Pumpkin Brown Butter Malt Donuts

I’ve had the idea for these donuts rolling around in my brain for days, ya’ll. And I JUST got to making them yesterday and jeeeeez…what took me so long?! These donuts are the baked variety making them a touch less indulgent than their fried brothers, but also a little easier to execute. BONUS. They are soft and spiced and laced with delicious brown butter and the subtle-sweet maltiness of malted milk powder.

I’ve smashed pumpkin with brown butter and malt before (with these amazeballs cookies) and let me tell you, it’s a winning combination. Brown butter goes into the batter AND gets brushed onto theses babies…which makes the perfect glue for a glittering of spiced sugar. And, not to get all braggy on you, but that picture of those butter drenched donuts above makes my heart melt…donut swoon! So, basically, I urge you to make these and honor pumpkin season with donuts. It’s only the logical thing to do.


Print Recipe

Pumpkin Brown Butter Malt Donuts

Adapted from Take A Megabite

Makes 4-5 dozen minis

These donuts can be baked in a standard size donut pan as well, or even a mini muffin tin. When shopping for the malt powder, I usually find it near the hot cocoa mixes or near the powdered and evaporated milk. I find it easier to brown the butter for the donuts seperately from the butter for the coating. Don’t bother to use a different skillet, just brown the butter for coating in the same skillet while the donuts bake.

1 cup all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons malted milk powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned

For the Spiced Sugar + Brown Butter Coating:

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned

Preheat the oven to 325˚F and spray a mini donut pan lightly with cooking spray.

Brown the butter for the donuts in a skillet over medium heat until the butter separates and the solids become a deep, toffee brown and smell nutty and fragrant. Pour the browned butter into a ramekin and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, malt powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Whisk to blend. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the brown butter, fold until just combined. Either spoon or pipe the batter about halfway up the donut pan molds and bake in the center of the oven for 6-7 minutes. Donuts are done when the tops are dry and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a rack slightly before turning out. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Brown the butter for coating while the donuts bake.

In a wide dish whisk together the sugar and spices for the coating, brush the baked donuts with browned butter and roll in the spiced sugar to coat completely. [/recipe]


  1. says

    These photos are making my heart swoon too. And I love love LOVE that they’re baked, ’cause I ain’t got no willpower when it comes to fresh donuts. I have a special place in my heart for donuts coated in cinnamon sugar.

  2. says

    Ooh, yes! They look so tender and pillowy and just completely luxurious. Why fry something when you could coat it in brown butter?

    Also, I have a bunch of malted milk powder from a failed “waffles that taste just like corn flakes” experiment. These might make up for that corn+malt mess.

  3. says

    For some crazy reason I have been craving malt like a mad woman for some time now. Unfortunately for me I have not had much luck finding it in my markets. Now, I must jump on the quest once again, as these doughnuts sound amazing! Love the thought of creamy pumpkin mixed with an old familiar flavor such as malt. Kind of like pure comfort food.

  4. says

    I made a baked pumpkin cinn-sugar donut for another project I was working on (not on my blog) and they were one of the best things I’ve EVER ate. I wish I could blog about them. I loooove the looks of yours. They are seriously perfect! Pinned!

  5. says

    Just gorgeous! I love the sprinkling of sugar too. Adds such a lovely sparkle! Thank you for sharing. I’m all about pumpkin and brown butter!

  6. Mara says

    This recipe sounds amazing!! I can’t wait to make them!! I was wondering if you thought I could make these but regular sized donuts?

  7. Liz says

    I don’t have a donut pan or anything..I can’t even find one in a store near me. Is there another way for me to make these?


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