Spiced Pumpkin Fritters or Drop Doughnuts

Spiced Pumpkin Fritters

Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 18 servings

These delicious little pumpkin fritters (or drop doughnuts) are an excellent way to enjoy the special seasonal flavor of pumpkin, and they make a fabulous fall treat. When you are planning a holiday morning breakfast with extended family, consider these pumpkin fritters.

The fritters are a simple mixture of ingredients, deep fried to a perfect golden brown. Roll the warm fritters in a cinnamon sugar mixture or plain granulated sugar, or cool them completely and then dust them with powdered sugar. Or serve the fritters with maple syrup, golden cane syrup, or apple cider syrup

Related: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes With Cornmeal​


  • Oil for deep-frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin purée)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (for coating)

Steps to Make It

  1.  Attach a deep-fry thermometer to a deep, heavy saucepan and fill it (no more than half full) with a neutral flavor high-heat cooking oil, such as canola oil, refined sunflower oil, corn oil, or vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 365 F.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir or whisk to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the pumpkin and milk. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir to blend. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well blended.

  4. Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. Fry them in small batches of about 5 or 6 fritters at a time. Fry the fritters for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning frequently.

  5. With a slotted metal spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. 

  6. Roll the pumpkin fritters in cinnamon sugar or plain granulated sugar while they are still warm, or dust cooled fritters with powdered sugar.

  7. Makes about  2 1/2 to 3 dozen fritters.


  • To keep batches warm while making subsequent batches, transfer the drained fritters to a pan with a rack and place the pan in a preheated 200 F oven for up to 15 to 20 minutes. Roll them in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar just before serving.
  • Fritters, like doughnuts, are best served the day they are made. If you have more than you need, they may be frozen. Freeze the uncoated fritters in zip-close bags for up to 6 months.
  • If the deep fat isn't hot enough, the fritters will absorb more oil. If too hot, they can burn. Use a deep-fry thermometer for best results.
  • To reheat frozen doughnuts, place them on an ungreased baking sheet and cover them with foil. Heat them in a 375 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the pumpkin with mashed butternut squash or mashed sweet potato.
  • Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
  • If you don't have brown sugar, it's easy to make a suitable substitute. Add about 1 teaspoon of unsulphered molasses to the 1/3 cup of sugar.