Pumpkin haters rejoice: I have finally retired the seemingly never-ending bucket ‘o pumpkin. The old chap went out with bang, though, because these baked pumpkin spice doughnut holes (a la the craving chronicles) were pretty awesome. If you’ve got any leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving, definitely give these a try.
One of my roommates has become a taste tester for just about everything I make. He doesn’t offer too much criticism — or any at all, really — so I’m never sure where to place his usual “it’s good” on the rating scale. But after I made these on a Wednesday night, I was still hearing about them the following Thursday (and even to this day), and he proclaimed them “the best dessert [he’s] ever had.” Think that registers as a bit better than just “good,” huh?
I’ve never eaten a doughnut and not felt terrible afterward, but you can take a [little bit of] solace in the fact that these are baked — not fried. For those who relish in the doughy, fried goodness of a really-bad-for-you doughnut, do not write these off! They were so surprisingly moist and dense that more than one taste tester didn’t believe I used an oven instead of a deep fryer. I got about 18 holes out of this, so make sure you share.
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. pumpkin purée
1/2 c. low-fat milk
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbl. cinnamon
Spray each cup of mini-muffin tray individually. In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix. Divide batter into cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. While the muffins are baking, melt butter in one bowl, and mix sugar and cinnamon in another. Wait a few minutes after the muffins come out of the oven, then dip each in butter and roll in cinnamon-sugar to coat.
Total time? About 35 minutes, including baking time.
Cost? $2.19 for whole can of pumpkin puree, assorted costs for typical pantry items.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I was very pleased with the end result. My only complaint was that the cinnamon-sugar coating overshadowed the pumpkin quite a bit. Also, they got a little goopy after a few days. Still, these were great for breakfast, dessert and any time in between. Easy, cheap, delicious and not nearly as bad for you as they could be. Can’t really ask for more from a doughnut.