Glazed Pumpkin Buttermilk Donuts

I found this recipe from Barefoot and Baking on Pinterest shortly after Halloween, and I’ve been longing to make them ever since. I held off because I was terrified at the thought of making donuts from scratch. I’ve been baking since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but Mom only made pies and cookies from scratch while I was growing up, so anything else is intimidating.

However, my wonderful other half bought me a beautiful digital kitchen scale for Christmas, and I had all of the ingredients in the pantry, so on Christmas Day I finally rant out of reasons NOT to make these wonderful confections. Despite my trepidation, they turned out wonderfully.

Glazed Pumpkin Buttermilk Donuts

(about 2 1/2 dozen, plus donut holes)

3 1/2 cups flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 cup sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
canola oil (for frying)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients except the oil (it’s for frying). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix all together until the dough is well combined. My dough was pretty sticky. Turn out onto a well floured surface and roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick (this may seem pretty thin but they puff up a lot when frying). Cut with a donut cutter or use a canning jar lid and a medicine cup (you know the ones that come on the top of childrens Motrin?) or shot glass for the middle.

Prepare the buttermilk glaze (recipe below).

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet or heavy pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot (I drop a piece of dough in and it started bubbling like crazy when it was hot enough). Gently slide the donuts in to the oil, frying the first side until the edges are lightly browned. Carefully flip the donuts over and allow to cook until lightly browned on the second side. Remove and place on a cookie sheet covered with paper towels to drain. While the donuts are still warm dip them in the buttermilk glaze. Place on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet to air dry until ready to serve.

Buttermilk Glaze*

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 t vanilla

Whisk together until smooth.

TIPS: I chilled the dough for a few minutes while I made the buttermilk glaze and it seemed to firm the dough up just enough to make rolling it out a lot easier. I found the best rhythm for cooking and glazing to be as follows:

  • Slide first donut into pan
  • Just before first donut is ready to flip, slide second donut into pan
  • Flip first donut
  • When ready, remove the first donut to the cookie sheet with paper towels, put a third donut into the pan, and then flip the second donut
  • Repeat that process, remove the finished donut, add a new donut, flip the half-cooked donut
  • When you take the fourth donut out, the first donut should be cool enough to handle; while you wait for the next donut to finish, grab the cooled one to dip in glaze and place on the cooling rack
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