Pumpkin Donuts “Pampoen Koekies”

With Amarula Caramel

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.

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. Happy cooking!


For the 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

2 Tbsp Butter

1,5 Tsp Baking powder

1 egg

Oil for frying


For Coating the Koekies

1/4 Cup Castor Sugar

1 Tsp Pumpkin Spice/mixed spice


For the 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)



If you cant get hold of pumpkin puree, peel, dice, and deseed a small butternut. Place it in a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water and steak for 15 minutes. While this steams, make your Amarula caramel. Once the butternut is soft, puree it with a stick blender, measure out one cup, and proceed with making the donut/fritter batter.

Add all the pumpkin donut ingredients into a bowl. Stir until no flour streaks remain and everything is incorporated. Be careful not to over mix the batter – mix until just combined.

Make the Amarula caramel, by placing the sugar and water into a pot on a high heat. Cook until the sugar is dark brown and caramelized, ideally taking the caramel to the point just before it burns. 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.

Keep the caramel on the still-warm hot plate, and stir until all the cream and caramelized sugar has combined. 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.

Place a 4-5L pot over medium-high heat, and add enough oil to the pot to be 10cm deep. Drop 1 Tbsp sized blobs of batter into the hot oil, and fry them for 3 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking to brown evenly. 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.

Once the donuts are ready, add the castor sugar and spice mix to a bowl, and stir to combine. Toss the donuts in the spiced sugar.

Plate up the warm donuts and serve the Amarula caramel alongside or drizzled over.