Vegan pumpkin spice donuts which are so fluffy and easy to make! You'll need less than 10 ingredients and only one bowl for this recipe.
These donuts are the perfect cozy snack for the colder seasons especially around Thanksgiving. They're adapted from my easy vegan sweet potato cake recipe but have extra pumpkin so they remain in tact!
Ingredients to make these vegan pumpkin donuts
You'll need a few basic ingredients including:
All-purpose (plain) flour, though spelt or whole wheat flour work well too. To make these gluten free, see the notes of the recipe card below.
Pumpkin puree, either canned or homemade. If you use homemade, I'd highly recommend using butternut pumpkin/squash as it lends the most flavour and natural sweetness. Lots of other varieties don't have that 'oompf.'
Sugar, preferably light or dark brown sugar or coconut sugar for a lovely caramel undertone. Regular sugar will also work but it isn't as flavoursome.
Dairy free milk, such as soy, almond or oat.
Light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed.
Pumpkin spice or a homemade combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Baking powder to make these pumpkin donuts extra fluffy.
Vanilla and salt to bring out all the flavours!
As always, all the ingredient amounts are in the grey recipe box at the bottom of this post!
How to make these donuts
It's super easy to make these vegan pumpkin spice donuts! Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add all the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
The donut batter should be thick but runny (like a typical pancake batter but thicker). At the end, there shouldn't be any pockets of flour or liquid ingredients.
Shaping and baking the donuts
You can use either aluminium or silicone donut moulds for these pumpkin donuts.
I'd strongly recommend greasing your moulds then lightly dusting them with flour. There's nothing worse than perfectly delicious donuts which can't be removed from moulds!
I developed this recipe so the donuts don't easily fall apart when removing them from the donut pan. However, it's better to be safe than sorry!
To transfer the batter into the donut moulds, you can either spoon the batter or use a piping bag.
Spooning the batter requires no special equipment (except a spoon) but can be a little messy. Piping the batter gives you neater donuts but you need a piping bag (surprise)!
There are pros and cons of each method so it's up to you!
The pumpkin spice donuts bake quickly in the oven because there's a big hole in the middle of each of them! Just like cake, they're ready when a skewer can be inserted and it comes out clean or when you press a donut and it bounces back.
Decorating the donuts
These vegan donuts are delicious with a pumpkin spice/cinnamon sugar coating OR a simple maple icing. I prefer the sugar coating as it's easier and I love the contrasting textures.
For the pumpkin spice/cinnamon sugar coating, simply mix the granulated sugar and spices in a shallow bowl. I used regular cane sugar but to make these refined sugar free, you can use coconut sugar instead.
The donuts are quite moist so the sugar should automatically stick to them without adding anything extra.
If, for some reason, your donuts are drier to the touch, brush a teeny bit of oil or melted butter on your donuts then dip them in the sugar.
The maple icing is thick, creamy and sweet and complements the pumpkin spice donuts perfectly. However, it can be a little finicky to get the right consistency for the icing.
To make the icing, simply add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat (or you can microwave it). Initially, it'll be a very thick icing so we need to melt the mixture to make it a dippable consitency.
When the icing has just melted, it should be the consistency of runny nut butter. If you mix the icing with a spoon, it should hold shape for a few seconds then fall back into a puddle.
The icing is too thin if it's the consistency of maple syrup. If so, simply let it cool for a 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, the icing is too thick if it looks like American-style buttercream. If so, continue heating the icing. I'd recommend using a thicker icing because a thinner one tends to be absorbed by the donuts very quickly.
Once the donuts have been dipped in the icing, you may sprinkle them with crushed pecans or something pretty in your pantry (optional). Set them aside and let the icing set!
Quick questions and answers
Yes! You will need to bake them for longer (around 25 minutes for average sized muffins) and you will probably only get 8-10 of them.
If you have a mini cupcake tin, you can dip each fully in the sugar to make vegan pumpkin donut holes!
To make these gluten free, check out the notes section in the recipe box.
To make these more healthy and refined sugar free, use coconut sugar in the donut batter. You can omit the granulated sugar coating or use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar.
Check out my other vegan pumpkin dessert recipes
- Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (with pecans)
- Chewy Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake (baked)
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Easy Vegan Pumpkin Trifle
- Chai and pumpkin unbaked cheesecake
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Pumpkin Spice Donuts
- 1 ¾ cups (220g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten free option)
- ¾ cup (145g) brown or coconut sugar, or cane sugar (note 2)
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice, (note 3 for homemade pumpkin spice)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of any good-quality salt, optional
- 1 cup (200g) pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie puree (note 4 for homemade pumpkin puree)
- ¾ cup (190g) dairy-free milk,
- ⅓ cup (85g) light-tasting vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Option 1: Pumpkin spice sugar coating OR
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Generously grease and lightly flour your silicone or aluminium donut moulds. If using silicione moulds, place them on a baking tray.
To make the donuts:
- Add all the dry ingredients to a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix until there are no big lumps. Add all the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Use a piping bag with a large nozzle or a spoon to divide the batter into the donut moulds.
- Bake the donuts for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted in a donut and it comes out clean. Allow the donuts to fully cool in the moulds then carefully invert them onto a tray. The donuts are delicious by themselves but if you'd like to decorate them, proceed to the next few steps!
Option 1: Pumpkin spice sugar coating:
- Combine the sugar and pumpkin spice/cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
- Dip the cooled donuts in the sugar coating (if the sugar doesn't stick, see note 4). Enjoy immediately.
Option 2: Maple glaze:
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt and mix the icing until it forms the consitency of runny nut butter. Add more milk to thin the glaze or more powdered sugar to thicken it, keeping in mind the glaze will thicken up a lot when it sets. (See note 6)
- Dip the smooth side of each donut into the glaze allowing the excess to drip off. Immediately sprinkle the pecans on top and allow the donuts to set at room temperature. When the frosting is dry to the touch, enjoy!
Note on serving the donuts:
- The donuts are best enjoyed on the day of baking. If you'd like to serve them at a later date, I'd recommend storing them without the sugar coating or glaze and decorating them on the day of serving. As the donuts are baked and very moist, they will soak up the sugar coating or glaze after 1 day. The undecorated donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
This post was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2021.
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