An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Coconut Pumpkin Doughnuts

I am honored to announce that I've been included in a food blogger recipe swap group from all around the country.  This month we are assigned a recipe from Christianna's vintage cookbook.  From there, we are to swap out ingredients and make it our own creation.  If you click on the link to her website, you can see all the other lovely food blogger's recipes.  This month, 'Potato Donuts' is the recipe.

I was thinking to swap out the potato with some kind of colorful, starchy vegetable.  Then I remembered a little container in my freezer with homemade pumpkin puree I made after the holiday season.  I have been looking for excuses to use anything coconut lately, so coconut milk and coconut flakes found their way into the recipe as well.

The original recipe suggests letting the dough sit for three hours in the fridge before frying.  I made the dough yesterday, and then had a Farm to Table dinner to attend last night (which by the way was awesome).  So I didn't get reacquainted with the dough until this morning, a good 17 hours later.  The dough was nice and rested, and fried up just fine.

I started off making them about the size of a large gumball, but found that the center wasn't cooking all the way through.  Making them a little smaller helped.  So this recipe made about 3 dozen.  I was also a little nervous about using really hot oil.  I realized that I have never fried in a Dutch oven by myself outside of a cooking class.  I was sweating nervously as the heat crept up to 300.  So I just kept it there because a test piece of dough cooked up just fine.

The three coatings I chose were cinnamon sugar, ground almonds with cinnamon and ground coconut.  Cinnamon and sugar definitely attached itself to the outside of the doughnut the best.  So if you coat it with that first, and then roll in coconut or almonds, it will cover nicely.

In an attempt to make these donuts healthier, I baked a few.  First I rolled the dough in oil, and then placed on parchment paper on the baking sheet and subsequently baked them at 375 for about 15 minutes.  They turned out more to be like little scones and flattened on the bottom.  They taste pretty similar to the inside of the fried ones, but the outside texture is much different.  So all in all, I stick with the rule of thumb that if you are making doughnuts, just make them as they should be: fried.

Coconut Pumpkin Doughnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetit October 2004 on
Yields 2-4 dozen, depending on the size of the doughnut hole

The pumpkin coconut taste is very subtle in these doughnuts...just enough that they taste different than a regular doughnut.  You can easily swap in regular milk if you don't have coconut milk.   And also canned pumpkin instead of homemade puree.  Either way, these are a pretty fun diversion from a regular doughnut, and a crowd pleaser amongst friends.

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp ground coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/16 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, unsalted and room temperature
1/2 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)

1/4 cup ground coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup ground almonds with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients.  Using a fork or whisk, stir to combine evenly.  In a separate large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on low, combine the sugar and butter until it is the texture of course sand.  Whisk in the 1/2 of egg.  Incorporate evenly.  Pour in the egg yolk and vanilla.  Whisk.  Slowly pour in the coconut milk and combine evenly.  In four installments, add the pumpkin until smooth.  Fold the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, also divided into four sessions.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 18 hours).

Prepare your toppings/coatings right before taking the dough out of the refrigerator.  I did ground coconut, ground almonds with cinnamon, and sugar and cinnamon.  Choose whatever you like.  Cover a large plate with several layers of paper towels for draining the cooked doughnuts.

Roll the dough into little doughnut holes, about the size of a large gumball, or a little smaller.  This should make two dozen.  Place on a piece of parchment paper for the preparation.  Pour the canola oil into a Dutch oven or deep fryer.  Attach a candy thermometer to it if you have one.  Heat oil to about 300 degrees.  You can take a small piece of dough and drop into the oil to see if it cooks to test the temperature.  With a slotted spoon, carefully drop three or four doughnut holes into the oil at a time.  Turn them occasionally to cook evenly...this should take about two minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate with paper towels.  Allow the doughnuts to cool completely.

Roll them in your toppings of choice and eat immediately!


Anonymous said...

Alli, I'm so glad you joined in the fun! These look delicious and I love the variety. I'm looking forward to the next swap already. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

Anonymous said...

So glad you're part of our swap crew! I love your flavor combo, and I am so hungry right now. Seriously, would scarf a batch of these donuts! They look fab!

Alli Shircliff said...

Thanks to both of you girls! This is so much fun to be a part of... Can't wait to see what else materializes with everyone else!

Pola said...

I agree: if you have to make a great fatty, heavy, dish, just do it the proper way! Fry, smother it in butter and ass as much sugar as you need!

Alli Shircliff said...

If you are going to go for it...definitely go for it! Thanks Pola!

Shari said...

Yum - This looks great and an excellent first posts as part of the 'recipe swap' crew.

Shari from

Mari said...

Alli, you get a VERY warm welcome to the recipe swap. Coconut and pumpkin are possibly my favorite flavors so combine those and FRY them...hello!? Perfection. I have to say though, I probably won't make these because I know I will eat them all in one day. So take that as a compliment m'dear :)

Boulder Locavore said...

Alli! These look and sound delicious! I love that you added so much flavor to your spin on the vintage recipe. Also love the visual of all the choices! Great job! So glad you are swapping with us!

Alli Shircliff said...

Thank you for the warm welcome Mari and Toni! This is so much fun looking at everyone's posts!

claire said...

Welcome to the swap!

they look amazing... i am so sad i wasnt able to make it this time, but cant wait to see what else you make!

merry jennifer said...

Happy to be in the recipe swap group with you! I love your take on the recipe - pumpkin and coconut are such great flavors.

Mikaela Cowles said...

You and fried food? Haha, glad you're participating. It sounds like fun and this looks wonderful! What a great addition of the coconut.

Alli Shircliff said...

Thank you Claire, Jennifer and Mikaela! So glad to meet such great food bloggers :)

Sabrina Modelle said...

These doughnuts look amazing, and it's nice to see you in the swap after having spent a little time with you in Atlanta. Already looking forward to next month.

Alli Shircliff said...

Thanks Sabrina...I keep thinking about your donut vodka!