Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts

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I really resisted the whole baked donut thing. For a long time. Cast them aside as imposters. Heretics. Then one day as I was mindlessly perusing Bed, Bath & Beyond I spied a donut tin heaped on top of a messy pile of towels and tooth brush holders and shower caps. I held it up and inspected it. I had visions of me in pajamas, making donuts in under an hour, teeth unbrushed, hair disheveled, glass of champagne in hand…

Not a bad vision, right? And so we find ourselves here today.

I am super excited to have these cute little pumpkin donuts participate in a virtual pumpkin party. What’s that you say? What’s a virtual pumpkin party?? Over one hundred food bloggers have come together to create just as many recipes all based around pumpkin. There are cakes, pudding, soup, stuffing, smoothies, fudge, pasta, dumplings, risotto and yep, these brown butter pumpkin donuts. I have links to everyone’s recipes below….scroll just below my pumpkin donuts recipe! A special THANK YOU to Sara at Cake Over Steak + Aimee at Twigg Studios for planning + organizing!!

Before We Get Started:

  • Donut Tin. Invest in one. There are plenty of donut recipes out there and you don’t have to get dressed to eat donuts. I don’t think you need any more incentive than that.
  • Butter. We need a fair amount of butter for the entire recipe. You need butter for the donuts, for your donut tin and to brush on the donuts just prior to baking. I think it’s completely necessary to butter the tin and brush the pre-baked donuts prior to baking because it lends a crispiness to them that baking without doesn’t give. That said, if you just can’t be bothered, you be you.
  • Filling Your Tin. You’re going to want to fill the tins with more batter than you should. Resist this urge. You should fill them anywhere between 1/2 to 3/4 full…erring on the smaller side. I highly recommend piping the donut batter into the tin. If you don’t have pastry bags (which is fine), use a plastic bag. Place the bag in a large vase, with the edges hanging over the side. Put the batter inside the bag, twist the top to push everything to the bottom and cut a small corner of the bag…this is where you’re going to squeeze the batter out. Got it? Good.

Let’s get our bake on.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts

Makes 24 Mini Pumpkin Donuts


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons milk***
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Spiced Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk***
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg

**To sprinkle on top: hella sprinkles, chopped nuts + pepitas and/or chopped chocolate.

***You will need to add additional milk to thin the glazes as they will firm up as they sit.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to butter your donut pan. Set aside.
  2. Put 1 stick of butter in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stand by, stirring and watching. This isn’t the time to go and put your dry ingredients together. Watch yer butter. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a medium, heat-safe bowl. Let cool a minute or two before moving to the next step.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, ginger and nutmeg.
  5. Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pipe (as detailed above) or spoon the batter into the donut tin. Fill each donut between 1/2 and 3/4 full.
  7. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and use a pastry brush to gently brush the melted butter over the tops of the pumpkin donuts.
  8. Place the donut tin on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Whilst they bake, whip up your glazes. For the Chocolate Glaze: put the chocolate + milk in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Once out, stir until all of the lumps are gone, add the powdered sugar and stir until completely smooth. Add milk in small 1 teaspoon bits until you get the correct consistency. For the Spiced Glaze: Throw everything in a bowl and whisk until smooth. NOTE: you want the glazes to be thick enough to stay on top of the donut, but not so thick that your donut sticks to the glaze while you’re dipping it; so keep this in mind. Both glazes will firm up while they sit…add milk in 1 teaspoon increments until it’s smooth again.
  10. Let the pumpkin donuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then pop out of the pan and finish cooling on a rack. Sometimes there is some donut covering the hole in the middle of the donut (does that make sense?)…if this happens, turn the donut over in the pan. This will push the extra donut chunks off of the donut.
  11. When you’re ready to frost, dip the bottom side of the donut (the prettiest side) into the glaze and twist and slowly pull out of the glaze at an angle. Continue to spin the donut, upside down and at an angle, trying to keep most of the glaze on the donut and letting the excess drip back into the bowl.
  12. Set the pumpkin donuts back on the rack to firm up and sprinkle with anything your heart desires.
  13. I hope you love these brown butter pumpkin donuts!!!
  14.  Store airtight at room temperature…they’ll keep for a couple of days.
  15. Be sure to tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your pumpkin donuts!!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | Super quick baked donuts, ready in under an hour!

More Pumpkin Recipes

The following recipes were created by a ton of talented food bloggers!! If you want to peruse these recipes on Instagram, you can use the hashtag: #virutalpumpkinparty.

Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini

Twigg Studios • Sausage Stuffing Baked in a Pumpkin

Cloudy Kitchen • Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream

Vegetarian Ventures • Smoky Pumpkin & Black Sesame Hummus

Eat Boutique • Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings

Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Maple Caramel Baked French Toast

Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Butterscotch Banana Split

Style Sweet CA • Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cake

With Food + Love • Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread

Sevengrams • Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Grain Changer • Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Cranberry Flax Crisps

Earthy Feast • Pumpkin Grits + Pumpkin Home Fries + a Fried Egg

Harvest and Honey • Truffled Pumpkin Papardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage

Tasty Seasons • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts

Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad

Delicious Not Gorgeous • Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble

Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Foolproof Living • Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage

The Monday Box • Pumpkin Mini Bundt Cakes

Design Crush • Pumpkin Bourbon Hot Toddy

The Road to Honey • Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Layer Cake

My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah

Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Heartbeet Kitchen • Magic Vegan Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Eat Within Your Means • Vegan Pumpkin Blender Muffins

Snixy Kitchen • Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding

Hey Modest Marce • Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie

Inspired By the Seasons • Pumpkin Applesauce Smoothie

CaliGirl Cooking • Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Spiked Cream Cheese Glaze

Sally’s Baking Addiction • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus

Appeasing a Food Geek • Cheese Fondue Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin

SweetPhi • Pumpkin Chili Biscuit Bake

Warm Vanilla Sugar • Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts

Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle

Heart of a Baker • Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas

Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda

Will Frolic for Food • Pumpkin Kale Patties with Coconut Cilantro Rice

A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats

Britnell • Vegan Pumpkin Pie

DisplacedHousewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts

Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin and Condensed Milk Cakes

Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce

Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Kale & Caramel • Goat Cheese & Sage-Stuffed Pumpkin Challah

Okie Dokie Artichokie • Pumpkin Chorizo Chili with Sweet Potatoes + Pinto Beans

Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Bread

Vermilion Roots • Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pumpkin

Celebrate Creativity • Pumpkin Mini Cheesecake Tarts

Serendipity Bakes • Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

So Much Yum • Vegan Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

The Brick Kitchen • Pumpkin, Pecan & White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Pie Dip

The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

Cook Til Delicious • Fall Cliche Cake (Pumpkin Spice Cake / Maple Cream Cheese Frosting / Apple Cider Caramel Sauce)

Floating Kitchen • Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

Fork Vs Spoon • Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin and Coconut Caramel Flan

Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake

Chicano Eats • Pumpkin Butter Pan de Muerto

Rough Measures • Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Caffeine and Dairy Free)

Brewing Happiness • Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookies

The Little Loaf • Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Gnocchi

The Little Epicurean • Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

Bourbon and Honey • Spicy Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Feta

What to Cook Today • Spicy Pumpkin Noodle Soup

Food by Mars • Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free, Diary-Free)

The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

Long Distance Baking • Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate

The Lemon Apron • Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with an Olive Oil Glaze

A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs 

Eating Clean Recipes • Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Kingfield Kitchen • Vegan Fresh Pumpkin Soup

The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Sage Cannelloni (Dairy-Free)

My Lavender Blues • Pumpkin, Banana & Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese

Happy Hearted Kitchen • Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Tahini Yogurt + Hazelnut Dukkah

InHappenstance • Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter

Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

On My Mind

–Rebecca xo


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  • traci | Vanilla And Bean October 28, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    I’m of the same mind set with regards to the doughnut pan.. as I am a yeasted doughnut girl. So I’ve resisted. I’m not sure I can stuff another pan into my kitchen anyway, but you make me want to jump in the car and hunt down a pan, Rebecca! They are just perfection and I LOVE how much pumpkin you stuffed into them! Delicious work my dear!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 28, 2016 at 5:47 PM

      Traci — I hear you!! But there is just something so quick and delicious about them. I also need to do a regular vanilla donut too..because just the fresh grated nutmeg in there really gives it donut jazz hands!!! I still want to bust our my deep fryer too. ;)

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence October 26, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    These donuts look incredible!! I’m sure I could eat at least 3 in 1 sitting :) Happy belated Pumpkin Day!!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 28, 2016 at 5:49 PM

      Brandon — At least three…they’re small…so, basically, I’m thinking at least 1/2 dozen. Let’s be real. xox

  • Natasha October 26, 2016 at 7:26 PM

    These are gorgeous!! I’d love to eat a whole handful of these right now. :)

  • Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats October 26, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    I still have not converted to baked donuts, I’ve never even eaten one! But they turn out so cute (and convincing) and especially with the brown butter I think it’s impossible for them not to be awesome right?

    • DisplacedHousewife October 28, 2016 at 5:54 PM

      Joyce — You need to dip your toe in the water!!! It’s not going to taste like a crispy old-fashion…let’s just get our expectations in line. But a cake donut? Yup. Absolutely!!! xoxo

  • Cathy | October 26, 2016 at 2:17 AM

    nothing better than donuts, baked included. and pumpkin and all those warm spices…yes, yes yes! i know what i’m doing this weekend!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 28, 2016 at 5:54 PM

      Cathy — Nothing beats donuts!! Baked, fried…I’ll take them anyway that you make them!!! xoxox

  • Amisha October 25, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Baked donuts!? That is brilliant! I have never tried making donuts! can you believe that?! These look absolutely scrumptious and I will have to try making them!

    BTW I LOVE your pics here! So halloweeny and cute! :) Beautifully photographed!

    Thank you so much for inviting me to this party! :) You are simply the best! Much love!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 28, 2016 at 5:55 PM

      Amisha — Thank you so much!! No joke, I reshot these three times? Maybe four? Last time was a charm. I’m happy with how they came out! If I’m not mistaken…don’t you have a pan? Haven’t we talked about this before? Your kids would love them!!! I’m glad you were in the party!! xoxo

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci October 25, 2016 at 5:58 AM

    I *love* baked donuts! These are so calling my name… I will dream of them tonight! xo

  • Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen October 25, 2016 at 3:44 AM

    I’ve never made baked donuts but you are totally inspiring me, Rebecca! They look so delicious and I love the different ways you’ve decorated them – especially the ghost and bat sprinkles. Think I need to make these for my pals at the office for Halloween !

  • MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar October 24, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    That’s quite a pumpkin party!! LOVE the donuts. I can’t wait to get back to my kitchen in a few weeks and do some serious cooking again :) And thanks for the Girls on the Bus rec. We know a gal who is covering Trump for NBC, and she says the campaign events are getting scarier by the day… the utter breakdown of civil discourse is so disheartening. Donuts seem like a perfect balm. I’ve been hiding in stacks of books – particularly cookbooks – counting down the days til this miserable election is over.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings October 24, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    You know I am obsessed with my donut pan. My kids go crazy when I make them and now they ask for them all the time. It’s a problem! These look so good and I love the browned butter addition. Thanks for sharing all those yummy pumpkin recipes!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 24, 2016 at 5:14 PM

      Karen — I’m currently obsessed with all things pumpkin and apples and I’m already lamenting the end of the season…even though we have some weeks to go. And when it’s replaced with peppermint and gingerbread I’ll be like, apples and pumpkin are so yesterday. Yawn. I’m kidding. Go make some baked donuts!! They’re the best!!! xoxo

  • Ruby October 24, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Yep you have officially inspired me to go out and get a donut tin ASAP. Just to make these. They sound so heavenly! Lovely post, it’s fun to be in this party all together :)

    • DisplacedHousewife October 24, 2016 at 5:15 PM

      Ruby — GOOO!!! Get thee a donut tin. Without haste!! I’m glad to be in the pumpkin party with you too!! xoxo

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen October 24, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Oh Rebecca, do these look delicious!! I love making homemade donuts. And I know the browned butter in these makes them even better. That spiced glaze sounds perfect. Can’t wait to go through that impressive list of pumpkin recipes! Thanks for sharing and hope your week is off to a great start! I loved seeing you and Stella yesterday on the FeedFeed IG stories making the apple cake! Yay Stella!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 24, 2016 at 5:16 PM

      Mary Ann — Thank you for the nice compliment!! I will be sure to share with Stella. Personally, I’m ready to conquer fried donuts to…if I could just make the perfect old-fashion donut. I would be in heaven!!! xoxo

  • Aimee October 24, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    Oh wow these look so good x

    • DisplacedHousewife October 24, 2016 at 5:17 PM

      Aimee — Thank you!! And thanks so much for including me — I had a lot of fun!! xoxo

  • Alida | Simply Delicious October 24, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    I’ve always been dubious of baked doughnuts but you make them look so good, I’ll have to give them a try!

    • DisplacedHousewife October 24, 2016 at 5:18 PM

      Alida — I know, they seem shifty…but give them a chance! I promise, you won’t be sad!! xoxo


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