These homemade Pumpkin Donuts are packed with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a delicious buttermilk glaze. It's a perfect Fall treat!
These donuts are scrumptious and so easy to make! All you do is mix together a handful of simple ingredients, roll out the dough, and cut out your donuts. Then you just fry them, and dip them in the buttermilk glaze. It’s that simple!
These pumpkin donuts are:
- covered in a buttermilk glaze
- ready in 25 minutes
- an easy fall donut recipe
And there’s no need for any fancy appliances either! All you need is a skillet.
How to Make Pumpkin Donuts
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and mix everything together until the dough is combined and sticky.
- Put the dough onto a flat, floured surface and roll it out. Roll it out thinner than the finished donuts, since they will puff up while they are frying.
- Use a donut cutter to cut out donuts and donut holes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on the stove. When the oil is hot, slide a few donuts into the oil.
- Fry each side of the donut until it is lightly browned.
- Fry the donuts in small batches until they’ve all been cooked.
- Cool the donuts slightly on a wire rack.
- While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze.
- Mix together the powdered sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until it is creamy and smooth.
- Dip each warm donut into the glaze, and then place it back on the wire cooling rack to allow the excess glaze to drip off.
Scroll down for the full recipe with measurements and detailed instructions.
Tips & Tricks
A donut cutter is basically like a cookie cutter that cuts out two circles - the donut and the donut hole! You can get one online here or at many higher end kitchen stores.
But if you don’t want to buy a donut cutter, you can always get creative and use whatever you have in your house (like a large cup and a shot glass).
Metal Slotted Spoon
Because the donut dough is quite soft, place each donut on a metal slotted spoon or spatula to lower it into the oil. Then, you can gently slide it off into the oil.
This is far easier than using your hands. Plus, if you use your hands, the dough may stretch or tear in the process.
After you’ve added the donuts to the oil, you’ll need to flip them while they’re in the oil. To avoid splatters that could burn you, use tongs (like these) to flip the donuts. It’ll give you the best control.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
While your donuts are warm, you can opt to coat them with a cinnamon sugar coasting instead of the buttermilk glaze.
To do this, melt ½ cup of butter. Dip the top half of the donut into the butter. Then mix together 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Dip the buttered side of the donut into the cinnamon sugar, and let it cool.
Add Fun Toppings
Get creative with your donuts! You can do all sorts of fun things with these pumpkin donuts.
Try topping them with things like a drizzle of chocolate sauce, powdered sugar, M&Ms, crushed up Oreos, and caramel. Or even some fall colored sprinkles. The possibilities are endless!
Pumpkin Donut FAQs
Can I bake the donuts instead of frying?
Yes! If you prefer baked pumpkin donuts, they'll be easiest to make in a donut pan. Mix the batter the same way but pour into one of these donut pans. They will take 15-20 minutes to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I use a muffin pan for donuts?
Yep. This is a great hack if you don't have a donut pan, but must make donuts right now. (I've been there.) Just use a muffin tin or cupcake pan. Cut out a 4x4 square of tin foil and wrap it around your middle finger. Remove it and then place it in the middle of one of the muffin tins. And there you have your donut hole! It won't be as pretty, but it will work.
How do you make fried donuts?
Slowly place the donut into heated oil with a long-handled slotted spoon, being careful that oil doesn’t splatter. Fry the donuts two or three at a time in oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Turn them over once. Remove them with a slotted spoon and allow excess oil to drain.
What is the best oil for donuts?
Vegetable and canola oil work great! Just remember to use fresh oil before you fry your donuts, nothing recycled from a prior recipe, or you might get the flavor of whatever you fried the oil with before.
Why are my donuts so oily?
You probably fried them with oil that wasn’t hot enough. That means greasy donuts with a tough crust. Make the oil hotter because the dough will bring the temperature of the oil down when you toss them in.
More Tasty Ideas
If you love these pumpkin donuts, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes:
Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients in one mixing bowl, and mix until the dough is well combined. (The dough will still be very sticky.)
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to about ½ inch thickness. (The finished donuts will be thicker, as they will puff up while frying.) Use a donut cutter to cut out donuts and donut holes.
- Heat a few inches of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot (about 350°F), gently slide a few donuts into the oil, frying each side until lightly browned. Fry the donuts in small batches until they’ve all been cooked.
- Cool the donuts slightly on a wire rack.
- While the donuts are cooling a bit, mix all the ingredients for the glaze and whisk until smooth. Dip each warm donut into the glaze and place back on the wire cooling rack, allowing the excess glaze to drip off.
- The dough for these pumpkin donuts is very soft, so I usually place each donut on a metal slotted spoon or spatula, lower it gently into the oil, and gently slide it off into the oil. This is easier than picking up the donuts with your hand and placing them into the oil because they will end up stretching or tearing in the process.
- Use tongs to carefully flip the donuts while in the oil for the best control.