Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts

I am not the best when it comes to “just buying the essentials.”

When I’m let loose in a store, I end up trying to rationalize purchases “we absolutely do not need.”  Well, according to Roo.

Last weekend I convinced myself that I needed five pairs of knee high socks.

“Why is there a plethora of socks at the bottom of this Target bag?”

“Oh. I need them.  You know, to keep warm.  Boston’s cold in the winter.”

“Spring is almost a week away.”

“I’m cold!”

Roo picks up one of the pairs, “This doesn’t have to do with the fact that they all have Hello Kitty on them?”


What’s ironic is that this behavior gets quite bad when I’m trying to save money.  After a few weeks of setting a little aside from each paycheck, I feel the need to reward myself.  And if that treat comes to me via “free super saver shipping” from Amazon, then so be it.

Today, it was a donut pan.

But I’ll be ready when Roo comes home from his mother’s.

Yes, this pan is something we absolutely do need.

These donuts are great for that in-betweeness of seasons that I find typical of Winter and Spring.  As the days get a bit longer, yet the afternoons stay cool, it makes me feel we’re back in Fall.  Craving spiced baked goods and breads hot out of the oven, more often then not, I come home from work to immediately turn on the stove.

Lush molasses and earthy pumpkin, spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, make this donut slightly sweet yet full of body.  Top it with cinnamon and sugar or cover the donut whole.  Either way, have one (or two) for breakfast before flipping up your jacket collar to keep away the morning chill.

Only one more week till spring.

Adapted from Pastry Brush

Makes 10 – 12 Donuts (depending how big your donut molds are in your pan)


For the Donuts


Half a cup plus 3 rounded tablespoons, pureed pumpkin

2 tablespoons of molasses (make sure you get every last bit out of the spoon!)

2 rounded tablespoons of coconut oil

Quarter cup of sugar (this makes a not-so-sweet donut. If you’d like something that tastes more sweet, use half a cup)

6 tablespoons unsweetened, unflavored soy milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk) *preferably room temperature

Half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar


1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose if that’s all you have)

1 tablespoon of baking powder

Quarter teaspoon of baking soda

One and a half teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of ground ginger

Quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating (The Full Dunk)

Half a cup of butter (like Earth Balance), melted (there will be some waste) in a bowl that you can easily dip donuts into

1 cup of sugar (there will be some waste)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For Just A Topping of Cinnamon Sugar

Two tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil, my favorite!), melted in a bowl

A quarter cup of sugar plus a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon in another bowl


A small saucepan

A large mixing bowl

A medium mixing bowl

A whisk

A spatula

2 large ziploc bags (1 if you’re not coating the whole donut with topping) with the corner cut off (after you add the batter)

A donut pan (you can use a muffin pan, it just won’t have the ‘hole’) greased with butter (like Earth Balance) or sprayed with cooking/baking spray

Cooling rack (you can use a plate if you don’t have one)

Place your oven rack to the middle position in your oven.  Preheat your oven to 350F.

In your saucepan, add the coconut oil and place over a burner on medium low heat.  Leave until just melted.  Then remove from heat and set aside.

In your large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, molasses, melted coconut oil, sugar, soy milk and apple cider vinegar.  Mix the ingredients together until well combined.  Set aside. *If any of your ingredients are cold, they may cause the coconut oil to solidify again which will make the batter a little harder to stir.  It comes out just the same, but try to have all your ingredients at room temperature when combining.

In your medium mixing bowl, add the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together till there are no visible lumps and they are well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix the ingredients till just combined.  The batter is going to be quite thick but that’s ok, just try not to over mix.

Scoop the batter a large ziploc bag, seal, then cut a small hole off the corner.  Twist the ziploc bag to move the batter down to the hole and ‘pipe’ out the batter into your donut pan.  Try your best to move the batter around the circle, but if not, no big.  Just move the batter around the pan with wet fingers so that it completes the circle.  Be sure to just barely fill the circle as by overdoing it will make the donut look more like a ‘muffin top,’ ie it’ll lose it’s ‘hole.’  Continue ‘piping’ into each donut mold until all are filled.

Bake the donuts for 10 – 12 minutes until a cake tester (like a toothpick) comes out clean (for me it took 10 minutes) or when gently pressed they spring back (but be careful! Don’t burn yourself!).

Cool the donuts in their pan for 5 minutes.

While they’re cooling, prepare the cinnamon sugar bag (if coating the whole donut with cinnamon and sugar).

Add the cinnamon and sugar to your second large ziploc bag.  Seal, and shake around so that the cinnamon is evenly distributed throughout the sugar.

Set aside your melted butter and cinnamon sugar bag.

After the donuts have cooled for 5 minutes in the pan, place them on a cooling rack to cool for another 10 minutes.

Once the donuts have fully cooled, you can either eat them or coat/top them with cinnamon sugar.

To coat them, dip the donut, one at a time in the melted butter (dip both sides), then toss it in the cinnamon sugar ziploc bag.  Seal the bag then give it a good shake, making sure that every nook and cranny is covered.

Remove, place back on the rack (or plate) and repeat with the rest of your donuts (one at a time).

If you’re just doing just the top of the donuts, dip only the tops of the donuts into your melted butter.  Then, one by one, dunk the tops of the donuts into your cinnamon and sugar mixture. Set aside on a cooling rack (topping side up) until serving.

4 thoughts on “Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts

  1. Love the modifications that you made to make this. I also love that you baked them. I just recently got a donut pan, so I might need to use your adapted recipe and bake me some donuts 🙂

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