I never liked donuts as a kid. Growing up in a small town where fast food reigned supreme, my experience with donuts was limited to the donuts sold by the dozen at the extremely crappy, extremely sketchy hole-in-the-wall donut shops that were frequented exclusively by police officers and drug addicts.
The first time I enjoyed a donut was when I was introduced to a Krispy Kreme glazed donut. I was 16, and on a vacation to nearby Las Vegas, and after a long afternoon of walking in 100-degree weather on the flashy yet grimy Strip, my friend’s mom surprised us with a box of Krispy Kremes. At first, I was skeptical that plain glazed donuts could be that good. Sure, I had heard the KK hype, but liking plain glazed donuts was the same as being asked “what is your favorite ice cream flavor?” and responding with “vanilla” – it meant you were a basic B. Well, I guess I was a triple basic B that weekend because I ate three donuts in 20 minutes. Krispy Kreme had unleashed a tiny donut-munching monster.
These days, I unabashedly admit that my selection in donuts has gotten significantly more bougie. I buy donuts exclusively from gourmet donut vendors that have perfected the art of the donut. I’m looking at you, Dough and Doughnut Plant. Last year, when I first started my current job, my office threw me a welcome breakfast. There were Dunkin’ Donuts present at said breakfast. I remember thinking, I don’t need donuts, I just finished a homecooked, heart-healthy breakfast of oats with fruit, chia seeds,and nut better. Within five minutes of arriving at the party, however, it became increasingly clear that it would be rude if I did not eat a single thing at my own party. So I had a chocolate glazed donut. And then I had some donut holes. I wasn’t proud of it then, and I’m certainly not proud of it now. So I’m trying to make amends by making my own donuts from scratch.
These sparkly strawberry and chocolate glazed donuts are baked in a donut pan because deep-frying would probably be frowned upon for a healthy living blog. Also, I don’t have the equipment or energy to deep-fry anything. They are also vegan, and they can be made gluten free and even Paleo-friendly if you try hard enough. I used regular all-purpose flour for one batch and then tried them out again using gluten-free all purpose flour. The donuts using the former were fluffier than their gluten-free counterparts, which were cakeier and somewhat dense in texture. Don’t get me wrong, they were still delicious and Max and I had no problem eating them up. But when baking with gluten-free flours, you should always try to use a gluten-free flour blend instead of a single type of gluten-free flour and try to pick a flour with a relatively high protein content. I’m not an expert in gluten-free baking so I won’t go on and on about this stuff, as you can find reputable information elsewhere on the interwebs.
And if you want to make these donuts Paleo-friendly, you could make your own powdered sugar out of coconut sugar using a food processor or high-speed blender, and omitting the sanding sugar on top of the icing. But, as far as I can tell, cavemen did not dine on donuts, so you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating donuts that aren’t caveman friendly!
Enjoy, my friends!
Sparkly Strawberry and Chocolate Glazed Donuts
Vegan, Gluten-Friendly Option
Makes 6 donuts in a standard donut pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (you can substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour, see notes above)
- 6 tablespoons of date sugar (you can use coconut sugar or granulated sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 heaping cup of coconut milk
- 1 flax egg*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
*For one flax egg, add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 2 1/2 tablespoons of water to a dish and stir. Let rest for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
- Grease a standard donut pan with 6 donut cavities with coconut oil.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (the flour through nutmeg) and sift using a fine sieve, if needed, to get out any chunks of flour or sugar.
- Heat the coconut milk on the stove on medium-low heat until just warmed up. Add the flax egg, vanilla extract, and coconut oil until well combined and warmed through, but be careful not to boil.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until no more clumps are left.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the donut molds, using a Q-tip or paper towel to wipe up excess batter around the sides.
- Bake donuts in the oven for 15 minutes until the donuts are firm-ish and the tops are lightly golden.
- Cool pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a tray or plate on top of the donut pan, flip over, and invert the pan. Then lightly tap the pan to remove the donuts onto the plate or tray. Wait until completely cool to frost with icing.
Sparkly Strawberry Icing
Makes enough to glaze three donuts
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon almond or coconut milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or make your own coconut powdered sugar, see notes above)
- 1/4 cup of puréed strawberries
- Natural red food coloring: I used a pinch of beet powder, which is bright pink. You could use raspberry powder or food coloring (vegan, preferably).
- Sanding Sugar (vegan, preferably)
- Whisk the coconut oil and milk together. Slowly add the powdered sugar and whisk until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Add strawberry purée and natural red food coloring to icing and swirl with a spoon. If you want to create a swirl effect, don’t completely combine into the frosting and leave some parts white.
- Dunk one side of your donut into the icing and twirl around.
- Dust with sanding sugar.
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or bars, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Sanding Sugar (vegan, preferably)
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals or over a double boiler on the stove. Stir in the coconut oil until the chocolate is smooth.
- Dunk one side of your donut into the glaze and twirl around.
- Dust with sanding sugar and/or sprinkles.