Pumpkin Spice Gulab Jamun


Gulab Jamun is a popular post-meal goody found in nearly all Indian restaurants. It’s akin to a milk-donut and is usually soaking up some sort of sugar or rose water syrup. I’ve had a variety of this dessert in both the US and India; whether made at home, out of a can, at restaurants, soaked or un-soaked, Gulab Jamun is always a spongey sweet dessert. Because my culinary goal for Thanksgiving was to have an Indian-inspired Thanksgiving, Gulab Jamun came immediately to mind. However, I couldn’t just abandon the standard of pumpkin pie entirely, and so there was necessity to put on that trendy fusion-food hat and trust my experience combining and substituting pumpkin in other recipes, along with my experience with Gulab Jamun to keep it Gulab Jamun-y.

I turned to my loyal bread machine, which has seen thirteen long years of service, and popped it onto the dough setting and let it do all my the work. If you don’t have a bread machine, I’m afraid this will have the same amount of labor you would have to give to any simple bread or dough recipe (without having to worry about activating yeast).

Traditional Gulab Jamun recipes typically call for ghee (clarified butter), but I chose to use standard salt-free butter. It’s up to you.

If your powdered milk appears a little “clumpy”, consider running it through a sieve (“sift” it) to help break down, or at least separate out any of the tiny clumps.

The syrup is a basic simple syrup, but with a 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice added.

Pumpkin Spice Gulab Jamun

Yields: ~15, a few more if you choose to roll them smaller.


  • 1 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (warm)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (or in a bread machine) and mix and kneed ingredients until well-combined.
  2. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes
  3. Slowly start heating up frying oil (ex: Canola or Grapeseed oil).
  4. Roll the dough in to balls, about 1 in (2.5 cm).
  5. Fry the Jamun until golden brown (Note: the Jamun will float and will increase in size)
  6. After they have cooled, soak in Pumpkin Spice Sugar Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Syrup

Yields: about 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice


  1. In saucepan, bring ingredients to boil then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  2. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Hope you enjoy!


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