Easy Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

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Celebrate the arrival of pumpkin season with my Easy Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar! These tasty homemade pumpkin spice donuts are made with simple ingredients that capture the essence of fall flavors — and making them is a breeze!

baked pumpkin donuts stacked in a bowl with cinnamon sticks.

Why You’ll Love This Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe

Simple Preparation. This easy donut recipe only requires a little combining and mixing of simple ingredients. After baking, let the treats cool, then coat with the sugar topping — Easy!

Perfect Fall Treat. Nothing brings the level of comfort baked into warm cinnamon-like spices and cozy pumpkin notes.

Versatile Recipe. Serve this delicious recipe for breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert.

Coated in a layer of crunchy cinnamon sugar, these pumpkin cake donuts are a delightful sweet treat for cooler fall mornings.

Treat yourself to warm donuts and a hot cup of coffee or a steaming chai tea latte, and enjoy the charm of a donut shop right at home with our easy recipe!

ingredients for baked pumpkin donuts on a table.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour | Give the donuts structure to hold all the yummy flavors with all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder | Add baking powder to the mix to help the donuts rise in the oven.
  • Spices | What goes better with pumpkin than warm spices, like ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice? 
  • Brown sugar | Brown sugar brings a rich sweetness to the delicious homemade donuts.
  • Pumpkin puree | The mild and lovely pumpkin flavor comes from pumpkin puree. Be sure to distinguish this ingredient from pumpkin pie filling that is often right next to puree at the grocery store.
  • Eggs | Add a couple of large eggs at room temperature to produce a light and tender crumb and bind the various ingredients.
  • Vanilla | A dash of vanilla extract deepens the creamy and sweet notes of the donut recipe.
  • Buttermilk | Room temperature buttermilk adds to the flavor of the donuts as well as the texture.
  • Butter | Use melted butter for chewier and more tender cake-like donuts, unlike soft and light donut recipes using softened butter.
  • Cinnamon Sugar | Combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter for the cinnamon-sugar topping that completes this homemade pumpkin donut recipe.

How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Making donuts is as easy as pie — actually, it’s even easier! Follow the simple steps below and make delicious donuts from scratch!

whisking flour with spices for pumpkin donuts.

STEP 1 | Preheat and combine dry ingredients

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next, lightly coat the mini donut pans with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, spices, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside for later.

pouring buttermilk into melted butter; brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin in a glass mixing bowl.

STEP 2 | Combine wet ingredients

Then, combine the buttermilk and melted butter in a separate bowl and set aside. Mix the sugars, pumpkin puree, and eggs in another large bowl until they are combined. 

mixing batter for pumpkins donuts by alternating wet and dry ingredients.

STEP 3 | Mix ingredients

Now, set the speed on low and alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the larger bowl. Do not over-mix! 

batter in donut pans; brushing donuts with butter and rolling in cinnamon sugar for pumpkin donuts.

STEP 4 | Fill the pan, and bake!

Pipe or spoon donut batter into the prepared mini donut pans, filling the molds a little over halfway. 

Then bake the donuts for 13-15 minutes or until they are golden brown and spring back to touch.

Cool the donuts in the pan for about two minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.

STEP 5 | Make cinnamon-sugar mixture

Just before the donuts come out of the oven, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.

Brush the warm donuts lightly with the melted butter. Then, gently roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, shaking off any excess.

Serve the sugar-coated pumpkin donuts while they are still warm and freshly coated! Enjoy!

Tips from the Home Chef’s Kitchen

Coating the donut pan with cooking spray prevents the donuts from sticking and tearing apart when you remove them. If you don’t have cooking spray on hand, use oil or butter to grease the pan.

Avoid over-mixing the recipe to keep the final texture light and fluffy. Also, ensure not to fill the molds past halfway full to leave room for them to rise.

Before adding the cinnamon sugar, the donuts should be cooled some but still warm, allowing the butter and sugar mixture to better adhere to the donut’s surface.

baked pumpkin donuts in a bowl on a table with festive decor.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Gluten-Free Donuts. Make this donut recipe gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative. Then, ensure all other ingredients, like the spices and extract, are labeled and certified as gluten-free. It’s that easy!
  • Swap the Sugar for Glaze. If you prefer glazed donuts, make a simple glaze with a little milk, vanilla or maple syrup for flavoring, and powdered sugar.
  • Make homemade pumpkin pie spice. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice, then store in an airtight container for other pumpkin recipes.
  • No buttermilk? No problem! Make your own buttermilk from white vinegar and milk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a measuring cup, then fill it up with milk to make a cup of homemade buttermilk.

Storage Tips

  • The secret to keeping homemade donuts fresh for a couple of days is storing them on a glass cake plate with a dome lid or keeping them in a ziplock bag that is not totally sealed. (If you wrap them up tight, they will become stale and chewy.)
  • If you don’t plan to eat the donuts right away, wait on the cinnamon sugar topping — otherwise, the sugar will dissolve and become watery as it sits.
pumpkin donut broken in half on a serving plate on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a donut pan to make donuts?

Yes. If you want the classic round shape of donuts, you’ll need a pan with donut molds. You can try making this recipe in a muffin tin if necessary. However, I’ve only used my reliable donut pan, so you may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature. Let me know how it works for you!

Can you make pumpkin donut holes?

Sure! Use a mini muffin tin to make a batch of donut holes. Because these treats are smaller, the cooking time will be less than if you’re making the whole donut, so be sure to keep an eye on them as they bake.

Do baked donuts taste different than fried donuts?

Fried donuts taste a bit different than baked ones. Both are sweet and have a decadent flavor. But fried donuts tend to be more airy, light, and oily, while baked ones are typically more cake-like, chewy, and tender.

Which flour is best for baking donuts?

All-purpose flour is the best option for giving donuts a fluffy texture with plenty of structure.

Craving All Things Pumpkin?

For all my pumpkin fanatics out there, here are a few more recipes you must try! These gooey Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies never disappoint! Also, take a shot at this classic Pumpkin Bread Recipe, or go savory with my Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms and SageYum!

close up of cinnamon donuts,

What to Serve with Pumpkin Donuts

What goes better with donuts than a steaming cup of coffee? Get inspiration from this pairing by serving your homemade pumpkin donuts as an after-dinner dessert following this tasty and tender Coffee-Rubbed Ribeye Steak!

Or, create a brunch donut dessert board with today’s pumpkin donuts and these chocolate donuts covered in a silky homemade ganache — Delish!

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baked pumpkin donuts stacked in a bowl with cinnamon sticks.

Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar are bursting with Fall flavor – pumpkin and spices and a sweet cinnamon sugar coating.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sweets
Cuisine American
Servings 18 donuts
Calories 162 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter melted, slightly cooled

Cinnamon Sugar

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat mini donut pans with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk and melted butter in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer, mix the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and eggs until combined. Set the speed on low and alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture. Do not over mix.
  • Pipe or spoon batter into prepared mini donut pans, filling molds a little over half full. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the donuts spring back to touch.
  • Cool the donuts in pan for two minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • Just before the donuts come out of the oven, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.
  • While the donuts are still warm, brush them lightly with the melted butter. Then gently roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, shaking off any excess.

Notes

  • Coating the donut pan with cooking spray prevents the donuts from sticking and tearing apart when you remove them. If you don’t have cooking spray on hand, use oil or butter to grease the pan.
  • Avoid over-mixing the recipe to keep the final texture light and fluffy. Also, ensure not to fill the molds past halfway full to leave room for them to rise.
  • Before adding the cinnamon sugar, the donuts should be cooled some but still warm, allowing the butter and sugar mixture to better adhere to the donut’s surface.

Nutrition

Serving: 18donutsCalories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 264mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword baked donuts, donuts, pumpkin spice, pumpkin,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.

Beyond the Recipe

Today, donuts are primarily considered an American treat. It’s no mystery that Americans can’t get enough of them, but that doesn’t mean they originated here.

Like many age-old recipes, donuts were introduced to America centuries ago by migrant workers. More specifically, ‘olykeokes’ or ‘oily cakes’ came along with Dutch people moving to modern-day Manhattan for a better life.

By the mid-19th century, workers consumed donuts, especially those on long sea voyages. At the time, the treat was a fried dough with warm spices and nuts in the center where the dough would often not be baked through, hence the name ‘doughnuts.’

Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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