Pumpkin Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

It is finally that time of year again when pumpkins are popping up everywhere, leaves are turning, the weather is getting cold and pumpkin spice is in the air. Well, sort of. It definitely is if you are making these Baked Pumpkin Brioche Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing! These yeast donuts are baked but can be fried, if you’re up to it. Brioche donuts contain significantly more eggs and a whole lot more butter than regular yeast donuts which makes them richer and just, well, more delicious in my opinion. These babies here also contain pumpkin and pumpkin spice – the perfect treat for Halloween and Thanksgiving, or, really any time during this cozy season. This icing is one of my favorite – if not my favorite. Instead of simple sugar and water, or milk, this recipe has added butter and cream cheese which gives it some of that yummy creamy perfect cream cheese flavor, especially if you are using Challenge Cream Cheese, made of incredibly fresh, real milk and cream from Californian cows.

Hope you enjoy! Make sure you have friends around when you make these or you might polish them off yourself.

Pumpkin Brioche Donuts Ingredients

Pumpkin Brioche Donuts


90 pieces


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Challenge Butter, melted
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3-inch donut cutter


  • 2 tablespoons Challenge Cream Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Challenge Butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2½ - 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ vanilla bean


  • 1
    Pour warm milk in a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon of sugar and the dried yeast. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  • 2
    Beat the eggs and the sugar with your electric mixer for about 5 minutes, using the whisk attachment.
  • 3
    Add the melted butter, salt, pumpkin spice, pumpkin and yeast mixture to the whisked eggs and mix until well combined.
  • 4
    Replace the whisk with the dough hook.
  • 5
    Add the flour, and then knead on low speed until it’s well combined into a dough.
  • 6
    Sprinkle with flour and cover with a dish towel, then let it rest at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours.
  • 7
    Once the dough has doubled in size, place the covered bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. You can actually keep the dough refrigerated for up to 4 days.


  • 1
    Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it quickly, shaping it into a ball by stretching it and folding it over.
  • 2
    Roll it into a ½ inch thick rectangle and cut out donuts with a 3-inch donut cutter.
  • 3
    Place the donuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart and let them rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • 4
    Bake the donuts for about 10 minutes at 375F. They will still be pale but slightly golden at the bottom.


  • 1
    Combine the melted butter, cream cheese and milk in a blender until well combined. (If you are using regular Challenge Cream Cheese and not the Challenge Soft Cream Cheese, you will have to strain the mixture to remove excess cream cheese chunks.)
  • 2
    Add sifted powdered sugar and the inside of vanilla bean, and stir until icing reaches a firm and creamy consistency. You might have to add a little extra powdered sugar.
  • 3
    Chill icing in the refrigerator for about 20-30 mins.
  • 4
    Dip the donuts in icing and let them dry.
  • 5
    Donuts are best enjoyed within 24 hours and don’t keep well.

Recipe By

Sugary & Buttery

Melina is a passionate baker who was born and raised in Germany. She currently lives in Texas with her husband and is discovering the American way of baking. Melina loves experimenting in the kitchen and shares her new creations on her blog Sugary & Buttery.