Pumpkin-Spice Donuts

I was recently tasked with making a treat using the theme of “pumpkin spice.” That usually isn’t that difficult this time of year, but I wanted to try something different other than your typical pumpkin pie. I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for inspiration for future blog posts and I saw some jelly-filed donuts. I had never made them before, but I have experience working with yeast doughs and I definitely thought I could pull it off. To tie the pumpkin spice theme into it, I decided to whip up a simple pumpkin-cream cheese filling that I thought would work perfectly. To go one step further, rather than just using plain sugar to roll the donuts in, I added some pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and allspice) to add some flavour but also an aroma of all the wonderful spices we think of when we think of fall.

Photo by Grace Holyoke (2018)

I was really happy with how they turned out! After I cut my donuts with the cookie cutter, I saved all of the little pieces of dough left over and fried those up and rolled them in the sugar mixture. They were delicious little pillows of sugar-y goodness… don’t let the scrap dough go to waste!


I used a candy thermometer to be able to read and control the temperature of the oil. It is important to keep the temperature between 360-375 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oil is too hot, the donuts will brown too quickly and not cook enough on the inside, and if the oil isn’t hot enough, it will seep into your donuts and make them very greasy and oily. It takes time to get your oil up to temperature, but don’t get anxious and put them in too early- wait for the right temperature. It’s worth the wait- I promise.


When it comes time to pipe the filling in, contrary to what I thought, you should pipe the filling in while they are still a little bit warm. If you wait until they are completely cooled, the dough will have a hard time expanding when you add the filling and you will get cracks in the side of your dough and the filling will burst out. Don’t pipe them while they are hot- but just still a little warm so that the dough still has some “give” to it.


I hope you enjoy these donuts just as much as me and my friends did! Comment down below what your favourite “Pumpkin Spice” dessert is!

Pumpkin-Cheesecake Filled Donuts


For the Donuts:

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (for frying, I used peanut oil)

For the Sugar Coating:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tBsp pumpkin pie spice

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Place yeast, warm milk, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Set aside until foamy and doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place flour in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and add eggs, yeast mixture, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir dough starts to come together and is sticky. Flour a work surface and knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour if necessary). Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. While it is rising, make the filling. Mix all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until it is smooth. Cover and refrigerate until it is time for piping.
  4. Next, Make the sugar coating my mixing the sugar and pumpkin pie spice together. Set aside.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cutter, cut 20 rounds. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 30-40 minutes.
  6. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, carefully slip 2 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn donuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar mixture while warm.
  8. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip with pumpkin filling. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, make a hole in the side of each donut. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe filling until you can begin to see the donut ‘inflate’ and you can feel it get heavier. Repeat with remaining donuts.


Grace Eveline


5 thoughts on “Pumpkin-Spice Donuts

  1. Your new twist on the ever popular jelly donut is amazing. The recipe sounds absolutely divine. Regrettably, I have only used pumpkin pie spice for traditional pumpkin pie! I think I just might have to give these a go! Well done Grace!

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