Pumpkin Doughnuts

Impress your friends this fall with a batch of freshly made Pumpkin Doughnuts! Staying true to the seasonal theme, I wanted to make another pumpkin 'something.' After a couple hours experimenting in my kitchen, it looked like I opened my own small doughnut shop! To the unsuspecting eye, these little treats would seem like nothing more than a homemade doughnut. However, one bite may just change your mind with the little 'something' extra. For eye-appealing and mouth-enticing variety, coat the doughnuts with Chocolate, Cinnamon-Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Traditional Glaze, Sprinkles...well you get the idea! Enjoy!!

Servings: 48 doughnuts / 48 doughnut holes
Prep Time: ~2hrs 45min

1/4 Cup of Water, lukewarm
2 Packages of Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Nonfat Milk, lukewarm
1 1/2 Cup Pumpkin, puree
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 Cup Butter, Unsalted, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar, Granulated
2 Tsp Cinnamon, Ground
1 Tsp Nutmeg, Ground
1 Tsp Salt
6 Cups Flour, All-Purpose
2 Cups Flour, All-Purpose, for kneading

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating
(~20 doughnuts)
6 Tbsp Sugar, Granulated
1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon, Ground 

Chocolate Coating
(~20 doughnuts)
5oz Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Tbsp Butter, Unsalted

Doughnut Dough (Part I): Pour the water into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Let sit for a few minutes (will lightly bubble after five minutes). Gently, using a whisk, integrate the milk, pumpkin, eggs, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until evenly-mixed. Stir in the flour one cup at a time until a sticky dough forms. Split the dough in half.

Doughnut Dough (Part II): Sprinkle some flour onto the working surface and spoon out one half of the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough, and slowly sprinkle in 1 cup of flour until the dough holds together, becoming pliable. The dough will be elastic, not sticky. Grease a medium-sized mixing bowl and place the dough. Repeat for the remaining half. Cover each bowl and set aside until the dough doubles in size (~an hour and a half).

Doughnut Shapes: Uncover and lightly press your fist into the center of the dough to let out air. Lightly flour the counter, and using a rolling pin, spread dough to about 1/3" in height. Invert a small circular glass and press directly into the dough and twist. Doughnut will separate from the rest of the dough. Using a clean and dry wine bottle, or similarly-sized shape, invert the bottle firmly into the center of the dough and twist. Remove the holes and set aside. Place doughnuts 1" a part on parchment paper or cookie sheets and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Note - You can use a doughnut cutter to create the doughnut shapes, but it is not necessary.

Doughnut Fry: Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry each doughnut for ~42 seconds on each side, until a light golden in color. Remove to a paper towel to absorb oil. 

Note - If you do not have a deep fryer, use a deep pot filled to about 1" from the bottom with oil. Heat until bubbles form around the tip of a wooden spoon.

These doughnuts taste great plain, but if you're interested in some variety:

  • Cinnamon Sugar Coated/Powdered Sugar: If coating with Cinnamon-Sugar, allow the doughnuts to cool slightly before coating. While still warm, press each side of a doughnut into the Cinnamon-Sugar blend. Repeat for the sides. If using Powdered Sugar, let the doughnuts completely cool to room temperature before coating. Either sprinkle or lightly press the doughnut into the sugar to coat.
  • Chocolate Frosted: If using Chocolate, let the doughnuts completely cool to room temperature before coating. Melt the dark chocolate in a small, shallow saucepan on low heat with the butter. Remove from heat and stir with a whisk to check the melt. Return to heat at lowest heat setting if not fully melted. Dip one side of the doughnuts into the melted chocolate, twist, and pull up and set aside to cool. If desired, smooth with a spatula.
  • Traditional Glazed/Sprinkles: If using Traditional Glaze, let the doughnuts completely cool to room temperature before coating. Make a simple sugar/water glaze using a small amount of water, powdered sugar, and vanilla: 1 Tbsp for every 1/2 cup of sifted Powdered Sugar is a fair ratio; 1-2 Tsp Vanilla Extract - individual preference. If using Sprinkles, dip one side of the doughnut into the glaze and then dip that same side into the sprinkles of choice.

Doughnut Holes: Of course there just had to be doughnut holes! Flash fry the holes until they are a golden brown. Allow to drain and cool slightly before tossing in Cinnamon-Sugar. Allow to cool completely if tossing in Powdered Sugar

Nutrition Information (1 Doughnut):

Calories 138, Total Fat: 4.9g, Sat. Fat: 2.6g, Cholesterol: 19.1mg, Sodium: 53.7mg, Carb: 20.2g, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 2.5g

Calories 153, Total Fat: 4.9g, Sat. Fat: 2.6g, Cholesterol: 19.1mg, Sodium: 53.8mg, Carb: 24.1g, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugars: 8.3g, Protein: 2.5g

Chocolate Frosted
Calories 176, Total Fat: 7.7g, Sat. Fat: 4.3g, Cholesterol: 19.9mg, Sodium: 53.7mg, Carb: 24.2g, Fiber: 0.6g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 2.5g