I am a whole foods kinda’ girl, careful about my food choices (I try to make them gluten, dairy, and sugar-free), but one thing I love to splurge on is scrumptious, deep-fried, melt-in-your mouth donuts!
Did you know that America’s favorite fried treat has a rich history? The doughy, sweetened cake has been around for centuries and has a melting pot of influential characters with roots in European, Middle Eastern, and Roman cuisine. However, it was the Dutch settlers who brought donuts to the new world. The Salvation Army started National Donut Day during the Great Depression as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to social service programs.
Thanks to the history books, and to my grandparents who taught me that good things absolutely do come in small packages, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite unique recipes for a variety of donuts – Cheat Day, Gluten Free, and Vegan.
Classic Donuts – Entenmanns Copycat Recipe
My favorite cheat day donuts remind me of the days when my college roommates and I would giggle around the breakfast table, a 3-pack of donuts in hand, discussing the previous night’s events.
Makes 3 dozen baby donuts
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, sifted
3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vanilla half & half
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons organic, unsalted melted butter
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add half & half, eggs and butter. Beat until just combined. Use a pastry bag to pipe dough into the donut maker molds. Bake according to your donut maker’s instructions.
Topping Ingredients For The Sugary Sorts Combined In Quantities According To Your Taste
Organic, unsalted butter
Organic powdered sugar
Organic brown sugar + cinnamon + nutmeg
Keep butter handy near the stovetop. Add a tablespoon or two to a saucepan over medium heat, and add more butter as needed. Keep the pan just hot enough to keep the butter melted, but not browning. Swirl a donut or two in the melted butter, and then roll donuts, one at a time in a bowl of either powdered sugar or a brown sugar combination.
Topping Ingredients For The Chocolate Sorts
8 oz. dark chocolate unsweetened chocolate bar
1 Tablespoon organic, unsalted butter
Sweetener of choice – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
Use a Maria bath to melt a bar of dark chocolate and butter. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from heat. If you are using an unsweetened, dark chocolate, add the sweetener of your choice (honey, agave, maple, etc.). Dip the donuts in the chocolate until coated. Place on wax paper to harden.
Gluten-Free, Vegan Cake Donuts
When I am in the healthy donut mood, I like to make these tasty vegan delights!
Makes 18 donuts
1 cup gluten-free oat flour (could use sorghum or millet too)
½ cup brown rice flour (or more oat/sorghum/millet)
½ cup tapioca starch (could sub about 1¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose)
2 tablespoons almond meal (for nut-free, replace with more of one of the above flours)
2 tablespoons flax meal
⅓ generous cup palm sugar (or more if you like them sweeter)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon guar gum
¼ cup organic coconut oil
½ cup vegan yogurt
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 egg or Ener-G Egg Replacer for one egg mixed with a ¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Add-in Ingredients: cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, diced berries
½ cup powdered coconut sugar
1 tablespoon melted ghee
Maple syrup to achieve desired consistency (around 3-5 tablespoons)
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the donut pan. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. Mix the egg, and yogurt together, stir into bowl. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is firm, but still a little sticky. You want to be able to pick it up and roll it between your hands (sprinkle in additional flour to achieve this if necessary). Using your hands, roll a golf ball-size piece of dough into a short snake. Take the snake formation and place it into the donut mold, overlapping it at the ends.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until just done. Let cool for a couple of minutes while inverting pan on a cooling rack to avoid a soggy bottom. Top with powdered sugar, cinnamon/sugar mix, or the maple glaze.
Cashew Cinnamon Glaze Donuts
I really appreciate these Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free donuts when I have a sweet tooth, but want to stay healthy. They are quick to make, dense but springy, and the perfect cake donut texture!
Makes 12 donuts
2 cups almond meal
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons honey, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Melt coconut oil and honey in a small bowl. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Divide batter evenly between 12 molds in a donut pan (each one a little less than halfway full of batter). Bake for 15 minutes and allow them to cool before removing from pan.
Cashew Cinnamon Glaze Ingredients
2 tablespoons cashew butter (or smooth peanut butter if you prefer!)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Melt all ingredients together in a small bowl. When everything is melted, whisk until it’s smooth and creamy. When donuts are completely cooled, dip them halfway into the glaze. Let some drip off by pressing them into a dish of your favorite colorful sprinkles for decoration. Transfer to the wire rack to set. ENJOY!
Baked Vegan Donuts
Here is a moist, fluffy donut recipe for those of you who don’t eat eggs.
Makes 20 donuts
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Egg Replacer for 1 Egg
4 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1/2 cup powdered icing
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Take all the wet ingredients and pour them into a small pot on the stovetop on low heat. Whisk ingredients together to blend well. Do not let the mixture get very hot–it should be warm to the touch. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until just incorporated. Do not mix too much.
Putting the batter into the doughnut pans is a bit tricky. Try to take the dough and scoop it directly over the individual mold. Then, use your fingers to press it out. You don’t want them brown, but they should slowly pop up when pressed with a finger. Cool on a wire rack and then decorate!
What is your favorite kind of donut? Comment below!
Jessica Rosenberg, Fabletics Master