These gluten free pumpkin donuts are soft and cakey and filled with the flavors of fall! Real pumpkin makes them super moist.
I'm usually all about a yeast donut (and if you haven't tried my gf yeast donuts yet, you MUST!), but there's nothing wrong with a good 'ole cake donut either! And these pumpkin donuts bring back all the fall feels 🍂
I don't know why it took me so long to finally try to make these donuts gluten free! I've had this recipe for years that I tore out of a Cuisine at Home magazine, and never even made them with regular (wheat) flour before I had to be gluten free. But I was determined to make them taste just as great as the original recipe was meant to be.
Mixing the Dough for Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts
The dough is super simple to mix up. It can be pulled together in no time with just a bowl and a whisk. Here's everything you'll need:
- Egg and egg yolk
- Buttermilk--go for the good stuff (full fat) if you can find it
- Granulated and brown sugar
- Canned real pumpkin puree--not pumpkin pie filling
- Baking powder
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Baking soda
- Gluten free all-purpose flour--I use my own blend, but any high-quality blend should work fine
- Cinnamon/sugar--for dredging
Whisk the egg and egg yolk in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, sugars, pumpkin, and melted butter and whisk to combine. Add the baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda and continue whisking. Fold in the flour until no visible streaks of flour remain.
Freeze the Dough
It might sound strange, but this dough is very loose and sticky and needs some help. After mixing, cover the bowl and place the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will give the dough just what it needs to be more manageable to cut out some donuts.
Time to Make the Donuts
Take the dough out of the freezer. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out to about ½-inch thick. Cut donuts with a donut cutter or a biscuit cutter and another small round cutter (for the hole).
For Deep Frying (Or Shallow Frying)
Heat oil in a Dutch oven (for deep frying) or in a cast iron skillet (for a shallow fry) to 370 degrees F. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels briefly before either dredging in cinnamon sugar or glazing.
For Air Frying
Everyone's air fryer is different (just like a microwave) so be sure to check your settings and adjust as necessary. These generally take about 3 minutes to air fry at a temperature of 370 degrees F. No need to flip or drain on paper towels for these babies!
Cinnamon Sugar or Apple Cider Glaze?
There's two ways to top these awesome donuts--rolled in cinnamon sugar (is it cinnamon sugar or cinnamon and sugar?) or dipped in an apple cider glaze. I personally like to do half and half because who wants to miss out on one or the other.
For the cinnamon sugar dredge, pour the mixture into a small paper bag (or plastic ziptop bag if you don't have paper) and drop hot donuts into the sugar and shake.
Care for the glaze instead? Just whisk together apple cider with some powdered sugar and dunk the tops of your donuts in the glaze. Let it drip down the sides. Simple as that!
If you're all about the pumpkin spice right now (who isn't?), these gluten free pumpkin donuts are just what you need to send in the next season!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts (With Air Fryer Option)
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup (240 g) canned pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup (67 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
- ¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk
- 3 tablespoon butter, melted
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or store bought high quality flour blend, such as King Arthur Flour or Cup4Cup)
- oil for frying or nonstick spray for air frying
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Apple Cider Glaze
- ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider
- 3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, pumpkin, and buttermilk until combined. Add sugars and butter and continue whisking. Stir in baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda.
- Carefully fold in flour until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Pat or roll out dough on a well-floured surface to about ½" thick. Cut with a donut cutter (or use a 3" and 1" biscuit or round cutter that's been dipped in flour. Transfer the donuts and holes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that's been dusted with flour.
- If deep frying or shallow frying, heat oil to 370° F. Fry donuts in batches until browned, about 3 minutes, turning once. The donut holes will fry much faster than the larger donuts. Drain on paper towels.
- If air frying, spray donuts with nonstick spray and place in a single layer in air fryer that's been preheated to 370° F. "Fry" for about 5-6 minutes, depending on the wattage of your air fryer.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a brown paper bag or plastic ziptop baggie. Drop warm donuts into bag and shake.
Apple Cider Glaze
- Heat the apple cider and the salt in a small saucepan over low heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, whisking to combine.
- Dip tops of cooled donuts in glaze.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home's Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts