Pumpkin Doughnuts with Buttermilk Spiced Glaze

Can we talk about last night’s Grey’s Anatomy for a second?

Was anyone else completely underwhelmed and disappointed with the episode as I was?

Obviously I had tears, I mean, I don’t think I can watch an episode without shedding a few, but still. After the season finale cliffhanger, I felt like I wanted to see more of what happened.

Okay, now let’s talk about these amazing doughnuts.

On a side note, is it doughnuts or donuts? I’ve seriously spent way too much time contemplating this all week.

When I was a kid, sometimes, on Saturdays we would get a treat of doughnuts from Tim Horton’s, a Canadian institution. I always had a hard time deciding what kind of doughnut to get, because, I’m extremely indecisive, and too much choice is not good for people like me. Well, eventually, they stopped making fresh doughnuts, and opted for frozen stuff instead. Let’s just say they were never the same. As a result, I haven’t had a doughnut in years.

I’ve been wanting to make doughnuts for what seems like an eternity, but I sort of have a fear of frying stuff, for a multitude of reasons. Mainly the smell, and for obvious health reasons. But, I decided a doughnut just isn’t a proper doughnut if it’s not fried. So I did it. And let’s just say that I immediately had to pop these babies in the freezer for fear of eating them all. They are that good.

Now I wanted my initial doughnut experience to be a raised (yeasted) doughnut, but since I’m on a pumpkin kick, I saw these and knew I had to make them. Plus, I think this makes them a little more approachable for those of you who don’t like to work with yeast. They come together quickly, with ingredients you probably already have on hand at home.

These doughnuts are cakey, and full of pumpkin goodness, and are not too sweet. Since I’m all about glazes recently, they are topped with a coating of buttermilk glaze that’s infused with spicy fall goodness. Plus, they are really good with pumpkin spice lattes.

And, in case you were wondering, I googled the doughnut, donut thing. Doughnut is the correct word. The spelling donut came as a result of making the word doughnuts easier for foreigners to say. Well, at least that’s what Wikipedia says. Weird.


Pumpkin Doughnuts with Buttermilk Spiced Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: about 9, 3-inch doughnuts plus doughnut holes


    For the Doughnuts
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • Oil for frying, such as canola, vegetable, or peanut
  • For the Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch of cloves
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk


    For the Doughnuts
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk to combine the buttermilk and pumpkin puree. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together until well blended, about 1 minute. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the flour mixture, in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture.
  5. When the dough comes together (dough will be slightly wet), cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  6. On a well floured work surface, pat out the dough to 1/2 inch thick round. Using a 3-inch circle cutter (or smaller), cut circles out of the dough. If you don't have a doughnut cutter, use something smaller to cut out the centre, I used a 1M piping tip for this. Re-roll any dough scraps. Place dough on a cookie sheet, or something large, covered with wax or parchment paper.
  7. Add oil to a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Alternatively you can use a deep fryer if you have one. Heat the oil to 365 to 370 degrees F. Add the dough rings, about 3 to 4 at a time, so that they are not touching. Fry the doughnuts, turning once, until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. The doughnut holes will be cooked in a much shorter period of time, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked doughnuts to a paper towel lined tray or rack. Bring the oil back up to temperature, and repeat for the remaining doughnuts.
  8. For the Glaze
  9. In a bowl, large enough to dip the doughnuts, whisk together the powdered sugar, spices, and buttermilk.
  10. Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, and put them on a rack lined with parchment to catch any drips. Let the glaze set before serving.


This recipe is easily doubled. I would however suggest to use an egg yolk rather than additional whole egg if you do. So, 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk.

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Adapted from Annie’s Eats, via Pinch My Salt, originally from Bon Appetit.



  • Annie

    I know this is an old recipe, but these were out of this world good! Thank you!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Annie! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the donuts! Thanks for stopping by :)

  • Cassie Dowling

    We absolutely loved your pumpkin doughnuts. In fact, we loved them so much we featured your recipe on our 13 Pumpkin Goodies to Serve at Your Wedding via The Temple Square Wedding blog. This blog post also has a contest associated with it – even though we featured your recipe, you can still enter the contest :) http://www.templesquarehospitality.com/blogs/weddings/?p=2852

    Thanks so much for posting such a nummy recipe!! Can’t wait to make these this weekend for a family brunch.

  • Heather @FrenchPress

    oh my, your doughnuts look SO delicious!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Heather!

  • Dandelian Bagby

    These are awesome! Thank you – i refrigerated overnight and they were perfect. The glaze is just right too. I will make these again…any tips on adapting this for baking instead of frying?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Dandelian,

      I’m actually going to try baking these in the next couple of days as I finally got a donut pan. I would stop at step 5 (before refrigeration), and place pipe the batter into the greased pan, and bake at 400 degrees for about 7 to 10 minutes. (This is what I’m going to do the first time around). I will update the recipe once I try this.

      Hope that helps! Good luck!

      • Aleida

        Did you get to bake this recipe yet? I’m very curious to see how it turns out :)

  • Sarah Ochocki

    The last time I deep-fried something (which was also the first time) I honestly didn’t even notice a smell by the next morning. Maybe my nose is just terrible, but for those for whom the smell is a deterrent, don’t let it stop you. At least in my experience, it’s not that bad!

  • Kasia

    i just put those on my to bake list! fantastic recipe!

  • dawnd13

    I don’t have space or the $$$ for a stand mixer. What do you suggest I do instead?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Either a hand mixer if you have one, or you can make it manually, just. Takes more effort.

  • Emily

    I just finished my first batch of these doughnuts, oh my gosh! My first time frying anything and they turned out amazing, thanks for the recipe!

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  • http://twitter.com/Redawna Nutmeg Disrupted

    Oh my!!! I have never tried making them from scratch before. Obviously I have no idea what I am missing. Going to have to change that. They look amazing!

  • Lindsay

    These look amazing. I love old fashioned doughnuts like this. :)

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  • Mandy

    Can you refrigerated the dough overnight? I would assume so but I just want to make sure. I don’t really want to wake up that early to make these for breakfast, but they look delicious!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Mandy,

      Shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Lindsey

        I refrigerated the dough overnight and it was fine. I also used 3/4 c. whole wheat flour instead of the full 1 3/4 c. all purpose. I didn’t get any points for looks, but these doughnuts were awesome! It was my first time to make doughnuts and to deep fry! Thanks so much for the recipe!

        • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks


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  • Angela @ AnotherBitePlease

    I’m scared too cook doughnuts too!!!! Your photos are making me feel brave though too try….looks so good.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks Angela!

  • Maya

    I just finished making these! Soo delicious! I’ve never made doughnuts before, so I was a bit unsure how the dough was supposed to look — but with a little extra flour to compensate for the homemade puree, these turned out wonderful! I love how the actual doughnut isn’t too sweet, letting the glaze work it’s magic :) Thanks for sharing it <3

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      You’re welcome Maya! So glad you liked them. I really liked that the actual donut is too sweet as well.

  • blair @ design that inspires

    Could you bake these instead? They look absolutely delicious!!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      I’m not sure. I suppose if you have a donut pan it may work. I didn’t try it, so of you do let me know.

  • http://twitter.com/ST4evryoung28 Sonedia Woodi Taylor

    Okay, I completely agree with you about Grey’s! As for these doughnut’s….I can’t wait to try making these tomorrow!

  • All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

    These look amazing! I have wanted to try making doughnuts for ages and I think you have just convinced me to do so.

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Make these for me for breakfast? So delicious.

  • Nicole @lapetitebaker

    What delicious looking donuts! I was very disappointed with greys also. The ending was laughable.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/svneely Sarah Neely

    They look so delicious! I was a little disappointed with Grey’s too, but did you see the previews for the next episode?? They go through everything that happened. I didn’t like the way they set up Private Practice either. :/ Do you watch that show too?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks Sarah! I didn’t see the previews, so maybe next week will be more of what I was hoping for yesterday. I don’t watch private practice, is it worth watching?

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Amazing! And thanks for telling me that the correct word is doughnuts. I’ve always used the word “donut.” And these just made the top of my “to-make” list. I was actually just craving a pumpkin type donut too!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks! Do it! I really wanted to write donut everywhere, but alas google and wikipedia saved the day.

  • michelle

    These look sooooo good. Some of them look like the “old-fashioned” doughnuts they sell in the States (but I can’t find them on the East coast, weirdly). Have you ever had one of those? I’m wondering if the texture is the same- those are my fave doughnut. I’ve only ever made doughnuts once and did yeast raised, so I need to do cake ones next.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Michelle, I have had those. The texture is very similar, a little more moist if that makes sense. I think you will like these a lot if you enjoy those.