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Pumpkin Donuts "Pampoen Koekies" With Amarula Caramel

Light and fluffy, with a warming hit of pumpkin spice, these pumpkin donuts are heavenly topped with our Amarula caramel sauce!

pumpkin donuts

These deliciously light and fluffy pumpkin donuts are known locally in South Africa as pampoen koekies. The pumpkin enriched batter is fried into cloud-like little morsels, then tossed in cinnamon sugar. For a truly indulgent batch, go all out and make our Amarula spiked caramel sauce for drizzling over the top.

Needing only 12 simple ingredients and coming together in 30 minutes, these donuts are an absolute breeze to make and are the perfect no waste solution for your leftover Halloween pumpkin.

pumpkin donits with amarula caramel

If you want to make the batter in advance, simply add all the ingredients and omit the baking powder until ready to fry. The batter can be made up to 24 hours in advance. 

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe video on Instagram click here. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this gluten-free?

We haven’t tested this with GF flour yet, if you try, do let us know in the comments! 


pumpkin donuts with caramel
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Pumpkin Donuts “Pampoen Koekies” With Amarula Caramel

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Doughnuts
  • Diet: Vegetarian


If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

Happy cooking!



Pampoen Koekies

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 small butternut/pumpkin peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup flour (120g)
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice/mixed spice
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying

Coating the Koekies

  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice/mixed spice

Amarula Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Amarula Cream
  • 1 pinch of salt (optional)


  1. If you cant get hold of pumpkin puree, peel, dice, and deseed a small butternut.
  2. Place it in a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water and steam for 15 minutes. While this steams, make your Amarula caramel.
  3. Make the Amarula caramel, by placing the sugar and water into a pot on high heat. Swirl the water and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then allow the sugar syrup to rapidly simmer. Be sure the sugar is fully incorporated into the water before proceeding or your caramel can crystalize. Have your cream at hand in preparation for the next step.
  4. Cook until the sugar is a deep golden brown, ideally taking the caramel to the point just before it burns.
  5. Quickly add a splash of the cream to stop the cooking, and once the mixture has finished splattering, add the rest of the cream. Turn off the heat.
  6. Keep the caramel on the still-warm hot plate, and stir until the caramelized sugar has completely dissolved into the cream.
  7. Pour the caramel into a bowl to cool down, then add the Amarula and a little sea salt to your preference. Stir again to combine.
  8.  Once the butternut is soft, puree it with a stick blender, measure out one cup, and proceed with making the doughnut/fritter batter.
  9. Add all the pumpkin doughnut ingredients into a bowl. Stir until no flour streaks remain and everything is incorporated. Be careful not to overmix the batter – mix until just combined.
  10. Place a 4-5L pot over medium-high heat, and add enough oil to the pot to be 10cm deep. Heat the oil to 180C. Use a kitchen thermometer to test the temperature or alternatively add a little blob of batter to the hot oil. It should sizzle and float. If the batter sinks, heat the oil a little longer.
  11. Drop 1 tbsp-sized blobs of batter into the hot oil, and fry them for 3 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking to brown evenly. If they brown a little to quickly lower the heat.
  12. Once cooked, drain them on paper towels, or baking paper and set them aside to keep warm while you finish frying. Repeat until all the batter has been used up.
  13. Once the doughnuts are ready, add the castor sugar and spice mix to a bowl, and stir to combine.
  14. Toss the doughnuts in the spiced sugar.
  15. Plate up the warm doughnuts and serve the Amarula caramel alongside or drizzled over.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: South African


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 239.07kcal
  • Sugar: 20.71g
  • Sodium: 74.37mg
  • Fat: 11.77g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.25g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7.87g
  • Trans Fat: 2.11g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.83g
  • Fiber: 0.97g
  • Protein: 1.93g
  • Cholesterol: 24.45mg
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