These Pumpkin Fritters are golden brown, sweet, deep fried, and a favorite for fall and pumpkin spice lovers! They’re super easy to make and perfect for parties, brunch, or a pumpkin-filled dessert! This is a sweet pumpkin fritters recipe as each pastry is covered in a sticky-sweet pumpkin spice cream cheese glaze.
If you’re looking for easy, fun party recipes you’ll also love these adorable Individual Charcuterie Boxes. Or if you’re only in a fall fritter mood, follow your pumpkin fritters with these Healthy Apple Fritters!
Why Make Them
These are perfect for weekend brunch with friends and family; making them great as guests roll in for the holidays. Each features the crowd-favorite fall flavor, pumpkin, with a delicious golden brown crispy-sweet coating and melt in your mouth cream cheese glaze.
If You Don’t Have a Fryer…
I do not recommend baking these — they just don’t have the same crispy, brown coating. Even if you don’t have a deep fryer, however, they’ll still turn out perfect. In fact, I didn’t even use one myself. Just grab a large frying pan and fill it with enough oil (amounts are in the recipe below) to cover half the fritters and then flip them to cook the other sides.
Pumpkin Fritters Origin
Sweet pumpkin fritters also known as “Pampoenkoekies,” are a treat that’s origin lies in Africa. While a sweet version for breakfast or dessert is most common, they can also be made savory to serve as an appetizer or side to a meal.
One of the main reasons they’re a popular treat is their low cost to make. They’re traditionally served covered in cinnamon sugar, caramel, or a sweet glaze.
What Is a Fritter?
A fritter is a mix of ingredients that are covered in batter and then deep fried. Fritters can be prepared in both sweet and savory varieties. Ingredients often include meat, seafood, fruit, or vegetables. However, the best known tend to be desserts such as apple fritters.
There is nothing out of the ordinary in the baking world for these fritters. You’ll need: flour (all purpose or gluten free 1:1 if desired), salt, baking powder, vanilla, milk, and eggs. Maple syrup and pumpkin provide the fall flavor. You’ll also need 2 cups of oil to fry them. I prefer coconut oil for its health properties, but if you’re not watching your health, canola oil is by far the easiest to work with.
How to Make Pumpkin Fritters
Stir together the flour, salt, and baking power. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, milk, egg, and vanilla. Thoroughly mix in dry ingredients.
Add 1 cup of the frying oil into a large frying pan. Heat it over medium heat and once the oil is hot, add about ¼ cup of batter in small circles/patches to make fritters (about 3-4 will fry in the pan at once). Cook each about 3 minutes per side, then flip them and cook the other sides for 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan.
Add the remaining coconut oil to the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter and fry the second batch of fritters. Allow the fritters to cool on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cream Cheese Glaze for Pumpkin Fritters
To make this recipe simple and traditional, you can sprinkle the fritters with a cinnamon sugar mixture. However, I prefer a sticky-sweet fall glaze such as this pumpkin spice cream cheese.
Just beat ½ package (4 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature until smooth, and then slowly beat in ½ cup of powered sugar. Then continue to beat, adding 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons milk.
Healthy: Are pumpkin fritters healthy? While they may not be the most health-conscious option, there are some things you can do to help. The main one is to use a natural cooking oil as opposed to the highly processed canola/vegetable oil.
Gluten Free: All you need to make this recipe gluten free is a gluten free 1:1 (measure for measure) all-purpose flour. The difference between this and regular flour is unnoticeable. This recipe was tested with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour and turned out perfect.
Vegan/Without Egg: I have not tested this recipe as vegan, or without egg. However, I imagine a flax egg would work fine. For vegan, the milk will need to be substituted for an almond or oat milk and a vegan cream cheese will also need to be used.
Pumpkin: Real or fresh pumpkin can be used instead of canned, however, will require additional prep work in order to ensure it’s the same smooth consistency.
How To Reheat the Fritters
The taste of these fritters freshly fried just can’t be beat. However, if desired, they can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for a couple days. When ready to serve, they can be reheated in the oven or microwave, however, their original fried crispy finish will not be restored. The only way to get close is to air fry them – try 5 mins at 325°F on the bake setting in an air fryer.
Let’s add these crispy, sweet, and so-fall fried fritters to your fall dessert menu! Don’t forget, if you’re ready to take your fall entertaining to the next level >> click here for other flavorful and healthy dessert ideas or if you love pumpkin party recipes try a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip!
Here’s to plenty of apples, pumpkins, and spice, and regaining our sparkle together,
- 1 cup flour (all purpose or
gluten-free 1:1if needed)
- ¼ teaspsoon sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups coconut oil (or vegetable oil), divided
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Glaze
- ½ package (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Stir together flour, salt, and baking power. Ina separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, milk, egg, andvanilla. Thoroughly mix in dry ingredients.
- Add 1 cup coconut oil into a large frying pan. Heat over medium. When the oil is hot, add about ¼ cup of batter in small circles/patches to make fritters (about 3-4 will fry in the pan at once). Cook each about 3 minutes per side. Flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
- Add the remaining coconut oil to the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter and fry the second batch of fritters.
- Allow fritters to cool on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- For glaze: in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and milk. Allow the pumpkin fritters to cool until only warm, then drizzle overtop.
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