This recipe is simple, requiring basic ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare! And they’re naturally sweetened and (vegan) butter-free!
The base is adapted from my 1- Bowl Vegan GF Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (hubba), only in place of the flax egg, I tested out aquafaba! No surprise – it totally worked. However, I also included some workarounds in the notes if you don’t have (or are afraid of) aquafaba.
While your donuts bake, why not make an optional (but highly recommended) naturally-sweetened coconut oil glaze? That’s what I said! Doooo it! Doooo it!
I hope you all LOVE these donuts! They’re:
Quick to make
& Undetectably Vegan + GF
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) aquafaba* (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk (warmed in the microwave or on stovetop)
- 1/4 cup (60 g) melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup (63 g) organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (donuts are fluffier with cane sugar)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup (80 g) unsweetened applesauce (or other hearty fruit puree, such as beets)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (70 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
- 3/4 cup (140 g) almond flour*
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (180 g) gluten-free flour blend*
- 3 Tbsp (45 g) coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
- 5 Tbsp (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and lightly grease two donut pans*.
- To a small mixing bowl, add aquafaba and use a mixer (or whisk) to vigorously blend until soft peaks form – about 1-2 minutes. Set aside. (If yours doesn’t quite whip up into soft peaks, it’s OK. Just get them as fluffy as possible! A sprinkle of cream of tartar helps them firm up.)
- Warm almond milk in the microwave. This way, it doesn’t harden the coconut oil. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut oil. Then add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt and whisk vigorously to combine – about 45 seconds. Then add applesauce and warmed almond milk and whisk once more to combine.
- Add baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder (sifted if clumpy), almond flour, and gluten-free flour and whisk to combine.
- Lastly, add the whipped aquafaba and gently stir/whisk in, trying to be as gentle as possible. If the batter appears too thin at this point, add 1 Tbsp each almond flour or gluten-free flour at a time until it thickens up. It should be semi-thick and more scoopable than pourable.
- Divide batter evenly between donut tins, filling all the way full. There should be 11-12 donuts.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top appears dry and fluffy. Time will vary if you sub ingredients.
- In the meantime, make glaze (optional). To a small mixing bowl, add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, sifted cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. You should have a slightly thick glaze. If too thick, thin with a little maple syrup or more coconut oil. If too thin, add cocoa powder.
- Taste and adjust sweetness if needed by adding more maple syrup. Set aside. Prepare any other toppings, such as coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or sprinkles, at this time.
- Remove donuts from oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Then grab the tins with a towel and tap on the counter 2 times to loosen. Then gently invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes (the longer they cool, the more they’ll firm up).
- Dip in glaze. Then top with desired toppings, such as sprinkles, coconut flakes, or cacao nibs!
- Best when fresh. Store cooled leftovers covered at room temperature up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month (best if stored unglazed).
*I’ve been preferring almond flour over almond meal because it yields a lighter, fluffier (less dense) baked good. But you can try subbing almond meal. Or, if you have a nut allergy, try subbing a 1/2 +1/2 mix of GF flour and oat flour.
*If not gluten-free, sub the GF blend for all-purpose flour. I haven’t tested it this way and can’t guarantee the results.
*If you don’t have donut pans, you can try baking these in a standard muffin tin! Fill slightly more than 1/2 full and bake for about the same amount of time or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
*Recipe adapted from my Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 12 donuts without the glaze.