Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts

These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices then fried to perfection and glazed with a sweet cinnamon sugar. Pretty much Pumpkin Breakfast Perfection.

These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices then fried to perfection and glazed with a sweet cinnamon sugar. Pretty much Pumpkin Breakfast Perfection.

I was just casually walking home from Staples the other day when {BAM!} I was hit by a massive craving for a pumpkin spice donut.
I certainly am an unabashed, card-carrying member of the “Pumpkin Spice for Life Club”. #merica

These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices then fried to perfection and glazed with a sweet cinnamon sugar. Pretty much Pumpkin Breakfast Perfection.

I popped into Dunkin Donuts and picked up one, but one bite had me wondering, “where’s the pumpkin?”

It was orange like pumpkin, there was kind of a spice flavor, but absolutely zero pumpkin.

I took one more bite just make sure. Sadness.


There is in fact no disappointment quite like a pumpkin craving let down.

These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices then fried to perfection and glazed with a sweet cinnamon sugar. Pretty much Pumpkin Breakfast Perfection.

So I went home, cast aside my printer cartridges and made some pumpkin spice cake donuts.

Like my Mom always said, in short, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”

Unless you live in Brooklyn where there are approximately 12 great donut shops per capita. Envy.

These pumpkin spice cake donuts won’t let you down. They are everything a pumpkin spice cake donut should be: pumpkin-y, spicy, moist and delightfully cakey.

Mmmmm. Donuts.

Instead of the glaze you could roll them in cinnamon sugar and then top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent desert. And maybe, provided that you’re feeling wild, you could drizzle it all with caramel sauce!
OR what’s more a maple caramel sauce…now we’re talking.

Or we were talking, but now I’m heading to the kitchen to make another batch for dessert and you should totally do the same.

I am going to include the same tips I gave you in my Sour Cream Cake Donuts because they still apply. Think of them in summary like the golden rules of donuts. Mmmkay?

Some keys to pumpkin spice cake donut success:

  • Keep the dough cold. Roll and cut it quickly to keep the baking powder from starting to react with the sour cream. Double acting baking powder will react again when fried, but let’s save all the expansion power for later, shall we.
  • Use canola oil or some other neutral tasting oil that has a high smoke point.
  • Monitor your oil temperature. Unquestionably 340° F is too cold – I don’t care what ChefSteps says; it’s too damn cold. Your donuts will be greasy. 380° F is too damn hot. The outside will be dark and awful while the inside is still gooey. Umm gross. 355°-360° F is your target range, or happy place, if you will. Adjust your heat as it approaches the boundaries. Don’t be afraid to turn off the stove. This is the great thing about frying. If the oil temperature isn’t where you want it, just wait. So liberating.
  • Do be careful. The oil looks so happy and peaceful in there, but I can assure you that 350° F oil is VERY hot. I have the scars from work to prove it. Carefully use the slotted spoon to place the donut in the oil and to remove it. I gently drop it in the oil with my hand so that it slips inside, but I have been trained to have no fear. And the burns to prove it….
  • May I remind you that oil and water do not mix. When water gets into hot oil, it splatters violently. If this happens, back away. Quickly. This is easily avoidable if you dry all your utensils after rinsing them off. If there is any water collected on the top of your dough, which there shouldn’t be if you properly wrapped them, then blot it off before putting it in the oil.
  • Place your fried donuts on a wire rack over a baking sheet or towels to catch the extra oil. This will keep the bottoms crispy. There will be no soggy bottoms on our donuts!
  • Dip the donuts in the glaze while they are still warm so you don’t need to heat up your glaze. People say to use chopsticks. Come on. Isn’t life hard enough? Just use your fingers. It’ll toughen them up. It’s good for you. My Dad taught me that.
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pumpkin spice cake donut

Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts

  • Author: Lindsey
  • Total Time: 1 hour + 2.5 hour chill
  • Yield: 12 1x


These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices! Pumpkin donuts with a sweet cinnamon sugar glaze.



For the Donuts:

  • 240g Granulated Sugar (1 1/4 cups)
  • 36 g butter (2.5 T)
  • 90g egg yolks (about 5 large yolks)
  • 275g sour cream (1 cup + 2T)
  • 236g Pumpkin puree (1 cup)
  • 650g pastry flour, yes AP flour is fine (5 cups + 2T)
  • 15g Baking powder (1 T + 3/4 t)
  • 12 g Kosher salt (1 T)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1/4 t mace
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1/8 t allspice
  • 96 fl oz oil for frying (I used canola)

For the Glaze:

  • 100 g whole milk (100ML)
  • 4g kosher salt
  • 400g powdered sugar (3 1/4 cup)
  • 1 t cinnamon


To Make the Donut Dough:

  1. In a small saucepot cook the pumpkin over low heat to remove excess moisture, about 20 minutes. Cool completely and drain off any moisture that separates.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the pastry flour, baking powder, salt and all spices. Set aside.
  3. Line a large mixing bowl with plastic wrap and then spray the surface of the plastic wrap. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the granulated sugar, butter, and yolks on high speed until the mixture lightens and the volume increases, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stop the mixer and add the sour cream and pumpkin, then mix on medium until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  6. With the stand mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl a large spoonful at a time. Add the next spoonful when you only see a few large streaks of flour left in the bowl. Stop the mixer when the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. You want to do this as quickly as possible so that not too much gluten develops, which will make tunnels in your cake and it will be tough.
  7. Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap lined bowl, spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray and then fold the edges of the plastic over the top to cover.
  8. Refrigerate for 60 minutes. At this point the dough can be held in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To Cut and Fry:

  1. Line a baking half-sheet pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Generously dust a work surface with flour – this dough is stickier than other donuts. While the dough is still in the bowl dust the top of the dough with flour. Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface, floured side down. Dust the top with more flour.
  3. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, roll out the dough to ½ inch thick.
  4. Brush any excess flour from the top of the dough. Use a 3-inch and 1 ¼ – inch ring cutters to cut the donuts and holes. Tap the rings in flour before cutting each donut. Place the donuts and donut holes on the prepared sheet pan. [After I cut all my donuts, I went back and cut more “holes” with the small cutter from the scraps of dough. Waste not, want not!]
  5. Cover sheet pan with plastic wrap, but be sure not to let the plastic touch the top of the donuts. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. I let mine chill overnight at this step.
  6. While your donuts chill, make the glaze. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, powdered sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cover the glaze with plastic wrap directly on the surface. You can heat up the glaze over a pot of simmering water on the stove if you want it thinner. I dipped my donuts while they were still very hot, so I didn’t need to do this.
  7. Pour oil into a fryer or a Dutch oven, making sure the oil is at least 2 inches deep. Heat your oil to 350° F. Adjust your heat to keep the temperature between 350° – 360° F while frying. You will need a clip-on fry/candy thermometer for this. I heat my oil up to 360° F before adding a batch of donuts because the cold dough will lower the temperature of the fryer oil.
  8. Gently place 3 donuts in the fryer, keep the remaining donuts in the fridge. Once they rise to the surface, cook for 30 seconds and then flip them with a slotted spoon. Fry until the bottom develops a nice golden brown color, about 65 seconds. Flip it again and then fry for another 65 seconds or until the color is a nice even golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet pan or paper towels. Donut holes fry for 30 seconds then flip, then another 40 seconds, then flip, then another 40-60 seconds. They will puff up and be golden brown all over. You can cook them for the same amount of time as the full donuts but they will be a little dry. [Before I fried all of my donuts, I tested one and broke it open to make sure it was cooked. ]
  9. Once the donut is just barely cool enough to handle (I only waited about 20 seconds but I have no feeling left in my fingertips…), dip the donut in the glaze and place back on the wire rack. Dipping a hot donut will give you a nice, even glaze that isn’t too thick or too thin!
  10. Store in an airtight container overnight but they are best consumed the day they are fried…with coffee.
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #cheflindseyfarr

These Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts are packed with real pumpkin and warming spices then fried to perfection and glazed with a sweet cinnamon sugar. Pretty much Pumpkin Breakfast Perfection.
Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts
Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts


  • David @ Spiced
    November 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Oh, I think I could eat my weight in these donuts, Lindsey! Much credit to you for frying these up. In fact, I’d be willing to trade some bourbon pecan pralines for pumpkin cake donuts. Do we have a deal? 😉

    • Lindsey
      November 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      I think we do, my friend. I think we do!
      I certainly tried to eat my weight in them but then thought better of it and brought them to work instead! lol!

  • Kristi
    November 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Donut say “doughnuts” and “pumpkin spice” in the same sentence. I’m warning you. If you do – IM COMING OVER! :-). Love these donuts Lindsey! Me love me some pumpkin and doughnuts!

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