Buttermilk pumpkin donuts with brown butter maple glaze

Pumpkin donuts with maple glazeMy nieces—Celia, Sophie, and Lindsay—have been asking to bake with me for a while. The problem is, I’m never in PA long enough to be able to devote a full day to it. But with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, I have a whole week free for plans—and we’ve already marked down our baking date day.

When asked what they wanted to make, the girls responded enthusiastically with “pumpkin donuts!” (except for Sophie who said strawberry cake, but didn’t want to actually eat said strawberry cake) So, off I went to find a recipe to test out and make sure it was perfect for our upcoming baking day.

The recipe here is the result of my search. It’s a baked pumpkin cake donut with a sugary maple glaze on top. It’s super simple and super delicious—and it’s something I know the girls will love.

Servings: Makes about a dozen donuts

For donuts:
1½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 yolk, from a large egg
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For glaze:
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼-1½ cups powdered sugar

Pumpkin donuts with maple glazeDirections:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray donut pans with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine melted butter, oil, buttermilk, egg, yolk, dark brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla in a medium size bowl. Whisk to combine until smooth and lump-free.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until the flour disappears. Transfer the mixture to a large plastic ziplock bag. Press out all of the air. Snip about ¼-inch off of one corner of the bag. Gently squeezing the bag, fill donut wells with batter, evenly dividing between the wells.
  5. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the donuts comes out clean.
  6. Remove the donuts from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack.
  7. While the donuts are baking, prepare the glaze: Place butter in a microwave-safe container. Cover so that the butter doesn’t spit out of the container. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes or until deep golden brown. Watch carefully since the butter can go from browned to burnt very quickly.
  8. Remove browned butter from the microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add brown sugar, buttermilk, and maple syrup to it. Stir with a whisk until well combined. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 1½-2 minutes or until bubbly and smooth, stopping every 30 seconds to whisk. If it’s still “grainy,” return to the microwave for another 10-20 seconds.
  9. Add vanilla and 1¼ cups powdered sugar to the butter mixture. Continue to whisk until smooth and silky. The mixture should be thick enough to adhere to donuts. Add a bit more powdered sugar if needed.
  10. Dip each donut into the glaze mixture, covering ¾ of the surface with icing. Turn the donuts over, allowing excess glaze to drip back into the bowl, then set back on the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining donuts. If glaze starts to get thick, return to the microwave for a few seconds. You can also add a drop or two of additional buttermilk.
  11. Drizzle a bit of extra glaze over donuts with a fork, if desired. Allow glaze to set for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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