Gluten-free Peanut Butter Pumpkin Donuts

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Happy Halloween! Despite Sandy’s best intentions to ruin Halloween, I’m persevering and celebrating it like I do every year. Luckily we have power and heat, so I’m really thankful for that. I’m still praying for my NYC & Jersey friends who aren’t having such luck 🙁 Send them some good vibes, okay? Since Sandy has had enough media coverage (that little B), let’s move onto something a little more uplifting, donuts! Gluten-free peanut butter pumpkin donuts with cinnamon sugar to be exact.

Donuts are as important to Halloween for me as Michael Myers, witches fingers and bite-size candy. When I was growing up, we always had donuts on Halloween. My mom would buy a dozen sprinkled, glazed and powdered and we’d munch on them with a glass of apple cider before we went trick-or-treating. So whenever I think of Halloween, I think of donuts. Soft, cakey, decadent donuts. I also think of the insanely elaborate costumes my mom made for us. Guys, she literally made me a headless horseman costume once, complete with a dangling head.

This year, I decided to keep the tradition alive and stick to my healthy point of view by making these gluten-free and low-fat!

You save over 5 grams of fat alone just by baking them. Then, I subbed out 1/2 of the oil with applesauce and used gluten-free all purpose flour (from Bob’s Red Mill) in place of regular. And you know what? You can’t tell a damn bit of difference. In fact, I was halfway through this post and realized I didn’t even mention these were gluten-free because I completely forgot they were.

They don’t look, taste or even feel like a gluten-free donut. They are so fluffy, moist and decadent without even a hint of dryness. I think the pumpkin and the applesauce help moisten the flour so they stay perfectly soft.

I made these last night and there are about 11 left. I made 22. With the rate we are going here, I doubt there will be any left come Halloween night. At least this means I’ll be too full to eat all the Halloween candy, right? RIGHT?

Gluten-free peanut butter pumpkin donuts


Yields about 18 donuts. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: About 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • White sugar (for dusting)
  • Cinnamon (for dusting)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, peanut butter and cinnamon together until fully combined. Gradually add the baking powder, salt and flour and mix until fully combined.
  3. Fill each donut cavity about 2/3 the way full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 2 minutes.
  4. While donuts are still warm, roll them into a mixture of white sugar and cinnamon. Let sit for another minute or so and enjoy!

Nutritional information per donut:

Calories: 147.5
Fat: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Fiber: 4.3 grams
Protein: 9.9 grams
Weight Watchers Points:

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  1. Posted by Kathryn on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    My attempts at gluten free donuts have usually been disastrous so I'm looking forward to trying these; they look so delicious!
  2. Posted by Ali | Gimme Some Oven on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    These look wonderful! Totally bookmarking to make for some of my GF friends. :)
  3. Posted by Elaine Anderson on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    Haha, right! I always tell myself that too, but somehow find room for extra candy or sweets. Stupid sweet tooth! Moving on...these look delicious. :) I have yet to invest in a donut pan (I'm hoping Santa will be nice to me this year), so do you think I could try making these in a mini-muffin tin? Kind of like donut holes?
  4. Posted by domesticfits on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    Whaaaa? There are actual calories in these doughnuts?! How could you! :) Just trying to beat the trolls to the punch. But seriously, I love these. I always like to have a stock pile of gluten free recipes on hand because I know so many GF people. Beautiful :)
  5. Posted by Melanie on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    This looks AMAZING. I am so happy you do so many gluten free recipes. Frozen gf donuts are so blegh; I can't wait to make these!
  6. Posted by christina on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    Holy yum, these look so moist and delicious. I absolutely love the combo of nut butter and pumpkin, so you have me sold on these with just the title. :)
  7. Posted by justonecookbook on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    You know how to make everyone's life happier! Your delicious donuts and even the image of them brighten our day! Happy Halloween! Coffee and this donut - that's what I need for my snack right now!
  8. Posted by CrunchyCreamySw on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    Oh yes, please! I'll take a dozen!
  9. Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    I must try PB + pumpkin together soon. These look so amazing!
  10. Posted by Ashley - BakerbyNature on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    Wow. I totally want to stuff my face with these babies.

    Happy Halloween, friend!
  11. Posted by Julie @ Table for Two on
    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
    girl, these look so moist and good!!! i'm glad you kept the halloween tradition going on here - that's the spirit of things!! too bad we didn't plan ahead and have halloween together. we got a mediocre amount of kids - you could've gotten your fill here...and by fill i mean wine ;)
  12. Posted by JulieD on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    These look so great!! Just perfect...I love that they are gf too!
  13. Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    YUM! Donuts are important for me any day of the week so I most definitely have to make these ASAP! Hope you had a great Halloween!
  14. Posted by PB and Peppers on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    I'm speechless!! All I can say is YUM!
  15. Posted by Kristina on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    Haha that is the absolute best halloween tradition! Candy and doughnuts? That's awesome. And these look delicious!! I finally bought a doughnut pan the other week and I've been trying to make time to try it!
  16. Posted by meigancam on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
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    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    I am really interested in what you wrote here. This looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details are give me a lot of knowledge.holy food

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  18. Posted by Savory Simple on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    I need these in my life
  19. Posted by Alice Choi on
    Thursday, November 1st, 2012
    OMG, I can't wait to try this recipe!
  20. Posted by Tutti Dolci on
    Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
    Hello heaven, these look incredible!
  21. Sunday, November 11th, 2012
    Peanut butter and pumpkin?! That's interesting. I would have never thought of that! They do look amazing. :)
  22. Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
    These look soooo good. Curious...What could you substitute for the pumpkin? I love the stuff, but it doesn't love me.