Filled Pumpkin Pie Donuts Recipe

You might think you've tried all the pumpkin-flavored treats out there, but unless you've prepared Tasting Table recipe developer Jessica Morone's filled pumpkin pie donuts, you're missing out. This recipe is an exquisite dessert to serve your loved ones, and chances are they'll love you even more once they take a bite. Plus, you can't go wrong with this creation if you're looking for a homemade gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. 

That said, you'll need to dedicate a chunk of time to making these pumpkin pie donuts from start to finish. Morone remarks, "These donuts are a ton of work, but they are worth it." She describes, "The donuts are crispy and light, the pumpkin custard is silky smooth, and the pumpkin spice sugar coating is sweet and flavorful." It really is a triple threat of a dessert, and Morone concludes, "These donuts are like the best pumpkin pie you've ever had."

Gather the ingredients for these filled pumpkin pie donuts

For the donut dough, get all-purpose flour, instant yeast, granulated sugar, warm milk, pumpkin puree, salt, unsalted butter (melted), and vegetable oil. Next, for the filling, you'll need egg yolks, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, water, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk. Finally, grab some granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice for rolling the donuts.

Step 1: Combine the dough ingredients

Make the donut dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, warm milk, pumpkin puree, salt, and melted butter.

Step 2: Keep mixing until a dough forms

Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.

Step 3: Shape the dough

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.

Step 4: Cover the dough

Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Step 5: Let it rise

Let dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours (or overnight in the fridge for up to 12 hours) until it has doubled in size.

Step 6: Combine egg yolks and sugar

While the dough rises, make the pumpkin pie filling: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.

Step 7: Combine some flour and water

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until smooth. Set aside.

Step 8: Heat the pumpkin filling

Add pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk to a medium saucepan and mix together until smooth. Place on the stove over medium heat until mixture is steaming.

Step 9: Combine it with the eggs

Remove the pan from heat and pour the hot pumpkin mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth.

Step 10: Heat the pumpkin filling with the flour

Return the pumpkin mixture to the saucepan along with the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking often, until mixture is thickened to the point where you can draw a clean line through it and it holds its shape.

Step 11: Chill the custard

Pour the custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap into the top of the custard so it won't form a skin. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 12: Roll out the dough

Once the donut dough has risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle about ½ inch thick.

Step 13: Cut out rounds

Use a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles in the dough, re-rolling the scraps until you have enough donuts.

Step 14: Cover the dough rounds

Place the dough circles on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

Step 15: Heat some oil

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches vegetable oil. Place over medium heat until it reaches 360 F.

Step 16: Fry the donuts

Add about 4 donuts at a time to the oil, frying for about 2 minutes per side until golden.

Step 17: Drain and repeat

Drain donuts on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat this process until all the donuts are fried.

Step 18: Combine the sugary coating

In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Step 19: Coat the donuts

While they are still warm, roll the donuts in the sugar mixture to coat. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

Step 20: Poke holes in the donuts

Use a chopstick to make holes on both sides of each donut.

Step 21: Stuff

Add pumpkin custard to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Fill the donuts with the custard.

Step 22: Eat!

Serve warm.

What's the best way to make the custard for these filled pumpkin pie donuts?

Although this recipe is mostly time-consuming versus complicated and technical, Morone does highlight a particular point in the process that can cause trouble. "The trickiest step is when you are making the custard and you add the warm pumpkin puree mixture to the egg mixture," she explains. "If you don't whisk it fast enough, the egg will start getting cooked, and you will end up with a scrambled egg texture instead of a smooth custard." 

While this is definitely not the outcome you want for the custard donut filling, avoiding disaster isn't too hard. As Morone reassures, "Whisking nonstop when you add the pumpkin mixture should keep this from happening." Just be sure to have your whisk (and whisking arm) at the ready once you combine the warm pumpkin puree and the eggs, and it should be smooth sailing.

What variations can I try with these filled pumpkin pie donuts?

Donuts come in all shapes and sizes, and knowing one great recipe can set the stage for others. Still, not all types of dough act the same, so Morone doesn't recommend baking this recipe instead of frying it. "If you try baking yeasted donut dough, it will just end up being more like a sweet roll, which will still taste good but won't really resemble a donut." If you want this recipe to turn out as intended, frying is the way to go.

As for size variations, Morone comments, "You can definitely make smaller donuts, or even larger donuts — you just have to adjust the frying time for the size of the donuts you want to make." Another option she offers is to "use leftover dough scraps to make donut holes." 

Want to change up the filling? Morone suggests pumpkin butter as another idea. We wouldn't say no to a chocolate custard either.

How long can I keep these filled pumpkin pie donuts?

While we could easily polish off several fresh donuts, their stale counterparts don't have quite the same allure. That's why it's important to store leftover filled pumpkin pie donuts in optimal conditions — or invite enough people over to finish them off. "These are best eaten the day they are made, but you can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days," Morone says.

If you know for sure that you won't be getting through all the donuts at once, it might be worth waiting to fill them. "It is best to add the custard to the donuts right before you eat them," Morone notes. In this case, she adds, "Even if you fry the donuts a day ahead of time and fill them with custard, it will still work." If you're planning on serving these for a party, it's good to know you can get a bit of head start.

Filled Pumpkin Pie Donuts Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
These homemade donuts are a special project, but they're certainly worth the effort for the smooth custardy filling and crunchy, pumpkin spiced sugar coating.
Prep Time
2
hours
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
12
donuts
stacked pumpkin pie donuts
Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the donuts
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup warm milk
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • For rolling
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Directions
  1. Make the donut dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, warm milk, pumpkin puree, salt, and melted butter.
  2. Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.
  4. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours (or overnight in the fridge for up to 12 hours) until it has doubled in size.
  6. While the dough rises, make the pumpkin pie filling: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until smooth. Set aside.
  8. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk to a medium saucepan and mix together until smooth. Place on the stove over medium heat until mixture is steaming.
  9. Remove the pan from heat and pour the hot pumpkin mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth.
  10. Return the pumpkin mixture to the saucepan along with the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking often, until mixture is thickened to the point where you can draw a clean line through it and it holds its shape.
  11. Pour the custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap into the top of the custard so it won't form a skin. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  12. Once the donut dough has risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle about ½ inch thick.
  13. Use a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles in the dough, re-rolling the scraps until you have enough donuts.
  14. Place the dough circles on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  15. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches vegetable oil. Place over medium heat until it reaches 360 F.
  16. Add about 4 donuts at a time to the oil, frying for about 2 minutes per side until golden.
  17. Drain donuts on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat this process until all the donuts are fried.
  18. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  19. While they are still warm, roll the donuts in the sugar mixture to coat. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
  20. Use a chopstick to make holes on both sides of each donut.
  21. Add pumpkin custard to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Fill the donuts with the custard.
  22. Serve warm.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 406
Total Fat 23.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.3 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 54.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 17.7 g
Sodium 121.8 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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