Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

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Remind me not to listen to Presidential debates while I’m baking. It’s so depressing. It feels like this great big game with so little meaning. And yet I’m still watching. I listened to it on the radio while I was baking, I switched to my iPhone when I had to walk around the house to do a few things, and now I’m wrapping it up in front of the tv. Oy! Make it stop! Bring on the Criminal Minds reruns and eat some Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts, which, by the way, are rather lovely. Light and fluffy and sweet and full of fall spices.

I stuck to the recipe for the most part, except for the spices. I used whole wheat white flour, baking powder, and salt. Instead of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon I added 2 heaping teaspoons, definitely more than 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, almost 3/4 of a teaspoon of allspice, and cloves. (I don’t mess with cloves.)

dry ingredients with spices

I whisked.


I took out another bowl and added 1/2 cup of brown sugar to 1/3 cup of canola oil.

brown sugar and oil

To that I added pumpkin, vanilla, an egg, and 1% milk. And whisked.


Then I added the flour mixture to the larger bowl.

adding flour

Once it was all mixed together I had a lot of batter, definitely more than I expected. The directions in the recipe suggested using a cookie scoop to fill the mini muffin tins, so that’s what I did. It was hard to photograph, since I’m right handed and needed my right hand to do the scooping as well as the photo-taking, so I faked it. There’s my left hand, scooping! Trick!

scooping batter

I had a lot of batter left over, which was puzzling as the recipe said “makes 24 mini muffins” until I realized that it came from the same person who posted the wonderful Apple Cider Mini Muffins recipe and that her mini muffin pan is a lot deeper than the standard one. (This was doubly encouraging as I remembered how delicious those were.) I didn’t want to make giant muffins this time so I figured I’d just wash out the pan and do another batch.

While the first batch was in the oven, I got the melted butter into a bowl and mixed the sugar & cinnamon for the topping. I followed the recipe which made so much more than I needed! Next time a quarter of it will probably be more than enough.

butter and cinnamon sugar

The mini muffins came out looking pretty good.

mini muffins in pan

They looked even better after being dipped in butter (some of them) and rolled in cinnamon sugar (all of them).

Dave taking one

That’s Dave, generously taking one to taste-test it. He’s a good man. And he loved it. He had a bunch last night, I had two, and I’m bringing the rest to work because they should be eaten fresh. They are SO GOOD! So light and fluffy, like a donut, full of pumpkin and cinnamon sugar sweetness. A great counterpoint to the debates, which droned on and on and finally wrapped up so they could congratulate themselves and each other, and I could drink some tea and watch SVU and 30 Rock reruns. Sweet. Like a donut.


My version of Baked Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins (adapted from Jessica Sanders’ recipe on Feastie)


1 3/4 cups whole wheat white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 heaping tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, put the melted butter in one bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another. When muffins are done baking, let them cool in the muffin pan (on a cooling rack) for 2 minutes. If you have trouble removing them, pry them out with a toothpick.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each muffin with a tiny bit of melted butter, then roll the muffin in the cinnamon sugar. If you don’t have a pastry brush, just dip them in the butter before rolling. I just did the tops for most of them, and some I rolled in the cinnamon sugar without any butter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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