Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

Celebrating Pumpkins

The second recipe in the celebration of pumpkin is a sweet treat: doughnuts!

Thanksgiving is upon us, approaching so rapidly that I’m constantly surprised by the days left in my countdown.

During this holiday in which food is bountiful and thanks is plentiful, we like to serve the traditional fare – turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish – but I like to throw in a few surprises in the meal.  And those surprises usually surface in the dessert course.  Well, dessert courses.  I always make multiple desserts laced with chocolate, pumpkin, fruit, and fancy.

In fact, I usually make too many desserts, and I’m often trying to give them away.  We’re taking desserts to work; we’re sharing with neighbors.  The sugary goodness is too bountiful to contain.

This year, I’m making smaller desserts.  I’m trading in the 9-inch pie plate for oven safe ramekins.  And I was immediately drawn toward dessert options that were small, personally sized, and easily shared.  Inspiration struck: doughnuts.  But not just any doughnuts – pumpkin spice doughnuts.


I’m skipping the pumpkin pie this year and opting, instead, for a fun change that will wow my Thanksgiving guests.  Sacrilege, you say?  Never.  I say, this year, mix it up!  Take a cue from traditional dessert staples – pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie – and mix it up.  Serve these rich flavors in new, innovative forms.  For example, I’m not serving my usual apple pie either.  This year, I’m featuring my Apple Pear Tarts.  It’s a new spin on a Thanksgiving favorite in a form that makes family members taking leftovers a snap, and I can easily control the volume I make with these small, travel-friendly, two-bite edible wonders.


So, I’m featuring these Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze, and after experimenting to create a dynamite recipe, I’m sure they’re going to be a hit!

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze
Makes six doughnuts



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
  • Baking spray

Brown Butter Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a standing mixer, combine dry ingredients using the paddle attachment: flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt.  (If you don’t have a standing mixer, don’t fret.  A large bowl and spoon will get the job done!)
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine wet ingredients: milk, vinegar, pumpkin puree, egg, butter, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
  4. With dry ingredients throughly blended, slowly add wet ingredients, and blend until well combined.
  5. Using a six-cavity, standard size doughnut pan, grease each gravity with baking spray.
  6. Fill each cavity with the doughnut batter.  Fill to about 3/4 full.  (Don’t risk baking disaster – allow room for rising!)
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until doughnuts have a firm but spongey texture.  Properly baked doughnuts have bounce.
  8. Allow to cool for five minutes.  Then, transfer to a cooling rack for additional cooling while whipping up your brown butter glaze.
  9. To begin the glaze, heat butter over medium heat until a golden brown coloring forms – approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  10. Pour butter into a medium bowl.  Discard any sediment.
  11. Add additional ingredients: confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream.  Whisk until smooth.  (If your glaze is still a bit thick, add milk until you reach your desired consistency.)
  12. Apply glaze to doughnuts once smooth in the amount that suits your taste.  A lot.  A little.  You decide!
  13.   The most important direction: serve and enjoy!



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