Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Gluten free pumpkin donut muffins have the very best of muffins, with the ease of a donut. Don’t skimp on the pumpkin spiced sugar coating on the outside!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

These gluten free pumpkin donut muffins are ridiculously easy (you don’t even have to remember to set the butter out to soften, since, well, they’re made with oil!) that you could even whip up a batch while everyone else is out trick-or-treating, even though you’re home manning the door and deciding which children seem so sweet that you’re gonna slip them extra candy.

No fancy ingredients, no fancy equipment (a bowl and a spoon!), no special donut pan. *Boom*

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes: that simple coating of pumpkin-spice-sugar on the outside even gives them that special donut feel. That’s what puts them right over the edge.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Because the batter is made with oil, not butter, it’s thick and glossy. You really do need 3 eggs, too, since that’s what keeps the donut muffins from being dense.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Because every single holiday, no matter how small, must be celebrated in my gluten free son’s grammar school with food food and more food, these d0nut muffins were packed into his bag today—along with a version of these super cute, super easy Witch Hat Cookies. He was very pleased. Another school food challenge met!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 30 mini muffins


1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot or potato starch)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) canola oil (or another neutral oil, like grapeseed oil)

3 eggs (180 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

4 ounces pumpkin butter (homemade or store bought—for homemade follow the link!), at room temperature

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk (any kind, just not nonfat), at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted (for dairy-free, use your favorite dairy-free butter replacement, melted)

*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well a standard miniature 24-cup muffin tin and set it aside (you can also use a standard 12-cup muffin tin).

  • Make the muffins. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the canola oil, eggs, pumpkin butter and milk, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be thick and glossy. Fill the prepared cups of the muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full, and shake the pan back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in each well. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently (longer for a standard 12-cup muffin tin). Allow to cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • To make the topping, place the granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the cooled muffins generously with the melted butter, then press the tops into the sugar mixture to coat. Turn the muffins right-side up and serve.

  • Adapted from Smells Like Home and from my recipe for Pumpkin Donuts, reader-selected from my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board.



P.S. Which Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks do you have? There are 3, and I’d be honored if each found its way into your kitchen. :)

Comments are closed.

  • familychef
    November 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    These are delicious. Thank you, Nicole!

  • Shay
    November 6, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    I have been GF for 5 years but just recently having trouble with dairy and eggs. I see that I can use a dairy free butter. Could I also use an egg replacer in this recipe? Is Ener-G egg replacer okay to use, or what would be the best to use? Thank you!

  • Millie J
    November 3, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    The quantity of pumpkin butter says “4 ounces.” Is that the same as 1/4 cup?

  • Nicole
    November 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    i made these yesterday with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and they are already gone after sharing at a playdate with friends who aren’t on a restricted diet. I had made a 2/3 batch since I only had 2 eggs. I have a request for more! This is my perfect kind of one bowl muffin recipe.

  • KVA
    November 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I just made these and they’re great. Could even be good in thanksgiving GF bread basket without the sugar topping (but better for breakfast WITH topping)

  • Susan
    November 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I baked these this morning and in a word – delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you :)

  • Jennifer Small
    October 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Yum! I’m making these tonight for tomorrow morning! I might even make them super-unhealthy by rolling them in a gooey melted butter sugar-spice mixture like the French Breakfast Puffs my mom used to make every once in a blue moon! Not that these wouldn’t be amazing as written… I was just having a nostalgic moment!

  • franzis
    October 31, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Can I use my mini donut maker for this recipe as well?

    • October 31, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      I don’t see why not, Franzis.

    • Lauren
      November 1, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Oh, that might be fun to try!

  • Lucy
    October 31, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    How nice! I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Thanks Nicole :)

    • October 31, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Thanks, Lucy! :)

  • Susan
    October 31, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    These sound very yummy and easy! Could I use Libby’s pure pumpkin in place of the pumpkin butter? Thanks!

    • October 31, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      No, Susan, I’m afraid you can’t. It doesn’t take very long at all to make the pumpkin butter, and it behaves very differently in recipes as it is much more concentrated.

      • Susan
        November 3, 2014 at 7:43 AM

        Thanks, Nicole. Now that I re-read the recipe for your pumpkin butter, that makes sense!

    • Donia Robinson
      October 31, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Trader Joe’s is very tasty. Not that I buy it because I’m too lazy to make pumpkin butter. Well, yes, that’s actually true…

      • kelly
        November 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Trader Joe’s has pumpkin butter?

        • Donia Robinson
          November 1, 2014 at 8:50 PM

          Yes, only in the fall and until they run out!

        • kelly
          November 1, 2014 at 10:37 PM

          Ok great thanks, i’ll have to see if the one by me has some.

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