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!
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*
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.
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.
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!
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
Topping 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.