Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I planned ahead and gathered the ingredients for this recipe. I scooped the pumpkin into a bowl - an introduction to fall cooking in my kitchen. In retrospect, I was a little preoccupied, and it didn't dawn on me until halfway through the process that a doughnut pan would play an integral role in the completion of this recipe. I stepped out quickly to buy one, and returned from the store the proud owner a large blue and white scarf resembling the feel of cashmere (but not cashmere, because that would've meant that I probably paid close to a hundred dollars, and clearly I didn't. Ten max), a fluffy pair of slippers, a bottle of burnt cinnamon nail polish, and a doughnut pan. Hello fall, sexy nails, warm feet and pumpkin muffins. You are mine.

Feeling less like cleaning grease off of the stove and surrounding area, and more like relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine, I chose to bake instead of fry.  Although I was somewhat skeptical, I am glad I chose the later. Less time and less mess without compromising the deliciousness. This recipe is a cake style doughnut, using baking powder instead of yeast, resulting in a more dense doughnut. The first batch I covered in cinnamon and sugar. Delicious, but just not quite there, they needed something else... then I had an epiphany. What better combination than pumpkin, cake, and cream cheese. I knew that Mr. H would eat most of them if I covered them in cream cheese, saving me a few pounds. Doughnuts are my absolute weakness. I love them all. Old-fashioned, glazed, cake, yeast, sprinkles, chocolate, crullers, cream filled. Please say this is not you as well. If so, I am so sorry. But, you need to make this recipe. It is so easy and quick. They are like tiny perfect cakes, filled with pumpkin-goodness, and smothered with maple cream cheese icing. I always take advantage of an opportunity to add maple. It's my nature. 



makes 12 doughnuts

recipe adapted from

King Arthur Flour: Pumpkin Doughnuts Baked to Perfection

notes: another topping option would be to coat the doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar instead of the icing. Also, equally delicious (1/2 cup sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon). Once removed from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and then dip in cinnamon sugar. 


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1 3/4 + 2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder


1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp low fat milk

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin puree with a wire whisk, just until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet combining with a wire whisk, until all of the flour has been combined and their are no longer any lumps.

Spray the doughnut pan with cooking oil. Scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each doughnut well and tap down with a spoon. Gently bang the pan on the counter a couple of times, ensuring that the batter has filled the doughnut wells. Fill each well roughly 1/4 inch from the top. The more batter you use to fill the doughnut wells, the smaller the hole in the middle of the doughnut becomes, eventually closing up and you are left with a solid sphere. Although, if you put too little batter, the doughnuts will be too thin. Experiment until you get the right amount. 

Place the tray into the oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then gently flip the pan upside down, and the doughnuts should fall out. Place the doughnut onto a wire cooking rack and let cool completely before icing, or the icing will drip off of the sides. Depending on what you are going for, this might be desirable. 

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and milk with a hand blender on medium, until the icing is thin. It will take 4-5 minutes to get the cream cheese to thin out. At first it will look like curdled milk, but it will eventually work. There are too few ingredients to use a stand-mixer, with the paddle not reaching the cream cheese. Therefore, it is preferable to use a hand mixer. Pour the glaze over the doughnuts and serve. 

Store in an airtight container for one week.