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Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Sugar Icing (Can Easily Be Made GF)

As a witchy human, I was attending a lovely gathering to celebrate Samhain (and Halloween), and really wanted to incorporate pumpkin in some way since I had an extra can of pumpkin puree in the pantry. Also, pumpkins have some AMAZING magickal properties that I'll list below! I started to look into recipes and realized it's been quite some time since I've baked donuts in my super cool donut pan, so that narrowed down my search to that category.

I came across these babies on (shocking) Sally's Baking Addiction. I can't help but always return to this website because she just has such a beautiful way of breaking down recipes so that they are flawless. She gives the best detailed instructions as well as ways to modify recipes to your liking or needs. I can't speak highly enough about this website, although I don't actually know Sally myself (maybe some day we'll cross paths!), and I think it's a great resource for bakers of all skill levels. Anyways, back to the donuts!

These donuts are *chefs kiss* perfection. They're light and airy while still being packed with flavor. They're not too pumpkin-forward (which I personally don't like), and have a nice balance of warm pumpkin combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The donut itself is not too sweet, which compliments the luscious brown sugar icing on top. The icing also sets, making them great for stacking and traveling.

These donuts are truly a perfect treat for fall. They're super simple to make, and are perfect for gatherings, or if you want some fall donuts for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner)!

Magickal Ingredients Used:

Pumpkin: Can be used to represent long term abundance, to call in prosperity and fertility, and they can used for protection.

Cinnamon: Prosperity and attracting money, passion, promoting spirituality and stimulating psychic abilities.

The Recipe

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • Cook Time: 11 minutes

  • Total Time: 45 minutes

  • Yield: about 16 donuts

Here's What You Need:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil or melted coconut oil)

  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup (227g) fresh or canned pumpkin puree

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Icing

  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk

  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (175g) sifted confectioners’ sugar

  • pinch of salt, to taste

  • optional: toppings, see note

Here's What To Do;

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

  2. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.

  3. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities or for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.

  4. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts in the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter. *For mini donuts, bake in a mini donut pan for 8-9 minutes. Cool donuts for at least 10 minutes before icing them.

  5. Make the icing: Combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and sifted confectioners’ sugar until smooth and combined. Add a pinch of salt. Let the icing cool for 5 minutes to slightly thicken. Dip the tops of the pumpkin donuts into the warm icing. If icing is getting too thick as you’re dipping, add a little more milk or warm back up in the microwave or on the stove to thin out. Place dipped donuts on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet so any excess icing can drip off. Top with chopped nuts or other toppings if desired. If applied lightly, the icing will eventually set in about 1 hour so you can stack or transport the donuts.

  6. Cover leftover donuts tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can freeze the donuts, plain or topped with the icing, for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just microwave them for a couple seconds. If plain, top with icing before serving if desired.

  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon—you will still add that.

  3. Milk: Any milk works for the donuts and icing. I’ve tested with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whole milk, and skim milk. You can use any, dairy or non.

  4. Optional Toppings: After applying the icing, you can sprinkle toppings on top or dip the donuts into any the following: sprinkles, finely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted coconut, finely chopped toffee, or a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Instead of icing, you can add a cinnamon sugar topping.

  5. No Donut Pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Follow the baking instructions for these pumpkin crumb cake muffins, leaving off the crumb topping. Top warm muffins with this brown sugar icing before serving.

  6. Mini Donuts: Want to make mini donuts or mini donut holes in a mini muffin pan? Grease your pan, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 8-9 minutes.


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