Gluten-free and Dairy Free Baked Pumpkin Donuts

As the air turns crisp and trees turn to hues of red and orange, the flavors of fall take center stage. Pumpkins transition from jack-o-lantern duty to starring roles in pies, breads, soups and more. One of the best ways to enjoy peak pumpkin flavor is in the form of melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin gluten-free donuts. Swapping the wheat for a gluten-free blend plus eggs, pumpkin and warm fall spices bakes up donuts with all the sweet flavor and pillowy texture a donut lover could want.  

Baked Donuts

These donuts are always a huge hit! This is one of my kids’ favorite gluten-free recipes and the best part for me is that it’s such an easy recipe. In about the same amount of time it would take for us all to go wait in line at the donut shop, we can craft bakery-style donuts at home with cleaner ingredients. My kids loved this new recipe and begged me to make more of these homemade donuts. With just a few simple ingredients you can enjoy donuts from your own kitchen that rival what you’d get from a donut shop!

I don’t know if there’s actually such a thing as healthy donuts, but these are definitely healthier donuts. By trading in the fryer for a baked version and swapping out traditional refined donut ingredients for a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe made with more wholesome components, you get a treat that’s better for you while still feeling indulgent. These easy baked donuts let my family enjoy our favorite splurge more often!

Customize With Optional Add-Ins

The beauty of gluten-free pumpkin donuts is their versatility to customize with your favorite flavors. Spice them up by adding ginger, nutmeg or cardamom to the mix. Swirl in chocolate chips or peanut butter chips for extra decadence. Make pumpkin pie donut holes by portioning batter into mini muffin pans. Change up the shape with bundt style donuts for a fun twist. Glaze half the batch while leaving others plain so guests can enjoy their preferred option. 

Perfect for Breakfast or an Afternoon Snack

These are such a “fun treat”.  Saturday mornings, I love to make my family gluten free pancakes.  It’s become a sweet family tradition.  However, I love mixing up that tradition with other thoughtfully crafted baked goods.  Basically, I just want my kids to fondly remember being gathered together in the kitchen as mama made a special breakfast.  The slower mornings are such a treasure.  Sometimes ill mix up this tradition and serve a new baked good. After school, I also like to have a special snack waiting for my kids. This is the perfect fall snack. Try pairing with some freshly sliced apples and carrot sticks.

Brown Sugar Glaze

To fully embrace the flavors of fall, I used a brown sugar glaze instead of a traditional vanilla glaze.  It’s the little things that truly make a big difference and help elevate a recipe.

Optional Cinnamon Sugar

For more classic cinnamon sugar donuts, you can mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon and roll the tops of the warm donuts in the cinnamon sugar right after baking. I don’t even think you need a measuring cup for this step – you can eyeball it.

Whether you choose the brown sugar glaze or this easy cinnamon sugar coating, it’s hard to beat devouring a warm, soft donut straight out of the oven! Allowing the baked donuts to cool just enough before coating the tops with crunchy cinnamon sugar creates that delicious textural contrast and sweetness in every bite.

Dunking them into cinnamon sugar while still warm ensures the coating sticks and totally envelops the perfect cake-like crumb. And sealing in all those irresistible flavors as soon as they emerge from the oven makes these gluten-free, dairy-free donuts totally irresistible! Nothing beats the delight of a custom crafted, just-baked confection.

What You Need to Make Pumpkin Donuts

Using quality brands for the gluten-free blend ensures the perfect mildly sweet base for the seasonal spices and leaveners to bake up impressively fluffy, well-risen and full of fall essence in each tender bite!

Dry Ingredients:

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend – My favorite gluten free brands are King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 blend.  However, any gluten-free brand of flour will work.  Just be sure to add one teaspoon xanthan gum if it’s not already included.
  • Baking Powder – The chemical leavener that interacts with the wet ingredients to produce carbon dioxide, giving the donut batter rise for a fluffy, cake-like interior texture. Vital for lightness and the perfect fluffy donut.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – Provides the quintessential cozy fall flavor profile – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and other warming spices that make these taste like autumn.
  • Sea Salt – Just a small pinch to balance flavors and enhance the sweetness and pumpkin spices. A little goes a long way to perfect the taste profile.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Eggs – There’s really no substitute here.  I have not personally tried with a flax egg or chia egg substitute and do not recommend these as the recipe calls for 3 eggs.  If you do happen to try any vegan substitutes for eggs, please be sure to leave a comment below how they turned out.
  • Pumpkin puree – I always buy organic pumpkin pie puree in bulk from Costco at the beginning of the season, so that I can whip up a pumpkin baked good when the mood strikes.
  • Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar – You can mix in coconut sugar or brown coconut sugar for all or a portion of the granulated sugar or brown sugar, although I personally have not tried.
  • Coconut oil – You can substitute coconut oil with vegan butter or avocado oil.
  • Pure vanilla – This is essential in my opinion for any baked good.

Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • Brown sugar – You could try brown coconut sugar, but I truly don’t think there’s a good substitution for this essential ingredient.  The brown sugar glaze is really what elevates these donuts.  For an option free from any refined sugar, see the cinnamon sugar option above and substitute coconut sugar. 
  • Dairy-free milk – My favorite dairy-free milk options are: coconut milk, almond milk or cashew milk.
  • Dairy-free butter, melted or softened – Regular butter works here too!
  • Pure vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is essential in just about any icing or glaze, in my opinion.
  • Powdered sugar, sifted – There’s no substitute here.  However, did you know you can make powdered sugar in a blender?  I do this all the time if I am out of powdered sugar.  Such a time saver versus going to the grocery store.  Just put regular granulated sugar in a high-powdered blend and blend until light and fluffy.
  • Optional – Chopped pecans to sprinkle on top of the icing.

How to Make Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Mix Dry into Wet Ingredients:

  • Gradually fold gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt into bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients: eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, vanilla.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully combined.

Bake Donut Batter:

  • Next step, Add batter to oiled or lined doughnut pan using a piping bag, pastry bag or simply using a spoon.
  • If you don’t have donut pans, a mini muffin pan would be a great alternative.  Just decrease the baking time slightly.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until donuts are golden brown and when they spring back when gently pressed.
  • Insert wooden skewer to test doneness.

Cool Donuts:

  • Allow to completely cool on a wire rack or cooling rack before glazing or topping.

Prepare Optional Dairy-Free, Vegan Glaze:

  • In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, dairy-free milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
  • Drizzle over cooled donuts.


Counter: Keep plain or glazed donuts stored at room temperature up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Refrigerator: Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days maximum.

Freezer: Flash freeze baked donuts in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet then transfer to a freezer bag once hard. To prevent any sticking together, I still layer parchment paper between the flash frozen donuts.  Fully frozen donuts will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw at room temp before reheating or topping.

Be sure to store any glazed or decorated donuts in layers separated by parchment rounds. And always opt for airtight containers or quality freezer bags when chilling or freezing to prevent ice crystals or frosting smudging for the longest lasting results!


Gluten-free and Dairy Free Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Sarah Erickson
These are a delicious fall treat, or really any time of the year! Enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American


Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBS cup dairy-free milk plus extra milk, if needed to thin+
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free butter melted or softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar sifted


  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2, 6-cavity donut pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, pumpkin spice. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a smooth cake batter forms. I used a whisk but you can also use a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  • Pour the donut batter into the prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the donut comes out clean.
  • While the donuts are cooling on a wire rack, prepare brown sugar glaze. In a mixing bowl, beat dairy-free butter, brown sugar, dairy-free milk, vanilla and until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and finally the vanilla extract.
  • For best results, wait until the donuts have cooled completely. Remove from donut molds and drizzle the glaze on top.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Keyword after school snack, breakfast, dairy free, donuts, gluten free, pumpkin, snack

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