Halloween Pumpkin Doughnuts

Last Updated: April 15, 2024

According to Unilever and the charity Hubbub, 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are thrown away each year. That’s the equivalent of 360m portions of pumpkin pie, one culinary tradition we’ve yet to adopt from the US alongside Halloween, now our third most-celebrated holiday.

Pumpkins are just the tip of the iceberg, though: British households waste a whopping seven million tonnes of food each year, five million of it avoidable. Luckily, though, the fight against food waste is a delicious one.

Rather than buy a generic orange pumpkin this year, explore the diversity of heirloom squash grown by our own small farmers: Turk’s turban looks spectacular with its ruffled top, little acorn and onion squash taste magnificent and the large, teal-colored crown prince is great for carving.

And when you make your jack o’ lantern, use the seeds to make a maple brittle: spread them on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake at 170C (150C fan)/gas 3 for 30 minutes, or until dry. Drizzle with maple syrup and roast for 15-30 minutes more, or until caramelized.

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Doughnuts fit into two major categories: fried and baked. And while fried doughnuts are a real treat, the baked variety can be pretty special, too. Yes, a specific pan is required, but they're fairly affordable and can be easily purchased online or in a cooking equipment store. Moreover, baked doughnuts are unbelievably easy to prepare with very little cleanup (not hot oil splashing everywhere!) and—at least in the case of these pumpkin ones—super moist.

The batter is oil-based and quickly assembled with a whisk and a spatula. The finished cake doughnuts are springy with a tight crumb and flavoured with just enough spice to help make the pumpkin flavour really sing. They hardly need any embellishments, but a coating of cinnamon sugar is lovely for both sparkle and crunch. These doughnuts make for an indulgent, yet easy Thanksgiving morning treat. They're also a great way to use up leftover canned pumpkin.

For the Doughnuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée (about 2/3 of a 15-ounce can)
  • For the Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. 1
    Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
  2. 2
    Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium-sized bowl
  3. 3
    Whisk together the dry ingredients
  4. 4
    Add the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, and continue whisking until smooth. Add the pumpkin and whisk again
  5. 5
    Whisk together the wet ingredients
  6. 6
    Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a rubber spatula to gently fold to combine. Do not over mix
  7. 7
    Mix just until combined
  8. 8
    Fill each doughnut mold about 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating at the halfway point until a toothpick comes out with a moist crumb or two
  9. 9
    While the doughnuts bake, prepare the cinnamon-sugar coating. Place in a small shallow bowl and whisk to combine.

Cinnamon Sugar for Doughnuts

Let the doughnut pan cool on a rack until easy to handle, then remove the doughnuts from the pan. While still warm, coat them in the cinnamon sugar. Refill the pan with batter and bake the remaining doughnuts. Bake the doughnuts and eat immediately or store them loosely covered on the counter for up to one day.

About the author, Leafy Souls


This is the staff-writer's account for Leafy Souls' blog.

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