I'm a firm believer that pumpkin's sweet soulmate is chocolate. As soon as autumn hits, I make all the pumpkin-chocolate recipes I can find: cookies, muffins, and pancakes... any and every variation of this classic flavor combination.  

These muffins are the glorious exception to my pumpkin-chocolate obsession. They have the fluffy, light texture of a donut, the transportability of a muffin and a perfect pumpkin spice flavor. Eat them warm out the oven with your preferred hot beverage, and you have the best afternoon snack imaginable.

Pumpkin Donut Muffins

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr
  • Servings:12
  • Medium


  • For the muffins:
  • 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter room temperature plus extra for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted
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Photo by Ilaria Maresi
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 F (170 C).

  • Step 2

    Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

    flour, pastry, dough, sweet
    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 3

    Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves together in a medium bowl.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 4

    Whisk together the canned pumpkin and the buttermilk.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 5

    Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

    chocolate, cream
    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 6

    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the pumpkin mixture, until it is all combined. Stir until flour streaks have disappeared, but be careful not to over-mix.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 7

    Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and place the tin in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 8

    After removing from the the oven, let the muffins cool in the tin for 10 minutes.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 9

    While the muffins are cooling, prepare the topping by melting the remaining butter and mixing the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 10

    Brush each muffin with melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture before placing them on a cooling rack.

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    Photo by Caitlin McCreight
  • Step 11

    The muffins are best eaten warm, but they will keep for three days in an air-tight container.

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    Photo by Ilaria Maresi

Recipe adapted from martha stewart