Pumpkin Donuts

I’ll admit it. As much as I try to be, I’m not a very patient person. When I want something, I want it now. I don’t want to wait for it. Especially when it comes to ideas for baking. If I get something in my head, I HAVE to do it. The idea will haunt me until I give in and make it. With all the fall recipes popping up everywhere, pumpkin flavored treats have been on my mind for over a month now. I want to try every new pumpkin recipe I see! The only problem—there was very little canned pumpkin available in the early days of fall when all the recipes started showing up. And it drove me crazy! Crazy enough to spend far too much on a small can of organic pumpkin from Whole Foods, just to say I finally had some in my possession. (And guess what I found at my grocery store the very next day? Yep. More pumpkin. At half the price. If only I had been just a bit more patient.)

Pumpkin Donuts

In the past, I’ve made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin cheesecake. But this year I wanted to make something completely different. After another trip to Buckeye Donuts, pumpkin donuts were all I could think about. (Have I mentioned how evil this place is? Their donuts are like crack—so addicting... you’ve gotta have more!) So I whipped up some dough, broke out my thermometer and started frying up my first pumpkin treat of the year.

Pumpkin Donuts

Unlike my first donut attempt that went perfectly smooth, this time I had a few bumps in the road. The dough is incredibly soft and sticky, so the lightly floured surface ended up a heavily floured surface in order to pat the dough out to cut, and it was almost impossible to keep the circles in tact while transferring them to the oil. Even putting trying to put them on a Chinese skimmer to drop them in, they stretched and tore and just ended up kind of ugly. I had a hard time keeping the oil at a constant temperature too. The first time, I had no issues whatsoever. It held steady the entire time. This time, it went from too cool to way too hot, dropped down to being too cool again, shot back up to being too hot… It was so inconsistent, so some of my donut holes ended up way too brown on the outside, and not completely cooked on the inside. And maybe it’s just me, but I swear I used practically every utensil, dish, and pot I own making these things! In a matter of hours I went from having a spotless kitchen to having a complete mess!

But, despite all the hassles, these were pretty tasty! Not overly pumpkin-y, so if you’re looking for a super pumpkin treat, these probably aren’t it, but still yummy anyway. I covered my big donuts in glaze (yum!) and the donut holes in a spiced sugar mixture (extra yum!). I only got 6 somewhat large donuts and about 10 donut holes out of half the recipe, so next time I’ll definitely make the whole recipe, and make smaller donuts, which will probably help with the stretching and tearing. Now to figure out what to do with the rest of my 7 cans of pumpkin! Yeah… I kinda went a little overboard... After last year’s pumpkin crisis, I felt like I needed to horde some this year... Not really necessary since this greets me every time I walk in the grocery store.

Definitely no shortage this year.

Pumpkin Donuts
Pumpkin Donuts
Adapted from Epicurious and Bon Appetit
Makes a dozen large donuts (or 2 dozen smaller donuts) plus donut holes

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
Canola oil (for deep frying)

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended. (Mixture will be grainy). Beat in the whole egg, then yolks and vanilla, Gradually add buttermilk, beating until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in pumpkin until combined.
3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
4. On a lightly floured surface, press out 1/3 of the dough to about ½-inch thickness. Using a 2 ½-inch round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Transfer rounds to a piece of lightly floured parchment paper, or a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining two-thirds of dough. Gather scraps, press out, and cut more dough rounds until all dough is used.
5. Using a 1-inch round cutter, cut the center out of each dough round to make donuts and donut holes.
6. Line 2 baking sheets or several plates with several layers of paper towels. Pour about 1 ½ inches of oil into a large deep skillet. With a deep-fry thermometer, heat oil to 365F to 370F. Fry donut holes in two batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or Chinese skimmer, transfer to paper towels to drain. Bring oil back up to 365F and fry donuts, 2 to 4 at a time, making sure not to crowd the pot, until golden brown, adjusting the heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer donuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely. Once cooled, coat with glaze or roll in spiced sugar. Best served the day you make them.

Adapted from Alton Brown

¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly until well combined. Remove glaze from heat and set over a bowl of warm water to keep warm. Dip donuts into glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed over a sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Spiced Sugar:

1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl to blend. Roll donuts and donut holes in mixture to coat.
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sarahe said...

these look wonderful! I haven't tried my hand @ donuts yet but these sound amazing!

oneordinaryday said...

I love pumpkin donuts! I keep seeing that pumpkin baking sheet and really want to try baking some. I love this recipe - they sound delicious.

Kelley F. said...

I worked at Buckeye Donuts several years in college! To get the cut-out donuts in the oil, buy a wooden dowel or use the long handle part of a wooden spoon. Just stick it in the middle and slide down -- you can pick up two or three at a time this way usually. Of course, if the dough is really hard to work with, this won't work most likely.

I BLEED PINK said...

I am not a huge fan of pumking but I love doughnuts, so I think I will be trying this out.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Daaaaahling, i love these. Will you make me some of those donut holes? I have quite a fear of deep frying, but I really want these.
*kisses* HH

Ingrid said...

Your donuts looks amazing! I'm going to be thinking of them for a while.

I haven't made anything pumpkin yet but I'm about to change that this weekend. :)

Pam @ Kitchen Cookware said...

Wow, these pumpkin dounts and donut holes looks so yummy!

I think I am impatient too, when I am waiting for something. By the way, that kitchen sink looks similar to my kitchen :-) I love cooking, not doing dishes....what to do?

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious donuts

Lisa said...

when did you make pumpkin donuts? I LOVE pumpkin donuts. They look yummy!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Lisa- I made them probably about 2-3 weeks ago. I don't remember now. But I didn't make that many, so I hoarded them at home instead of bringing them in to share! lol but not like I would have seen you to give you any anyway, since we never work together anymore!

Danielle said...

After the doughnuts are cut out could I bake them instead of frying them?

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Danielle - I'm not sure how baking them would work with this recipe since it's meant to fry, but if you want to try some baked pumpkin donuts, I found a good looking recipe from The Craving Chronicles that I've wanted to try out! http://cravingchronicles.com/2010/10/11/baked-pumpkin-spice-donut-holes/

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