Pumpkin Morning Buns

This recipe is a cross between a donut, a muffin, and a slice of pumpkin bread. It's basically the most fall pastry you could put in your mouth.

Pumpkin Morning Buns

Yield: 12 buns

Total cook time: 45 minutes


Morning Buns

  • Flour: 1-1/2 cups (180g)

  • Baking Powder: 1-1/2 teaspoons

  • Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon

  • Nutmeg: 1/4 teaspoon

  • Ground Ginger: 1/8 teaspoon

  • Cloves: Pinch

  • Granulated Sugar: 1/2 cup (100g)

  • Unsalted Butter (Softened): 5 tablespoons

  • Egg (Large): 1

  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon

  • Canned Pumpkin: 1/2 cup (120g)

  • Buttermilk: 2 tablespoons


  • Granulated Sugar: 2/3 cup (65g)

  • Cinnamon: 1 tablespoon

  • Unsalted Butter: 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup)


A Few Notes:

  • Yes, you need all the brown butter.

  • You can use regular milk if you don't have buttermilk, but the buns won't rise as much.

Pairs Well With:


*Special equipment: 12 cup muffin pan

The How To (Buns:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the muffin cups well with butter.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin and buttermilk. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin pan, filling cups 3/4 of the way to the top. Don't fill them all the way to the top, or they won't spring up properly! 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes, until evenly golden and a tester inserted in the center of a bun comes out clean.

The How To (Topping):

While the buns are baking, start your topping! Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and heat until brown and nutty, whisking often. Watch it carefully, and remove from the heat as soon as it reaches a deep caramel color. Pour into a small bowl, and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. 

Dip the buns in the brown butter, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. No need to wait for the buns to cool here - it's actually easier to get the sugar to stick when the buns are warm! You can dip/roll just the tops, but personally I'm way happier when I cover them completely. 

If you're anything like me, you'll eat a couple in 45 seconds immediately after they come out of the oven (sitting on the kitchen counter, pausing briefly for sips of coffee).

*Best eaten day of, but you can freeze leftovers and reheat them in a toaster oven until warm (I reheat these for easy weekday breakfast a lot)!