Today I’m sharing a perfect recipe for fall, these small-batch, high altitude baked pumpkin spice doughnuts. As the days are gradually getting shorter, the promise of fall is in the air, and I love everything about this time of year. The cozy sweaters, the chill in the air, the crisp leaves underfoot, apple pie, the scent of the first snow. Snow tends to come early in Colorado. Another thing to love about fall is all the pumpkin treats and baked goods. These pumpkin doughnuts are soft and cakey, quick and easy to make, and coated in cinnamon sugar. What’s not to love?
Looking for more high altitude pumpkin recipes? Don’t miss these pumpkin sugar cookies with maple icing, the best ever pumpkin bread, pumpkin bourbon ice cream, and brown butter pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.
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Why You’ll Love These Doughnuts
Small Batch. Sometimes you just don’t need a whole bunch of sweets in the house, and you only want a little treat for your family. This small batch recipe makes just six baked pumpkin doughnuts, although you can certainly scale the recipe up to make a bigger batch, too.
Easy to Make. This is an easy batter to make, simply by combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, and then spooning the batter into the doughnut mold to bake.
Perfect for Fall. With the pumpkin and the cozy spices, these doughnuts just scream sweater weather. Serve them with hot coffee or apple cider after a day at the pumpkin patch or your local apple orchard!
- Pumpkin. Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Sour Cream. Adds richness and acidity for a very tender texture.
- Egg. Binds the batter together and adds structure.
- Vanilla Extract. Flavor.
- Flour. Plain all-purpose flour adds structure to the doughnut batter.
- Sugar. Dark brown sugar adds moisture, sweetness and a hint of molasses.
- Spices. A blend of espresso powder (optional), cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves add a wonderful depth of fall flavor to these doughnuts.
- Baking Soda. Leavens the batter so the doughnuts puff up.
- Salt. Balances the sweetness.
- Cinnamon & Sugar. For coating the doughnuts.
These doughnuts are so easy to make. From start to finish, you’ll be eating warm doughnuts in under 30 minutes, which makes them perfect for weekend breakfasts with a hot cup of coffee, or just a fun snack after an afternoon of apple picking. This is a modestly-sized batch – just 6 doughnuts – but the recipe can easily be doubled as well.
Combine the Wet Ingredients.
Pumpkin, sour cream, an egg and vanilla are combined until smooth. The recipe only uses 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, so you can save the rest for a batch of pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pancakes. I’ve even added leftover canned pumpkin to smoothies, since it’s such a healthy and versatile ingredient.
Combine the Dry Ingredients.
Sift together all-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, salt, baking soda and spices. If you have pumpkin pie spice, you can certainly use it, but I always use my own blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. I also add a little espresso powder to these pumpkin doughnuts, and it adds such a nice subtle coffee flavor.
Mix and Pipe the Batter.
Briefly mix together the wet and dry ingredients, just until combined. The batter is thick so the easiest way to get it into your doughnut pan is to pipe it. I always have piping bags on hand since I decorate cakes. But if you don’t have piping bags, simply snip the corner off a zip-lock bag and fill that with your batter to pipe into your pan.
The best part about baked pumpkin spice doughnuts is that they’re baked, not fried. They bake quickly in about 11-12 minutes, and they puff up into the prettiest little doughnuts ever.
TIP: These baked pumpkin spice doughnuts need to be dipped in the cinnamon sugar while they’re hot, or it won’t stick. That said, if you have trouble with it sticking, there’s a simple solution. Just dip a pastry brush in a small amount of melted butter, lightly brush the butter onto the doughnuts, and then dip them in the cinnamon sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
My favorite way to finish these doughnuts is with a sparkly coat of cinnamon sugar. It’s easy to do, it looks beautiful, and tastes delicious. I usually use a ratio of 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to 1 teaspoon cinnamon for the perfect balance of sugar and spice. But use whatever ratio you like, depending on how sweet or spicy you prefer it to be. What I like to do is keep a jar on hand of cinnamon sugar that I use for all sorts of baking projects like this. It’s easier to coat the doughnuts in a bowl full of cinnamon sugar, and then just save the extra for another recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a doughnut pan for this recipe?
Yes, this is a baked doughnuts recipe, requiring a
Did you love today’s recipe? Please rate the recipe and let me know in the comments what you thought! Also, be sure to follow Curly Girl Kitchen on Instagram, and tag me when you try one of my recipes so I can see all your delicious creations! All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet. See FAQs for adjusting to higher or lower elevations.
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High Altitude Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Did you love today’s recipe? Please rate the recipe and let me know in the comments what you thought! Also, be sure to follow Curly Girl Kitchen on Instagram, and tag me when you try one of my recipes so I can see all your delicious creations!
All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet. See FAQs for adjusting to higher or lower elevations.
Are these cupcake like or is there somethung that makes them more donut in texture. Also, at the top you aid the days are getting longer, I think you meant shorter.
Baked doughnuts are cakey in texture.
Is this recipe for high altitude bakers or for us at sea level as well?
This should work at any altitude!
I love baked doughnuts and these are by far the best pumpkin baked doughnuts I have ever made. They were not dense or gummy (which is an issue I’ve had with some other pumpkin baked items). They were light and wonderfully spiced. I also loved that the doughnut itself wasn’t super sweet which allowed for the perfect amount of sweetness to come through once the cinnamon sugar coating was added. Thank you for the great recipes for us high altitude bakers!