pumpkin donuts with spiced buttercream

here is a pumpkin recipe that will do you some good if, for example, you bought twelve too many cans of pumpkin for thanksgiving because despite your husband's questionable track record of pies he still insists on making one every year but with some great luck he nailed it this time thus alleviating your need for backup pumpkin. so now you have all of this pumpkin! 


maybe you are on #teamcake but are so humble that you don't want your handsome show-stopping pumpkin cake to overshadow your husband's pie so you are in the market for something smaller and humbler. 


you just like donuts.


you want to get started baking now and need something that will freeze and defrost really nicely just in time for the post-turkey bird festivities.

ok i'll shut up now because it's true that you don't ever need a reason to want a soft pumpkiny donut that's topped with artful plops of pumpkin spiced buttercream. and i realize that baked donuts might just be differently shaped cupcakes, but i get so much satisfaction out of popping these little guys out of the pans and seeing the cloudy light get swallowed up through their holes. and how do you make a good cake donut better? top it with good buttercream, of course. if you and i have ever talked buttercream (or if you've read the butter section in molly on the range), you know that i'm an advocate for using the best butter available for it since it's basically just butter and sugar. you *want* the good buttery flavor, and for this i turn to the butter from my new cow friends, kerrygoldit's grass-fed and it's what i use for all of my buttercreams. 

so go forth into this thanksgiving week like the pumpkin champion that you are and get donut-ing! 

pumpkin donuts with spiced buttercream

makes 18-20 large donuts


1 3/4 c flour

1 1/2 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp ginger

pinch cardamom

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c oil

1/3 cup water

1 c pumpkin puree

for the buttercream:

1 c kerrygold unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 c powdered sugar

2 tb milk

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, ginger


sprinkles, optional


preheat oven to 375ºf. grease a donut pan and set aside.

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. in a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, oil, water, and pumpkin. whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until batter is combined.

using a pastry bag, pipe batter into donut pan, filling the cavities halfway. bake donuts until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. remove from oven and let cool slightly. turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

note: if you're making these in advance, transfer cooled donuts to a gallon ziploc bag (or wrap a pan of them in plastic wrap) and freeze for up to two weeks. defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours before frosting.

make the buttercream

beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.

add frosting to piping bag. pipe onto cooled donuts and decorate with sprinkles as desired.



thank you for kerrygold for sponsoring this post!

roasted pumpkin with dukkah, yogurt, and fried bread

the last time i ate pumpkin i was at the zoo in australia, missing my chance to cuddle a koala because i'm a space cadet. all i wanted was to be in tip top shape when i met my new koala friend so rather than going straight to the cuddling station when i got to the zoo, i stopped for a little snack to have the energy to wait on line without getting cranky. and that snack was a pumpkin wrap. and that line closed while i was enjoying my pumpkin wrap. and it was my last day in australia. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

missed connection

me: sneakers, a backpack, parsley in my teeth, pumpkin in my belly. 

you: a cuddly plop of koala at the taronga zoo. you went to bed at 3pm. 

so i have this kind of sad feeling about pumpkin.

but i also have all of these happy feelings about pumpkin because before my koala incident, i had spent the weekend at sophie and luisa's workshop in the blue mountains outside of sydney where we ate some really delicious pumpkin in a way that i'd not ever had before. it was winter there (july), so rather than beginning my days with my typical summer breakfast of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers over yogurt, sophie suggested a big bowl of roasted pumpkin over yogurt and it was so perfect and good. i drizzled it with some of her homemade olive oil and dukkah, and scooped it all up with fresh sourdough. it made me look at pumpkin in a whole new savory delicious way than just as a pie filling and cake ingredient, and it made me even more excited for sara and aimee's virtual pumpkin party.

this is more of a non-recipe that's inspired by my australian breakfast bowls and it's fall's equivalent to summer's breakfast salads. it's the type of thing that you can sleepily spoon into a bowl using last night's leftover roasted pumpkin (or roasted sweet potatoes or squash, any orange starchy thing really) and yesterday's bread (since frying in a bit of olive oil will revive any old bread). you can get as complicated with the other stuff as you want: i love adding lemony sautéed kale for some greens and a handful of nuts and seeds for crunch. and if you don't have chiles, hot sauce will do the trick! 

roasted pumpkin with dukkah, yogurt, and fried bread


Pie pumpkin, seeded and peeled and chopped into 3/4” cubes 

Olive oil



ground cumin

Crusty sourdough

Plain full-fat greek yogurt

Red chiles, seeded and sliced

Dukkah (I like using a blend of pine nuts, pepitas, sesame seeds, and coriander)

Optional: kale sauteed with olive oil, salt, lemon


preheat oven to 425ºf and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and a dusting of ground cumin. spread pumpkin on baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until browned and caramelized. (you can do this step the night before. to reheat, toss the pumpkin in a hot skillet for a few moments.) 

meanwhile, slice bread and heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet. brown bread slices on both sides in the oil, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.

when pumpkin has finished roasting, remove from oven and let cool slightly. dollop yogurt in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with pumpkin, chiles, a sprinkle of dukkah, and kale, if using. Serve with bread.

...and be sure to check out all of the other recipes in today's virtual pumpkin party! happy pumpkin season, everybody in the northern hemisphere! 


pumpkin layer cake with cream cheese frosting

i think macaroni are going to start laying eggies soon. i can feel it in mah bones! (lol no i can't, what does that even mean?) or at least i really really really want them to, so that on a day like today when i go to make a savory bread pudding and then fail the first time but need more eggs to try it again, i don't have to brave the vicious snow flurries and drive to town. 

while i'm at it, you know what else would be great during this nutso cookbook recipe testing phase? a little cow that produces just the right amount of milk, olive oil on tap, and a sesame tree.. err.. bush? with a tahini mill. 

that's all!

like a good cashmere sweater, this cake is a solid choice for when you want to feel comfortable, cozy, and just a little bit glamorous. it's very reliable and making it is easy peasy *pumpkin* peasy. here i'm using king arthur flour's pumpkin pie spice, which is amazing and cuts down on time measuring out each individual spice. and this cake is fluffier than your average pumpkin loaf, so it's extra receptive to a nice smattering of cream cheese frosting. i recommend putting this at the center of a little fall party or your thanksgiving table (because as you know, i err on the side of #teamcake over #teampie). to make things even easier, you can bake the layers now and freeze them until thanksgiving! simply wrap your cooled layers tightly in plastic wrap, freeze, and then defrost slightly before frosting.

pumpkin layer cake

makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake



1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tb pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 c buttermilk
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
1 tb vanilla extract
3/4 c water


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


caramel, optional

pumpkin seeds, optional



Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, oil, vanilla, and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.

Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.


using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat to combine. beat in the extracts and salt. this will make enough to frost your cake with a naked/crumb coat effect. if you'd like it to be fully, um, clothed, make another half batch of frosting.


when the layers are cooled, level the tops (if you want you can just level the top of the bottom layer) and then stack them up with a layer of frosting in between. frost all over with an offset spatula.

if you'd like to cover it in caramel, freeze your the frosted cake until the frosting is solid and cold, melt the caramel on the stove or in the microwave and stir it for a bit so that it cools slightly (you want it pourable but not too hot that it'll melt the frosting). pour it over the cake. do this right before you serve it and don't store it in a warm room otherwise it will all ooze off and get all over your counter, i know from experience. 😁 add pumpkin seeds if desired!

i used the following king arthur products in this recipe: all-purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and this huge amazing block of caramel. thank you so much, king arthur, for sponsoring this post!


bacon caramel apples + pumpkin slice and bake cookies

happy back to the future day, everyone!!! on a scale from monday to birthday, i am registering at thanksgiving-level excitement right now because the back to the future trilogy have long been my favorite movies. i have even been rooting for the cubs this year because how crazy would that be if they won the world series after the movie predicted it?!?1?!!! i made a list of ways to celebrate back to the future day and here is another list about my favorite back to the future food scenes because they are my favorite food scenes in the history of movies. i'm probably going to have huey lewis and the news on repeat today. how are you celebrating?!

i've just returned from my quick trip to austin where i crammed in so many social situations that i barely recognized myself. or maybe that was because of the fake eyelashes that were glued onto my face (that i very clumsily yanked off at the dinner table in front of jeanine and jack because i left my tact in minnesota). i had surprise drinks accompanied by very intense cookie conversation with kristen and sarah, the most amazing vegetables and sprinkle ice cream sandwiches at launderette with jeanine and jack, brisket bourbon (!!!) with amy, and the loveliest breakfast at texas french bread with landen. and a bunch of chocolate on set for the super secret chocolatey video that i made with whole foods that'll be on the internet soon!

now that i'm back, i am ready to think about halloween. i am ready to plan our costumes, take advantage of the pumpkins that magically appeared on their own in our garden, and pick all of the apples from our trees which are bursting with glee! i have lots of excitement.

i recently developed two halloweeny recipes for le creuset and their line of metal bakeware. the first is a little savory twist on a caramel apple that involves candied bacon because caramel should always be salted (right?) and bacon is a great way to eat salt (right??). you can find that recipe over on le creuset's site.

and the second recipe is pumpkin slice and bake cookies! they make me wanna put on footie pajamas and turn on full house because slice and bake cookies were the cookies of my michelle tanner-ed youth. you too? excellent. 

these take a little bit of added effort to make, but they are so much fun. essentially you make one long orange oval with a stem on top and then wrap it in chocolate dough, so when you slice a cross section of it, you've got a pumpkin shape! the orange dough in this recipe is vanilla flavored, but if you'd like to throw some pumpkin spice in the mix, that would be super tasty too.

pumpkin slice and bake cookies

makes 16-18


For the orange center:

1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
20 drops red liquid food coloring
20 drops yellow liquid food coloring

For the outer chocolate section:

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla


First, make the dough for the orange pumpkin center. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Add the butter and continue to pulse until it is a mealy texture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and food coloring. With the food processor running, drizzle in the egg yolk mixture and process until it becomes a dough. Turn it out onto a clean work surface.

Shape the dough into a 9-inch long round log, then flatten slightly so it becomes an oval shape. Slice off a small bit of the dough on the end, and roll it out into a long skinny snake. Place this on top of the oval so that in a cross section, it becomes the pumpkin’s stem. Place the dough in the freezer while you make the chocolate dough.

To make the chocolate dough, pulse together the flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt. Add the butter and continue to pulse until it is a mealy texture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and vanilla. With the food processor running, drizzle in the egg yolk mixture and process until it becomes a dough. Turn it out onto a clean work surface.

Roll the dough into 9-inch long skinny snakes. Stick these snakes around the perimeter of the orange dough, then roll the entire log a bit to smooth it out. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and freeze 20 – 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the log into 1/2-inch-thick disks, and place them on a baking sheet one inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. enjoy!

this recipe is part of sara's virtual pumpkin party!!! check out her blog for all of the other good lookin pumpkin recipes that populated the internet today! i am especially excited about the savory recipes, like steph's pumpkin and pork stuffed shells and sarah's harissa pumpkin gnocchi.


thank you for sponsoring this post, le creuset!!!!