Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts

Donuts being coated in sugar [pinit] Sometimes, I think I wish I just had a breakfast and brunch gluten free food blog. It’s pretty much my favorite baking category. (I say pretty much because its numbers here on the blog are outdone only by gluten free cookies.) I love to eat it, I love to bake it and I love to come up with new ways to get it done. I have also come to consider it the school-day dragon to be slain. Breakfasts like these gluten free pumpkin donuts are my sword.

Rows of donuts on metal tray

I haven’t completely given up on a healthy breakfast (especially on school days), but I have found myself pushing the boundaries of what is considered a good meal to start the day for my kids, at least. I just can’t fight in the morning. I fought the good morning fight so very many times, and 1 of my 3 children who shall remain nameless (rhymes with schmAva) just hates eggs and goes from a pretty easy-going kid to Medusa if they’re on the morning menu. And it just harshes my morning mellow. So … things like these gluten free pumpkin donuts (with a whole bunch of fruit) are now considered breakfast. Don’t judge. Okay, fine. Judge. Not too harshly? I’ve got a new gluten free bread book coming out in just a few weeks. I’m fragile.

A bowl of ingredients and donut batter on wooden surface

These donuts don’t have too many ingredients. And they don’t take much time at all (especially if you have one of those nifty electronic Babycakes mini donut-makers, which I have simply come to adore).

Overhead view of donuts on metal tray

 Anyway, even if you don’t think they’re proper for breakfast, they make a great treat—with or without the sugar-and-pumpkin-pie-spice on top. When they’re for breakfast, I go without. Mother of the Year? Probably not. But I’m trying!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 2 dozen very mini donuts


2 cups (280 g) gluten free cake flour (80% (224 g) all purpose gluten free flour + 20% (56 g) cornstarch) (can substitute an equal amount of 100% all purpose gluten free flour)

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

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (plus more)*

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200 g) sugar (plus more)

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature (can substitute an equal amount of Greek-style plain yogurt)

4 ounces pumpkin butter

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


  • If using an electric miniature donut maker, warm the donut maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, preheat your oven to 350°F, grease a mini donut plan and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, salt and 1 cup sugar, and whisk to combine wel. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, eggs, sour cream and pumpkin butter, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick but fluffy.

  • If using the electric donut maker, fill the bottom of the donut maker wells completely with batter, then close and secure the lid. Allow to bake for 3 1/2 minutes. Open the donut maker and remove the donuts with the remover tool included in the package. Transfer the donuts to a wire rack, and repeat with the remaining batter.

  • If using the oven, fill the prepared donut wells about three-quarters of the way full. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the donuts are set and just lightly browned.

  • While the donuts are baking via either method, place about 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (depending upon preference) in a shallow dish or bowl, and toss to combine. As the donuts finish baking and once they are cool enough to handle, brush them lightly with lukewarm water using a pastry brush, and then press them into the sugar and spice mixture on all sides to coat. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling and to allow the coating to set.



P.S. Did you pre-order Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? Remember that, if you pre-order from amazon, it will ship the week of Thanksgiving, not in December!

Comments are closed.

  • […] Pumpkin doughnuts. […]

    October 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I’m looking at the ingredients to your incredible sounding donuts and I gotta tell you, you’re not doing as bad as you think! The more I learn about how bad cereal is, even the ‘good’ stuff the healthier a whole food like a homemade baked donut looks! And I’m sure kids will think these for breakfast definatly qualifies you for mom of the year!

  • Rhonda
    October 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    could you please give nutritional information.

    • October 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      Hi, Rhonda, As I state in the FAQs on the blog, I do not have the resources necessary to provide nutritional information for my recipes. I’m a one-woman show, so you’ll have to do that part yourself!

  • Allison Cokeley
    October 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Don’t every feel guilty for making your children a homemade breakfast… .but if the guilt happens to be so overwhelming that you just don’t know what to do… I send you my address and eat them for breakfast, guilt free… lol

  • October 21, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I’m too tired for the breakfast fight too, and I’m pretty sure cocoa pebbles beats out homemade baked donuts any day! :) I’m so making these. Yet another reason to make pumpkin butter, as if we needed one!

  • Alexis
    October 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I love your yeast free chocolate doughnuts and your maple blueberry doughnuts with a lemon glaze. I have tried 2 other pumpkin donut recipes from other blogs and didn’t like them. Can’t wait to try this! I just made your oat squares this morning. Thanks for all the great recipes! :-)

  • Jennifer Sasse
    October 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Come on – how many gluten laden people are feeding their kids donuts for breakfast?? ALL OF THEM – that’s who. So you’re kids can have some too for cripes sake. They are a breakfast food. Donuts = breakfast! My kids will love these and I will serve them for breakfast along with yogurt or fruit or both and they’ll be thanking you like I am for another fantastic recipe! :)

    • Donia Robinson
      October 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      I tell you what. Back in my day, my mom sure didn’t make me breakfast! It was cold cereal or anything I could microwave myself! Kids these days are so spoiled! (But we love to spoil them, don’t we?? ;)

      • Jennifer Sasse
        October 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        I hear ya Donia! :)

    • Marjan Crabtree
      October 31, 2013 at 6:55 AM

      Ehmm….nope! Must be an American thing, honestly! I would feed them home made donuts after I at least halved the sugar in them. Made the paleo donuts yesterday, so so sweet, I could not eat them. That is what I usually do with American recipes, half the sugar/honey and then it is ok :-) Different people, different tastes I guess.

  • Donia Robinson
    October 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Ah, the brushing with water is the genius part. I could never figure out how to get something to stick to them when they came out of the machine. Well, I’ve tried butter, but didn’t feel good about all that extra butter on each!

  • Anneke
    October 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    I am a big lover of donuts, my donut maker (which I bought because you love yours!), healthy breakfast, AND telling myself that I am sort of making healthy breakfast if what I make has fruit in it. Pumpkin butter=fruit, right? Also, the Mother of the Year award depends entirely on who does the voting. If the kids are voting, I am sure donuts get their vote, so you win! Or I win, maybe it’s a tie?

    How long do you think pumpkin butter keeps in the fridge? Wondering if I can use what I have (when I make these for breakfast tomorrow) or if I should make more today. Mine has been in there about a week.

    Thanks! Hope you are enjoying some lovely fall weather!

    • Jennifer Sasse
      October 21, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I got that donut maker because of Nicole too! :) And if you have problems keeping that pumpkin butter around -just make the revised pumpkin chocolate chip bars or the pumpkin scones and drop ’em off. Remember I telecommute so I’m home all day!

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