These baked pumpkin ricotta donuts, or ciambelle as I like to call them, are the ultimate fall breakfast snack or dessert. The ricotta helps make these baked donuts super moist, with just the right amount of cozy warm pumpkin spice, and they’re dipped into a delicious pumpkin spice sugar for extra goodness.
Growing up spending time each year in Rome, I made lots of ciambelle with my nonna (grandma), and it’s always been such a fond memory for me. So, when it came time to create my favorite go-to pumpkin bread recipe, I wanted to switch it up and make it in some fun donut pans. However, you can easily make this recipe in a loaf pan or muffins and even skip the sugar coating.
You’ll want to make this recipe all fall and winter long because they couldn’t be easier to make and even easier to enjoy with some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on chilly days. The batter comes together easily in a bowl, and the trick is to use a large ziplock bag to pipe the batter into the greased donut pans so they come out evenly and avoid making a mess. They bake up perfectly light and moist, packed with delicious pumpkin spice flavor.
PUMPKIN RICOTTA CIAMBELLE INGREDIENTS:
- Flour – All-purpose flour is great for this recipe. You can also use 1:1 gluten-free flour as well.
- Pumpkin pie spice – and a lot of it because if I’m eating pumpkin donuts, I want to taste the warm, cozy, spiced goodness.
- Baking powder and soda – help give the perfect rise.
- Salt – helps make all the flavors pop.
- Pumpkin puree – Make sure you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. My favorite brands are Libby’s, Trader Joe’s, and Farmer’s Market.
- Butter – You can use olive oil if you’d like a more fruity flavor or avocado oil for a neutral flavor. I opted for a delicious, buttery flavor.
- Ricotta – adds extra richness and moisture to the batter as well as giving it a wonderful texture.
- Vanilla extract – This will add extra depth of flavor.
- Egg – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
- Brown & granulated sugar – The brown sugar in the batter adds to the depth of flavor with delicious molasses notes, and the granulated sugar is perfect to mix with some extra pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to coat the donuts.
- Maple syrup – optional but adds another layer of flavor, making sure it’s 100% Grade A.