A pumpkin cake donut is a popular fall treat made with pumpkin puree and autumn spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. But with a cake-like texture and sweet glaze or icing, pumpkin donuts can also pack a caloric punch. So just how many calories are in a typical pumpkin cake donut? Let’s take a closer look.
Calories in a Glazed Pumpkin Cake Donut
One medium glazed pumpkin cake donut from popular donut chains like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Tim Hortons contains approximately:
- Calories: 330 calories
- Total fat: 16 grams
- Saturated fat: 5 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 25 milligrams
- Sodium: 250 milligrams
- Total carbs: 46 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 22 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
As you can see, a single glazed pumpkin donut contains around 330 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbs (46 grams worth!). A standard glazed donut gets nearly 70% of its calories from carbohydrates in the form of sugar and refined flour.
Calories in an Iced Pumpkin Cake Donut
An iced pumpkin cake donut tends to be slightly higher in calories. For example, one pumpkin cake donut iced with vanilla buttercream from Dunkin’ contains around:
- Calories: 360 calories
- Total fat: 19 grams
- Saturated fat: 7 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 30 milligrams
- Sodium: 270 milligrams
- Total carbs: 49 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 24 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
The additional icing and buttercream adds more sugar, fat, and calories. An iced pumpkin donut can clock in at around 350-360 calories or more.
What About Mini and Family Size?
Pumpkin donuts also come in mini and family sizes. Here’s how these sizes compare calorie-wise:
|Pumpkin Donut Size
|Family size glazed
|Family size iced
As shown, mini donuts range from 140-160 calories while family size can climb to 600 calories or more depending on the toppings and icings.
Homemade Pumpkin Donuts
Making pumpkin cake donuts at home allows you to control the ingredients and portions. But homemade donuts still carry a decent amount of calories due to factors like:
- Oil – Donuts are fried in oil which adds significant calories. Frying adds 140 calories per tablespoon of oil.
- Flour – Refined white flour has around 400 calories per cup.
- Sugar – Donuts get their sweet flavor from sugar. Powdered sugar alone has nearly 800 calories per cup.
- Butter and eggs – Most cake donut recipes have melted butter and eggs.
- Icing and toppings – Glazes, frostings and toppings like sprinkles further increase calories.
A basic homemade pumpkin cake donut made with oil, flour, eggs, sugar and pumpkin puree has around 200 calories per donut. Icing and toppings can add another 100+ calories.
Tips for Lightening Homemade Pumpkin Donuts
You can lighten up homemade pumpkin donuts by:
- Baking instead of frying
- Using Greek yogurt or apple sauce instead of oil
- Choosing whole wheat or almond flour
- Reducing sugar
- Swapping powdered sugar for maple syrup in glazes
- Using less calorie-dense toppings like chopped nuts or coconut
With some simple tweaks, you can make a batch of pumpkin donuts that’s under 150 calories each.
Pumpkin Spice vs. Pumpkin Pie Donuts
Beyond plain pumpkin cake donuts, you’ll also see pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie variations. Here’s how these types compare:
Pumpkin Spice Donuts
- Have warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves
- May or may not contain pumpkin
- Around 300 calories for glazed and 350 calories for iced
Pumpkin Pie Donuts
- Flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
- Contain pumpkin puree
- Often have a pie crumb coating
- Around 350-400 calories depending on size and toppings
Pumpkin spice donuts are lower in calories than pumpkin pie donuts on average. But calories can vary greatly depending on each donut’s specific ingredients and size.
Ways to Indulge While Controlling Calories
Pumpkin cake donuts definitely make for an indulgent seasonal treat. Here are some tips for enjoying pumpkin donuts while still watching your calorie intake:
- Stick to mini or “fun-size” donuts under 160 calories
- Split a larger donut with a friend or family member
- Opt for baked donut holes instead of full-size donuts
- Choose glazed over iced donuts
- Share a pumpkin spice muffin instead of a whole donut
- Savor just a bite or two of the donut you truly crave
- Pair your donut with black coffee or tea instead of a full sugar-sweetened beverage
- Don’t eat donuts every day – enjoy them in moderation as an occasional treat
The keys are paying attention to portion size, avoiding excess toppings, and balancing out your other food choices in the day. This way you can satisfy your pumpkin donut craving without going overboard on calories.
Nutrition Facts Panel for Reference
Here is a sample nutrition facts panel for a basic glazed pumpkin cake donut from Dunkin Donuts:
|Calories from Fat 110
|Total Fat 12g
|Saturated Fat 3.5g
|Trans Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 49g
|Dietary Fiber 1g
As shown, around 33% of the donut’s calories come from fat, while the majority (around 67%) come from carbohydrates. Paying attention to the nutrition panel can give you a helpful calorie breakdown for comparing donut options.
Convenient Lower Calorie Alternatives
Keep in mind there are also convenient lower calorie alternatives that allow you to enjoy the flavors of pumpkin cake donuts for fewer calories, such as:
Pumpkin Protein Donuts
- Made with protein-rich ingredients like Greek yogurt, eggs, protein powder
- Range from 150-300 calories each
- Offer more protein and less carb-based calories
Pumpkin Cereal Bars
- Made by baking a pumpkin-flavored batter and cutting into bars
- Around 100-150 calories per bar
- Provide a moist, cakey texture reminiscent of donuts
Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
- Made by mixing pumpkin puree, chia seeds, milk, spices
- Contains around 100 calories per serving
- Gives a sweet, creamy treat perfect for breakfast
These options are much lighter in calories than most cake donuts while letting you enjoy cozy pumpkin flavors. Look for them in grocery stores or make your own.
The Bottom Line
So how many calories are actually in one pumpkin cake donut? On average:
- A mini glazed pumpkin donut has 140 calories
- A regular glazed pumpkin donut has around 330 calories
- An iced pumpkin donut contains about 360 calories
- Homemade pumpkin donuts clock in around 200 calories each
- Family size pumpkin donuts can reach 600 calories or more
In the end, the actual calorie count varies depending on the exact size, ingredients, and toppings. Your best bet is to check labels and order the smallest donut with the least extra toppings. Or opt for a protein-packed pumpkin baked good for a lighter calorie alternative. With a little mindfulness, you can work an occasional pumpkin cake donut into your day.