Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins

24 muffins
40 min

Pumpkin and spices go hand in hand, right? Especially when the days get shorter and the air is crisp. A perfect after school snack or breakfast treat are these Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins. They are dense with pumpkin flavor, spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg, and crunchy with a sugar coating.

You can certainly use canned pumpkin to make Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins, but don't shy away from making your own puree! It's super easy using the instructions in THIS POST.

How to make Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins:

Start by creaming the butter and brown sugar till it is fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. You can certainly use coconut palm sugar in this recipe and it would be amazing!

Mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices. I make this using 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.

Then mix the buttermilk with the pumpkin.

I don't have buttermilk! What can I use?!

If you don't have buttermilk, you can put a tablespoon of lemon juice, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar in the measuring pitcher, then add milk. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes ... you'll see it start curdling! Really cool science-y stuff.

You can also substitute sour cream, creme fraiche, or plain yogurt.

Why add dry and wet ingredients alternately?

By adding the ingredients alternately, they can be incorporated more quickly with less mixing creating a lighter muffin. However, it must be noted that this is mostly true with regular flour rather than with a gluten-free blend simply because of the gluten. The more you beat flour, the more the gluten is activated making the dough stretchy and perfect for a great loaf. While you want that with bread, you most certainly DON'T want it with cakes or muffins!

The fun part of making Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins ...

... is the dunking in butter and rolling in cinnamon sugar! It gets a little messy, but it sure is tasty. You'll think you've gone to a Fall Festival or the County Fair!!

These make a wonderful afternoon snack with a cup of cider or tea and of course, if you just want a small morsel for breakfast, they are perfect for that, too!

Pumpkin Doughnut Hole Muffins

Recipe details

  • 24  muffins
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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  • 10 Tablespoons room temperature butter 1 1/4 sticks, or 142 grams
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar can sub coconut palm sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 1:1 gluten-free flour blend is what I use
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (This is almost a full 15 ounce can.)

For the sugar coating:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter melted


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 24 standard muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.
In a small bowl, stir the pumpkin and buttermilk together.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer), beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine, scraping the bowl as needed.
Spoon about ⅓ cup of batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pans and allow to cool till you can handle them without burning your fingers.

For the sugar coating

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
Melt the butter over low heat or in the microwave.
Working with one muffin at a time, coat them in the melted butter by either brushing them or dunking them. Roll in the cinnamon sugar. Let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Tammy | Chez Nous
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  • Therese Rose Therese Rose on Nov 10, 2021

    Do you have a smaller muffin pan, or are you just putting less in each regular sized cup? It would seem to make just a shallow regular sized muffin.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tammy | Chez Nous Tammy | Chez Nous on Nov 13, 2021

      I make them in a regular sized muffin pan. 1/3 cup of batter fills my tins about 3/4 of the way full which fits just fine. However, like Ols8345444, you can totally make them in a mini muffin pan as well.