Fried dough has always been a comfort food of mine, dating back to the earliest days of my childhood obsession with johnny cakes and pates. Hot golden brown crispy exterior with an inside that’s pillow soft and melts in your mouth so tender ughhh… Good stuff.
Sticking with the deep Steven Universe mood I’ve been in this past week (read more about it here), I decided to treat myself to fresh, homemade donuts to celebrate my favorite holiday. Cartoons, donuts, and Halloween, what a rejuvenating combination.
These pumpkin apple donuts are mouthwatering whether they are enjoyed plain, rolled in spiced sugar (cinnamon + ginger), or filled with toffee apples and topped with a caramel glaze 😛
The dough recipe is an adaptation of my favorite classic vegan glazed donut recipe by 86 Eats.
For Pumpkin Apple Donuts
4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup plant milk of your choice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3-4 cups oil for frying (I used vegetable)
- Gently heat milk, either on the stove or in the microwave. It should be pleasantly warm to the touch, not too hot or it will kill the yeast cultures. Add sugar and yeast, stir to combine, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flours, salt, spices) together, making sure to remove lumps.
- In a blender, combine applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Puree until smooth. Take a big sniff- doesn’t that smell divine?
- With a large wooden spoon, stir pumpkin puree into dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
- Your yeast should be bloomed by now (bubbly, fragrant, with a ‘yeasty’ smell). Gently fold this into the dough, combining the two well.
- Place dough ball on floured surface and knead for 15 minutes.
- Set in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and prove for 2 hours.
*intermission* dance like nobody’s watching
- Roll dough out to 1/3 inch thick rectangle. Cut your dough into shapes, either classic round with a hole, a whole circle to be filled, lots of donut holes, or any shape your heart desires. Once the doughnut shapes are made, place on floured cookie sheet, cover, and prove once again for half an hour.
*intermission* meditate, journal, take some time for yourself 🙂
- Heat a large pan with your oil. The oil should be about 350 degrees, I test the temperature by simply frying a small piece of dough. If it sinks, the oil is too cool, when the oil sizzles and my dough floats, I know we’re ready to rock and roll!
- Fry like a butterfly, sting like a bee! For donut holes, fry no more than 1 minute per side, for holed donut shape, cook for 2-3 min each side, and for filled versions cook for 3-5 minutes per side. These are all based on my own testing. Use your discretion until you see the donut has puffed up and become golden brown*. Continue to cook in batches (be sure not to overcrowd the pan) until all your dough is fried.
The dough is darker in color ~ yellow/golden ~ and will be a darker brown than you’re expecting. It is not burnt! Please cook your dough through fully; raw donuts are no bueno.
If you like them plain, congratulations you’re done! You can take things 1 step further and prepare a simple mix of 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger to roll your finished donuts in. These are super delicious and the crunk from the sugar is addicting :O Or, if you are like me and enjoy a challenge, try this toffee apple filled version below.
The toffee apple filling and caramel glaze are my veganized versions based on Richard Burr’s Toffee Apple Donuts of the Great British Baking Show season 5 episode 8.
For Toffee Apple Filling
2 crisp, tart apples (I used gala)
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 tablespoon flour or cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients into a small saucepan.
- Cook on medium-low for 15 minutes, or until apples are soft, mushy, and cooked through.
- Set aside to cool.
For Caramel Glaze
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk or plain soy creamer
1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pour sugar into a wide pan, making sugar it’s at an even level. Melt the sugar on medium low heat in the pan until it reaches a deep golden brown color. Watch carefully because sugar can go from caramelized to burnt in what seems like the blink of an eye.
- Remove from the heat and add vegan butter, whisking to combine.
- While still whisking, slowly pour in the coconut milk/creamer and salt. Set aside to cool.
Place apple filling into a zip top bag, leaving some room at the bottom. Snip off the corner, making the tip of your piping bag. Use a knife to cut a small hole 1/2 way through the donut and pipe filling in. Dip top side into caramel glaze and garnish with chopped nuts (optional).
You worked so freaking hard on this, enjoy 🙂
If you try this recipe or have any thoughts you’d like to share, let me know down below!