Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe

Is Christmas hitting your town, too? Every day, I see a new neighbor with an assortment of lights up in their yard or a wrapped Christmas tree tied to the top of a car on the way home to be decorated. We haven’t put up any decorations or even gotten a tree yet. We actually don’t have a lot in the way of Christmas decorations anyways. I always marvel at the decorations I see other people do, especially the creative outdoor lighting. I’ve always wanted to do the type of outdoor Christmas lights where they outline the house. White bulbs would work, but blue would be pretty, too. For some reason, I think that looks really nice. I also really enjoy when people put wreaths over every window with giant red bows. It’s so simple, but looks great. Oh, and I guess they’re kind of cheesy, but the reindeer-lights (white lights that are in the shape of a reindeer) look nice to me for some reason, too.

Do you put up Christmas lights on the outside of your house? How do you do yours?

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I seem to be stuck in post-Thanksgiving mode. We still have frozen turkey leftovers to eat, and I have a few more Thanksgiving leftover recipes to share here on TCL (a use for that turkey and a dessert for cranberry sauce). But, for now, I thought I’d share another good use for canned pumpkin in case anyone has some leftover from last week’s festivities. Or, if you have more cans of pumpkin in your pantry than you know what to do with. Or, if you’re just looking for an excuse to make a delicious dessert.

I call them “Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts” because I have a hard time calling most dishes, especially desserts, “healthy.” What makes a dessert “healthy” anyways? I’m not sure, but I do know these are healthier than traditional fried doughnuts.

I considered making an icing/frosting to go on these (I was thinking cream cheese), but I actually really liked baked doughnuts just rolled in cinnamon sugar. I do have another doughnut recipe queued up that has an icing, but there’s something about the sugar mixture that makes me happy. I suppose it’s because part of the appeal of the baked doughnuts is how fast and easy they are. And making frosting just adds more time and dirties more dishes. The cinnamon sugar appeals to my lazy side since it’s faster and easier than making icing and still tastes excellent.

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I actually meant to post this recipe sooner, but the first batch came out like this (see photo above). Oopsie. Since getting a basic doughnut recipe down thanks to developing a winning batch of apple cider doughnuts (click to view), I’ve enjoyed doing some flavor variations. But, I always find canned pumpkin a trickier ingredient to work into recipes. It adds liquid with out adding much to the wet ingredients. And it can sometimes bake up weird. I once had this chocolate-pumkpin cake mini fail (thus the lack of that recipe in my collection) that never baked up properly. I baked it and baked it and baked it, and it just never set. Silly, pumpkin. Silly, me. Though, I am now reminded that I’d like to finish that recipe to share with you guys. The concept was great, I just failed at the execution.

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Luckily, this batch turned out to be a winner, so I finally have a recipe (for the doughnuts, at least) to share.

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Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts {Recipe}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Here’s a quick & easy dessert that’s a perfect use of leftover canned pumpkin. I’m loving baked doughnuts because I can make them so quickly and they’re just so darned good. One batch never lasts long in our house. We gobble them right up and you can, too, with this recipe.
*Vegetarian, Vegan options listed*
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup, plus ¼ cup granulated sugar (preferably raw, brown sugar would probably be delicious)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon, plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 large egg (or sub flaxseed egg)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 6-count doughnut pan (rub with butter, brush with melted butter, brush with oil, or spray with non-stick spray).
  2. In a medium-large bowl, add flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In another medium-large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and milk. Whisk in egg. Add vanilla extract and white vinegar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (careful to not over-mix).
  5. Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Note: This dough is pretty thick, so you’ll want to spread the tops as flat as possible using the back of a spoon or spatula.
  6. Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until doughnuts are cooked through (when a toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean). (Mine were perfect at 8 minutes, but oven temperatures can vary, so check at 7 minutes)
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together (or stir with fork) ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon until cinnamon is evenly mixed in. When doughnuts are safe to tough, but while they’re still warm, dip each side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing and twisting to get good coverage.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
Since I’ve stopped using non-stick spray, I find rubbing butter or brushing melted butter in the doughnut pan seems to work best. I’ve also had good success brushing the pan with oil. The doughnuts will pull away from the pan a bit as they cool.

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You may also like these TCL recipes:

Or these from around the web:

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Thanks for reading and for trying out some of my recipes! I saw on Pinterest that some people were making some of my recipes for their Thanksgiving celebrations, which made me feel so honored. It’s always a treat for me when someone takes the time to make one of my recipes, especially for a special event. Thank you again and happy cooking & baking!

PS It’s almost 9pm, and I have so much more to say in this blog. I should really consider blogging at this time more often, as opposed to blogging at midnight, which is when this usually happens.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yummy! Yum Yum!
    One question: Doughnut Pan? Never heard of one before….do you know where I can score this little beauty? My household would love to munch on these!
    Thank you again for the beautiful pictures! Makes me want to lick my monitor! LOL
    LB

      • Sis says

        YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. says

    My daughter Lucy and I made this tonight with her recently acquired mini-donut maker, and it was a winner! Looks like her breakfast option for the near term. We made it with white wheat flour and I snuck in a little flax meal when she wasn’t looking. I’ve been meaning to scale down the Eating Well apple cider donut recipe, but the proportions here were perfect for our needs. Thanks for this and lots more! You are a gem in the foodie community in Charlotte. -LSC

    • says

      Hi Lynn! Thank you so much for checking out one of my recipes! I’m so glad you guys liked the doughnuts. And that’s cool to hear it worked with your mini-donut maker.

      And thank you for your very kind words. I’m so glad to be part of the foodie community in town! :)

  3. Barbara says

    I made this recipe this morning after the Monster East Coast storm….
    I used low fat buttermilk, and eliminated the white vinegar. Wasn’t sure if the acidity in the buttermilk with the added white vinegar would cause a problem. I also used packed dark brown sugar.
    These doughnuts are delicious. Just the right amount of spice, and they came out cake like. Thank you!….I also gave some to my neighbor for their driving excursion to Denver. Keep up the good work….

    • says

      Hi Maryna, From my understanding, the online tools for calculating nutritional information aren’t always 100% accurate, so I don’t post nutritional information since I can’t guarantee its accuracy. You could use an online calculator on your own to get an estimation, perhaps? Sorry for the inconvenience.

  4. Heather says

    So not sure I did something wrong, hmmm…..I was so excited to try this out the other morning after searching or a recipe! I used it to make donut holes. We live in Alaska and miss Dunkin Donut pumpkin munchkins ;-) I’m pretty knowledgable when it comes to baking so I am unsure went wrong? Lol They were very dry and we couldn’t taste any pumpkin. Thankfully we had the cinnamon and sugar to roll it in lol If I were to make them again, I’d probably add pumpkin pie spice and try to figure out how to make them a bit more fluffy and less dense. Maybe because I used almond milk? They were however good when dipped in coffee!

    • says

      Hi Julie! From my understanding, the online tools for calculating nutritional information aren’t always 100% accurate, so I don’t post nutritional information since I can’t guarantee its accuracy. If you still want the info, you can get an estimation using an online calculator. There are a few online. Spark People has one here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp Thanks for stopping by!

  5. emilie says

    These were okay. Not the best, but okay. I thought they would taste similar to pumpkin scones but the pumpkin didn’t really mesh well with my taste buds in doughnut form. I’m a bit sad really.

    • says

      Sorry to hear you didn’t like them, Emilie! :( Please let me know if I can do anything to help troubleshoot, etc. Thanks for stopping by!

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