Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts or Cupcakes

October 19, 2012

in Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Gluten Free, Healthy "MAKEOVERS", Kid Friendly, Recipes

What would be your preference?

Mini donuts with a cinnamon sugar topping?

Or mini cupcakes with a cream cheese icing?

This recipe does both, and you really can’t go wrong with either!  Both are delicious in their own way. Plus they are ridiculously low cal (38 calories each) with no added fat or refined sugar. My 4 year old had ample samples of both, and couldn’t decide either 😉

I’ve been so inspired by pumpkin this fall!  Not that its anything unusual, since I’m a pumpkin-lover, but there seem to be that-many-more pumpkin recipes I’d like to make this year!

My sister-in-law sent me this recipe assuming I would like it.  She assumed right! Its from the blog called Blue Eyed Bakers.  They have some great recipes on their blog, check it out!  Since it used white flour, sugar and oil, I wanted to healify it a lil’ bit 😉

So here’s what I did!

Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts or Cupcakes

Makes 36 mini donuts or 36 mini cupcakes


1 3/4 cups spelt flour* (could also try with oat flour, or your favorite gluten free flour mix) You could also try subbing out 1/2 a cup of flour for vanilla or plain whey protein powder, but can’t guarantee the result as I haven’t tried it yet.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sucanat (or another raw brown sugar. Could also sub for stevia if you want completely sugar free)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

*Note: Spelt flour is not gluten-free. Spelt is a relative of wheat, but considered wheat-free, so if you’re avoiding wheat, its a good option.  If you’re ok on wheat, you can substitute for whole wheat flour (or even all-purpose flour).  You’ll probably get a better result using whole wheat pastry flour vs. whole wheat flour as its lighter.  With whole wheat flour, you’ll probably get a more dense donut/cupcake.

Coating/Toppings (optional)

Butter (or vegan margarine), melted
Cane sugar (or xylitol, or Truvia as you want something granular)
Cream Cheese Icing (what I used to top the mini cupcakes)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini donut pan or mini cupcake tray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, applesauce, sucanat, vanilla and milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just blended.

Using a teaspoon, fill each donut cup or cupcake tin until full but not overflowing. Bake for 8-9 minutes (donuts) or 10-11 minutes (cupcakes). The finished product will spring back when pressed.  You could also make larger donuts or cupcakes, just adjust the cooking time (16-18 minutes) Cooking times may vary depending on what type of flour you used (I used spelt flour).

Allow donut or cupcakes to cool in pan for a few minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool further.

To top the donuts, quickly dip warm donuts in melted butter, then cover into a sugar/cinnamon mixture.  **If topping the donuts with this, they are best eaten immediately. They will get soggy over time.

To top the cupcakes, mix all the ingredients in the cream cheese icing and spread on fully cooled cupcakes.

Nutrition (per mini donut or cupcake, toppings not included)  Calories: 38   Fat: 0.4g   Carbs: 7.5g   Fiber: 1g   Sugars: 2g   Sodium: 25mg   Protein: 1g

  • Annik LeBlanc

    Can I use fresh pumpkin ?

  • Tara

    Yum! These look delicious! Looking for great pumpkin recipes!

  • kolkenna

    Hi I tried these and the batter was very dry, not wet at all, has anyone else had this problem? Wondering what i might have done wrong

    • https://busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Which type of flour did you use? Make any substitutions?

      • kolkenna

        I tried coconut flour, maybe that was the problem

        • https://busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

          Yes, coconut flour would definitely cause a huge issue. Its not like any other flour. It takes way less, as it absorbs like crazy, and it requires a lot of added fat, eggs and liquid in the recipe. I don’t recommend using it unless it says to use coconut flour, as its pretty complicated to work with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashlee.geesaman Ashlee Nicole Geesaman

    Oooh, pinning this for my next pumpkin project Kristine!

  • Js

    Thanks!!  I use flax egg a lot, just wanted to make sure the “egg” was necessary.

  • Js

    Is there egg in the recipe?  It isn’t listed in the ingredients, but you mention it in the directions.  My children are allergic to eggs so I was hopeful when I didn’t see eggs in the ingredients??  These look delicious!!

    • https://busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Yes there is egg. Sorry forgot in ingredients but added it. You could use a flax egg instead. 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp hot water. Voila! Kristine Fretwell, Busy But Healthy, http://www.busybuthealthy.com

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