Pumpkin Doughnuts

No way around it- I’m a huge fan of fried dough. Put veggies in it, spices, fruits, sugar, I love them all. So I was incredibly excited to stumble across this recipe for a South African snack, Pampoen Koekies.


As always I changed the ingredients some to satisfy the cravings I was having (I wanted more SPICES!). The texture of these are amazing, the glaze even more so, and my family and I ate the whole recipe before they even cooled.

However, if you want to use fresh pumpkin puree, I’ve got you covered!

Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half (you will need to run your knife along the top of the pumpkin’s stem to cut that out first). Scoop out the seeds and place cut-side-down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake for about 20-25 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until you can pierce the pumpkin with a fork.

Scoop out the pumpkin, leaving the skin behind. Put the soft pumpkin flesh in a food processor and process until smooth.

These are super easy to make, friends.

Measure out a cup of flour and a cup of pumpkin and put into a bowl. Add in two teaspoons baking powder, two tablespoons of caster (powdered) sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and a pinch of salt and stir to make a batter. Warm your oil (for frying) in a medium saucepan and ready a plate with paper towels.

Also, since these cook so quickly, now would be a good time to start making the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan, add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup of cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 cup golden syrup (I can’t find this here, so I used agave nectar. Honey or another sweet syrup would be a great substitution). Stir occasionally while you fry the doughnuts.

I used a regular small table spoon to round these out and I measured about 3/4 of a spoon full for each doughnut. These doughnuts roll around by themselves while cooking, but you should make sure that they are frying evenly on each side.

When a beautiful cinnamon brown, remove them from the oil and drain on the paper towels.

Arrange the doughnuts on a platter and drizzle the doughnuts with the sauce. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so any leftover can be used for another batch!


I accidentally let this mixture come to a very brief boil, but the mixture didn’t clump or change the silky consistency of this delicious sauce. My husband thought that the glaze is what really sets these doughnuts apart and I must agree. These are absolutely wonderful and so full of wonderful fall flavor. I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Pumpkin Doughnuts
Serves 6 (or 3, as the case may be)

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
Pinch salt
Oil, for frying

For the sauce:

¾ cup sugar
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup syrup (agave nectar, honey, maple or other of your choice)

Begin by preheating your oil for frying. In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the ingredients for the doughnuts and mix to make a batter.

Now, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and stir occasionally while you fry the doughnuts.

When the oil is hot, round out a small table spoon of batter and drop into the oil. Fry until cinnamon brown and drain on paper towels. Continue until you have used all the batter.

Arrange doughnuts on a platter. Drizzle with the sauce or serve it on the side as a dip!