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Epic Pumpkin Donuts – Gluten Free

By: Sharon Matten January 06, 2022
Epic Pumpkin Donuts are incredibly moist, packed with seasonal spices and pumpkin flavor. You’ll never know this Chanukah treat is gluten free!!!
Prep: 30m Cook: 30m Total: 60m
0 from 0 votes
Cousines: Gluten Free
Cooking Technique: Frying
Tags: Donuts
Servings: 24


For the Pepita Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup chopped pepitas
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the Dough

  • 1/2 cup water, baby bottle warm
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plant based margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 4 1/2 cups gluten free 1:1 flour with xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • peanut oil or avocado oil for frying

Epic Pumpkin Donuts are incredibly moist, packed with seasonal spices and pumpkin flavor. You'll never know this Chanukah treat is gluten free!!!


For the Pepita Crumb Topping

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped pepitas, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.  Mix using your hands making sure to crumble any large clumps of brown sugar.  
  2. Set aside.

For the Dough

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, granulated sugar and yeast.  Set aside.
  2. Place the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat the eggs on medium speed using a whisk attachment for four minutes.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, melted margarine, pumpkin puree and almond milk to the eggs.  Mix on low speed for  two minutes to combine.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and granulated sugar to the liquid ingredients.
  5. Switch the whisk attachment to a dough hook attachment.  Mix for two minutes until a dough ball forms.
  6. On a large pastry board, sprinkle a little bit of gluten free flour.  Pat/roll the dough to around 1/2-inch thick.  Cut out the donuts and set aside on the pastry board or baking sheet.
  7. Cover the donuts with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.
  8. Place a large cooling rack over a baking sheet covered with paper towels.  Set aside.

To Finish

  1. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large Dutch oven to 325°F - 350°F.  Use a candy thermometer clipped to the side of the pot to maintain the temperature.
  2. Fry the donuts on each side for around 2 minutes until lightly browned.  Immediately coat in Pepita Crumb Mixture.
  3. Set each coated donut on the prepared cooling rack.  Serve immediately.


I've made the donuts letting the dough rise for 20 minutes before forming instead of after.  Either way works well. It's important to make sure that your oil is at the proper temperature, which is around 350°F.  I use a candy thermometer clipped to the side of the pot to ensure the correct temperature.  If the oil is cooler the donuts don't cook quickly enough and turn out oily and not sufficiently crispy.  If the oil is too hot then the donuts will scorch or burn.   I like to use peanut oil when making my donuts or when frying just about anything.  Peanut oil has a high smoke point so you won't set off the smoke detectors resulting in a visit from your local fire fighters. If you don't want to use peanut oil, you can use another high smoke point oil like avocado oil. When coating the donuts with the pepita (pumpkin seed) crumb topping, don't wait until the donuts cool to coat them.  I tried that initially and the coating didn't stick as well. You can make the donuts smaller which will result in even more donuts. You can save the cut out centers as you make the donuts - resulting in fewer donuts plus some donut holes. If you don't need two dozen donuts (why wouldn't you???) you can always halve the recipe. You can freeze these donuts if you make them in advance.  Just make sure to warm them before serving. 

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