Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes + Pecan Crunch

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.com

A pumpkin spice post is predictable, but also obligatory. The other night, inspired by the weather (and Pinterest), I set out to make some paleo, gluten free pumpkin donuts. I attempted to fry them in coconut oil and while the flavor and texture were spot on, the frying part didn’t work out so well (burned outside, gooey inside). Since I don’t have a donut pan, I was hesitant to try baked donuts until I remembered donut holes.


These gluten free pumpkin donuts taste like real, old-fashioned “apple cider style” donuts. They are baked, but lightly coated in coconut oil first to get that classic donut flavor (without being quite so heavy). They are also sweetened only with dates, but you’d never know.


The glaze and pecan crunch are completely optional. For a nut-free version, simply make the gluten free pumpkin donuts, lightly coat in coconut oil again after baking and roll in cinnamon sugar. If you have a donut pan, I assume you could shape the dough into the molds and bake. Let me know if you try this out!


Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.comWHY THEY’RE HEALTHY// These gluten free pumpkin donuts are also grain free and paleo. The gluten free pumpkin donuts (without the glaze and the pecan crunch) are sweetened only with dates, making them refined sugar free. Dates and coconut flour are both high in fiber. Pumpkin is also full of fiber and contains iron, vitamin A and vitamin E, which is good for your immune system. //


Want more pumpkin? Check out our other healthy pumpkin spice recipes:


Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.comGluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.com

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with + Pecan Crunch
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Paleo and gluten free pumpkin donuts that taste like the real thing! Baked, sweetened only with dates, glazed and topped with pecan crunch. The perfect fall breakfast, dessert or snack!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9-12 donut holes
For the donut holes:
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup dried dates (about 6 dates – not medjool. I used this brand).
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream (I used the thick, unmixed coconut cream from a can of full fat coconut milk), melted
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews (soaked overnight, or quick soaked – see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
For the pecan crunch:
  • ¼ cup raw pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
For the pumpkin spice donut holes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the coconut flour, tapioca starch, spices, salt and baking powder.
  3. In a microwavable cup or mug, microwave the dates and water on high for 2 minutes.
  4. In another small mixing bowl, add the microwaved dates and water mixture to the canned pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract. Using an immersion hand blender, blend wet ingredients together until smooth. The dates should be fully incorporated (see notes).
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until fully mixed. The dough should be moist, but dry enough to roll into balls with your hands.
  6. Roll about nine donut holes from the dough and lightly dip in the melted coconut oil before placing on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until just beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool before glazing.
For the glaze:
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blended (I used my Vitamix) and blend until very smooth.
  2. Put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to thicken before glazing the donuts.
For the pecan crunch:
  1. Increase the heat of the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the raw pecans and toss with melted coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup (or honey) and salt.
  3. Spread pecan mixture evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes, until slightly golden and fragrant.
  4. Allow to cool slightly before topping onto the glazed donuts.
  1. Once the donut holes have cooled, dip into the glaze and place back on parchment paper. Sprinkle with pecan crunch and enjoy!
I used 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon allspice and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice.

To quick soak the cashews, place in a microwavable bowl or mug, cover with water and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain the water before using.

Using an immersion hand blender, I was able to get the wet mixture smooth with no visible date pieces. You may also try using a high speed blender, like a Vitamix.



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