Who loves baked pumpkin cake doughnuts that you can customize? I DO, that’s who! My family goes ga-ga over these Baked Pumpkin-Spice Cake Doughnuts with Cinnamon Glaze when I make them for breakfast or a lazy Sunday morning.
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Nothing says AUTUMN like pumpkin spice, right? And nothing says YUM more-so than fat, yummy cake doughnuts, baked up and brimming with all the flavors of pumpkin and warm spices. You’ll never believe how absolutely easy these little suckers are to mix up and bake, then to finish by simply dipping them into either the maple-cinnamon glaze or a cinnamon-sugar topping….or both. I can’t tell you HOW MUCH my family loves these, nor how fast they fly out the door!
What ingredients do you need to make Pumpkin-Spice Cake Doughnuts with Maple Glaze or Cinnamon-Sugar Topping?
Canned pumpkin is the flesh of pumpkin that’s been pureed. Sometimes you’ll see it canned as 100% pumpkin and sometimes you’ll find it as pumpkin puree – these are the same thing, so don’t be thrown for a loop. Also, keep in mind that pumpkin pie filling is NOT the same thing as canned pumpkin, so you’ll want to inspect the can thoroughly when you pick it up at the grocer. You’ll typically find canned pumpkin with the other pie fillings in the baking section, but not always. Some stores like to play the game of “where’s the canned pumpkin kept??” – so crazy.
All-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt
These components comprise the dry ingredient mixture that gives your doughnuts structure and allows them to rise. The dark brown sugar helps give your doughnuts more of a deep caramel flavor that compliments the pumpkin spice very nicely.
Eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, water
These components make up your liquid ingredients that you’ll stir into the combined dry ingredients. Be sure that when you add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients that you stir them until just combined – over mixing will make your doughnuts tough in texture. The water is added to make the batter a little easier to spread and the added liquid helps steam the doughnuts as they bake so they are tender.
Easy and Helpful Recipe Tips for Making Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnuts for Your Family
The recipe says specifically not to over mix the doughnut batter? Why does that matter?
If you over mix the doughnut batter, this causes the gluten to be released and this can make your doughnuts tough in texture, instead tender and dreamy.
When I taste the doughnut batter, it’s not very sweet. Is that okay? Should I add more dark brown sugar?
Typically, because cake doughnuts aren’t deep fried, they aren’t as sweet as a glazed, fried doughnut. Keep in mind that when you top the doughnuts with the cinnamon glaze or the cinnamon-sugar topping, this will add lots of sweetness to the doughnuts – delicious!
Are cake doughnuts healthier than other doughnuts since they are baked?
Ummmm….not really. Cake doughnuts may be a better choice than a fried doughnut, but doughnuts eaten frequently shouldn’t be considered a regular part of a healthy eating plan. However, it’s pretty safe to say that a cake doughnut is typically (though not always depending on the ingredients) lower in fat and calories than a doughnut that’s been deep-fried and glazed, or doughnuts that contain fruit filling or creme filling. Doughnuts can’t really be considered nutritious.
Such a bummer. 🙁
What can I do if I don’t have any doughnut pans?
Actually, you can make your doughnuts in a different form: a doughnut-shaped MUFFIN! Since the muffins will be a bit thicker, you will likely need to bake them 1-2 minutes longer. To know when they are fully baked, use your finger to lightly touch the muffins on top; when the doughnut immediately springs back, they are done.
Getting the doughnut batter into the doughnut pans seems difficult using a small spoon. Isn’t there a better way to do it?
Actually, yes! You can place the doughnut batter into a freezer bag and snip off one corner. Pipe the batter through the hole in the corner of the bag and into the doughnut pans, filling them to the top, or close to it. You may need to use a butter knife to make the batter even on the top of each one.
Is it important to glaze the doughnuts while they are still warm?
Yes! Remember that you have to let the doughnuts rest a bit before they will want to lift out of the doughnut pan easily. Once the warm doughnuts are out of the pan, immediately glaze them or dip them in the melted butter, then dipping them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Do baked cake doughnuts taste as good as fried glazed doughnuts do?
Love a cake doughnut for what it IS and what it ISN’T – it’s different and has it’s very own, specific style, much unlike your regular run-of-the-mill fried and glazed doughnut. Baked cake doughnuts are easier and much less messy to make since they aren’t deep-fried in hot fat, a definite plus. Also, cake doughnuts are actually more delicious and enjoyable once they are fully cooled!
Other Baked Treats You May Enjoy –
Printable Directions for Making Baked Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnuts with Cinnamon Glaze
Baked Pumpkin-Spice Cake Doughnuts with Cinnamon Glaze
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin, or pumpkin puree (not pumpking pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk combined with 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3-4 Tbs. water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs. melted butter
- 2-3 Tbs. milk or water
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and kosher salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and water; add this to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Don't over mix!
- Spray two 6-count doughnut pans with nonstick baking spray; using a small spoon, scoop the prepared dough batter (be warned - it's very thick!) into the pan, dividing the prepared batter evenly into twelfths, spreading the batter as needed with the spoon or butter knife so that it's as level on top as possible. Or, you can also place the doughnut batter into a freezer bag, cutting off the corner. Pipe the batter through the hole in the corner of the bag and into the doughnut pan!
- Place the doughnut pans side-by-side onto the center rack of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the doughnuts spring back immediately when lightly touched on top.
- Remove the doughnut pans to a cooling rack and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Using a butter knife, lgently loosen each doughnut from the pan. If the doughnuts don't want to come out of the pan easily, it means they are still too warm. Give them another 5-10 minutes, then try once again. Once the doughnuts have cooled sufficiently, they will pop right out of the pans with the help of the butter knife.
To Make the Cinnamon Glaze
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the powder sugar, melted butter, milk or water, and cinnamon until smooth.
To Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon; mix well. In a small shallow saucepan, melt the butter over low heat; keep warm.
To Finish the Baked Doughnuts
- Using your fingertips, dip 6 of the warm doughnuts into the prepared cinnamon glaze, then place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or platter. Dip the remaining 6 warm doughnuts first into the melted butter, then into cinnamon-sugar mixture (recipe below), then place them beside the glazed doughnuts. Serve at once!
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