baked pumpkin maple doughnuts.

so you know the phrase, “go nuts for doughnuts?”

if you know me, you know i say that all the time, whether it’s about doughnuts or not. i just like that phrase. it’s silly.

i’m going to drop some stone-cold truth on you right now: i have never actually gone nuts for doughnuts. at all.

my whole entire life, i’ve just never really…liked doughnuts. that’s crazy, right? i know. everyone loves doughnuts! they’re sweet and sometimes colorful, and can be filled with delicious things, and topped with sprinkles…what’s not to like?

in theory, i should love doughnuts for all of those reasons listed above…but i don’t. i’ve sworn a lifelong allegiance to  another round, holey breakfast treat. my heart belongs to bagels. me + bagels = love.

however, i think i finally found a doughnut i can love.

these pumpkin autumn maple doughnuts are baked, and that’s one of the many reasons why i love them!

i’ve never been a huge fan of fried food, with the exception of fried chicken and french fries, so it makes sense that i could never fully get on the doughnut bandwagon. i’ve always found them to be a bit too greasy and oily for my taste.

plus, many commercial doughnuts are so beyond overly sweet that i can’t stomach them. i mean, one bite makes me feel like i’m slipping into a doughnut-induced diabetic coma. not a fan.

don’t get me wrong: i love sweets, obviously–otherwise i wouldn’t be specializing in baking and pastry at culinary school! i just feel that desserts should be sweet without being overly saccharine or cloying.

enter: baked pumpkin autumn maple doughnuts. they’re chock full of pumpkin, wonderful autumn spices, and coated with cinnamon sugar.

oh, did i forget to mention that they also have beer in them? yes, beer!

recently, i was contacted by The Bruery, a California brewery that specializes in craft beer. they asked me to develop a recipe featuring their Autumn Maple seasonal offering, and i jumped at the challenge. i love cooking and baking with beer, wine and spirits, and i knew i could come up with something amazing for fall!

i’m not a huge beer drinker, but i’ve always loved the pumpkin ales and lagers that are available during autumn. The Bruery’s Autumn Maple beer is a spicy, sweet take on the pumpkin-style beers that i love so much. each barrel is brewed with 17 pounds of yams–that’s a lot!

as soon as i tasted the Autumn Maple beer, i knew it would be a perfect compliment to a pumpkin dessert. i’ve been wanting to make apple cider doughnuts for an incredibly long time now, but i decided instead to use the Autumn Maple beer to make sweet, spicy pumpkin doughnuts, full of delicious fall flavor.

these doughnuts are crazy-good, people. the beer lends a wonderful depth and spicy quality to the doughnuts, while the cinnamon sugar crust on the outside provides the perfect amount of sweetness. i’m in love!

we had an evening last week that was cool, crisp, and beautifully autumnal. we sat outside in our backyard as the light of the day faded away with a paper bag full of warm, just-baked doughnuts and two mason jars full of Autumn Maple beer.

we ate these doughnuts like it was our job. we consumed them like they were going out of style. we licked our cinnamon sugar-coated fingers and sipped Autumn Maple beer and reveled in the wonderful weather. it was a damn good night.

make these pumpkin autumn maple doughnuts this weekend, and share them with the people you love. once they taste these doughnuts, they’re apt to love you just a little bit more. pinkie swear.

disclaimer: i received two bottles of Autumn Maple beer from the Bruery in order to develop this recipe. i was not provided any compensation. my opinions of the product are my own.

baked pumpkin autumn maple doughnuts


for the doughnuts

3 tablespoons brown butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Autumn Maple Beer
1 envelope instant dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups pastry flour

for the cinnamon sugar topping

1/2 cup brown butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


for the doughnuts

in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and Autumn Maple beer, whisking together completely.

microwave in 10 second increments until the mixture reaches 105 degrees F.

once the mixture is 105 degrees F, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the package of yeast. stir gently to combine, and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

after 5 minutes, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, egg yolks and pumpkin puree.

attach the dough hook to the mixer, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

add the bread flour and pastry flour, and mix on medium-high speed for 4-6 minutes, or until the dough is soft and sticky.

transfer the dough to a buttered bowl with tall sides, and cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. allow to sit on the counter for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

you can also refrigerate the dough overnight at this stage if not making the doughnuts immediately. when you’re ready to make them, just take the bowl out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.

once the dough has doubled in size, scrape it out of the bowl and onto a well-floured surface. make sure you flour your hands as well, as this dough is very sticky!

knead the dough for about 1 minute to punch it down, adding a little more flour if the dough becomes too sticky to work with.

line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.

using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to approximately 1/2” thick.

using a floured 3” cutter, cut out doughnut rounds from the dough, and transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2” between each doughnut.

re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out doughnuts until all the dough has been used.

using a floured small cutter, anywhere from 1/2”-1” in diameter, punch out the center of each doughnut and transfer the small doughnut holes to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

once all of the doughnuts are cut out, cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for about an hour. you can let them rise for up to 90 minutes, but don’t let them go longer than that or they will over-proof and not bake properly.

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

in a medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the doughnut topping, and set aside.

bake the 3” round doughnuts for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown, and bake the doughnut holes for 10 minutes until golden.

for the brown butter

place butter in a small saucepan over high heat, and allow to melt. swirl the pan occasionally, and the butter will begin to make popping and hissing sounds as it bubbles up and the milk solids cook.

as soon as the milk solids have turned brown and the butter smells nutty, remove it from the heat and allow to cool.

assembling the doughnuts

remove the doughnuts from the oven.

one at a time, dip each doughnut into the cooled melted brown butter, making sure both sides are coated. transfer to the cinnamon sugar, and make sure all sides are coated well.

repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes.

serve immediately with a chilled glass of Autumn Maple beer!

these doughnuts are best just baked and served warm, but they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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70 Responses to “baked pumpkin maple doughnuts.”

  1. #
    Tina — September 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    holy yum. I’m coming over for breakfast! these look incredible!!!!!!!

  2. #
    Stacie (Foodie2Shoes) — September 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    It’s still warm here, but as soon as it feels fall-y, this is going to be the first thing I bake. WOW!!! They look and sound so delicious. Oh and I won’t mind finishing the rest of that beer….

  3. #
    Bev Weidner — September 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    My eyes….can’t make sense…..of the majesty they see.


  4. #
    Jessica — September 15, 2011 at 12:34 am

    I am seriously worried about our friendship and how we are going to survive this roadtrip with a donut hater!

  5. #
    Kathryn — September 15, 2011 at 4:16 am

    These doughnuts look just awesome – I love that they are baked rather than fried and the combination of flavours is just perfect!

  6. #
    jennifer @poirier — September 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

    this is a great doughnut creation!
    unfortunately i don’t have access to this kind of beer. do you have any suggestion for substitution?
    and beautiful photos, by the way!
    greetings from germany!

  7. #
    Anne — September 15, 2011 at 7:41 am

    funnily enough, i’m right there with you on the donut thing! i never really understood the obsession. of course, as a result i eat them so rarely that every few years i’ll have a super good (usually hipster artisan) one and be blown away. but the conventional ones really don’t do it for me.

    these ones, though? you had me at ‘pumpkin’ and ‘spices’. SO going on my list.

  8. #
    Meg — September 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    These look too good. I had to pin these and spread the word

  9. #
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — September 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I’m a huge bagel lover too. Course, I do go nuts over donuts as well. But I’m glad to see this baked donut recipe, as I do feel guilty whenver I eat a regular fried donut. Glad you like them too. Might not be on the donut band wagon completely, but happy to have your one foot on :)

  10. #
    brandi@BranAppetit — September 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

    1. I want that beer!

    2. These donuts are beautiful.

    3. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Seriously.

  11. #
    marla — September 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    These scream Fall & I love that!
    I would love if you linked this and any of your favorite Pumpkin themed blog posts to my “Happy Post” Help spread the cheer :)

  12. #
    Rachel — September 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    mmmm, beer in a doughnut? A doughnut even a non-doughnut lover can love? I’m in!

  13. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — September 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Now these sound interesting. Beer and maple? OK!

  14. #
    Brittany — September 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    you are perfect! this recipe is perfect! please come live with me and cook for me!

  15. #
    Kaitlin — September 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Beautiful photos!

    I’ve never been crazy about doughnuts myself for the very same reasons you listed. They sure are fun to make, though! Thanks so much for the recipe :)

  16. #
    Emily | Nomnivorous — September 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Aaaah, your pictures put mine to SHAME. I have a Bruery beer recipe coming up too! These doughnuts look fantastic!

  17. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    hey Jennifer!

    thanks so much for the sweet words! you could certainly substitute any of the specialty seasonal “pumpkin-style” ales you can find at your local grocery or liquor store, and your doughnuts will taste fabulous! otherwise, if you cannot find a “pumpkin” beer or ale, i would suggest substituting a dark, lager-type beer! hope that helps! :)

  18. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    ha! hipster artisan doughnuts. i love that phrase so much, i’m going to borrow it!

    i hope you make these and love them! they’re fab. pinkie swear!

  19. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    thanks Meg! you’re delightful!

  20. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Brandi, you are making me blush! thank you so much. you are so sweet! these doughnuts are crazy delicious and so photogenic they practically photograph themselves ;)

    and that beer?! amazing! i love it so!

  21. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    aw girl, you’re so sweet! i’m sure your photos and recipe are going to wow me! i am so excited to see what you made, isn’t that beer amazingly delish?

  22. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    they are super fun to make, aren’t they? i think that half the reason i am in love with baked doughnuts is the fact that i made them myself!

    trust me, these doughnuts are soooo good: i wouldn’t steer ya wrong!

  23. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    done and done! you are sweet and lovely!

  24. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    they are amazing! and delicious! they practically defy the laws of gravity, they’re so good.

  25. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    yay! trust me, as a bagel FANATIC, saying that i love a doughnut is a big deal for me. you will love these like whoa, my friend.

  26. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    i’m totally with ya: bagels all the way! but i think that baked doughnuts are really the way to go for me, since i find fried doughnuts so…overwhelming? i feel way less guilty about eating these than i would a regular doughnut, which naturally means you can eat more of them, right? right.

    i’m going to branch out and make some more baked doughnuts soon, so stay tuned! hopefully i’ll continue to love them!

  27. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    come on over, girl! i will make you doughnuts any day!

  28. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    it’s still warm here, too! sadly, Florida doesn’t get much of a fall or autumn, so i’m forced to pretend and eat copious amounts of pumpkin and apple cider-flavored things to make myself feel better about the heat and lack of pretty leaves changing colors haha.

    the doughnuts = amazing. promise! and the beer is spectacular, too! if a wino like me says that a beer is good, that’s a pretty big deal!

  29. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    you crack me up, girl! too bad they don’t travel amazingly well, or i’d bring you a giant bag full of doughnuts when i see you in Nashville!

  30. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    i know, it’s going to be a tense ride, that’s for sure. maybe if i bring some doughnuts, it’ll make it a little more bearable?

  31. #
    jaclyn — September 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    thanks Kathryn! you’re so sweet! i definitely prefer these baked doughnuts to fried ones: the texture is totally different! i hope you try them, because they are fab!

  32. #
    adventureswithben — September 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Beer and doughnuts. That’s incredible!

  33. #
    Twigs+Loaves — September 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Just how “pumpkin-y” are these? I love pumpkin, hubby does not. However, he does like beer! Think I may have to give these a try! Thanks for sharing!

  34. #
    ErinsFoodFiles — September 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Go ahead and make room in your suitcase, because I’m gonna need you to bring some of these to Nashville. Kthnx

  35. #
    Jen @ Paisley Print Shoes — September 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    YUM!! The beer look fantastic and the doughnuts look even better. That’s a dangerous combination!! My sister and I are planning on making these next weekend…we’re so excited! Thanks for the recipe!

  36. #
    Cristina - TeenieCakes — September 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    What a delicious pairing – these pumpkin doughnuts with the Autumn Maple beer! Would like to try them both. I luv that these tasty doughnuts are baked and includes the beer in the batter. I’m with you about fried foods (except french fries – my vice!).

    Lovely blog and beautiful images! ;)

  37. #
    Shawna — September 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    If we cannot get Autumn Maple beer out here on the East coast, are there some notes about the beer which can direct us toward another Fall beer? My husband brews his own, so I’d love to have him make something comparable, so I can cook with it. Is the beer similar to a Maple Porter? Or a Pumpkin Ale?

  38. #
    myFudo — September 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    hi Jaclyn, your doughnuts look great. Such perfect pictures. Love your site :)

  39. #
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño — September 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    THese sound incredible and wow maple beer, i love it.
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  40. #
    Kasey — September 20, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I have recently started baking with beer and I find it to be an incredible flavor profile. I, too, have never been a huge donut fan, but when you eliminate the grease factor, there’s a lot to love.

  41. #
    Julie — September 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Awesome post, these doughnuts sound amazing!! But I’m super confused – I went to go make these today (I’m using Dogfish Head Punkin Ale instead) and I currently have my dough in the fridge until I can finish them this evening. I swear I followed every single step, but I’m looking and looking….and although in the list of ingredients for the doughnuts it says 3 tablespoons of brown butter, it says absolutely nothing of when to add the butter in the instructions. Did I miss something?? Or am I going crazy? Thanks.

  42. #
    jaclyn — September 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    hey Julie! you’re not going crazy, i promise! the brown butter doesn’t actually go in with the dough, it’s what you’ll dip the completed doughnuts into before tossing them into the cinnamon sugar! you’ll just want to re-heat it in the microwave or the stovetop until it just melts before using it!

    i’m actually re-arranging the directions for the recipe right now–so sorry to have confused you! i hope you love them, let me know how they turn out for you! :)

  43. #
    jaclyn — September 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    i couldn’t agree with you more, Kasey! i think that the flavor of traditional fried doughnuts is totally masked and overwhelmed by the greasiness and oil! i’m a big fan of baked ones :)

  44. #
    jaclyn — September 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    thanks Laura! they’re really delish!

  45. #
    stephanie @ providence handmade — September 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Oh, MY. How did you combine three of my favorite things in a donut?!?! Now I have to try another autumn beer in the name of donut research. Thanks. ;)

  46. #
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño — September 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Hello new autumn snack is right, these look incredible. love it!!!!

  47. #
    Sarah — September 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Oh my, these couldn’t be more tempting to make. I am an absolute sucker for autumn-y desserts. And it’s baked, not fried? Gah, so great.

  48. #
    Melissa — September 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I stumbled on your blog through the Ardent Sparrow. These donuts look SO SO GOOD!

    Question, and I think someone else brought this up:

    For the donuts there are 3 Tablespoons of brown butter and then for the cinnamon sugar topping there is another 1/2 cup brown butter. I’m assuming the 1/2 cup is for dipping the donuts, but what is the 3 T of brown butter for?

    Thanks so much! I’ll definitely be visiting this blog more often! lovely, lovely :)

  49. #
    Julie — September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Update: These ARE delicious!!! I may have stayed up until 1 am baking them, and my oven ended up getting too hot and burning 1/2 of the doughnuts, but the remaining ones were a complete success :) Besides, how many doughnuts do 3 people really need anyway? Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!


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