Introduction: Baked Fresh Pumpkin Doughnuts
These warm spiced doughnuts are filled with pumpkin flavour, walnut, coated with melted butter and then topped with cinnamon sugar that will surely make you wish it is pumpkin season all the time. With a wonderfully moist texture, these flavourful baked (not fried) pumpkin doughnuts are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack anytime. Yes, healthy doughnuts do exist!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnut
3/4 cup pumpkin fresh mashed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Step 1: First Preheat Oven to 180 Degree C ( 350 Degree F ).
Preheating the oven is especially important for baking. By preheating the oven,we allow it time to reach the correct temperature in order to bake the doughnuts perfectly. A preheated oven will cook the doughnuts all the way to its centre before the outside of the doughnuts gets burnt.
In general, the middle of the oven is best for even baking. So placing rack in the centre of oven during baking allows for even baking and overall same baking time.
Step 2: Lightly Grease Doughnut Pans With Non-stick Spray.
Lightly grease two standard size/ mini size doughnut pans.
Doughnut pans allow us to bake something completely different, that is "a baked doughnut". Most doughnut pans are non stick. However, it can be very difficult to slide a knife or spatula under a stuck doughnut to get it out. So, it's best to lightly grease with a non-sticky spray in advance and preferably have two doughnut pans.
If you don't have doughnut pans, you can still bake these in muffin pans. However, it will be doughnut muffins instead. You use the same batter, only different shape but its just as yummy.
Mini doughnut pan yield 48 mini doughnuts.
Standard doughnut pan yield 24 standard doughnuts.
Step 3: Have Ready All DRY Ingredients Needed to Make These Doughnuts.
Pre-measure all the DRY ingredients, namely the sifted all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the typical autumn spices consisting of ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg in advance. The special addition of the spices give these doughnuts such a special flavour.
Step 4: Place Them in a Big Bowl.
In a big bowl and using a whisk, mix everything together until well combined.
Step 5: Fold in the Chopped Toasted Walnuts. Then Set Aside.
To get the most flavour from walnuts, we need to toast them. Toasting walnuts provide a crunchier texture and enhances their sweet nutty flavour.
First arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer and baked for 8 to 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 180 degree C (350F), checking frequently for browning. Then chopped coarsely into pieces.
Mix the chopped toasted walnuts into the DRY flour mixture until well combined.
Step 6: Have Ready All the WET Ingredients Needed to Make the Doughnuts.
Try to keep the prepped WET ingredients at hand so there's less of a chance that you will forget and have to fumble to get them at the last minute.
Can be store bought in a can or you can make your own puree. If you cook up your own puree, make sure it's as thick as the canned variety.
Use large, room temperature eggs.
White sugar produces lighter and fluffier doughnuts.
Brown sugar produces a denser and moister doughnuts.
Hence, a combination of both is ideal to strike a nice balance for the texture, moisture, sweetness and colour of the doughnuts.
Milk is a common liquid used in baking to moisten ingredients. Many recipes will call for a specific type of milk, be it whole milk, low fat or skimmed milk. Whole milk is the standard used in professional bakeries and for home bakers unless otherwise specified. The difference between whole and skim milk is the fat content. Whole milk has about 3.5% fat while skim milk contains none. All liquids in baked goods help to bind things together, even if water is added. However, fat plays an even more important role and acts as a tenderiser and moisturiser. This means doughnuts (or any baked goods) with slightly more fat in them tend to have a finer crumb and are more moist.
You can substitute low fat or skim milk in any recipes that uses milk, but you should mix carefully so that your baked goods will not become dry.
Butter can be melted quickly in the microwave or slowly on the stovetop. The melted butter should be cooled down to just above room temperature before using. This could take between 1 to 5 minutes. A basic guideline is that the melted butter should be cool enough to handle easily but not so cold that it starts to resolidify.
It's the most common and most cost effective way of using vanilla in your home. Try to use a pure vanilla extract for better flavour.
Step 7: Place Them in a Medium Size Bowl and Stir Well.
There is no need to use a stand mixer to mix the WET ingredients. Just use a medium size bowl, large enough to mix everything together till well combined.
Step 8: Mix Till Everything Is Well Combined and You Get a Smooth Yellow Batter.
Using a spatula, mix well to combine all the WET ingredients till you have a smooth batter. The batter will be a beautiful golden yellow colour because of the pumpkin puree.
Step 9: Pour the WET Yellow Batter Into the DRY Flour Mixture.
These doughnuts are made using the 'muffin method' of combining the WET ingredients in one bowl and the DRY ingredients in another and folding the two together. Make a well in the centre of the DRY flour mixture and then pour the WET pumpkin mixture into it.
Step 10: Mix Until JUST Combined. Do Not Over Mix As This Will Result in Tough Doughnuts.
You should have a thick batter (not a liquidy cake batter). Otherwise, the batter will run over the top instead of rising. This thick batter with the leavening agent will rise up and give you a nice dome, hence giving the doughnut a perfect doughnut shape when you remove it from the pan.
Step 11: Pour the Combined Batter Into a Pastry or Ziplock Bag.
It can be quite tricky and messy to spoon the doughnut batter evenly into the doughnut pan as it's a thick batter. So piping the batter in with a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with the end snipped off will effectively do the job. It's so much easier and neater this way. It saves you a lot of time and hassle too.
Step 12: Snip Off the Tip, About 1/2 Inch With a Pair of Scissors.
The end of the piping bag must be snipped off about 1/2 inch (not less) from the end to enable the thick batter to be smoothly piped into the doughnut pan.
Step 13: Pipe Circles Onto the Prepared Doughnut Pans.
Fill the wells of each doughnut pan by piping in circles with the snipped pastry bag or ziplock bag.
Step 14: Fill the Doughnut Wells Till 2/3 Full.
Do not fill the doughnut wells right to the top but only till 2/3 full. Otherwise they will not turn out doughnut shaped.
Step 15: Bake in Preheated Oven for About 8 to 10 Minutes.
Do not over bake the doughnuts. Check the doughnuts for doneness about 2 minutes before the baking time is up. Baked doughnuts tend to be dry so you want to have a few moist crumbs attached to your toothpick when you insert the toothpick in the centre of the doughnut when check for doneness.
The baking time may vary as everyone's oven is different.
Larger doughnuts typically take 15 to 18 minutes to bake.
Mini doughnuts take 8 to 10 minutes to bake.
Step 16: When Baked, Remove Doughnut Pans From Oven Onto Wire Rack.
Do not cool doughnuts in pan for too long. Only cool for about one minute and quickly remove doughnuts onto a wire rack. When left in the doughnut pan for too long, the steam inside doughnut can't escape and will sit in the pan and sweat, leaving a wet base and will result in soggy baked doughnuts.
Step 17: Then Quickly Remove Doughnuts From Doughnut Pans Onto Cooling Rack.
These doughnuts can be enjoyed warm as it is. It can also be sugar coated, glazed or frosted for a more flavourful taste.
Step 18: While Doughnuts Are Still Hot, Brush the Tops With Some Melted Butter.
To coat the baked doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, first brush the exterior of hot doughnuts with melted butter. You can also choose to dip the baked doughnuts in melted butter.
To make baked doughnuts more like fried doughnuts, brush each of them with melted butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar immediately after baking (when the doughnuts are still hot). The butter and sugar will harden into a crisp coating that is similar to the texture of a fried doughnut and the butter adds an extra layer of flavour.
Step 19: Then Dip Into Cinnamon Sugar Mixture.
Cinnamon sugar coating is nothing more than cinnamon and sugar. It should be added while the doughnuts are still hot from the oven. While hot, steam is released from the doughnuts and helps the sugar to adhere to their surfaces. Generously coat on both sides of the doughnuts after dipped/brushed with melted butter. You can also gently shake the warm but no longer fragile doughnuts in a plastic bag with cinnamon sugar in it.
If you are using glazes and frostings for the topping, then the doughnuts have to be cooled completely first.
Step 20: Return the Cinnamon Coated Doughnuts to the Wire Rack to Finish Cooling.
Continue to dip/coat with butter and then a very generous dunk into cinnamon sugar mixture for the rest of the warm baked doughnuts.
Step 21: Serve Immediately While Fresh. Enjoy!
There is just something about the smell of freshly baked doughnuts … smells heavenly and so delicious.
If you are not having them immediately, then cool them completely and store them loosely covered on the top with parchment paper on a wire rack.
Only sugar coat them just before serving or a couple of hours before serving.
You can also bake these ahead of time and freeze them. When needed, remove from freezer and thaw at room temperature on a wire rack uncovered for a few hours. Then lightly baked in a180 degree C preheated oven for a few minutes before serving.