These baked pumpkin donuts are topped with a sweet cinnamon glaze & some candied pecans for a much-needed crunch! Prepare for your kitchen to be filled with all the fall smells and feels. Drool levels at max.
Let’s get baking, friends!
Baked vs. Fried
Why did I choose to go with baked pumpkin donuts vs. fried? Well–for two reasons actually! One is that these are much easier to make and manage, especially around the holidays when there’s already lots of bustling around to be had. Baked donuts are a simple mix, bake, & plate kind of deal that I am ALL here for.
The second reason I went the baked route comes down to flavor & texture! I wanted these to stay fluffy and light, which is oftentimes (in my experience) a lost texture in fried donuts–there tends to be a density there I wanted to avoid. Plus, you can sometimes get an overpowering “oil flavor” when you fry donuts. This isn’t true for all fried donuts of course, so please don’t drag me in the comments, k?
I wanted the pumpkin & other spice flavors to really shine here! For me, baked was the way to go. Now don’t get me wrong–we LOVE a good fried donut, but baked served what I was trying to achieve here the best!
Donut Baking Tips!
There truly is tons of room for error here if I’m being honest–so don’t stress too much throughout the process! Yet another reason baked donuts are all-around easier to manage. With that said, here are some tips to help you get the best results possible:
- Regardless of the donut pan you’re using, I find it helps to do one quick spritz of cooking spray in each well (one with flour is best like this one from Pam). This just double-ensures you’ll have no issues getting your donuts out after the bake!
- Pipe your donut batter into the wells of your pan! This ensures a much more even distribution & you won’t accidentally get a bunch of batter in spots you don’t want it.
- Whether you pipe the batter in or not, I recommend smoothing off the tops of each with the back of a spoon. Ultimately, the bake will take care of most of the leveling, but this ensures you get evenly rounded tops.
- Once baked, make sure your donuts have cooled COMPLETELY before dipping them in your cinnamon glaze! If you don’t do this, your glaze will just melt right off/soak through and your pecans won’t have anything to stick too. You’ve been warned!
Materials You’ll Need:
- Various sized mixing bowls
- Donut Pan with 6 wells (I love this one from USA Pan)
- Cooling rack
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Piping Bag (or spoon) to transfer batter into the donut pan
For the Candied Pecans:
- Quarter baking sheet (this one also from USA Pan is perfect), though any small baking sheet will work just fine
- Parchment paper (Kana makes amazing parchment that is pre-cut, this one fits perfect in my quarter baking sheet)
Making the Candied Pecans
I initially just had these baked pumpkin donuts with the cinnamon glaze, but then decided they needed something else with a bit of crunch to them–in came the candied pecans! The best part is that you’ll end up with extra at the end, perfect for late-night snacking.
Here are a few tips to help make these babies:
- Make sure to lightly whisk your egg white (as the recipe mentions). This helps separate it a little & make the pecan-coating process easier!
- When spreading the mixture on your baking sheet, be sure they’re in a somewhat even layer! This ensures a more even bake. You can toss them halfway through the bake for added help, but it’s not necessary.
- After the bake & your pecans have cooled, they may re-solidify together a bit–which is normal! You can just cut/crumble them back up into pieces. Either way, be prepared for some sticky hands (worth it!).
You can also top your donuts with the pecans however you’d like! I just went for that off-center look because somehow that = more fancy?? Who knows! The point is, do what feels right.
I hope these are fun to bake! I promise they look much more “intimidating” than they actually are–you got this! Drop any questions or concerns below or send me a quick email.
Tag me on instagram @joshisbaking if you make these!
Happy baking, friends!Print
Fluffy baked pumpkin donuts topped with a sweet cinnamon glaze and candied pecans for some extra crunch!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled) (260g)
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (5g)
- 1 tsp. salt (6g)
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (3g)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (3g)
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 3 large eggs (153g)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (242g)
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil (102g)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (102g)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (108g)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (3g)
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (220g)
- 3 Tbsp. whole milk (35-46g)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (1.5g)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (1.5g)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (166g)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (60g)
- 1/4 dark brown sugar (56g)
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (5g)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (2g)
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked (36g)
Making the Donuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat your donut wells with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, & spices. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together your eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, sugars, & vanilla extract. Then pour your wet mixture into the large bowl with the dry mixture, whisking or folding together until fully combined.
- Pipe (easiest) or spoon the donut mixture into the wells of your donut pan, filling each only halfway. Bake at 350°F for 12-14 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean (the surface should bounce back a little when poked). Let cool for 10-15 min. in the donut pan before carefully removing and letting cool completely on a separate rack. Then proceed to pipe in & bake your next 6 donuts!
Making the Candied Pecans
- Make sure oven is set to 300°F. Prep a small baking sheet (quarter-size is perfect) with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Whisk together your sugars, spices, & salt in a small bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, toss your pecans and egg whites until the pecans are fully coated.
- Toss your sugar mixture into the bowl with the pecans, tossing together until they’re fully coated. Bake at 300°F for 25 minutes (rotating the tray halfway through). Once baked, let them cool to room temp. before breaking/crushing apart to be sprinkled over the donuts.
- It might stick together like one large sheet of candied pecans, so you’ll like have to cut/crush them up after the bake to get them back into pieces.
Assembling the Donuts
- Once the donuts have fully cooled and you’ve made your pecans, whisk together all of your glaze ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until combined. Dip the top half of each donut into the glaze and then sprinkle with candied pecans in whichever way/design you’d like!
- TIPS: Make sure to let the initial excess glaze drip back into the bowl before flipping the donuts back over. Also don’t wait too long to top with your pecans, otherwise your glaze may set and the pecans won’t stick!
- ENJOY! Donuts are best enjoyed day-of, but will keep for a few days stored at room temperature in an airtight container (your glaze may begin to soak in a bit, best to keep away from high heat spots).
- Like the recipe notes, these are best enjoyed day-of, but will keep for a few days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Just make sure to store these away from spots that get a lot of sun or heat–this could cause the glaze to melt!
- You may be left with extra candied pecans depending on generous you are with topping your donuts, so definitely pop those in a ziplock bag for snacking later on. Yum!
- Definitely make sure your donuts have cooled completely before glazing/topping–if you glaze the while they’re still warm, the glaze will just melt right off or soak through and it won’t be pretty. You’ve been warned!
- If you’re in need of a 6-well donut pan or quarter sheet, check these out from USA Pan!
Keywords: donuts, pumpkin donuts, baked donuts, baked pumpkin donuts, baked donuts, pecans, candied pecans, fall, fall recipes, cinnamon