Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins are loaded with Fall spices and pumpkin! Moist, dense muffins with cake doughnut texture, double dipped in a rich, buttery pumpkin glaze! Enjoy warm, bakery-fresh Krispy Kreme doughnut taste without the drive!

Fall pumpkin recipes are highly versatile, and our obsession doesn’t start or end with pumpkin doughnut muffins! We’ve got a range of crazy good pumpkin recipes from Pumpkin Dump Cake, Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate, and Homemade Pumpkin Butter to a Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail, just to name a few!

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pumpkin doughnut muffin with bite taken

A decade has gone by since I first introduced my pumpkin doughnut recipe for muffins. Can you believe it?! After all these years, our love for all things pumpkin and these spiced pumpkin muffins haven’t changed.  One of my readers summed it up oh so perfectly:

“Love! The thing about donut muffins is that they take so much of the work out of donuts, but allow the same taste and texture!”

CAROLYN — OCTOBER 29, 2012 @ 7:50 AM REPLY

Why You’ll Love Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins!

  • The dense ‘cake doughnut’ texture isn’t overly sweet, so the double dip pumpkin glaze on top makes for a heavenly union.
  • Baked, not fried, pumpkin muffins have less fat, which means I have less guilt when I go in for seconds! 
  • The pumpkin flavor truly shines through in a deliciously satisfying glazed pumpkin doughnut muffin. 
  • Save time, effort, and gas money-no trips to Krispy Kreme needed to enjoy the flavor of fall’s favorite pumpkin doughnuts!
  • You don’t have to wait until fall to enjoy these pumpkin delights, from sleepovers to Sunday brunch or a delightful morning treat!
ingredients for glazed pumpkin doughnut muffins

Ingredients For Pumpkin Glaze & Doughnut Muffins

Easy pumpkin muffin ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples, maybe not the buttermilk; it depends on how old school you are! (Plus, it never hurts to have a half gallon around for seasonal baking and when you want to whip up some Apple Cider Donuts or homestyle pancakes!)

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffin

  • Butter – unsalted and allowed to warm enough that a light fingertip press leaves a small indention.
  • Flour – all-purpose flour should be spooned into the measuring cup and then leveled to avoid compressing flour. 
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda – are leavening agents that give pumpkin doughnut muffin batter enough lift to keep them from being too dense.
  • Coarse Salt
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Allspice – check your seasonal spices for freshness. They won’t go “bad” on you but will lose the nostalgic aroma over time and impact the flavor.
  • Buttermilk – a thick, creamy fermented milk product that provides a pleasant, acidic tang, similar to yogurt. It is a key ingredient in pumpkin doughnut muffins because it activates the leavening agents so the batter will rise. 
  • Vanilla Extract – you know by now I’m not only a fan of using real vanilla, but I like to make my own homemade vanilla extract. Especially this time of year because it’s always a welcomed hostess gift (when a good bottle of vino isn’t)! 
  • Pumpkin Puree – use pure canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. You’ll reserve two tablespoons for the pumpkin glaze. 
  • Light Brown Sugar – be sure to pack in the measuring cup, the opposite of flour, to remove the extra air from the moist sugar. 
  • Large Eggs – allow them to warm to room temperature.

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Pumpkin Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar – easily dissolves for a smooth consistency.
  • Half & Half – (Or Milk)
  • Vanilla Extract – brings out the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.
  • Pumpkin Puree – reserved from the can used for the doughnut muffin batter.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – you can also make your own pumpkin pie spice based on your taste preferences
  • Melted Butter – you can put the two tablespoons in a glass custard bowl and set it on the stovetop while the oven heats. A little trick that saves a step and keeps me from “over”  melting in the micro.
how to make Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins photo collage

How To Make Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins With Pumpkin Glaze

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

As usual, I started down my information rabbit hole because I was curious when Krispy Kreme first introduced us to the annual and eagerly awaited pumpkin doughnuts. I admit it; I threw in the towel soon after I started (which was not soon enough!). When I refocused (stopped scowling at the google search bar), I realized it simply doesn’t matter! I want to share this delicious doughnut muffin recipe, so let’s get started!

  1. Gather together muffin tin and cupcake liners or silicon muffin pan,* whisk, mixing bowls, electric mixer, parchment paper, wire rack, and measuring tools.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in one bowl; whisk the buttermilk, vanilla, and pumpkin puree in another.
  3. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Combine pumpkin mixture with the mixer on low, then add the dry ingredients and beat to incorporate.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners in the muffin pan until nearly full, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are high and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Layer wax or parchment paper under the cooling rack and allow the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes.

*Chef’s Note: Silicon baking pans offer an excellent alternative to traditional pans. You may need a baking sheet to set it on for support getting it into and out of the oven.

Pumpkin Glaze

  1. Whisk milk and vanilla into powdered sugar until it dissolves, then add the rest of the ingredients, whisking until smooth.
  2. Dip the muffin crowns into the glaze, allow the glaze to harden, and dip a second time, if desired.
  3. Sample! You know, to “quality check” the pumpkin muffin and the glaze
glazed pumpkin muffins on a wire cooling rack

Doughnut Muffin Recipe Notes

Add some flare with bite-sized pumpkin doughnut muffins using a mini muffin pan or a donut hole pan. You can dunk the mini muffins in the pumpkin glaze, and voila! Muffin “doughnut holes!”

You can use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar if you prefer a deeper molasses flavor in pumpkin muffins.

No buttermilk on hand? Check the FAQs for substitutions or make your own. This muffin recipe requires a ⅓ cup of buttermilk. The conversion is 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, then fill to the ⅓ line with milk.

pumpkin doughnut muffin cut in half

How to Store These Muffins

Leftovers

Store the pumpkin glazed doughnut muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week, and enjoy!

How to Freeze

You can freeze pumpkin doughnut muffins. Simply place completely cooled and unglazed muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. Muffins can be thawed completely at room temperature, then add the glaze and enjoy!

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins dripping in pumpkin glaze

Pumpkin Glaze Substitutions

When you want to mix it up a bit, or your other half is getting “pumpkined out” (I know, I can’t believe it either!), here are a few other fabulous glazes and topping ideas:

Three doughnut pumpkin muffins on a plate

Serving Suggestions

For large gatherings, double or triple the doughnut muffin recipe using different flavored glazes, powdered sugar, and plain.

Pop a pumpkin muffin in the microwave on 50% power for one minute and serve warm with Cinnamon Honey Butter.

I like to keep a stash of bakery-style gift boxes around, so I can brighten someone’s day by sharing my yummy pumpkin donut muffins! (Not to mention sharing the calories, it’s a win-win!)

Serve as a grab-n-go breakfast, afternoon work snack, or coffee with friends

round platter with pumpkin doughnut muffins and a cup of coffee

Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffin FAQs

Can I use a donut pan to bake this pumpkin doughnut muffin recipe?

Absolutely! We’ve turned the great taste of Krispy Kreme spiced pumpkin doughnuts into a phenomenal tasting muffin recipe, so why not really shake things up using a doughnut pan!? 
Using a piping bag to fill the mold is really helpful.

How do I know if I need to replace my spices?

When you open up a jar of ground spice and don’t get a solid aroma wafting your way, chances are it’s time to replace it. Whole spices like nutmeg or peppercorns will last longer than when bought ground. Spices kept dry won’t go “bad” on you but will certainly lose their potency over time.

What can I substitute for buttermilk?

You can make your own substitute with milk and an acidic pantry staple: distilled white vinegar or lemon juice. This doughnut muffin recipe requires a ⅓ cup of buttermilk. The conversion is 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, then filling to the ⅓ line with milk. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes

Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned?

I have not tested this recipe with fresh pureed pumpkin, but you should be able to substitute it for the canned pumpkin (1:1). Sugar pie pumpkins are great for baking, they are a little sweeter than other pumpkins and gourds. A 15-ounce can equals 1¾ cups of fresh pumpkin puree. Just make sure the consistency is similar to what’s in the can.

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Pumpkin Glazed Doughnut Muffins photo collage

Originally posted in February 2015. UPDATED January 2023. We spiffed up this post with more info and new photos.

pumpkin doughnut muffin with bite taken

Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Pumpkin muffins are baked and then coated in a pumpkin glaze to taste just like a doughnut!

Ingredients

For the Muffins

  • ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can - save extra for glaze)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon half & half (or milk)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • ¼ heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with cupcake papers (or butter and flour if not using liners).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add pumpkin mixture, then flour mixture and beat to combine.
  5. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow muffins to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by placing powdered sugar in a medium bowl, slowly whisk in milk and vanilla until there are no lumps. Continue to whisk while adding pumpkin puree, spice, and melted butter until smooth.
  7. Place a layer of wax or parchment paper under the cooling rack. Dip the muffin crowns into the glaze, place the muffins back onto the cooling rack and allow the glaze to harden. Dip a second time, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Pumpkin close up of Glazed Doughnut Muffin with bite taken