Imagine waking up to a crisp, fall morning and getting a craving for freshly fried, pumpkin old-fashioned doughnuts! The perfect morning you say? AGREED. With a side of hot apple cider of course.
In less than an hour and a half, you’ll be enjoying some pumpkin old fashioned doughnuts yourself with this recipe!
What Makes a Pumpkin Old Fashioned Doughnut?
The distinguished craggy top, the sour cream tang, dense crumb structure, and the light coating of glaze are some of the defining characteristics of a quality old-fashioned doughnut!
With such a love for these doughnuts, I figured why not attempt these bad boys at home. It was quite an experiment but after a number of tries, I’ve figured out my tried and true at-home recipe!
There’s a number of things to keep in mind before you start the process of frying doughnuts…
Using Palm Oil
There are so many different kinds of oils on the market that you could grab and fry these doughnuts with. Personally, I’ve found that palm oil shortening has worked the best when frying old-fashioned doughnuts. It allows for the perfect crust and heats up incredibly quickly which I love when making numerous batches of doughnuts back to back. I’ve also noticed that when I use canola oil to fry old-fashioned doughnuts, the oil has a tendency to seep into the doughnut batter while frying. When using palm shortening, the oil does not seep in as it creates a protective fried skin quickly between the doughnut and the oil rather quickly.
Make sure to consistently be checking your oil’s temperature! It can rise above the target temperature that you should be frying at quite quickly. It also will decrease in temperature after frying a batch of doughnuts. Between each batch of doughnuts, check the temperature of your oil before adding more dough to ensure even and consistent results.
Before you start frying your doughnuts, it’s important to make sure that you have properly prepared your space so that your doughnuts are not overcooked! Make sure to have your thermometer close by to monitor the oil’s temperature. Having a plate lined with paper towels to place the fried doughnuts on, and your sugar coating ready as well is a must!
Now onto the glaze! Add all glaze ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk everything until properly combined. Feel free to add more hot water to the glaze if you prefer a thinner glaze.
It’s incredibly important to glaze your old-fashioned doughnuts within moments of removing them from the oil. By dipping the doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, the glaze does not seize, trapping a large amount of icing into the crevices of the doughnut. The glaze will instead evenly coat the doughnuts, creating a thin glazed crust.
Pumpkin Old Fashioned Doughnuts
- Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- Air Tight Container
- Cast Iron, Dutch Oven or Countertop Fryer
- Rolling Pin
- Doughnut Cutter or Cookie Cutters
- Paper Towels
- Cooling Rack or Plate
- Slotted Spoon
Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts
- 3 Cups (355 g) Cake Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice
- ½ Cup (100 g) Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Crisco or Shortening
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- ⅔ Cup (165 g) Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup (120 g) Pumpkin Puree
- Palm Oil for Frying, or Canola, read notes before using canola
Pumpkin Doughnut Glaze
- 4.5 Cups (450 g) Powdered Sugar, 3 Cups
- 2 tsp Corn Syrup, or Honey
- ¾ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1/4 Cup (60 g) Pumpkin Puree
- ⅓ Cup (60 g) Hot Water plus more if needed
Mixing & Frying Doughnuts
- Whisk together the dry ingredients – cake flour, baking powder pumpkin spice and sea salt in a medium bowl.
- Place the Sugar and Crisco in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for about 2 minutes. Then add the egg yolks and mix for an additional two minutes before adding the sour cream and pumpkin puree.
- Add the dry ingredients in two separate parts, mixing until just combined.
- Place the dough in an air tight container in the fridge for an hour – I like to make my dough in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge overnight before continuing on.
- Place enough oil in cast iron pot so that you have at least 3 inches of oil in height from the base of the pot. Heat the oil to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, dust your work surface with flour and place the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and roll out your dough to be ½ inch thick. Cut as many doughnuts and holes as possible using a doughnut cutter or circular cookie cutters of various sizes. Make sure to dip the cutter in flour before each cut otherwise it will stick!
- Feel free to re-roll your dough and continue to cut more doughnuts and doughnut holes until you have barely any scraps left.
- Before you start the process of frying, I like to prepare my space by setting a cooling rack or a large plate near my cast iron pot and line with paper towels.
- To test that your oil is ready to go, I like to use a doughnut hole and drop it into our preheated oil. To fry your doughnuts, you’ll fry for 15 seconds on the first side, then flip to cook for 75 seconds. Then, finally flip the doughnut to cook for an additional 75 seconds until golden brown before removing from oil and setting on your prepared paper towels.
- Continue cooking doughnuts and doughnut holes in this fashion until there are none left! Make sure to continually monitor the temperature of your oil and only add doughnuts when the oil reads approximately 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk everything until properly combined. Add more hot water to glaze if you prefer a thinner glaze.
- Dip the tops of the freshly fried doughnuts straight into the glaze before setting on a cooling rack to set.