Quite frankly, these donuts are nothing like the donuts I grew up with. Those were masterpieces of my grandmother, made with yeast-based dough that would rise for hours, be beaten down, and kneaded, rolled out, cut in circles with a glass and fried in some piping hot oil. Then, while still hot, dusted with powdered sugar or injected with jam. Those were donuts of my childhood and I loved making them with my grandma!
Now that I am well into my adulthood and struggling to maintain healthy weight, and allow myself an occasional treat, I’ve been re-inventing old treats into new treats. With less (or in this case no) oil, less sugar, and taking far less time to make, yet equally as delicious!
One thing that makes these donuts possible is a non-stick donut pan. I never thought I would buy one, but I did, and it works really, really well. Although these donuts don’t have any wheat flour and are surprisingly sticky and wet, they came out perfect, and I think that’s all thanks to the pan. (I got this one from Amazon, in case you are wondering).
The donuts some together in less than 5 minutes, and take about 15 minutes to bake. You need a large bowl and a spatula. No waiting for dough to rise, no rolling it out, none of that. All you need to do it spoon it into the donut pan, fill each ring about 3/4 of the way full, leaving the room on the top for donuts to rise and fill, and that’s it!
The dough will be sticky and dense, so you will need to spoon it out bit by bit, until the donut ring is done. Don’t overfill as I said and don’t pack it in too much. You will need to nudge the dough in and smooth the surface a bit, but try not to overfill. It’s best to bake in batches than end up with a batch that’s not looking too good.
These donuts are not very sweet, which is the way I prefer them. But if you do have a sweet tooth you can glaze them by simply using some powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to make a dense sugar paste. Or you can melt a bit of dark chocolate and dunk them in for a chocolate glaze. Feel free to go as wild as you like, and enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Donuts – oil-free, gluten-free, and vegan
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup almond flour (this is usually called bleached almond flour and it is not almond meal; coconut flour will probably work as well, and any gluten-free flour will likely work too but using rice flour will make this less keto-friendly if you are into that sort of diet)
- 1/2 cup pea protein powder, unsweetened (you can use any vegan protein powder and you could use sweetened versions and vanilla or chocolate flavored ones – in that case you need to remember to dial down maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons dark cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter, creamy and unsalted (you could use peanut butter, but I find almond butter to be of a milder flavor)
- 2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 lemon – juice (about 1/4 cup)
What you’ll do:
- Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients – except the lemon juice. Using a spatula or a similar flat mixing utensil, mix well until fully incorporated, smooth and even.
- Add the lemon juice and mix again until all is fully mixed in. This will take about 2-3 minutes of mixing. The dough will be moist, sticky and dense.
- Use a small spoon to transfer the dough into the donut pan. Spoon it out bit by bit, until a donut ring is done, then proceed to the next ring and so on until all the rings are full or all the dough is used up. Don’t overfill as I said and don’t pack it in too much. You will need to nudge the dough in and smooth the surface a bit, but try not to overfill. The amount of though is enough for 8-10 donuts using regular size donut pan (like this one, which is sold as a pair on Amazon).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before taking out of the pan. The donuts should slide right out and are ready to enjoy!