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Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Vanilla Glaze by The Redhead Baker

If I asked you, "What is the most dangerous piece of kitchen equipment?", what would be your response? Knives? A mandoline? A kitchen torch?

You'd be wrong. It's a doughnut pan.

Doughnuts are one of my weaknesses. I could eat a healthy, filling breakfast, but if I drive by a doughnut shop 10 minutes later, I want one. OK, who am I kidding, I want two. Or half a dozen (there's so many flavors, how can you choose?!?).

Several members of a cooking forum in which I participate have posted baked doughnut recipes. Around that same time, I visited the Philadelphia Premier Outlets in Limerick, PA, and inside a kitchen store, they had doughnut pans! And how can I fulfill my duty to bring you, my loyal readers, lots of delicious recipes if I don't own doughnut pans? I had to buy them!

Yeah, I'm not sure I believe me, either. I just pointed out to The Mister how much money I'd save by making them at home instead of stopping at a doughnut shop each time I passed one (and with 5 in a 2-mile radius, that's quite often) (I wish I could use that same logic to justify buying an espresso machine for lattes, but he's not buying [hehe] it). 

These homemade doughnuts are also better than store-bought, because they are healthy! OK, healthy-ish. They are doughnuts, after all. Per SparkPeople's Recipe Calculator, each glazed 3-inch doughnut has 158 calories, 2.4 grams of fat (1.2 grams of saturated fat), 31 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.8 grams of protein. For comparison, a pumpkin doughnut from Dunkin Donuts has 360 calories, 21 grams of fat (10 grams of saturated fat), 39 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. 

So, save your guilt and enjoy!

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze
Doughnuts recipe by Prevention RD
Glaze recipe adapted from Food Network
Yield: 15 (3-inch) doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

  • 2 cups (8 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (4 ⅔ ounces) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (1 ounce) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup (6 ⅓ ounces) canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp fat-free milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp fat-free milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Place the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle the diced butter evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse about 10 times to cut the butter in, until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Add the baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt, and pulse 3 or 4 more times to combine. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. The dough will be very thick.
  6. Scrape the mixture into a large piping bag or quart-sized sturdy plastic bag. Snip off the bottom of the pastry bag or a corner of the plastic bag so that you have about a ½-inch opening.
  7. Pipe the dough into each doughnut mold, until the mold is about ¾-full. 
  8. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. When done, the doughnuts should spring back when gently pressed. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for three minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 
  9. When ready to glaze, place the confectioners sugar in a small, wide bowl. Whisk to remove any large lumps. In a small dish, combine the milk and vanilla, then pour over the sugar, and whisk until smooth. 
  10. Take one doughnut at a time, and dip the top third of the doughnut into the glaze. Flip over and place on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Leave them to sit until the glaze hardens. 
* Pumpkin pie spice is a spice mixture sold in most grocery stores. If you can't find it, you probably already have all the spices you need to make it: in a small tupperware container, combine 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of ginger, and ¾ tsp of ground cloves. Place the lid on, and shake to combine. Take 1 tsp out for this recipe, and save the rest for another use. 

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