Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pumpkin Cranberry Cake Donuts

First day of school! Sob! How are you dealing? Me? I'm... breathing. And scheduling lots of busyness so I don't have to think about my baby trying to get through the lunch line alone. Watching my babies do life is sometimes harder for me than it is for them - guaranteed. Fly little birdies. Fly. And then come home and eat donuts. Mmmmhmmm. The pumpkin cranberry variety. It's time for pumpkin things, people! Hooray. 

My husband's birthday inspired my first ever attempt at donuts and the fried smell inside our home that lingered for at least 48 hours. This recipe takes a little forethought because the dough needs to be chilled overnight, which actually makes the morning you'll be eating the donuts a little easier because you can stir up the dough the night before, pull the chilled dough out of the fridge in the morning, heat up the oil while you're rolling the dough, fry and eat. The original recipe called for fresh cranberries, but I used dried. The end texture of the cranberries was a little crunchy and chewy, I think fresh would be better, but I always improvise with what I have. For example, I don't have a donut cutter and momentarily considered buying this one, but then came to my senses realizing I can use a small biscuit cutter inside a large biscuit cutter, like, duh! Spend money on things I already have, phhh-shaw!
Are you ready for pumpkin season? Other pumpkin love on this site are here: these awesome cookies, pumpkin in a smoothie, pancakes - might be my favorite, and Smitten Kitchen's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - most drool worthy. 

Tell me... How are you going to incorporate pumpkin into your cooking and baking? 

Printable Recipe Here

Pumpkin Cranberry Cake Donuts
recipe from Taste of Home Magazine

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh or dried cranberries (chopped, if using fresh)
Oil for deep-fat frying

Spiced Sugar
1 cup cane sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Dash ground nutmeg

Cooking Note: Don't have buttermilk? Juice half of a lemon into a measuring cup, pour in enough milk to measure 1/2 cup. Let that sit for 10 minutes, stir, add to dough when called for.

Toss your butter in the bowl of a stand-up mixer and give that a good beat, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar and beat 2 more minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder & soda, salt, and spices. Measure the pumpkin into a liquid measuring cup, add buttermilk in and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk/pumpkin mixture, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in cranberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Turn dough unto a lightly floured surface and roll 1/2" thick. Cut with a floured 2 1/2" biscuit or donut cutter. Reroll scraps and cut again. Keep the holes if you like donut holes - my kids loved those the best!

Heat oil in a large skillet with high sides or an electric fryer at 375ºF. Fry donuts, 4-5 at a time, until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. 

In a shallow bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Roll hot donuts in spiced sugar. 


  1. I hate waiting to let things rest (especially overnight!) but you really sold me on the idea of fresh donuts in the morning. Yum!

    1. Don't even have to get out of your jammies for a bakery treat.


I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki