Donuts! Who doesn’t get excited at the sound of this word? Fried or baked, regular or with holes, covered with icing, chocolate, sprinkles or just plain powdered sugar, donuts are by far one of my favourite treats. Sure, much has changed since I have gone gluten free, but since I come from a country with the motto of Everyone Eats At Least 10 Donuts Today Day (no kidding, ask any of your Polish friends!), I had to remain faithful to this particular guilty pleasure.
I am yet to find a good recipe for free form deep fried donuts – the day I do will be the single most glorious moment of my gluten free existence, but since I have discovered quite a few baked donuts recipes recently, I figured that it is time to dust my mini-donut pan off and try them out.
So here we are, everybody, after free from cookies (top priority, of course) and free from energy bites, it is high time we give a go to three donut recipes I recently discovered. This is not a regular round up. I shall act as the guinea pig.
Chocolate Donuts with Strawberry Glaze by Heather (Heather Cristo)
My go-to donuts are chocolate and cherry: so when I saw the chocolate and strawberry variation scrolling down my Pinterest feed, I couldn’t let it go. This recipe by Heather (featured on the Pioneer Woman although you can usually find Heather at her own blog, Heather Cristo) seemed like a perfect spot to start this free from donuts adventure.
I fell in love with them the moment I read the full post and looked at her delicious pictures. But then a little doubt came to me – they looked great and they didn’t require any crazy ingredients (something way too many free from recipes are guilty of.) They seemed like a quick bake too. Sounds way too good to be true, doesn’t it? How could they ever work?
The recipe itself is of my favourite type – take all the ingredients and mix them. A good challenge is always appreciated, true, but on the other hand I do always love finding recipes I can not only bake in between doing other things and not worry about them, but also recommend to my friends of whose greatest baking achievement oscillates somewhere around baking potatoes and cooking beans.
(which I have heard is a real skill to prepare – I cannot judge; my cooking skills are borderline non-existent)
I realized these donuts may actually be good and not only sound good the moment I first felt the consistency of the mixture. Yes, I am one of those people who can’t help but put her hands into the batter. Yes, I know it is not hygienic. But I just love touching raw cake. I cannot help myself.
Piping these little sweeties was a real delight. They just flowed so nicely and fit into my mini baking tray with no problems. The entire process was mess-free – which is quite an uncommon occurrence for me.
8 minutes in the oven and they were done. Just like that. The quickest donuts in the history of baking. There was, of course, the glaze left to make but since I usually go glaze-less, that was probably the least exiting part of this recipe for me. To be perfectly honest, it was just icing sugar and coconut juice. The strawberries scattered on top didn’t bring much to the table.
But the donuts themselves… Oh my. They were just so good; I’d forgive them even if the glaze was made of lead. I think my boyfriend summed them up best, let me quote: You know a bake is good if it is just ‘good’ and not ‘good for a gluten free bake’.
The bake was so soft and even a bit sponge-like, I am already plotting on using it as the base of one my other cakes. Delicious and versatile. What else can one expect?
Thank you, Heather, for this great recipe! It is going to stay with me for a long, long time. Hopefully longer than the first three batches, which all disappeared within the first day. If you are looking for more allergy-free recipes check out Heather’s blog, Heather Cristo.
Double chocolate chip brownie doughnuts by Margaret (The Plant Philosophy)
Let us just stick to chocolate for the moment, shall we?
One day I will make a roundup without chocolate bakes. More than that. One day I will make a roundup not about baking. But today is not this day; this day we bake chocolate. And if we are going to go full on chocolate, we need to visit the mysterious land of chocolate chips too.
This recipe by Margaret has been branded as a Valentine’s day recipe – although I am not sure that there is anything romantic about me stuffing my face with donuts, I decided to give it a good try. Little chocolate chips on the surface called my name and I just couldn’t resist them.
Yet again we arrive in the province of the all in one blender recipe. The only ingredients that needed to be folded into the mixture were, of course, chocolate chips. And here I encountered my first problem with this recipe – the batter simply wouldn’t pipe.
Yeah, yeah, I know I went through a dumb blonde moment. I should have realized that even small chips can get stuck in my nozzle. But because of that I had to spoon the mixture in, and the donuts were no longer pretty and it was just so frustrating. My tip? Probably just scatter the chocolate chips over the top of your donuts and skip the step of the recipe in which you add it to the mixture.
The recipe mentions that one can have problem getting them out of the pan – no such problem happened for me. All it took was to a gentle shake of the tray and they just fell out once I tipped it over. They didn’t crumble and I had no further problems handling them.
Overall, this was quite a nice bake. A bit on the dense side, which is quite common for applesauce bakes in general, so it was to be expected. The chocolate sensation was there – quite overwhelming at times, it was all I could ever want from a brownie / donut combination.
Great idea to use cashews in the glaze – my blender had a really bad day and it failed miserably while trying to chop them, but it is such a refreshing concept! And maple syrup instead of icing sugar too, it may not look as spectacular as a regular glaze, but it is very much more me-friendly in that version.
Thank you, Margaret, for this recipe. I think I’ll give the rocky road version a go too! If you are interested in plant based baking, check out Margaret’s blog, The Plant Philosophy.
Gingerbread cake donuts with cranberry glaze by Tessa (Salted Plains)
And here I am, in the middle of summer, baking gingerbread for you. To be honest in my family home gingerbread cookies are the go-to cookies all year long and I am quite accustomed to preparing them in batches weighed in the kilograms. Why not donuts then? I have never had a gingerbread donut. It sounds like lots of fun!
When I think gingerbread, I think not only of Christmas but also oranges and cranberries, so this recipe by Tessa seemed likely to be a pretty good hit. Should we start this unusual celebration?
Warning: this is not a recipe I would recommend to everyone. Not because of its results, no, it is the ingredients list that would give my dad a heart attack. Sorghum, tapioca, almond flour, these are not regular baking ingredients (especially since my local health food store does not stock them and I always have to order them from Amazon…) Nothing wrong with that, of course, but please be warned if you are not used to plant based baking, these free from donuts may come to you with a hefty nice price tag (at least the first batch.)
Back to the recipe!
I must confess I yet again did not follow the recipe in full… Yet I do have a valid excuse! Since I cannot eat almonds, I had to replace them with my regular mix of 1:1 tapioca and coconut flour. This is a very good combination, if any of you are almond free as well, and works in a great many recipes with no problems whatsoever.
Other than leaving some time to prepare a flax egg, this recipe was just as easy as the others – although it did require a considerably longer bake in the oven. Time consuming? A little bit, in comparison to the recipes I talked about before, but still on the relatively quick and simple side. Especially as far as free from baking goes.
Let me tell you – I went through a mini panic attack when I took these out of the oven. They just grow SO MUCH. I mean: SO SO MUCH. My first batch lost its holes completely; I thought maybe I just overfilled them a little, but no, the next ones were still overgrowing the baking tray. This is not a complaint, don’t get me wrong. Just a fair warning.
And they were delicious too! I put tons of spices in mine and, wonderfully, with every bite I was transferred back to December, snow and fireplaces. The cranberry glaze was a great idea too – yet again, it was not regular recipe sugar icing and although it made the entire project messier, it didn’t make the donut sickly sweet the way icing sugar normally does.
Thank you, Tessa, for this fantastic Christmas in June experience! Gingerbread scones are next on my list. And if you’d like to discover some new gluten free recipes, visit Tessa’s blog, Salted Plains.
If you know about any great free from recipes or any baking adventures you’d be kind enough to share with me, please leave a comment below. Similarly, if you have any technical questions about these bakes or any other baking-related stuff, I am more than happy to try to help!
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