These baked pumpkin doughnuts whip up in just 30 minutes and are fluffy, moist, and full of pumpkin spice flavor for the ultimate fall treat.
I’ve mentioned Tim Hortons a couple times before, and it's also the inspiration for today’s post.
Tim Hortons is a coffee shop chain in Canada and several (mostly northern) states in the U.S. that was started by the famous hockey player, Tim Horton.
Chain or not, Tim Hortons has the best coffee ever (as evidenced by the traffic-stopping lines leading into their parking lots on pretty much any given morning).
Not to mention their amazing baked goods.
This time of year my favorite Tim Hortons treat is a pumpkin spice coffee and doughnut, so of course I wanted to try my hand at making a homemade version of both.
The good thing about remaking restaurant favorites at home is you know exactly what’s going into your food. Not to mention it’s much cheaper!
Tim Hortons Pumpkin Spice Coffee
So, let's talk about the coffee first.
You can add this pumpkin spice syrup to black coffee as a sweetener. And if you like, you can add milk or cream and froth it up a little if you prefer a latte.
This homemade pumpkin syrup is rich, sweet, and spicy. It's not too sweet or overpowering, and the addition of maple is a really nice flavor accent.
The only thing I don’t like about it is that the pumpkin solids have a tendency to settle to the bottom of the cup.
That never happens with store-bought pumpkin spice coffee! (Hmmm, how do they do that? Which begs the question, what’s really in it if it’s not actual pumpkin?)
Oh well, just give it a little swirl with a spoon and problem solved, lol!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Coffee (Tim Hortons Copycat Recipe)
This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of pumpkin spice syrup for coffee.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin puree is fine, but make sure it's not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch salt
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Coffee:
- Whisk together all ingredients in a small to medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring up to a boil (stirring occasionally), and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add warm syrup to taste (about 2 tablespoons per cup) to your favorite coffee; add milk or cream if desired.
The Best Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts Recipe
Now for the doughnuts! Just like the pumpkin spice syrup for coffee, these donuts were inspired by the pumpkin spice donuts at Tim Hortons.
I have to say these are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had and probably the only doughnut I’ll ever eat again. They're tender and moist from pumpkin, with a delicious balance of sweet and spice flavors.
The complete gilding of the lily is vanilla bean glaze, which not only added great flavor, but also smells ahhhhmazingly divine.
After I glazed these babies up I got lost in their magical scent for at least a minute. (Close eyes, inhale deeply. who needs yoga with these around? Lol!)
I think these baked pumpkin doughnuts were about 50 times better than their store-bought counterparts. Even Mike (who of course doesn’t usually like pumpkin or doughnuts) couldn’t get enough of them.
The only caveat to their deliciousness is that like any doughnut, they are best eaten right away. Wait until the next morning, and yes, they're still edible; however, you’ll have missed their mind-blowing effect.
Pumpkin Spice Donuts:
- Butter - to grease the donut pan; or you can use coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray
- Light brown sugar - I love using brown sugar paired with pumpkin because the molasses notes pair beautifully
- Egg - acts as a binder and helps create the perfect fluffy, moist texture
- Canned pumpkin puree - not pumpkin pie filling
- Whole milk - or any kind of milk you like
- Vegetable oil - or another mild or neutral-flavored oil
- All-purpose flour - or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- Baking powder - the leavening agent
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger - the spice blend for our pumpkin doughnuts
- Salt - a natural flavor enhancer
Vanilla Bean Glaze:
- Powdered sugar - the base of our glaze
- Vanilla bean paste - this adds vanilla flavor and aroma, as well as pretty flecks of vanilla bean; you can substitute with regular vanilla extract if you don't have this on hand
- Water - to give the glaze a pour-able consistency
How to Make Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
- Add the brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, and milk to a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
- Whisk just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer the batter to a buttered donut pan, and smooth it out.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 8 to 10 minutes at 350F. Cool to room temperature.
- Once the donuts are cool, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl, adding more water ½ teaspoon at a time if necessary to achieve the right pour-able consistency. Dip the top of each donut in glaze, and place the glazed donuts on a wire rack set on top of a baking tray. Let the glaze set before serving.
Like most donuts, these are best eaten the same day they're made. However, you can store them wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Pumpkin Donuts FAQs
What Pan Should I Use to Make Baked Donuts?
The donut pan I use is smaller than a standard size donut pan, but bigger than a mini donut pan. (The cavity for each donut measures 3 ¼ inches in diameter.) Using this pan, I get 8 donuts out of this recipe.
You can use a smaller or a larger donut pan, just make sure to adjust your bake time up or down accordingly.
Can I Make This Into Muffins Instead?
Yes! You can bake this donut batter as muffins if you don't have a doughnut pan.
You should get about 6 regular-sized muffins from this recipe. Don't forget, you'll need to increase the cooking time a bit (you can use the toothpick test to see if they're done).
What's the Best Way to Fill a Donut Pan?
Once the batter is made, transfer it to a pastry bag or a large zip-top plastic bag that you can cut a corner off of.
Now you can easily pipe it into the prepared donut pan!
Smooth out the batter on top, and you're ready to bake the doughnuts.
What Are Cake Donuts?
Cake doughnuts are usually leavened with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast. Instead of being chewy, they have a much more cake-like texture than regular doughnuts.
These are a type of cake donuts!
More Pumpkin Treats to Make
Baked Pumpkin Donuts Recipe
- Butter to grease the donut pan
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tablespoons whole milk or any kind of milk you like
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or other mild or neutral-flavored oil
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
For the Donuts:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a donut pan with butter.
- Add the brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, and milk to a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, and whisk just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer the batter to the donut pan, and smooth it out. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
For the Glaze:
- Once the donuts are cool, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl, adding more water ½ teaspoon at a time if necessary to achieve the right pour-able consistency.
- Dip the top of each donut in glaze, and place the glazed donuts on a wire rack set on top of a baking tray. Let the glaze set before serving.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: I get 8 donuts out of this recipe, for a total of 4 servings (with 2 donuts per serving).
- Storage: Like most donuts, these are best eaten the same day they're made. However, you can store them wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on November 7, 2010 and updated on September 19, 2023.