Enjoy this fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Donuts recipe with cinnamon sugar. These are healthy, tender donuts are baked, not fried, dunked in melted butter, and drizzled with cinnamon sugar giving each bite a spicy-sweet crunch. They’re what indulgent breakfast is all about!
When I was a kid, my neighbor’s mom, Sue, used to keep a tub of margarine sitting out on the counter with a bowl of cinnamon sugar beside it. The margarine was nice and soft and with a fresh piece of toast in hand, I slathered it with melted butter and then coated it with cinnamon sugar.
I was hooked!
The Best Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
I had to make this baked pumpkin donut recipe several times to get it right. Don’t you feel bad for me? Yeah, me neither. This recipe is vegan comfort food at it’s very best. I always have to forgo fried donuts because the grease upsets my stomach. So, these healthy pumpkin donuts are baked!
Once I discovered baked donut, I never looked back. These vegan pumpkin donuts combine the best of so many worlds — that favorite cinnamon-sugar flavor from my childhood, the ease of baked donuts, and all the pumpkin goodness.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Brown sugar combined with pumpkin adds moisture and flavor that is undeniably delicious
- These precise ingredients fill up one donut pan with 6 compartments
- Dipping the baked donuts in butter helps seal the cinnamon crunch topping in place, giving each donut a sugary crunch with every bite!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Flour — I recommend all-purpose flour, but you can also use whole wheat pastry flour (different than whole wheat flour).
- Brown sugar — Use light, dark, or even homemade brown sugar.
- Pumpkin pie spice — This combination of spices is perfect. If you don’t have any, make your own pumpkin pie spice.
- Ground cinnamon
- Baking powder
- Vegan butter — If using storebought, I recommend Earth Balance or make homemade non-dairy butter.
- Pumpkin puree — I use canned pumpkin, and it works great.
- Plant-based milk — I prefer using soy milk, but any of your favorite plant-based milk will work here.
- Granulated sugar — We’ll use a combination of granulated sugar and the spices listed above for the topping.
How to Make Pumpkin Donuts
The good news is you can make your own vegan pumpkin donuts in around 30 minutes. Here are the steps:
Step One: Combine Dry Ingredients
In a bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
Step Two: Combine Wet Ingredients
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the vegan butter for 20–30 seconds, until it’s melted. Add the pumpkin puree and plant-based milk and stir to combine.
Step Three: Make Donut Batter
Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until it’s combined.
Step Four: Spoon & Bake
Use a spoon or carefully pour the batter into the donut compartments, filling them generously and equally. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the donuts are done and slightly golden on the edges.
Step Five: Cinnamon Sugar Topping
In the meantime, prepare your dipping stations, beginning with the melted vegan butter in one bowl. Then make the cinnamon sugar topping by combining the sugar and spices in another bowl.
Once the vegan pumpkin donuts are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, dip the top side of each donut in the melted vegan butter, followed by a dip in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with each donut.
If you have enough melted butter and cinnamon sugar, repeat this process with the bottom half of each donut.
Store donuts in an airtight container. They’ll keep for 2–3 days at room temperature. Or store them in the fridge for up to 7 days. They can also be frozen in freezer-friendly containers or bags for up to 3 months.
Use these expert tips to make these donuts perfect every time:
- I like to add some extra dried ginger and dried chives from time-to-time
- Use a high-quality gluten-free baking flour to make gluten-free pumpkin donuts
- You could use coconut oil in place of the vegan butter
More Vegan Donuts
If you love these vegan pumpkin donuts, be sure to try these recipes:
Vegan Pumpkin Donuts
- Heat your oven to 350°F/175°C. Spray a regular-size donut pan with vegetable spray.
- In a bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
- In a microwaveable bowl, place the vegan butter. Heat for 20 to 30 seconds, until the butter is melted. Add the pumpkin puree and plant-based milk. Stir to combine.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined (don't over mix).
- Use a spoon or carefully pour the batter into the donut compartments, filling them generously and equally. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the donuts are done and slightly golden on the edges.
- In the meantime, prepare the Cinnamon Sugar Topping by melting the vegan butter in one bowl. In a second bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon spice.
- Once the donuts are done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a minute or two. Once they're cool enough to handle, dip the top part of each donut in the melted vegan butter, followed by a dip in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with each donut. If you have enough melted butter and cinnamon sugar, repeat this process with the bottom half of each donut.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.