Editor's Note: Due to special scheduling for Ramen Week, Gluten-Free Tuesday has been moved to Friday.
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For me, the official doughnut of fall is the apple cider doughnut. But recently, a sign flapping outside my local Dunkin' Donuts made me reconsider. It showed a pumpkin doughnut sitting next to a pumpkin latte. The sugary latte didn't interest me; the doughnut did.
Fresh off the success of my baked chocolate doughnut recipe, I decided to give my doughnut pan another workout and bake, not fry, a batch of pumpkin doughnuts. I found a recipe from King Arthur Flour for baked pumpkin doughnuts. The recipe wasn't gluten-free, but it was dairy-free. Since I'd used sour cream and buttermilk in my chocolate doughnut recipe, I decided to avoid dairy this time around.
I replaced the all-purpose flour with gluten-free millet and oat flours. The first batch tasted great, but the doughnuts were a little too rich. The oil and eggs muted the delicate flavor of the pumpkin. For the next batch, I reduced the vegetable oil from a half cup to one-third of a cup. I also got rid of one egg, but this made the batter a little dry. So I borrowed an idea from my pumpkin bread recipe: I added a little orange juice to the batter.
All these little changes added up to a big improvement in flavor. Now you could taste the pumpkin and the spices.
Batch number two also taught me that tossing the doughnuts in sugar while they're still warm isn't the best idea. I accidentally let two of the doughnuts cool without tossing them in cinnamon-sugar. Surprisingly the sugar stuck better to the cool doughnuts than it did to warm doughnuts, and you don't risk the warm doughnuts breaking as you toss them.
So, while I'm not giving up my beloved apple cider doughnuts this fall, they'll need to share the title of the "official doughnut of fall" with these tasty pumpkin doughnuts.