by Amy Bradley
I’m going to open with a bit of a controversial statement: fall is the absolute best time of year. The air is crisp, the leaves turn beautiful colors here in Pennsylvania, and most importantly you get to indulge in some amazing fall flavors. After all, the biggest food-centric holiday for the U.S. is in autumn! Our goal for the season is to share recipes that will make you feel cozy to the core. Next up: the best ever baked pumpkin donuts with maple glaze.
I’ve made pumpkin donuts with maple glaze using other recipes previously and always came out feeling disappointed. Either the texture of the donut was incorrect, the spices were all wrong (hello, too much nutmeg), or the glaze lacked that maple punch of flavor I was hoping for. I decided to take on the challenge to create my own recipe during the first weekend of fall, and wow, did it turn out well!
The cake of the donut is just tender and moist enough without losing structural integrity. This is thanks to the addition of a little cake flour and a little buttermilk or whole milk. The spice combination is absolute perfection. I went a bit heavier on the cinnamon, but to me it just makes the pumpkin shine. Finally, the maple glaze. This stuff is addictive! The brown sugar and maple extract give the potently delicious maple taste I was hoping to achieve. Maple syrup alone just did not cut it. Yes, it’s a bit decadent, but it’s worth the calories. (Treat yo’ self!) It’s important to not add an overly thick layer of glaze on the donuts, though. I originally had made the glaze a hair too thick so it was closer to cake icing consistency. The thick glaze just overpowered the donut. So make sure you use enough milk and / or keep the glaze heated so it does not thicken up too much as you dip your donuts.
This recipe makes just shy of a dozen donuts. You could cut the recipe down if you wish, but I know in our house those donuts were long gone within a day! Yes, they are that good!
Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze Recipe
About 11 donuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp buttermilk or whole milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp milk
- 2 1/4 tsp corn syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp maple extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease or spray donut pan with cooking spray.
- Add butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, and beat until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, pumpkin purée, and vanilla, again beating until well combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together – both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Gently add about half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir to combine. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients.
- Add the milk or buttermilk to the mixture last, stirring until just incorporated.
- Use a spoon or spatula to scoop batter into a plastic bag or piping bag with a hole cut at the tip that’s about 1/2 to 1 inch in size. Squeeze the batter into the donut pan to fill each cavity. It should be about 3/4 full – not quite at the top of the pan.
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place donuts on a wire rack to cool, meanwhile make your maple glaze.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Add milk and heat for 4 or 5 minutes, whisking regularly until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup and maple extract. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, whisking between additions. Once all powdered sugar is added, keep maple glaze warm on the stove, whisking occasionally. Your glaze should be thick, but still fluid enough that it will create a nice thin layer on top.
- Dip the donuts into the glaze and allow the excess to drip off. Place back on the rack to allow the glaze to set. This shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes. If you find your glaze is too thick as you are dipping, try reheating and whisking quickly on the stove or add a little more milk. If it is too runny, add a little extra powdered sugar. You don’t want a super thick layer of icing as it will overpower the pumpkin flavor.
- The donuts are best eaten the same day they are made. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for an additional day.
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