You may remember from the time I made homemade corn dogs that I have a paralyzing fear of deep-frying. Not for the health concerns (though they abound aplenty), but for, you know, the whole splattering, flesh-burning, home-consuming potential. I can count on one hand (that’s generous. It’s more like 3 fingers) how many times I’ve deep-fried in our marriage, but let me tell you, dear reader, this was worth it.
Few things say fall in such a swoon-inducing way than a cup of spiced cider and a freshly-made donut. Especially when that donut is a pumpkin one.
Oh, friends. After eating these, and sharing some with friends, we feel almost entirely convinced that we might just have to make donuts a once-yearly, October tradition. (I already have plans for apple fritters next year)
Although I tend to prefer generous helpings of fall spices, I kept these a bit more subtly spiced and I thought they turned out splendidly.
A few pointers:
1. For safety, use a thermometer and wear an apron. You’ll feel confident that the oil is the proper temperature and you’ll protect yourself a bit from any splattering.
2. This dough is quite wet. Don’t be afraid to generously flour your counter, the top of the dough, and the donut cutter. I found it helpful to use a metal bench scraper or spatula to transfer the donuts from the counter into the oil, but mentally prepare yourself for homemade-looking donuts rather than perfect circles.
3. If you prefer your glaze a bit thicker, allow the donuts to cool somewhat before dipping them in the glaze.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, pour about 2 inches of canola oil and begin heating to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree. Add egg/pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Make glaze by combining powdered sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla in a bowl. The glaze should be fairly thin, but you can thicken it somewhat by adding more powdered sugar if desired.
Generously flour the countertop or surface you will be using and turn dough out onto the counter. Pat dough or roll out with rolling pin to between 1/4″- 1/2″ thickness. (The donuts will puff up during the cooking process). Cut with a donut cutter or biscuit cutter.
When oil is heated to 350 degrees, slide donuts in 2-3 at a time, frying on the first side until the edges are lightly browned. Flip carefully using tongs or a metal spatula and continue cooking until lightly browned.
Dip cooked donuts directly into the glaze and place on a cooling rack to set.
*you can substitute 2 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom