Happy Halloween! This time of year the pumpkin is flowing (and I have lots of pumpkin-y Thanksgiving recipes due) so I had a couple half-cans of puree that I decide to make something beery instead of freeze or feed to my dog. (Dogs love pumpkin!) I whipped up this Pumpkin Beer Cake Donut Recipe and made it twice to make sure it would be a hit at any fall party…and also partially because I dropped half of the first batch. Oops!
These pumpkin cake donuts really benefit from the carbonation of the beer and the moisture from the pumpkin and butter. They’re rich without feeling heavy, which is exactly how I like my dessert. They’re also easy to make in big batches for Thanksgiving, fall bake sales, and Halloween parties.
I used a beer glaze on them but if you’re planning to travel with them I suggest brushing them with butter and sprinkling with pumpkin pie spice and sugar (2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon per ¼ cup of granulated sugar) so they still look pretty when you arrive.
For a more decadent treat a white chocolate ganache would be delicious on these.
You can use any pumpkin beer you like but I’d suggest staying away from stouts as they will affect the color. I used Brooklyn Brewery’s Post Road Pumpkin beer because the pumpkin flavor is subtle and it is well balanced with a noticeable malt presents and not too bitter. If you don’t have (or want) pumpkin beer any blonde beer that isn’t too hoppy will do well. For example American Wheat or even a Belgian Blond would work wonders.
Keep it spooky!
Baked Pumpkin Beer Donuts
Yields 18 Donuts | Active Time 30 Minutes | Total Time 2 Hours 30 Minutes (with cooling)
For the Donuts
1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup pumpkin beer (or any low IBU blonde beer)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup neutral oil
For the Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoon milk or cream, the higher fat content the better
2 to 3 tablespoons beer
Preheat the oven to 350°F
In a small saucepan over medium heat warm the pumpkin for about 1 minute until the consistency loosens. Add the pumpkin pie spice and heat another 2 minutes, stirring regularly. The color will darken and spices will become very fragrant. Add the beer and stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until beer stops foaming and mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Allow to cool while you whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
With the stand mixer on medium add sugar and mix until well combined.
Then add the oil by drizzling it into the running mixer. Add eggs one at a time.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in two additions.
Spoon into ungreased donut pans filling them almost to the top (⅚ full).
Bake for 12 minutes. Donuts are done when they spring back when touched or when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans, the edges will pull away after about 15 minutes making the donuts easy to remove. Cool completely.
Make the glaze. Sift the powdered sugar and set aside. Whisk together butter and cream and add it to the center of the sifted sugar. Whisk from the center working your way out. If mixture gets too thick add a little beer. Once well combined add beer until glaze coats the back of a spoon evenly. Dip each cooled donut in the glaze and eat fresh or allow to set.
Cooking the pumpkin a little removes some of the raw flavor from the purree and reveals the pumpkin’s sweetness, don’t skip it!
Although the beer stops foaming in the pan, there is still plenty of CO2 inside to give the donuts their fluffy texture.
Make sure you’re mixture is cool enough that it won’t cook the eggs when you add them, scrambled egg donuts are not delicious.
If you’d like the glaze to appear more opaque add more cream and less beer. You can also let the glaze dry slightly and then dunk the donuts again.
I use a #40 cookie scoop to portion the donuts, using three scoops per donut, to make them perfectly even!