Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts with Brown Butter-Maple Glaze

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts - so easy and so delicious - a great taste of the season. These are baked, not fried!

I don’t usually tell people what to do. Being an innately shy soul, I think “bossy” is a adjective that family and friends would not generally use to describe me. It’s not my style, but I can’t help myself this time. There’s something you really need to do – if you don’t have a donut pan, RUN to the store and get one (or two). They’re fairly inexpensive ($8-10 dollars) and pretty easy to find these days. You can also order donut pans online.

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts - so easy and so delicious - a great taste of the season. These are baked, not fried!

Why am I telling you to do this? I was definitely a doubting Thomas about the idea of baked donuts. I’m an old fashioned girl and the idea of making donuts in the oven ….. well let’s just say it had a “wrong” ring to me. I don’t make donuts very often, perhaps once or twice a year, but when I do, I want REALLY good ones. The real thing (which means fried in oil), Like these babies. Then I’m done, for months and months, till the craving hits me again.

This time I had an idea for pumpkin donuts. I love adding buttermilk to my baked goods and thought pumpkin and buttermilk would be nice together. I checked out a few recipes, then came up with my own. I made the first batch, deep-fried, of course. They were REALLY good, but when I put the cooled, leftover oil back into the bottle and noticed that one third of it was missing ………… Oh dear, I decided I might need to go in a different direction.

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts - so easy and so delicious - a great taste of the season. These are baked, not fried!

I’d read several other bloggers extolling the virtues of baked donuts but, deep down inside, I really didn’t believe them. “Keep an open mind”, is my mantra though, and I’ve been wrong quite often, so I decided to purchase a couple donuts pans.

Very doubtfully, I made my first batch of baked pumpkin donuts. Sneaking a little bite shortly after they emerged from the oven was quite a revelation. They were REALLY good, but perhaps it was just because they were warm from the oven. I let them cool and then tried another bite. WOW! They were amazing; but I did have a bit more testing and tweaking to do. I was experimenting with the donut’s consistency and the icing was still a work in progress.

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts - so easy and so delicious - a great taste of the season. These are baked, not fried!

Five batches later (yes, five!), I’m feeling a bit like a pumpkin donut myself, but I’m thrilled with the results and so is my family. I had to laugh at my daughter-in-law, Lindsay. She declared that she wasn’t “a big fan of cake donuts” ………. until she took the first moist, warm, fall-spiced bite. “But these ……….. these are simply amazing!”, was her conclusion. I think you’ll agree ………. After such spectacular results, you can be sure to find many more baked donuts recipes here at The Café in the future ………. so just go ahead and get that pan! P.S. Do you ever do anything you really regret later? I sent all of the remaining pumpkin donuts to work today with Scott as I didn’t trust myself with them in the house. Tonight I said to him (in my saddest voice), “Honey, did you really take ALL of those donuts to work with you?………. ”

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts - so easy and so delicious - a great taste of the season. These are baked, not fried!

Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts w/ Brown Butter-Maple Glaze
BAKED BUTTERMILK PUMPKIN DONUTS W/ BROWN BUTTER-MAPLE GLAZE PRINT Baked Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts w/ Brown Butter-Maple Glaze Author: Chris Scheuer
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 yolk, from a large egg
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼-1½ cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2 6-well doughnut pans generously with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine melted butter, oil, buttermilk, eggs, yolks, dark brown sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla in a medium size bowl. Whisk to combine till smooth and lump-free.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until flour disappears. Transfer mixture to a gallon size plastic zippered bag. Seal bag pressing out any air. Snip about ¼ inch off of one bottom corner of the bag. Gently squeezing the bag, fill donut wells with batter, evenly dividing between the 12 wells.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the donuts comes out clean and the top springs back slightly when touched.
  6. ) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire cooling rack, bottom side up. (The nice rounded bottom will now become the top.)
  7. While the doughnuts are baking, prepare the icing. Place butter in in medium size microwave-safe container. Be sure it’s not too small since the butter will bubble up as it’s browning. Place in microwave and cover container a microwave safe plate (big enough to cover the top). Cook on high for 3-4 minutes or until deep golden brown. (My microwave takes 3½ minutes.) Watch carefully for the last minute as butter can go from browned to burned very quickly.
  8. Remove browned butter from microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add brown sugar, buttermilk and maple syrup. Stir with a whisk until well combined. Place in microwave and cook on high for 1½-2 minutes or until bubbly and smooth, stopping every 30 seconds to whisk. Take a tiny taste. If it’s still “grainy” return to microwave for another 10-20 seconds.
  9. Add vanilla and 1¼ cups powdered sugar. Continue to whisk until smooth and silky. Mixture should be thick enough to adhere to donuts with a fairly thin coat. Add a bit more powdered sugar if needed.
  10. Dip each donut into frosting mixture. covering ¾ of surface with icing. Turn over, allowing excess icing to drip back into bowl, then set back on the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining donuts. If icing starts to get thick, return to microwave for a few seconds. You can also add a drop or two of additional buttermilk.
  11. Drizzle a bit of extra icing over donuts with a fork, if desired. Allow icing to set for at least 15 minutes before serving (if you can stand it).
  12. Yield: 12 donuts

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