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fried doughnuts filled with pumpkin cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Doughnuts

Brioche doughnuts filled with pumpkin cheesecake and coated in ground graham cracker sugar
Yield: 10 four-inch doughnuts
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Inactive Time: 9 hrs
Total Time: 9 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin filled donuts, pumpkin cheesecake donuts, pumpkin cheesecake, filled donuts
Servings: 10
Author: Maryanne Cabrera



  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • cup whole milk, warmed to 110° F
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, sliced into tablespoons
  • 3 cups vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil for frying*

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • 8 oz brick-style cream cheese, cold
  • 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream, or milk

Graham Cracker Sugar Coating:

  • ¼ cup ground graham crackers
  • 5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt



  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in warm milk. Let sit for 5-8 minutes until mixture is foamy. Whisk in remaining sugar and eggs.
  • Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add half of flour mixture and salt. Mix on low speed until dough begins to come together. Add remaining flour and continue to mix until dough is shaggy. Slowly add butter, one tablespoon at a time, and increase speed to medium. Knead for 3 minutes until mixture forms a smooth dough. Dough will be sticky, but should easily scrape from the sides of the bowl.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). 
  • On a floured surface, roll cold dough to about ½-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, punch out doughnuts. Loosely cover rounds with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 45-60 minutes until doughnuts are puffy.
  • Meanwhile, add vegetable shortening to a large heavy bottomed saucepot (Dutch ovens and cast irons pans work best*). Set over medium heat until oil reaches 350°F. 
  • Carefully place 2 to 3 doughnut rounds into hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked doughnuts onto a paper-towel lined baking sheet. 
    NOTE: Oil temperature will change as you add raw doughnuts. Monitor oil temperature using a candy thermometer to make sure doughnuts do not burn.*
  • Toss warm doughnuts in graham cracker sugar. Place on wire rack to cool until you are ready to fill doughnuts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cream. Mix until smooth. Keep chilled until ready to use.

Graham Cracker Sugar Coating:

  • In a small bowl, toss together ground graham crackers, sugar, and salt. Set aside until ready to use.


  • Once coated doughnuts are cooled, use a chopstick to poke hole on one side of doughnut. Alternatively, you can poke holes on each side to stuff doughnut will more filling.
  • Prepare pastry bag fitted with a small round piping tip. Fill pastry bag with pumpkin cheesecake filling. 
  • Squeeze about 3 Tbsp of filling into doughnut. Serve immediately. Doughnuts are best enjoyed the day they are fried. 


Regarding cooking time: sacrifice one doughnut as a tester to make sure doughnut is cooked inside. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Frying in shortening results in a crispier exterior. The doughnut will also feel less greasy than an oil-fried doughnut. 
  • Use a candy thermometer to maintain proper cooking temperature.
  • Dutch ovens and cast iron pan are great for frying because they maintain temperatures well.