Pumpkin Ale Pairing: Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze

Its time for round two of pumpkin ale pairing! If you missed last week's post for pumpkin ale and brown sugar chicken thighs, make sure you go check it out. If you're craving a donut and beer pairing though, make today's recipe!

You may be thinking, "pumpkin beer and donuts??". Yes. Duuuhh! Okay, yes I know that donuts are generally known as a breakfast food. And you may not think to ever, ever have donuts with a beer. But there are two solutions to this: one, you could have beer for breakfast. Or two, you could have donuts for dessert. I think the second solution is fitting for most scenarios, but don't forget that beer for breakfast indeed IS a thing.

The Pairing

In case you didn't know already, beer goes great with sweet things. When it comes to dessert pairings, I don't look to wine to do the job--beer always wins this category. I was looking for something sweet to pair with these mouth-watering apple donuts with maple glaze, so I turned to the original pumpkin beer of America: Buffalo Bill's Original Pumpkin Ale.

Did you know that pumpkins used to grow wild in fields back in the colonial days? Since they were so widely available, no one really liked them back then. But if the grains to make bread and beer ran out, people would substitute pumpkin instead. Legend has it that George Washington used to brew a pumpkin beer. When Bill Owens of Buffalo Bill's Brewery read about it in 1985, he decided to brew his own pumpkin beer just like George. However, what made his beer so good was the addition of an entire jar of pumpkin pie spice...and pumpkin beer was reborn!

The specifics of why pumpkin beers go with these apple-maple donuts is relatively simple: the spices in the beer match the fall-driven spice in the donuts. Doesn't cinnamon naturally sound good to have with maple and apple? Its an easy pairing. My biggest suggestion is to choose a pumpkin beer that is relatively sweet and displays these spiced flavors pretty heavily. My favorite "sweet" styles besides Buffalo Bill's include New Belgium Pumpkick, Wasatch Pumpkin Ale,  and Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream. I'm sure there are plenty of other options out there though, so give any a try!

The Recipe

Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze

Author: Dani 

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: about 20

Recipe adapted from yummyhealthyeasy.com


  • 3 apples (I used Gala)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Cups coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 4 donuts pans (or however many you have, you can make these in batches).
  2. Begin by peeling and coring the apples. Place them in a food processor and process until smooth with minimal chunks. Scoop them out and place into a mixing bowl along with the 3 eggs and sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the orange juice, vanilla, flour, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix well. Finally, add the melted coconut oil and mix one more time.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased donut pans and cook for about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through. Let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes before popping them out with a spatula. My batter made 21 donuts, so if you need to work in batches, just make sure the pan is cooled before regreasing and placing more batter in.
  5. While the donuts are cooling/cooking, make the glaze: Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. The batter should be thick but not difficult to stir. Add more cream/milk to either thin or thicken up the frosting. Dip the donuts into the frosting to coat, then place on a cooling rack until the frosting hardens.

Happy Pairing!