Pumpkin Donuts

4.75 from 4 votes

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If you’re looking for a scrumptious and cozy treat that’s perfect for fall, you’re in for a treat – Pumpkin Donuts!

pumpkin donuts and holes glazed and on a cooling rack
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These donuts have a rich pumpkin flavor combined with a medley of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves creates a warm and comforting taste that’s perfect for the fall season.

I love their soft and moist texture perfect for a breakfast treat or a dessert. Pumpkin donuts are a tasty way to celebrate the flavors of autumn and indulge in a sweet, cozy treat that’s sure to put a smile on your face.

aesthetic view of pumpkin donuts before and after being glazed

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Fall Flavor Explosion: Pumpkin donuts are like a taste of autumn in every bite. They’re made with pumpkin puree, which gives them a warm and comforting flavor, perfect for crisp fall mornings. These easy apple cider donuts are great for fall too.
  • Sweet and Spicy: Pumpkin donuts are a sweet and spicy combination. They’re sweet because of the sugar, and they have a little spice from cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, making them the ultimate flavor duo.
  • Fluffy and Moist: These donuts have a soft, cake-like texture that’s incredibly moist. That’s thanks to the pumpkin, which keeps them from being dry and makes them extra tasty.

Recipe Ingredients

  1. Milk: Milk adds moisture and richness to the donut dough, helping create a soft texture.
  2. Active dry yeast : Yeast is a leavening agent that makes the donuts rise and become fluffy.
  3. Sugar : Sugar feeds the yeast, helping it activate and create carbon dioxide gas for the donuts’ airy texture.
  4. All-purpose flour: Flour is the main ingredient in the dough, providing structure and body to the donuts.
  5. Pumpkin puree: Pumpkin puree adds a delightful pumpkin flavor and moisture to the donuts.
  6. Cinnamon: Cinnamon brings a warm and spicy flavor to the donuts, complementing the pumpkin.
  7. Allspice: Allspice contributes a hint of sweetness and depth to the donuts’ spice profile.
  8. Nutmeg: Nutmeg adds a nutty, aromatic flavor that pairs well with pumpkin.
  9. Ground cloves: Ground cloves provide a subtle, earthy warmth to the donuts.
  10. Oil for frying: Frying in oil gives the donuts a crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft and tender
  11. Cinnamon sugar: Cinnamon sugar is a sweet and flavorful coating that gives the donuts a delicious, aromatic finish.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

top view of a baking sheet with un coated pumpkin donuts

You can get creative with toppings! Sprinkle powdered sugar, drizzle with a simple glaze, or dip them in melted chocolate for an extra special treat.

Another fun idea is instead of traditional donuts, you can make cute donut holes using the same pumpkin donut batter. Just roll them into small balls and bake until golden.

How To Make Pumpkin Donuts

Step #1. Warm the milk to 110°F and mix with yeast and 1 tsp sugar; let it froth for 5-10 minutes.

Step #2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Add pumpkin puree and yeast-milk mixture to dry ingredients; stir until a soft dough forms.

Step #3. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes on a floured surface until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it double in size (about 1 hour).

Step #4. Roll out the dough to ½ inch thickness and cut out donuts; let them rise for 30 minutes.

Step #5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F in a pan. Fry the donuts for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Step #6. Remove and drain on paper towels. Then coat warm donuts with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Enjoy your fresh pumpkin donuts!

pumpkin donuts and holes glazed and on a cooling rack

Recipe FAQs

Can I bake pumpkin donuts instead of frying them?

Yes, you can! Baked donuts is a healthier alternative to frying. Just place your donuts on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-18 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

Can I make mini pumpkin donuts?

Of course! You can use mini donut pans to make adorable bite-sized pumpkin donuts. Adjust the baking time to about 8-10 minutes for mini donuts.

What type of oil is best for frying donuts?

The best oil for frying donuts is one with a high smoke point, like vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. These oils can withstand the high heat required for frying without breaking down or producing a burnt taste.

a baking sheet with un coated pumpkin donuts

Expert Tips

  • When you’re mixing the donut batter, be gentle. Overmixing can make your donuts tough instead of soft and fluffy.
  • I love using a paddle thermometer to ensure the oil temperature is where I want it when frying. It really helps to have the proper oil temperature for the best end results. 
  • Let your pumpkin donuts cool completely before adding any glaze or toppings. This will help the glaze set properly and prevent it from sliding off.
top view pumpkin donuts and holes glazed and on a cooling rack

More Dessert Recipes To Consider

pumpkin donuts and holes glazed and on a cooling rack
4.75 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Donuts

Indulge in the irresistible delight of homemade pumpkin donuts – soft, fluffy, and coated in sweet cinnamon sugar for the ultimate treat.
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 24


  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 package
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, for yeast mixture + 2 tablespoons sugar (for dry ingredients)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup cinnamon sugar, for coating
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  • Warm the milk gently in a microwave or on the stovetop until it reaches about 110°F (43°C). Pour the warm milk into a small bowl, and stir in the yeast along with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Allow this mixture to sit for about 5-10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and the milk-yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir using a spatula or a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, forming a soft ball.
  • Knead: Lightly flour a clean work surface and knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until it’s smooth.
  • Transfer the kneaded dough to a greased bowl, ensuring it's coated lightly with oil all around. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately ½ inch. Using a donut cutter or a pair of round cutters (one larger for the outer edge and a smaller one for the center), cut out the donuts.
  • Allow the donuts to rise an additional 30 minutes once cut.
  • In a deep frying pan or pot, add about 3 inches of oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C).
  • Gently drop the donuts into the preheated oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the donuts for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they're golden brown.
  • Once fried to perfection, remove the donuts using a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  • While still warm, roll the donuts in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Enjoy your pumpkin donuts warm and fresh!


  • Ensure the milk is not too hot when adding the yeast; otherwise, it might kill the yeast.
  • The amount of oil required for frying can vary based on the size of your frying pan or pot.
  • For an added touch, consider serving these with a vanilla glaze or you can also shake them in a bag of powdered sugar instead of the sugar and cinnamon. All of those are great options.
  • I love using a paddle thermometer to ensure the oil temperature is where I want it when frying. It really helps to have the proper oil temperature for the best end results. 


Serving: 1 of 24 donuts, Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 0.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 808IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    I made these today and baked them instead of frying them. Then I brushed them with a little melted butter and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar. The kids loved them. I’ll be making these again!