Welcome to Frugal Friday! This is our third installment in conjunction with Money Saving Mom and Simply Rebekah where we add our own two cents (or less!) about ways we save money in our households. Last week, Katie shared her dining room table makeover. This week, we’re baking again! These tasty baked pumpkin donuts will be a staple in your family.

Let’s face it – fall is definitely a time where temptation for your wallet and your stomach is around every corner. Fall is the official kickoff of the holiday season; a time of indulgence. I mean this when it comes to food, spending money, gifts, everything! I know I am one who is definitely prone to go overboard during the holiday season.

Our donut creation!

This recipe for baked pumpkin donuts is a great compromise when it comes to cost and being healthy! Baking treats at home is much more budget-friendly than running out to a bakery to get them. And while they are certainly still an indulgence, you can feel good that these donuts have some wholesome ingredients (like applesauce and pumpkin), don’t have a whole lot of sugar, and are baked rather than fried!

I decided to buy a donut pan a while ago, on a whim. It was about $8 on Amazon. While buying a special pan for donuts isn’t necessarily frugal, it did come in very handy for this recipe. Pinterest also has tons of baked donut recipes, so you can certainly make use of the pan all year. However, if you don’t want to buy a special pan for these, you can use a gallon sized baggie with a 1/2 inch hole cut in one of the bottom corners to pipe the dough in circles on a greased cookie sheet. Your donuts will be flat on the bottom, but I can assure you no one will care once they taste them.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe, courtesy of

Warm and Spicy Baked Pumpkin Donuts
(adapted from BlueEyedBakers) 

For Donuts:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup applesauce (I discovered that one of those squeezy applesauce pouches is exactly 1/3 of a cup!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

For Coating:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven 350 F.  Grease a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together applesauce, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir until just combined, taking care
    to avoid overmixing.
  4. Carefully spoon the batter evenly around the circles of the donut rings. Fill each nearly to the top. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed.  Turn donuts out onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. While the donuts are cooling, melt butter in one bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another.  When donuts are still hot, use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of butter onto each donut before dipping each into the cinnamon sugar, turning and swirling to coat. Use your fingers to sprinkle the sugar more evenly if necessary. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 donuts

Nutrition for 1 plain donut without topping: Calories: 119, Fat: 1g, Carb: 29g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars 14g, Protein: 3g

Nutrition for 1 donut with cinnamon sugar topping: Calories: 169, Fat: 5g, Carb: 33g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 18g, Protein: 3g

This baked pumpkin donuts recipe is perfect to have your kids help with, as you can see my son enjoyed it very much. I fed them to him for breakfast for the next few days and even sent a few in to his teacher!


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Category: Recipes

Tags: baking