These baked vegan pumpkin donuts with cinnamon sugar are soft, fluffy, light, and moist! They are packed with warm spices and make for a delicious fall treat that the whole family will love!
These fluffy vegan pumpkin donuts are made using simple ingredients and are infused with the mild, earthy flavor of pumpkin and a blend of warm and fragrant spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
This vegan pumpkin donuts recipe is one of the simplest pumpkin treats you can whip up. It comes together pretty quickly, making it a great option to enjoy for breakfast or just as a snack.
Since these pumpkin donuts are baked and not fried, they have a cake-like texture and obviously cannot be compared to their deep-fried counterparts. But they are good in their own way!
Bursting with warm, spiced, sweet, fall flavors in every bite, these vegan pumpkin donuts will certainly bring to mind beautiful memories of the fall season!! Vegan or not, either way, you will love this recipe, so go give it a try 🙂
Table of Contents
Why should you try this recipe?
These easy pumpkin donuts;
☑ Are the perfect fall treat
☑ Come together pretty quickly, about 10 minutes of prep is all you need
☑ Are baked hence no mess of deep-frying
☑ Don’t require any fancy equipment
☑ Are packed with warm and cozy flavors
☑ Are vegan
Here’s what you will need to make these vegan pumpkin donuts. Please note the complete list of ingredients with quantities is mentioned in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Flour: I’ve used homemade cake flour for this recipe but you can use store-bought cake flour as well. You may also make this recipe with just all-purpose flour, but the cake flour tends to yield donuts that are light and tender.
Leavening agents: Baking powder and baking soda.
Pumpkin puree: Be sure to use canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Just like my eggless pumpkin bread, the pumpkin puree used here acts like an egg replacer for this recipe.
Sugar: I’ve used castor sugar. You may also use cane sugar or raw sugar. You can also swap the cane sugar with light or dark brown sugar or a mix of the two.
Oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil, I’ve used sunflower oil.
Buttermilk: I’ve used homemade buttermilk by curdling unsweetened soy milk with white distilled vinegar. You can also use lemon juice in lieu of vinegar.
Vanilla extract: Enhances the flavor of these donuts!
Pumpkin pie spice mix: Use store-bought mix or your own homemade blend.
Salt: Just a pinch, to bring out the flavor of the other ingredients.
How to make vegan pumpkin donuts – Step-by-step process
Step 1: Make vegan buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Brush or grease a donut pan generously with oil or with oil spray. (Photo 1)
Add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar into a measuring cup, and add soy milk up to the 1/2 cup line. Mix well and set aside for a couple of minutes. It will curdle and thicken. Your homemade vegan buttermilk is ready to use. (Photos 2 to 5)
Step 2: Dry ingredients
In a large bowl, sift 1 cup cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix. (Photos 6 to 10)
Whisk the ingredients well with a wire whisk and set aside. (Photo 11)
Step 3: Wet ingredients
In a medium mixing bowl, add ⅓ cup pumpkin puree, ⅓ cup sugar, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. (Photos 12 to 16)
Whisk the wet ingredients until well incorporated. (Photo 17)
Step 4: Combine wet and dry ingredients
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined and no more flour pockets are visible. (Photos 18 & 19)
Avoid overmixing the batter as that can that will yield dry, chewy, and dense donuts.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag or use a resealable zip-top bag and snip off the tip of the bag. (Photo 20)
Step 5: Bake
Pipe the batter into the greased donut baking pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full. Tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles. (Photos 21 & 22)
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the top spring back when lightly pressed. (Photos 23 & 24)
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Turn them out onto the wire rack to cool completely. (Photos 25 to 26)
Step 6: Cinnamon sugar coating
In a small, shallow bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon until well combined. (Photos 27 & 28)
Lightly brush the top and bottom of the donut with melted vegan butter, and twist to coat with cinnamon sugar. (Photos 29 & 30)
You may only coat the top if desired if you don’t like them too sweet. Repeat with the rest of the donuts! (Photo 32)
These pumpkin spice donuts are best enjoyed warm with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, pumpkin spice latte, tea, or hot chocolate!
They are great for breakfast, snacking, or even for dessert!
Though these vegan pumpkin donuts will keep well for up to 2 days, they are best enjoyed the day they are made.
- Allow the donuts to cool down completely. Place the donuts in a single layer in an airtight glass or plastic container.
- If there is more than 1 layer, separate the layers with parchment or wax paper to prevent them from sticking to each other.
- Store for up to 1 to 2 days in a cool, dry place.
- If it is hot and humid where you live, refrigerate the donuts.
- The longer you store them, the cinnamon sugar will become less crispy and may melt which will make the donuts soggy.
- Once the donuts have cooled down completely, wrap individual donuts with cling film and place them in a freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe container.
- Label the contents and freeze them for up to 2 to 3 months.
- Thaw on the countertop for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Brush donuts with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar just before serving.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Grease the pan: Do remember to grease your pan generously with oil or oil spray even if it is nonstick. This will help the baked donuts slide out easily. If they don’t slide out easily, gently nudge the donuts around the edges with the help of a spatula to loosen them. That should help them slide out of the pan.
Measure the flour correctly: For best results, I always suggest weighing your ingredients. If you don’t have a weighing scale, remember to use the spoon and sweep method of measuring flour. To do that, first fluff the flour in the container, then spoon it into your measuring cup until overflowing, and level it off with the back of a knife.
Pumpkin puree: Use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter is sweetened and will make the donuts too sweet. I haven’t tested this recipe with homemade pumpkin puree. I suggest using canned one for this recipe since homemade pumpkin puree tends to have more moisture and it can affect the outcome of the recipe.
To fill the donut pan: Use a Ziploc bag or piping bag to pipe the batter as it is mess-free.
Baking time: Baking time could vary from one oven to another. So keep an eye, overbaking will yield very dry, dense, and gummy donuts.
Sweetness: The donut itself is mildly sweetened since it is topped with a cinnamon sugar coating. If you intend to skip the coating, increase the sugar by another 2 to 3 tablespoons.
Try a different topping: Maple glaze, pumpkin spice sugar (use pumpkin spice mix instead of cinnamon), cream cheese glaze, and chocolate glaze are all great alternatives to spruce up these pumpkin spice donuts! It is best to have a thick glaze consistency here because the donuts absorb the thinner glaze in a couple of hours.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make these pumpkin spice donuts without a donut pan?
You could simply use a standard muffin pan, and make muffins instead. You will just need to bake it for longer. Most standard muffins bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they’re done. But then technically, they won’t be donuts.
You can also use a mini cupcake pan to make pumpkin donut holes.
I suggest investing in a donut pan since it is pretty inexpensive and also it is available at most stores or even online. It is so handy to make a batch of donuts when those donut cravings strike! Also, if you really detest deep-frying donuts, this is the pan you need to make your favorite donuts!
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you can! If you have 2 donut pans or a bigger donut pan with 12 to 18 cavities, you can make a bigger batch.
Can I skip the oil in the recipe?
Yes, you can! Swap the oil with applesauce.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
I haven’t gotten around to trying a gluten-free version. But, I think it will work successfully with a 1:1 gluten-free flour. If you do try it out, please let us know in the comments below so that it benefits others too 🙂
★ Have you made this recipe? I would love to hear from you! Please be sure to rate this recipe along with your feedback in the comment section below. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too. Do subscribe to our free weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for the latest recipes. If you make these donuts, do share a photo and tag @aromatic_essence77 on Instagram!
Vegan Pumpkin Donuts With Cinnamon Sugar
- 1 cup cake flour 140 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix 3 grams
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree 85 grams
- ⅓ cup castor/cane sugar 75 grams
- ½ cup unsweetened soy milk 125 ml
- ½ tablespoon distilled white vinegar 7.5 ml
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil or melted vegan butter 28 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 ml
- ¼ cup sugar 56 grams
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- 1½ tablespoons melted vegan butter 21 grams
Make vegan buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Brush or grease a donut pan generously with oil or with oil spray.
- Add vinegar into a measuring cup, and add soy milk up to the 1/2 cup line. Mix well and set aside for a couple of minutes. It will curdle and thicken. Your homemade vegan buttermilk is ready to use.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice mix.
- Whisk the ingredients well with a wire whisk and set aside. (Photo 11)
- In a medium mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
Combine wet and dry ingredients
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined and no more flour pockets are visible. (Photos 18 & 19)
- Avoid overmixing the batter as that can that will yield dry, chewy, and dense donuts.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag or use a resealable zip-top bag and snip off the tip of the bag.
- Pipe the batter into the greased donut baking pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full. Tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the top spring back when lightly pressed.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Turn them out onto the wire rack to cool completely. (Photos 25 to 26)
Cinnamon sugar coating
- In a small, shallow bowl, whisk together sugar and ground cinnamon until well combined.
- Lightly brush the top and bottom of the donut with melted vegan butter, and twist to coat with cinnamon sugar.
- You may only coat the top if desired if you don’t like them too sweet. Repeat with the rest of the donuts!