Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donuts. Who is not in love right now?
I have to confess that baking is not my favorite area of cooking. However, this time of year as the holidays roll in, I find that I enjoy baking the recipes that make me feel nostalgic. So why not bake up a metric ton of pumpkin donuts?
Growing up as a military brat I didn’t grow solid roots in any location.
Throughout my life cooking has always brought that sense of home to me. Cooking allows me to tap into a memory or experience from my past. It’s like getting a big warm hug from the people that I learned these recipes from. Like the warm summer tomatoes at my Grandma’s house; or my Grammy’s pie and her chicken and dumplings.
Eating my Great Aunt Donna’s pipping hot dinner rolls reminds me of big family holidays. During the holidays I put on my apron and I bake my Grandma Sisson’s Sugar cookies – as they melt in my mouth I remember the times I spent at her house in the summer as a kid. When I bake my Grammy’s Pecan shortbread cookies I can remember her making them when we would visit at Christmas. My mom still makes these every year. Making Zinny’s banana lumpia, reminds me of the time I spent in Hawaii.
What are some of your favorite family recipes?
Back to the Donuts…
Grammy made THE BEST pumpkin pie. This recipe was passed down to my mom. Growing up my family made this pie every Thanksgiving. It’s just expected! Thanksgiving could not go on without this pumpkin-tactic holiday pie. My Grammy’s pumpkin pie always had the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor, the perfect amount of spice, and the exact right amount of sweetness. I wanted to recreate this perfect pumpkin pie sweetness in these donuts. I think I nailed it. I used her pumpkin pie spice mix – that probably did the trick.
In the interest of science I had to do an experiment.
I made two different versions of these pumpkin donuts. The first version was an old-fashioned buttermilk donut. The second was a sour cream old fashioned donut.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donut (Version 1)
This version was a buttermilk-based batter. It ended up being my favorite of the two. I mean these were OMG lose your mind old fashioned donut deliciousness. Ridiculous!! I am still not over the soft crispy sweet warm spicy pumpkin donut. And honestly, I am not easily impressed by donuts.
Check out the crumb here…
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donut (Version 2)
This version used sour cream instead of buttermilk. These donuts while also really good, had more of a traditional cake donut texture. They were lacking the crispy outside that a true old fashioned donut should have.
They were absolutely delicious in their own right. However for me the old fashioned-style donut is far and away my preference over a ‘cake’ donut. The old fashioned is really the only donut that really matters. Well except for beignets. Beignets totally matter!
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Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donuts Version 1
- 3.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or maple extract
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
- In a stand mixer combine butter, pumpkin puree and vanilla. beat with paddle attachment until the mixture is fluffy.
- Add buttermilk, mix until incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- The batter will be pretty sticky. Best if you cover with plastic wrap and rest overnight in the fridge.
- Make buttermilk glaze before frying. (see below)
- Turn out on well floured surface.
- Roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Use a donut cutter to cut donuts.
- Heat Canola oil to 325F. Drop donuts in, fry for 10 seconds and flip. Fry for about 90 seconds and flip again. Fry for another 90 seconds.
- Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Dip in glaze while still hot. Place on rack to dry.
- Combine all ingredients for glaze in a bowl and whisk together.
- An infinite number of flavorings can be added to this glaze. Maple instead of vanilla. Citrus juice instead of the buttermilk. Be creative.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donuts Version 2
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donuts (Version 2)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup or corn syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup hot water
- In a medium bowl combine flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
- In a stand mixer combine shortening and sugar. Mix a until combined.
- Add egg yolks and mix until light yellow and fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Alternate between dry ingredients and sour cream. Mix after each addition.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 min, up to overnight. Dough will be sticky.
- Turn out on well floured surface. Roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with donut cutter.
- Make Glaze before frying (see below)
- Fry at 325F. Add donuts to hot oil and fry for 10 seconds. Flip over gently and then fry for 75-90 seconds on one side, flip over and fry an additional 75 seconds on second side.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Dunk hot donuts into glaze.
- Mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Dunk donuts while still hot.