Baked Pumpkin Donuts are a healthy treat for fall with pure pumpkin, warming spices, chopped pecans and dark chocolate. They require just 10 minutes prep time and come together in one bowl. They’re also gluten-free and dairy-free and can easily be made refined sugar-free. Are you ready for some healthy baked donuts?!
*This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated to include adjustments to the recipe, as well as new text and photos.
As a kid, I loved donuts. Nothing fancy, just a plain old-fashioned donut with chocolate glaze. Our local grocery store sold them from their bakery and supplied our elementary school with donuts every Tuesday for “donut day”. We would place our orders with the teacher in the morning (one hand for one donut and two hands for two) and donuts would magically appear at recess time.
Unfortunately, as an adult, donuts don’t magically appear. But they can come together pretty quickly if you’re making these baked pumpkin donuts. And as a bonus, they’re on the healthier side too.
Other baked donuts to try
What you’ll need
- Raw pecans
- Pure pumpkin
- Unsweetened nut milk
- Natural nut butter
- Maple syrup
- Gluten-free oat flour
- Pumpkin spice
- Baking soda and salt
- Dairy-free dark chocolate
- Coconut oil
How to make healthy baked pumpkin donuts
- Start by pre-heating the oven to 350F and greasing a 12-cavity mini donut pan. I usually just use a non-stick cooking spray. Divide the chopped pecans into the bottom of each donut cavity. Once the donuts are baked and flipped out of the pan, the pecans will be baked into the tops.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your pumpkin, milk, nut butter, maple syrup and egg. Then add your dry ingredients and whisk until combined. You may need to sift your oat flour if it’s lumpy.
- Divide the batter into each cavity of the donut pan. They should be filled to the top. I like to spoon in the batter and spread it around carefully so it doesn’t disturb the pecans too much. If you find it easier, you can add the batter to a piping bag and pipe the batter into the donut cavities. (Personally, I find this messier, but I’m always a bit awkward at piping).
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, then let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. For the final touch, melt some dark chocolate and drizzle it on top of the donuts.
Tips and substitutions
- To keep the donuts gluten-free, make sure your oat flour and spices are certified gluten-free.
- If you can’t find oat flour, you can make your own by adding rolled oats to your blender or food processor, and pulsing until they’re a fine texture.
- This recipe uses pure pumpkin (also called pumpkin purée) not pumpkin pie filling, which is seasoned with spices and normally sweetened. Pumpkin pie filling will not work in this recipe.
- I like to use cashew butter in these donuts, but you can also use almond butter or peanut butter. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s natural (just nuts with no added ingredients) and bring it to near room temperature so it whisks into the other wet ingredients easily.
- These donuts are made in a mini donut pan. You can use a full size donut pan and get six large donuts but you will need to bake the donuts for a few minutes longer.
- These donuts are not overly sweet, so I enjoy them with the chocolate drizzle, but if you want to go completely refined sugar-free, these donuts are great without the chocolate.
- If you prefer your donuts on the sweeter side, try using sweetened or chocolate nut milk in the batter as a substitute for the unsweetened nut milk.
Make them protein donuts
Each mini donut has about 4 grams of protein already. If you’d like to increase this and make them a little bit more filling, you can replace two tablespoons of the oat flour with two tablespoons of protein powder. I use a plant-based vanilla protein powder that is dairy-free and gluten-free.
What to do with leftover pumpkin purée
This recipe uses one cup of pure pumpkin, so you will likely have some leftover, especially if you buy the large can like I do. If you’re also like me, you won’t want to see it go to waste. So store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within a few days to make one of these recipes:
- Grain-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles
- Pumpkin Spice Collagen Latte with Coconut Whip
- Avocado Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread
If you make these baked pumpkin donuts, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Baked Pumpkin Donuts are a healthy treat for fall with pure pumpkin, warming spices, chopped pecans and dark chocolate. They require just 10 minutes prep time and come together in one bowl. They’re also gluten-free and dairy-free and can easily be made refined sugar-free.
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
- 1 cup pure pumpkin (pumpkin purée)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened nut milk
- 1/4 cup cashew or almond butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350F and spray a 12-cavity mini donut pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chopped pecans into each cavity. (Once the donuts are turned out onto the cooling rack the pecans will be baked into the top).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, nut milk, nut butter, maple syrup and egg. Add in the oat flour (sift if lumpy), pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the donut cavities, spreading evenly but carefully to ensure the pecans are not disturbed on the bottom. You can do this by adding little bits of batter at a time into the cavities and smoothing it out with a spoon. Or you can use a piping bag. Just add the batter to the bag and pipe into the donut cavities. The cavities should each be filled to the top.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
- Remove the donuts from the oven and let cool for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and the coconut oil and heat for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Stir the chocolate until smooth and drizzle over the donuts.
- Transfer donuts to an airtight container and refrigerate until chocolate is set. Store in the fridge or at room temperature and enjoy within 2-3 days.
- To keep the donuts gluten-free, ensure your oat flour and spices are certified gluten-free.
- If you don’t have oat flour, you can make your own by adding rolled oats to your blender or food processor, and pulsing to create a fine texture.
- Make sure you’re using pure pumpkin (or pumpkin purée) and not pumpkin pie filling.
- You can use cashew or almond butter in this recipe, or even peanut butter. Just make sure it’s natural nut butter (just nuts and no added ingredients). You’ll also want it to be at or near room temperature so it whisks into the other wet ingredients easily.
- These donuts are made in a mini donut pan. You can use a full size donut pan to get six large donuts but you will need to bake the donuts for a few minutes longer.
- The dark chocolate topping is optional, but these donuts are not overly sweet, so I highly recommend it. But if you want to go completely refined sugar-free, forego the chocolate.
- If you prefer your donuts on the sweeter side, you can replace the unsweetened nut milk with sweetened or chocolate nut milk.
Keywords: pumpkin spice donuts, healthy baked donuts