Last year, I bought a donut pan to make baked donuts in. At the time, I thought that maybe it was an impulse buy that I would come to regret, but BOY was I wrong. All the recipes that are meant to be muffins can be cake donuts, and they should be. (Alternatively, if you don’t have a donut pan, these can also be muffins. But what you should really do is order one.)
These pumpkin donuts are a little sweet, dense, and moist. The malted milk powder makes them a little more interesting than you’d think, and the brown butter is just perfect. This is the perfect kind of project for a Sunday morning–maybe you’re a little sleepy, not interested in dealing with things like bacon or eggs or pancakes. All this takes is a little bit of mixing, spooning into a pan, and baking. With the weather cooling down, a warm donut and cup of coffee is just the best idea ever.
The coating is a little more browned butter, and then cinnamon sugar. It’s a little indulgent, admittedly, but worth it, I promise. These become the sort of breakfast treat that will win over colleagues, neighbors, and surly family members, and a little extra sugar is just part of that deal.
Here’s the recipe:
(Adapted from Take A Megabite)
Yields 6 donuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons malted milk powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
For the Spiced Sugar + Brown Butter Coating:
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
Preheat the oven to 325˚F and spray your donut pan lightly with cooking spray.
Brown the butter for the donuts in a skillet over medium heat until the butter separates and the solids become a deep brown and smell nutty and delicious. Pour the browned butter into a ramekin and set aside to cool. (You have to get it out of the hot pan or it will burn.)
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, malt powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Whisk to blend. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the brown butter, fold until just combined. Either spoon or pipe the batter about halfway up the donut pan molds and bake in the center of the oven for 6-7 minutes. Donuts are done when the tops are dry and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a rack slightly before turning out. Brown the butter for coating while the donuts bake.
In a wide dish whisk together the sugar and spices for the coating, brush the baked donuts with browned butter and roll in the spiced sugar to coat completely.