Recipe: Pumpkin Doughnuts or Pumpkin Donuts

If you have ever been to the Circleville Pumpkin Show, which is billed as the Greatest Free Show on Earth, then you already know about the infamous pumpkin donuts. They are THE talk of the show. And there is only one little food vendor that sells them. The line is ALWAYS long but it is well worth the wait. Last year I heard people in line talking about how insanely tasty these pumpkin doughnuts are and exclaimed that they are “crack donuts” because they are so tasty and addictive! If you want to see how popular these crack donuts are, click on the link above for the Pumpkin Show site and head on over to their FAQs where they answer the question of how many pumpkin donuts are sold each year.

And now, a recipe for you to try at home!

Pumpkin Doughnuts


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin cooked and strained
  • 1/4 cup water in which the pumpkin was cooked
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Frying Oil


Dissolve yeast in the hot pumpkin water with the sugar.

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Use a mixer to mix up the pumpkin puree while gradually adding the milk.

Then add the flour and cornstarch while beating constantly.

Then add the yeast.

Mix this to a smooth paste and place in a bowl.

Place the bowl inside your for a minute.

Then, turn the oven off while leaving the dough inside to rise for 45 minutes.

Once that time is up, remove the bowl from the oven and get a large skillet or deep frying pan to make your doughnuts in. Be sure to add plenty of oil to heat.

Put your fingers into bowl to get some dough and try to shape it into a doughnut before dropping it into the hot oil.

Fry each doughnut until golden and well puffed up.

You can dip in a cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture if you like before placing on wire rack to cool. (That is the way they do it at the Circleville Pumpkin Show)

pumpkin doughnuts

photo: by Waldo Jaquith

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