I’ve talked many times before about the wonderful friends I have made through blogging.  We’ve had numerous virtual parties to mark occasions we weren’t able to celebrate together in person.  We email each other several times a day to keep in touch.  A few weeks ago, I could hardly contain my excitement when one of my best blogging girlfriends, Courtney of Cook Like a Champion, was able to come and visit our family for a whole three-day weekend!  We have talked about this for a long time, so it was amazing to make this dream become a reality.  Our visit confirmed what I already knew – this girl is awesome.  She is sweet, kind, smart, thoughtful, and funny.  I feel so lucky that we were finally able to spend time together!  We talked and talked and talked, went out to a couple of my favorite local restaurants, played with the kids, and of course, we cooked and baked together…a lot.  This week we’ll both be blogging about the recipes we made together, starting with these pumpkin doughnuts.

I’m normally not one of those people who goes gaga for doughnuts but for some reason, I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately.  The craving had already set in before Courtney arrived so when she suggested making pumpkin doughnuts, I was stoked.  We perused the internet for recipes and try as we might, we never found a yeasted version that looked worthwhile.  Eventually we opted to try a cake doughnut instead and I can safely say that we were very happy with the results.  We couldn’t decide whether to top them with cinnamon-sugar or a spiced glaze, so we did half and half.  Both were delicious but in the end I think the glaze won out as my personal favorite.  As with most homemade doughnuts, these really are best while fresh, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying them the next day or two.  These will most definitely become a fall tradition in our home.


For the doughnuts:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying

For the cinnamon-sugar:
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the spiced glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
2 tbsp. milk


  • 01

    To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat until well blended.  Stir in the egg, then the egg yolks, and then the vanilla until incorporated.  Combine the buttermilk and pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm.  (The dough still seemed quite soft so we did an additional 30 minute chill in the freezer.)  

  • 02

    On a well-floured work surface, roll or pat out the dough to a ½-inch thick round.  Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour.  Using a 2½ to 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough.  Use a smaller cutter (or a wide pastry tip) to cut a hole out of the center.  Reroll and cut the dough scraps as necessary.

  • 03

    Add oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven to a depth of about 2-3 inches.  Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil to 365-370˚ F.  Add the rings of dough to the hot oil so that they are in a single layer and not touching.  Fry, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and doughnuts are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes total.  Use a skimmer/strainer to remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined rack.  Bring the oil temperature back up to the target range before repeating with the next batch of doughnuts.  Use the same process for the doughnut holes, frying for a shorter time.

  • 04

    To make the cinnamon-sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and whisk to blend.  When the doughnuts are just cool enough to handle, dip half of them in the cinnamon-sugar to coat completely, shaking off the excess.

  • 05

    To make the spiced glaze, combine the powdered sugar and spices in a small bowl.  Add the milk and whisk to combine, until a thick glaze is formed.  If necessary, add a bit more milk to thin the glaze out.  Dip the remaining half of the doughnuts in the glaze.  Allow the glaze to set before serving.