Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze & dessert challenge

It is time for another awesome Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge!  This month’s ingredients…..Pumpkin and Cream Cheese!  So obviously I made Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze!  My first thought was actually Pumpkin Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting…..

Then I thought maybe Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting would be better.  Cassi vetoed both options, too predictable!  Then I remembered that I had jokingly said that I would try to remake my Apple Ale Doughnuts, with Pumpkin Ale.  Perfect!

Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts by cookingwithcurls.com

Okay I will admit, I am having a bit too much fun making doughnuts!  When I first started this blog, it was going to be a fried food free zone…lol   I guess that didn’t work out so well.  My next challenge to myself, will be to make Baked Doughnuts!

So…..I chose Pumpkick Pumpkin Ale.  I was at Target and there are no friendly alcohol knowledgeable employees that work in the liquor section aisle.  The only description of this beer that I have is…blech!  It is almost as bitter and obnoxious as Guinness.  My suggestion, choose a better pumpkin ale!!  The label claims that it is made with pumpkin juice, but there honestly wasn’t any pumpkin flavor.  All of the flavor came from the pumpkin spices that were mixed into the dough.  They still tasted great, but they didn’t have the pumpkin flavor that I was expecting.

Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts from cookingwithcurls.com

You know me, I have to have choices for my toppings.  I made half of the doughnuts with the Cream Cheese Glaze (dairy-free of course), and I made the second half with a Pumpkin Spice Liqueur Glaze.  Cassi is currently on the elliptical machine trying to burn off all of the Cream Cheese Glaze covered doughnuts that she has eaten in the last 24 hours! 🙂

Thank you so much for the fun challenge Sheryl. 🙂  Make sure that you scroll down below the recipe to see all of the other fabulous pumpkin desserts, and go check them out!



Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze

Serves 20
Prep time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
These fun Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze will surprise and delight your friends and family!


  • For the Doughnuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin ale
  • 3 1/2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup coconut milk (box) + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
  • oil for frying
  • Cream Cheese Glaze
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (at room temperature, I used dairy-free)
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon maple extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Pumpkin Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Liqueur (I used Hirim Walker)


Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts reduce cookingwithcurls.com
Heat the pumpkin ale in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 - 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts flour cookingwithcurls.com
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice together is a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts butter cookingwithcurls.com
In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until smooth.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts eggs cookingwithcurls.com
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrap down the sides as necessary.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts ale cookingwithcurls.com
Gradually add the reduced pumpkin ale and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts flour add cookingwithcurls.com
Add the flour mixture, and continue to mix just until dough comes together. It was very sticky.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts flatten cookingwithcurls.com
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously coat with flour. Turn the dough out onto one of the baking sheets, and press down with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour is dough is still wet. Place the dough and baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes until slightly hardened.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts cut cookingwithcurls.com
Remove from freezer, and cut out 3 inch circles with 1 inch holes in the center.
Apple Ale Doughnuts freeze cookingwithcurls.com
Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second baking pan. Re-roll dough scraps and cut out remaining circles. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts oil cookingwithcurls.com
Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a large deep-sided pan until a candy thermometer reaches 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and set aside.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts fry cookingwithcurls.com
Gently drop a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, turn over and fry the other side.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts drain cookingwithcurls.com
Remove doughnuts from oil and drain on paper towels.
Cream Cheese Icing dip cookingwithcurls.com
Dip the cold doughnuts into the glaze.
To make the Cream Cheese Glaze:
Cream Cheee Glaze beat cookingwithcurls.com
Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Cream Cheese Glaze cookingwithcurls.com
Add the sugar, maple syrup, and extract. Add the milk to thin to desired consistency.
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze cookingwithcurls.com
Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze and decorate as desired.
To make Pumpkin Spice Glaze:
Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts from cookingwithcurls.com
Whisk sugar and liqueur together in a small bowl. Dip warm doughnuts into glaze.

This recipe will be partying at these link parties!


  1. says

    You’re making me wish I had the gumption to make donuts! It seems like a complicated process. I have never heard of pumpkin ale, where do you get it? What a fun challenge this month!

  2. says

    I had a pumpkin ale for the first time, last year. It was so smooth, creamy and tasty….sorry yours was not up to par….your doughnuts, however, look heavenly!

  3. says

    I love donuts! Actually heading out tomorrow to get some from a local bakery. Glad you’re frying them- baked donuts just seem so wrong. Pinning to my donut board!

  4. says

    These look delicious as always, Lisa! And hey, now. Don’t be hating on my Guinness!! LOL It was even better in Ireland but I do love it. I actually love Pumpkin Ale too, but I get what you are saying because I am sure it would not lend too much pumpkin flavor to baking! I may have to bust out my deep fryer and try doughnuts one day. Yum!! Pinning!
    Claire @ A Little Claireification recently posted…Sparkly Spiderweb Placemats Halloween Craft | Guest Post by Glitter BugMy Profile

  5. says

    Why do you do this to me? Honestly? I wish we lived close to each other so I could volunteer to taste-test all your creations. =D


  6. says

    Alright, Lisa, I’m ordering breakfast from you for the next few days! These look amazing. Between these and the apple ale donuts, I’d be set. Pinned!

    PS, could you send your email address for me for the Starbucks giftcard for Spiked? Apologies, I kinda forgot about it. 😛 If you would rather have a GC from another place, just let me know. I’m pretty flexible. 🙂

  7. says

    The glazed one looks amazing! I always seem to bake donuts, I hate bringing out the big pan to fry. Mostly because my boys always help me in the kitchen and I’m positive someone will walk away with a 3rd degree burn, probably me trying to save them… They look good even if they weren’t what you were expecting 🙂

  8. says

    I usually go into the fried food zone… but I love baked goods only for the reason of not smelling the fryer. Besides, baked donuts are my favorite. I love how you created these, Lisa…. Yum! I wish we had an isle of liquor in our local super stores. Especially on Sundays when I want to cook or bake with it. But, here in Utah every kind of liquor is sold in the liquor stores M-Sat (except 3% beer in gas stations.) I know, I live in a crazy controlling state. Hehe!
    Already pinned these babies!

  9. says

    How fun! I love how everybody is making donuts these days, I might just go out and get me a donut cutter or cookie cutters in general. haha I know its pathetic I dont have cookie cutters. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Show Stopper Saturday!

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats


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