Vegan Pumpkin Spice Donuts

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Filled with pumpkin creme patissiere and coated in pumpkin spiced sugar, these fresh hot yeasted donuts are the perfect autumn indulgence! Serve them for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or just a snack. No one will believe they’re vegan!

Ingredients

Pumpkin Creme Filling

  • 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (357 ml) soy milk
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup (200 g) pumpkin puree
  • 4 1/4 Tbsp (60 g) vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Donuts

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) water
  • 1 cup (240 ml) soy milk
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp (60 g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk powder or 1 Tbsp finely ground flax or chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups (320 g) strong white bread flour
  • 1 1/8 cups (140 g) plain white all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 1/4 Tbsp (60 g) vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spice Sugar

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground finger
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves

Instructions

 

  1. For the filling, put the brown sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spices, salt, soy milk, and silken tofu in a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil over low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
  2. Remove from the heat, and stir in the pumpkin puree, butter and vanilla until smooth and silky.
  3. Transfer to a tray and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the pumpkin cream so it doesn’t form a  film doesn’t. Chill for at least 1 hour or for several hours.
  4. For the donuts, put the water, soy milk and caster sugar in a small microwaveable bowl. Mix well then microwave on HIGH for 10-30 seconds. The mixture should feel warm to the touch but not hot. If it feels hot to the touch, let it cool until just warm. Add the yeast to the milk mixture and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate (it should look frothy on the surface).
  5. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the psyllium husk powder, flours and the salt and whisk until blended. Attach the dough hook and add the yeast mixture to the flours. Mix on medium speed until you have a shaggy dough ball, around 2 minutes. 
  6. Add the vegan butter (which should be nice and soft) and vanilla, and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the dough looks smooth. Remove the dough and place in a lightly oiled medium sized bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
  7. Once the first prove is over, very lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Turn out the dough and gently push out any larger air bubbles with your fingertips. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a sheet around 1 1/8 inches (3 cm) thick. Use a circular cookie cutter around 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) wide to cut out the donuts. Be sure to cut straight down without twisting the cutter. If you twist, you’ll end up with wonky donuts. You should get roughly 15 donuts. 
  8. Place each donut on a small square of parchment paper and carefully transfer to a deep baking tray (cutting 15 squares makes it easier to handle the donuts later). Cover with cling film or a damp kitchen towel and let prove at room temperature for about 1 hour. 
  9. Once 40 minutes are up, add around 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) of vegetable oil to a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan (I use a cast-iron dutch oven) and place over medium heat. Using a probe or candy thermometer, bring the oil temperature to 350ºF (180ºC). Alternatively, fill and heat a deep fat fryer to the same temp.
  10. Working one donut at a time, use the parchment to gently lift the donut from the baking tray and carefully slide it into the oil. The parchment will float off and can be removed with tongs immediately. Fry the donut for around 1 minute, then flip to fry the other side. 
  11. Remove from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon and lay on a baking tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Then transfer to a wire cooling rack placed over a baking tray.
  12. For the pumpkin spice sugar, mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Dunk the still warm donuts one at a time in the sugar then set back on the wire rack to set. 
  13. To fill the donuts, transfer the pumpkin creme to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. 
  14. Pierce the side of a donut and squeeze the piping bag gently until the donut feels full. Repeat with all donuts, and serve.
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Notes

Baking with yeast might seem intimidating, but don’t worry, it’s actually super simple. Yes, it takes a little longer since the dough needs to prove, but this is all hands-off time which involves no intervention from you. My advice for vegan donuts is to give them as much proving time as you can manage. If you poke your donuts before frying, your finger should leave a little indentation on the surface – this means they’re ready to fry!

The filling for these donuts is essentially a creme patissiere with pumpkin puree and spices. Very autumnal! Be careful not to overfill the donuts – the custard filling is delicious but very indulgent!

 

The donut dough itself is not very sweet at all, so it’s important to roll the fried donuts in spiced sugar to make sure they’re delicious inside and out!

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