughnuts
Nutrition: 281 cal
Cuisine: American



  • Oil
  • Whole Milk (warm to touch) 180 g
  • Sugar 60 g
  • Salt 3 g
  • Instant Yeast 4.25 g
  • Neutral Oil (sunflower for example) 55 g
  • Eggs 1
  • Vanilla Beans 0.5
  • All purpose Flour 370 g
  • Cinnamon 1.2 g
  • Nutmeg 0.6 g
  • Cardamom 1.2 g


  • Vanilla Extract 1 pinch
  • Whole Milk 5 g
  • Nutmeg 0.3 g
  • Cinnamon 0.6 g
  • Pumpkin Puree 30 g
  • Powdered Sugar 140 g


  • Doughnuts

  • 1. In the bowl add the warm milk, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast activates (it's going to make bubbles in the surface). Note: if it's cold it might take longer than 5 minutes. Don't panic.
  • 2. Mix the egg, oil and vanilla using a fork and add to the milk/yeas/sugar/salt mixture.
  • 3. With a Stand Mixer: Add the flour and spices in the bowl, and using the hook attachment knead the dough for about 7 minutes.
  • 4. By Hand: Add the flour and spices in the bowl. Using a wooden spoon mix everything together until the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer onto your kitchen counter and knead tapping the dough against the kitchen counter until it no longer sticks to the surface.
  • 5. Grease a bowl with a drop of oil and transfer the doughnut dough. If the dough is a little sticky, no worries it's normal! Do not add flour. Just cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 ½ hours. It should have doubled in size. If it hasn't yet, let it sit a little longer.
  • 6. Tip: If the room temperature is cold it might take a little longer as it did for me.
  • 7. While the dough is resting you might want to get ready for the next stage! Prepare a pot with about 5 to 6 cm of neutral oil. Line a baking tray with paper towel. If you have a thermometer, now is the time to go get it.
  • 8. You can now prepare the glaze.
  • Glaze

  • 1. Using a whisk mix all the ingredients together. If it's too liquid add more powdered sugar, if it's to thick add more milk.
  • 2. Tip: For the pumpkin puree I used butternut squash. Using a serrated knife, cut the squash in half, cover with aluminum foil an roast in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for about an hour or until it has softened. Using a spoon, empty both halves of the squash. It should already have a puree consistency! Refrigerate before using. I had leftover pumpkin puree from something else I'd cooked earlier that week. However if you are going to make it especially for this recipe, I strongly suggest you make this the day before.
  • 3. Also, the first time a made the doughnuts I added too much cinnamon to the glaze which darkened it a lot. It was supposed to be orange; we are making a pumpkin doughnut after all. So make sure not to add too many spices to the glaze! The second time around I got it right :).
  • Finishing Touches

  • 1. Heat up the oil to a 170/180 degrees Celscius.
  • 2. Transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough to a ½ cm thickness.
  • 3. Using a cutter of 8 cm in diameter cut the doughnut shape and the use a smaller round cutter (I used a 3cm one) to make the hole in the center. Note: the first time a used a bigger size cutter, and I did not like the result as much. This is personal. But I like smaller doughnuts!
  • 4. If you have a big skillet or pot, you can drop 3 doughnuts at a time (mine is very small, so I did them one by one :) Fry them for about 30 seconds on each side, or until golden brown. Using a skimmer transfer onto the tray you earlier lined with paper towel.
  • 5. Tip: When frying things, the oil temperature is very important. If it's too cold, whatever you are frying will absorb a lot of oil and will take forever to nicely colour. If too hot, it will brown too fast and you risk of burning your doughnuts (in this case) and you also risk them being undercooked (even if they look nicely browned!). If you don't have a thermometer, you can do a test with a tiny piece of the dough: throw into the skillet and it should start making bubbles almost immediately and rise the surface. If it doesn't, then it's not hot enough. If the oil starts to make fumes/smoke, then it's too hot. Remove from the stove and let the temperature descend.
  • 6. Once they've cooled down transfer onto a cooling rack. If you keep them very long on the paper towel tray they will be soggy!
  • 7. Once you have finished frying all of the doughnuts, you are ready to glaze them.
  • 8. The glaze should be in a small bowl so that it is easier to glaze the doughnuts. How do you do this? Dip the prettier side of the doughnut in the glaze for a few seconds (only half the doughnut should be submerged), remove, let it drip for a few seconds. Turn over, and remove excess glaze around the doughnut using your finger. Pose on the cooling rack.
  • 9. Repeat the operation with every doughnut until you have run out.
  • 10. Let them rest a little so that the glaze sets properly. Enjoy!
1 comment
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1 Comment
Cecilia October 22, 2015

Those looks amazing.

Belén Gowland
Belula February 14, 2016

Hi Cecilia, Thank you!! And they tasted pretty good too :)

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