Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

I have a deep and abiding passion for fresh, hot doughnuts that are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. And I adore these gluten-free pumpkin spice doughnut holes. These spiced, bite-sized beauties are light, fluffy and delicious. I recommend serving them for breakfast, with hot coffee or cider. But, they would be equally wonderful for dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

This recipe was updated on 8/26/21 with new images, an updated recipe card and updated instructions.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes on a cooling rack

Fresh Doughnuts Are the Best Doughnuts!

When I was growing up, we had hot doughnuts once a year, from a little shack at a holiday craft fair. The ladies who ran the operation, dressed in shawls and bonnets (I think they were German Baptists), would pass grease-splattered paper bags of them through the window into our eager hands. They were tender and spicy and gobbled up in a matter of moments, usually accompanied by a styrofoam cup of hot apple cider.

Later, I learned about fresh apple cider doughnuts when we went apple picking. The doughnut queue would wind all the way around the barn, where a little machine was cranking out tiny circles as fast as it could. The wait was an hour, and it was so worth it. I tried to duplicate them at home. The resulting doughnuts were large, dense and heavy with grease. Not exactly what I was going for.

Enter the French Doughnut Muffin. Wonderfully, they taste almost identical to freshly fried doughnut holes, except they are baked and no specialty pans or cutters are required, save a muffin (or mini-muffin) tin. I’ve made them plain (with cinnamon-sugar on the outside), with apple cider, and with pumpkin. They are light and fluffy and absolutely scrumptious. I’m not going to pretend that they are healthy…but at least they aren’t deep fried, right?

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes on a cooling rack

How to make Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

These spiced, bite-sized beauties are light, fluffy and delicious. I serve them for breakfast, with hot coffee or cider, but they would be equally wonderful for dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Dairy free? No problem! Simply swap out the milk for your favorite non-dairy version (I’m partial to gluten-free oat milk) and the melted butter for non-dairy butter.

Ingredients

For The Doughnuts

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend I prefer Bobs Red Mill 1-to-1
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground cardamom, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your flour blend already contains it
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup whole milk

For The Sugar Coating

  • 9 tablespoons butter melted
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 24 count (or 12 count) mini-muffin tin with gluten-free cooking spray. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Add the oil, brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, and milk and whisk until smooth.

Using a small scoop or tablespoon, fill holes in pan about ¾ full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. You will probably need to bake 2-3 batches, depending on how big your pan is.

Place sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Then, dip or brush the doughnut holes on all sides in the melted butter, then place in the bowl and use your hands or a spoon to roll the doughnut in the sugar mixture so it is evenly coated. Serve immediately. These are best when eaten the same day.

Love Doughnuts? You’ll Love These Other Recipes!

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

Alison Needham
These spiced, bite-sized beauties are light, fluffy and delicious. I serve them for breakfast, with hot coffee or cider, but they would be equally wonderful for dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Yum.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 24 doughnut holes
Calories 108 kcal

Equipment

  • Mini Muffin Tin

Ingredients
  

For the Doughnuts

For the Sugar Coating

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 24 count (or 12 count) mini-muffin tin with gluten-free cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Add the oil, brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, and milk and whisk until smooth.
  • Using a small scoop or tablespoon, fill holes in pan about ¾ full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. You will probably need to bake 2-3 batches, depending on how big your pan is.
  • Place sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Dip or brush the doughnut holes on all sides in the melted butter, then place in the bowl and use your hands or a spoon to roll the doughnut in the sugar mixture so it is evenly coated. Serve immediately. These are best when eaten the same day.

Nutrition

Serving: 3doughnutsCalories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1220IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes
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59 Comments

    1. Thanks, Kelly! They were very yummy. I think I’ll have to make them again soon. xo

  1. Do you have a skinny version?

  2. OMGosh… this is so good. I’ve made gluten free recipes and been very disappointed… not this time around… thank you “a girl de-floured” for posting your recipes, I appreciate it so much!!

  3. Could I use almond milk instead of whole milk? I would love to surprise my husband with this. He’s seen these at the store and was disappointed he couldn’t have them (he’s gluten/dairy free). I just don’t know if the consistency would be the same with a dairy substitute. They look awesome though!

    1. Sure! Give it a try. I have had tons of successes subbing almond milk for whole milk, but I haven’t tried this one yet. Let me know how it goes!

      1. The almond milk worked wonderfully! My husband loved them! Even his coworkers who scoff at his gluten/dairy free food enjoyed them! Thanks so much!

        1. sometimes when I use almond milk instead of regular milk I find I have to use more than the directions call for. Did you have to use more than 1/2 cup or was 1/2 cup just enough?
          thanks! 🙂 I look forward to making these this week !

  4. I made these this weekend for my family, and they were a huge hit! I am the only one who needs them to be gluten free, but everyone was impressed with how tasty they were. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  5. I don’t have a doughnut pan or mini muffin pan. any ideas what I could use instead??

    1. You can use a regular sized muffin tin and increase the cooking time to 18-20 minutes. 🙂

  6. These are delicious and very easy to make. My 7 year old daughter is GF and she *loved* making and eating these. I tried one without the coating, they’re great that way too. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We’ll make these again.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I would like to make the apple version. What would change in the recipe? Thanks!!

  8. These look fantastic, and I will definitely try them. But I have a question about the flour: most GF flour blends I buy already have the xanthan gum added. If that’s the case, do I still add the 1/2 teaspoon xanthan you specify in the recipe?

  9. Thank you, thank you! These were just what I was looking for!! I was in a super hurry when I made these and ended up having to put the dough in the fridge. When it came time to make them again I was in a hurry so I just put them on a cookie sheet and hoped for the best. They turned out great! Stayed nice and round. Dipping them in the melted butter really is delish and gives them that real doughnut taste! I made them with 2 Tbl of DariFree non – dairy milk powder mixed in with the dry ingredients and omitted the milk and I used coconut oil for the oil. So good! Thanks for posting!

  10. I made these and they were delicious the first day. However on the next day they were hard as a rock.

  11. I made these subbing in egg replacer and coconut milk. I also use coconut oil instead ofbutter and drop them onto acookie sheet with my small ice cream scoop

  12. These were so good. Since going gluten free seven months ago, my 13 year old daughter typically turns her nose up to GF baked anything. My daughter and her best friend always ask for these and would devour the whole batch if I didn’t make them share.

  13. Stephanie Bettencourt says:

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! It was so easy!!

  14. Hi. I was wondering if I could just use one type of flour, like just rice flour, it two, like part for and rice flour. I’m a 17 year old girl on a Candida cleanse/diet. I can’t use potato starch, sorghum, or…… They’re was another one but I forget what it was. Bit anyways, is they’re an alternative to the floor mix? I really hope so!!!!!! :’)

    1. Have you tried Namaste foods perfect flour blend? They have been my life saver! My daughter is GF/Dairy free and I can’t have potato flour.

  15. Alexa Kavalos-Horowitz says:

    I stumbled upon your site and was so excited! My daughter was just recently diagnosed with a
    gluten and dairy allergy so I am frantically looking for great recipes. Alexa

  16. Jacqueline Onyon says:

    Hi, in your blog post you say you’ve made them plain. Do I need to sub the pumpkin ingredients with anything if I wanted to make a regular cinnamon and sugar version of these to ensure they’re the same consistency? Or do I just leave out the pumpkin spice and puree?

  17. Tara Joyce says:

    Can I use just regular all purpose flour? I don’t care for the gluten free recipe. These just look very yummy. I am obsessed with anything pumpkin =)

  18. How do you make these with apple cider? Just replace the pumpkin with cider? Instead of the milk?

  19. Michelle S says:

    OMG! These are delicious! I love to bake and I have not been able to find a gluten free dessert that has the same texture as a regular dessert. I was concerned that they wouldn’t be round like a real doughnut hole but the tops rounded right out in the oven! I’m taking these to work for our annual thanksgiving lunch and. I’m 99%sure I’ll make another batch in the morning because people will go crazy over them! Thanks for such a great recipe! If you have any other flavors like chocolate or apple, please share!

  20. I just made these and it’s going to be my go to treat when I really feel deprived of texture. I ate them slow, making sure to bite each one in half to savor the gluten like texture. Heavenly! Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. I waited all week to make these and I barely made it to Sunday. Instead of the mini muffin tin or the mini doughnut pans I have been dying to use, I opted for my baby cakes cake pop maker to keep the kitchen cool. I used a spring loaded scoop approximately the diameter of the cake pop wells and kept testing the batter until I found the right timing. Turns out 12 minutes gives the best result. Thank you for sharing such a terrific recipe. My family loved them!

  22. Did you shape it in a ball before places them in the muffin tin not sure I understand putting them a muffin tin and them coming out round

    1. I use a small scoop to place the dough in the tin, but also as it rises, it has a natural dome shape which makes it round. 🙂

  23. Hi, these were too good…addictive!! Do you think I could put the batter in an 8×8 to make a coffee cake? Any suggestions on cooking temp and time? Thanks!!

    1. This would most likely work–though I can’t guarantee it. I’d bake it at 350 for 25-30 minutes. 🙂

  24. Thank you from the UK for this recipe. These were amazing and my non gluten-free husband also loved them.

  25. Can I use almond or tapioca flour??

    1. Almond flour is a protein rich “flour” and tapioca flour is a starch. You cannot use just one or the other as a replacement. The best gluten-free recipes have a combination of whole grain flours and starches.

  26. Miyah Joy says:

    THESE ARE AMAZING!!! Can’t even tell they’re gluten free, but it’s great that they are! The whole fam loves them! Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Margot Leggett says:

      5 stars
      Totally agree. Don’t seem gluten-free at all. Amazing.

  27. My three-year old is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, and bell pepper. A couple weeks ago he was asking what a donut was, so I asked friends for a tried and true recipe. We were able to sub applesauce for the egg, coconut oil and coconut milk. We used Namaste flour blend and earth balance for butter. My whole family loved them and my three-year old got to taste his first donut!

  28. How many makes the 103 calorie rating on the recipe?

    -JOANNA

    1. Hi Joanna – the recipe makes approximately 24 doughnuts and the serving size is 3 doughnuts.

  29. Question… could I substitute coconut sugar for the topping? I have found that coconut sugar is often times not a good sub when baking unless the product is somewhat earthy in taste and texture anyway. Seems this would fit that criteria.

  30. Can I replace pumpkin with unsweetened apple sauce or a steamed and mashed sweet potato? I’m allergic to pumpkin, but these sound wonderful!

  31. 5 stars
    I’m always skeptical when trying gluten-free recipes because very often they taste like you’re eating paper. I have IBS and try to eat gluten-free but it doesn’t always happen. I tried this with fingers crossed. Holy smokes it is amaaaaaazing! Taste 100%! I used cake pop pans and they came out perfectly! Excellent work. Thank you.

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