This pumpkin spice cheesecake doughnut post is sponsored by ALDI. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Studio Baked possible! All opinions expressed are my own.
It’s October. Which means it’s officially pumpkin season. Yay! To start things off on a high note, I’ve partnered with ALDI to kick off pumpkin season with my pumpkin spice cheesecake doughnuts. Oh yeahhh. These pumpkin brioche doughnuts have all the quintessential fall flavors and are the perfect way to celebrate pumpkin season. Plus, they’re guaranteed to impress your family and friends (and your belly!).
PUMPKIN SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE
Want to spice things up in your quarantine kitchen? Pumpkin spice that is (Yay for Dad jokes!). Then bring the fancy doughnut shop home and make artisanal doughnuts like a pro right in the comforts of your own kitchen. And let me tell you. These doughnuts are packed with pumpkin flavor. They’re made with a fluffy pumpkin brioche and are dusted in pumpkin spice sugar and filled with a pumpkin spice cheesecake filling.
The recipe is inspired by Blackbird Doughnuts in New York City. But, since we can’t travel at the moment, I decided to recreate the iconic doughnuts at home and I’m so excited to share my version with you. If you’ve never made doughnuts from scratch, then have no fear. Doughnuts may seem intimidating but they’re not as difficult as they seem. I highly encourage you check this off your baking bucket list and add these babies to your weekend agenda.
PUMPKIN SPICE CHEESECAKE DOUGHNUT COMPONENTS
Here’s the breakdown of all the components. I wasn’t kidding when I said these babies are full of pumpkin flavor. We’re going full force on pumpkin season here.
- Pumpkin brioche doughnut: An enriched brioche dough made with Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin, Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, and eggs which make the doughnuts super soft and fluffy. More fat = more flavor.
- Pumpkin spice cheesecake filling: A creamy cheesecake filling made with Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese, Baker’s Corner Powdered Sugar, and heavy whipping cream.
- Pumpkin spice sugar coating: The sweet sugar coating is made with Baker’s Corner Granulated Sugar and Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice.
KEY INGREDIENTS TO MAKE FLUFFY PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS
ALDI has quickly become one of my go-tos for all my baking staples. They’re always stocked with high quality and affordable ingredients that won’t break the budget. I also love their seasonal items which always inspires me to create something new. Like these fluffy, soft pumpkin spice cheesecake doughnuts.
- Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread: This pumpkin spice cream cheese spread is the base of our cheesecake filling and my new fall fav. It’s creamy and full of pumpkin flavor. And since it’s a spread, it has a lighter consistency which is perfect for a filling. Or on bagels. Or toast. Or anything and everything. Note: This item is a seasonal fall item at ALDI so stock up before it’s too late!
- Baker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin: The brioche dough calls for canned pumpkin. The pumpkin puree not only adds flavor but also makes a tender, fluffy dough. It also creates a lovely yellow-orange color in the dough.
- Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice: This recipe does not hold back on the pumpkin spice. There is pumpkin spice in every component including the pumpkin brioche dough, cheesecake filling, and sugar coating.
- Countryside Creamery Sweet Cream Unsalted Butter: The pumpkin brioche is an enriched sweet dough that calls for softened butter. The fat from the butter adds flavor and produces a soft and tender crumb.
- Eggs: This recipe calls for one egg plus one egg yolk. The egg yolk adds extra richness and creates a pillowy texture.
- Whole Milk: Using milk rather than water will create a soft, tender dough. Which is exactly what we’re looking for in a doughnut.
- Baker’s Corner All-Purpose Flour: I use a blend of all-purpose and bread flour in this recipe, but if you don’t have any bread flour on hand, then substitute it for 100% all-purpose flour.
The best part? Get all your ingredients delivered via Instacart. It’s easy, convenient, and such a time saver. As someone who bakes everyday, I make multiple trips to the grocery store every week. But, I’ll admit it. Some days I really just can’t be bothered to leave the house and change out of my quarantine attire aka pajamas. Or, I just can’t step away from what I’m doing to grab that missing ingredient. So do yourself a favor and order your groceries online from ALDI. Trust me. It’s a life changer. And be sure to check your store’s weekly specials here.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN BRIOCHE DOUGHNUTS
- The windowpane test: To check if your pumpkin brioche is properly kneaded, use the windowpane test. Simply take a golf-sized ball of dough and carefully (and slowly) stretch it using your index fingers and thumbs. If you’re able to stretch the dough without tearing it until it is super thin and see-through like a window, then you’re good to go. If there isn’t any tension and it tears easily then your dough isn’t properly kneaded and needs more time. Note: You can watch my Instagram doughnut story highlight @studiobaked to see the windowpane test in action!
- Degas the dough before shaping: Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, be sure to punch down the dough and degas it sufficiently before shaping. This will ensure the doughnuts don’t form large air bubbles or hollow pockets while frying.
- Be sure to seal the bottoms: When shaping the dough into balls, be sure to seal the bottom seam to ensure it doesn’t open up when frying.
- Don’t crowd the pot: Always work in batches and only fry a few doughnuts at one time. Overcrowding the pot will lower the frying oil temperature which can result in oily or underdone doughnuts.
- Keep an eye on the temperature: When it comes to deep frying, it’s important to regulate the temperature. You want to keep the oil around 350°F. Be sure to let the oil get back to temperature in between batches.
- Make a guide for the pastry tip: Before filling the doughnuts, I like to use a chopstick or small paring knife to poke a hole in the doughnuts. This will help create an opening for the piping tip.
HOW TO MAKE THE PUMPKIN BRIOCHE AHEAD
Want to get a head start or spread the work out over two days? No problem. Make the pumpkin brioche one day in advance and cold ferment the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then just shape, proof, and fry in the morning. Not only does this help save time but making the pumpkin brioche the day before will maximize the flavor of the doughnuts. A longer fermentation means more flavor.
I hope you love these pumpkin spice doughnuts. If you want to see how I made these pumpkin doughnuts, then follow along on my Instagram doughnut story highlight @studiobaked. And, if you make these, then be sure to tag me and ALDI and let me know if you love the pumpkin spice cream cheese just as much as I do. It’s my new fall fav, so get it before it’s gone!
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Doughnuts
For the pumpkin brioche
- 3 cups (375 grams) bread flour
- 1 (cup) (125 grams) Baker's Corner All-Purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) Baker's Corner Granulated Sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup (122 grams) Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, softened and cubed
- Carlini Vegetable Oil or other neutral oil, for frying
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling
- 2 8-oz packages Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
- ½ cup (60 grams) Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon Stonemill Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
For the pumpkin spice sugar coating
- ½ cup (100 grams) Baker's Corner Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
For the pumpkin brioche
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk on medium-low heat for about 30 seconds until lukewarm, around 75-80F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and lukewarm milk. Then add the flour mixture and then the softened, cubed butter.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on low speed until combined. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 10-15 minutes. Note: The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. To check if it’s done, use the windowpane test (see above note or see my Instagram stories doughnut highlight).
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or cling film. Set aside in a warm spot and allow dough to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Alternatively, you can proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the meantime, make the pumpkin cheesecake filling and prepare two baking sheets. Line with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Once doubled in size, punch the dough to deflate it and transfer it to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 14 equal pieces weighing about 75 grams each and shape into a tight, round ball.
- Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet leaving a 2” space between each ball and then gently press down to flatten it. Cover with a clean tea towel and let proof for another 20-30 minutes. If you proofed the dough overnight in the refrigerator, then cover and let proof for about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, prepare a deep fryer with 2-inches of oil and heat to 350°F. Prepare a cooling rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or paper towels and place a cooling rack on top.
- Fry the doughnuts 2 to 3 at a time depending on the size of your pot, for about 2 minutes on each side. The doughnuts should be a deep golden brown color. Transfer doughnuts to a prepared cooling rack and let cool.
For the pumpkin spice sugar
- Combine the pumpkin spice and sugar in a bowl and mix until incorporated. Coat the doughnuts with the pumpkin spice sugar.
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, sifted powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you fry the doughnuts.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip and fill the cooled doughnuts with the cheesecake filling. Tip: Before piping the filling, use a chopstick or small knife to poke a hole in the center to help create an opening for the piping tip.