Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

It's that time of year when the #DomesticPhD goes a little pumpkin crazy! If you are like us, you are probably drooling over all the various pumpkin baked goods that are available this season. So let's jump right into it! Here are our 5 favourites...

Michelle's Top 3: 

Pumpkin Scones

I was in heaven the first time I had a pumpkin scone from Starbucks. My only issue was with the thick blanket-like layer of icing that coated the scone was a bit too much, even for me. So I decided to re-create the scones at home to enjoy at my own leisure. Probably a bad idea because they turned out so delicious!!! I make them every year and have zero self-control over snacking on them. But hey, it's that time of year :) Kathryn's note: These are actually incredible- a 'must bake' for me every year now too! 


(For the scone)

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

(For the icing)

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Crush pumpkin seeds for topping


  1. In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and spices. Cut the cold butter into cubes and break the butter into small pieces in the dry mixture until crumbly.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. 
  3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a ball and try to flatten it out evenly until about 1-1.5 inches thick. Cut into 8 even pieces.
  5. Bake for ~15 minutes. 
  6. For the icing, mix the icing sugar and milk together. Use a pastry brush to coat the scones once they have cooled off. Make sure to leave some of the mixture and then add in the spices. Drizzle over the scones in a zigzag pattern and sprinkle on top with the crushed pumpkin seeds. NOTE: The effect I usually go for is to have the scones in a thin white layer of icing and then a distinct drizzle of the spiced icing. This time around I made my mixture too watery so both layers just merged together. Just make sure to ease up on how much milk you use if you want thicker layers.

(See above picture)

Pumpkin Cookies

Every year I say I want to make pumpkin chocolate cookies, and then I never do. So this year I was going to make it happen. These cookies turned out so delicious, it does not do them justice to just describe them. You MUST try them for yourself. I'm not even sure if these really seem like cookies, because they came out so soft and fluffy (pillowy soft as I like to say). 

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and salt
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • Handful of walnuts


  1. Beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy; beat in pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
  3. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined, and then add the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop small portions on a baking sheet, and bake for ~15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.

Pumpkin Donuts

I was going to stop at the scones and cookies, but then at the last minute I decided to try pumpkin donuts. Donuts is never really something on my radar to bake, but I saw a picture of cinnamon spiced donuts and had this sudden inspiration! I don't have any molds to make donuts, but I saw some blogs saying how they used mini muffin tins to make the donut holes. I didn't quite get how this made little round donuts, as I really wanted to go for the round Timbit look. As expected, mine just came out looking like cute mini muffins. Still delicious nonetheless! 


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice

Sugar coating: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/3 cup melted butter


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. 
  2. In another bowl, mix together the pumpkin spice and sugar and then whisk the sugar mixture with the egg, milk, melted butter, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin puree.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Using a melon scoop (a spoon also works just fine), put the batter into mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 9-11 minutes.
  5.  Melt the butter for the sugar coating and coat the donuts with the butter first, and then roll in the sugar mixture.

Kathryn's Top 2: 

Mom's Perfect Pumpkin Loaf

This is one of my favourite loaf recipes. It is super fast to whip up and will fill your house with the amazing aromas of fall (no need for a Bath & Body Works candle!). The loaf is really moist and it turns out perfect every time! 


  • 3 1/3 cups flour (if you want some extra fibre, whole wheat flour works just as well) 
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup oil 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 2/3 cup water 
  • 4 eggs 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then fold in: 

  • 2 cups canned pure pumpkin 
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts, pecans or almonds best) 
  • 6 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips (optional- especially if you want this as a breaky loaf!) 

Makes 2 loaves. Divide batter evenly into two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for ~50 minutes. Cool on wire racks before eating. These loaves freeze well. 

**Tip: These loaves make great hostess gifts. Wrap in brown paper and tie with string for ultimate cuteness and 'awesome guest status'! 

Pumpkin Smoothie (a.k.a liquid pumpkin pie) 

I am teaching this semester so things have been pretty busy with the commute back and forth to Guelph (read: early mornings...). And so, a delicious breakfast is exactly the motivation I have needed to get out of bed when it's still dark. This smoothie is incredibly easy and fast to make and it tastes like pumpkin pie filling but without all the creamy kcals! What's even better? It will help you use up the leftover pumpkin you have after making all of the recipes we've shared! 


Makes 1 serving

Combine: 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin, 1 cup plain kefir, 1 apple (skin on- fibre people, fibre!), 1/2 ripe banana, 1/2 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, 3 ice cubes. Mix until smooth and pour into your favourite travel mug. 


Happy Pumpkin Season- Here's to baking, crunching leaves and crips air! And to those celebrating- Happy Thanksgiving. Let us know what pumpkin goodness you are concocting this weekend by using #domesticphd on instagram, facebook or twitter!

Enjoy xo 

Michelle & Kathryn