pumpkin-apple doughnuts with maple & bourbon drizzle

Do I even dare to ask…who doesn’t love a warm, fresh-made doughnut? Anyone? ANYONE?


That’s what I thought. For as long as my family has called Virginia our “home base” homemade doughnuts, from a local bakery up the street, were always considered a treat for my sisters and I. These were not a weekly recurrence, at all – it was more along the lines of “Your grandma is in town visiting so we have to get some!” or “Company’s coming for the weekend, we need some on hand.” or “It’s the holidays! Doughnut time!” These, to me, are what made this delicious puffs of dough so awesome.

I know it might sound crazy, but I can pretty much catalog my childhood and adolescence by doughnuts from this particular shop. As a little girl, I loved the classic ‘sprinkles’ doughnut…but honestly, what kid (and adult? Yes, I’m talking to you) doesn’t like this kind of doughnut? Flash forward a few years, and I had moved on to the cream-filled topped with thick chocolate buttercream. Sometimes I would mix it up and throw in a cinnamon-sugar coated doughnut, but I had my routine, and I knew better than to stray too far.

Flash forward to today. Whenever the hubs and I head home, my mom and dad are sure to put in an order for a dozen or so of the family staples. My new love is their whole-wheat cake doughnut….yes, I know it’s simple, but tasting the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, and the slightly sweet after notes, I am in absolute heaven. I’ve made it a habit of dunking it into my coffee and it’s over the edge for me. I could die right then, and be totally happy.

And that’s my doughnut story. But, you ask, what does this have to do with today’s post? The answer is that I’ve always wanted to try making homemade doughnuts. And I’m not talking the deep fried kind…I’m talking a basic cake doughnut, with fresh, simple ingredients and clean flavors. I recently purchased a doughnut pan and set my sights on conquering this goal.

I’ve spoken before about my love of autumnal flavors (remember my autumn granola?), and yes, we’re taking a page out of that book and going in that same direction. But! We’re going to kick things up with a little bit of apple, and a little bit of booze. I know you’re not complaining about that! We’re going to split the difference of the all-purpose flour and swap in some oat flour, to add in that sweet nuttiness that we all know and love (I’m talking to you, classic oatmeal cookie!). What takes the doughnuts over the top is the Maple & Bourbon drizzle, done at the very end. If you plan on serving these to children or those who don’t drink, feel free to swap out the bourbon for apple juice, or even just plain milk. Regardless, one bite into this moist, flavorful beauties and you will fall in love, just like I did.

I suggest making these for the upcoming weekend and you will be set – a warm doughnut, a hot cup of coffee (or tea!) and a nice, relaxing morning. Enjoy!


Pumpkin-Apple Doughnuts with Maple & Bourbon Drizzle {adapted from King Arthur Flour}

Makes 15 individual doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

1/2 C. pumpkin puree (can swap out for 1/2 C. of vegetable oil – I find that the additional pumpkin makes for a very moist doughnut)

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 to 1/2 C. maple syrup

1-1/2 C. pumpkin puree

1-1/2 tsp/ pumpkin pie spice (or 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon plus heaping quarter tsp. each ground nutmeg and ground ginger)

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 C. oat flour*

3/4 C. plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

For the caramelized apples:

2 apples (I used a Granny Smith and a Gala), finely diced

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 ounce of bourbon (you can use the same one as you’ll use in the drizzle) you can omit this if serving to children or non-drinkers

pinch salt

several dashes of cinnamon

1 Tbsp. butter

honey, as necessary, to sweeten

To make the doughnuts:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. If you don’t have doughnut pans, you can use regular or mini-muffin sized pans, but they won’t be a true ‘doughnut’.

Saute the apples, vanilla extract, bourbon, salt, cinnamon, butter and honey on a medium-low stovetop until the apples are soft. Allow to cool slightly, as these will be folded into the batter.

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Beat together the oil (or additional pumpkin puree), eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin, spices, salt and baking powder until smooth. Add in the flour, stirring just until smooth. Fold in the cooled apple mixture, taking care to not overmix the batter.

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Fill the wells of the pans about 3/4 full – it should be a scant 1/4 C. of batter in each well.


Bake the doughnuts for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once removed from the oven, let them sit for about 5 minutes, then loosen the edges and take out of the molds. Place on a rack to cool.

Make the drizzle while the doughnuts bake:

Combine 1 C. of powdered sugar with 1 ounce of your favorite bourbon. I like to stir in a few dashes of vanilla extract for extra flavor. Whisk until free of lumps, then spoon onto the tops of each doughnut.

Coat with the drizzle; you’ll see how much each doughnut will absorb it!

Cool completely and store (not wrapped tightly) at room temperature for several days…that is, if they last that long!

*to make your own oat flour, simply process the required amount of quick oats in your food processor until finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, simply swap out for an equal amount of all-purpose flour.

10 thoughts on “pumpkin-apple doughnuts with maple & bourbon drizzle

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