A delicious pumpkin spice recipe perfect for breakfast or dessert, these Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Vanilla Glaze are a decadent fall treat even the most ardent of pumpkin naysayers will love. (Take it from this self-proclaimed pumpkin spice sceptic!)
Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts Recipe
Every year, I think “that’s it, we’ve reached peak pumpkin. There can’t be a single pumpkin recipe out there for us to create.” And then, my insatiable, pumpkin spice-loving daughter comes up with yet another pumpkin concept for me to figure out.
This time, she wanted pumpkin spice donuts – but not just any pumpkin spice donuts.
She wanted soft pumpkin spice donuts that had that same hard-set, crunchy vanilla glaze that you see in donut shops. And no, mom, it could not use candy melts or white chocolate chips because apparently, my 9 year old doesn’t like me using any shortcuts.
Well, it took a couple of attempts but these baked pumpkin donuts finally fit the bill! The flavor is absolutely amazing: the pumpkin spice is pleasant but not overwhelming, and the real pumpkin used in this recipe gives the donuts a nice depth of flavor without being too dominant, and that beautiful vanilla glaze brings everything together to make a completely satisfying sweet treat.
I served these donuts at a recent fall get-together and every single person who tried one liked them, including people like myself who usually don’t like pumpkin spiced desserts.
If you plan on making these donuts a day or two before you plan to serve them, I advise either waiting to apply the glaze or storing them in the fridge until ready to serve as the temperature of your house can reek havoc on homemade glazes unless you use a cooked glaze.
Alternatively, you can use a cinnamon-sugar coating (or a pumpkin spice and sugar coating) and skip the glaze altogether. To make a cinnamon sugar coated pumpkin donut, combine 1 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice) in a large ziptop bag and add each warm donut to the bag individually and shake well to coat.
The donuts themselves are not too sweet because I knew I wanted to top them with the vanilla glaze and didn’t want them to be cloying, so if you are entertaining you may want to leave a couple donuts plain for those who have less of a sweet tooth.
The plain donuts can be frozen in airtight freezer bags or your favorite freezer containers for up to three months. I do not recommend freezing with the glaze as it will likely melt when brought back to room temperature. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.) Wait until the donuts are completely thawed before glazing.
Some Tips for Perfect Baked Donuts
- Use a silicone donut pan. I have both a metal and a silicone pan and I find the silicone pan much better for releasing the donuts. I always end up with one or two broken donuts with my metal donut pan, even when I think I’ve greased it well.
- Use a piping bag to fill your donut pan. Scoop the batter into a piping bag and use this to portion out your batter with less mess.
- Underill your donut pan. I’m always tempted to fill my donut pan right up to the edge, which always results in a weird first batch with uneven donut tops and bottoms – we’re not going for muffins here! Fill the donut cavities about halfway.
- Tap those donuts! If you’re out of toothpicks, gently tap your baked donuts to see if they are done baking. If they bounce back, they are done. If they leave an indent, continue baking a little longer. (Inserting a toothpick to check for uncooked batter is great, too.)
More Pumpkin Desserts Your Family Will Love
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Magical Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake from In the Kids’ Kitchen
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Pie-Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls from Kylee Cooks
- Pumpkin Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Pie Bars from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet
Baked Pumpkin Donuts Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Pie Spice <– check out our recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice
- Pumpkin Puree
- Brown Sugar
- Butter, melted
Hard-Set Vanilla Glaze:
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you can also top these donuts with sprinkles, chopped nuts or a dash of pumpkin pie spice.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Electric Mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
- Donut Pan <– I prefer using a silicone donut mold as I find that metal ones can stick even if you think you’ve greased them adaquately
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing Bowl
How to Make Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Grease a donut pan and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and milk. Add in the eggs and melted butter, and beat well.
Add in half of the dry ingredients, incorporate, then add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until no dry patches remain.
Scoop the donut batter into the prepared donut pan.
Bake for 12-16 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the donuts to cool completely before glazing.
Sift the powdered sugar into a medium-sized bowl, then whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.
Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet with a rim for the glazed donuts to dry on.
Take each donut and dip the top into the glaze. Allow the excess glaze to drip off before placing top-side up on the cooling rack.
Allow glaze to set before serving or storing, about 15 minutes.
Makes 12-14 donuts.
Grab your free printable for our baked pumpkin donuts with vanilla glaze recipe:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter, can use less if desired
Hard-Set Vanilla Glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Grease a donut pan and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and milk. Add in the eggs and melted butter, and beat well.
- Add in half of the dry ingredients, incorporate, then add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until no dry patches remain.
- Scoop the donut batter into the prepared donut pan.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the donuts to cool completely before glazing.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a medium-sized bowl, then whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.
- Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet with a rim for the glazed donuts to dry on.
- Take each donut and dip the top into the glaze. Allow the excess glaze to drip off before placing top-side up on the cooling rack.
- Allow glaze to set before serving or storing, about 15 minutes.
- Makes 12-14 donuts.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves these pumpkin spice donuts as much as my family did! They are definitely a new favorite and going to be in high rotation this fall.