After much anticipation, my mini donut maker finally arrived in the mail this past week. I have a penchant for kitchen appliances, which is difficult when you have a tiny kitchen with limited cabinet space. But I make it work and this little baby is now a part of my growing arsenal of baking gadgets. Hooray for mini donuts!
Gluten-free donuts, you say? Is there such a thing? Do they taste good? The challenge with baking gluten-free is that breads, cookies, and cakes derive their crumbly, chewy texture from the gluten found in wheat flour. There are numerous gluten-free cookbooks and recipes out there that use xanthan gum or other additives to help achieve that bready bite (incidentally, xanthan gum is also found in numerous processed foods, like dressings and such). I prefer not to use xanthan gum mostly because I don’t like how it sounds like the product of a science experiment (which it kind of is if you read its dictionary definition). So, my method of baking gluten-free usually involves almond flour and/or coconut flour, which produces excellent results.
These mini donuts are more like the cake donut variety. I went through several test recipes and finally found one that I’m happy with, although I’d still like to keep working at this recipe and perhaps develop a chocolate version. Please keep in mind that like most other baked good made with coconut flour and almond flour, the texture will not replicate exactly what biting into a traditional donut shop donut feels like. But I think the blending of almond flour with coconut flour actually helps to make a good crumb for these donuts that is quite satisfying. The glaze adds a creamy texture while the tart lemon flavor balances the subtle sweetness from the cake.
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond milk
3 large egg whites
For the Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar*
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp lemon extract
In a small mixing bowl combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium mixing bowl cream together unsalted butter and palm sugar. Add vanilla, almond milk, and egg whites and mix vigorously with a whisk until mixture is frothy. Fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined. Lightly oil the donut maker and pre-heat. Scoop mix into the donut cavities and bake in the donut maker for approximately 2.5 minutes (or until they smell done). Place on a rack to cool before glazing. For the lemon glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Add lemon extract and mix until well combined. Pour glaze on top of donuts and let it set for a few minutes until it crystallizes. Enjoy! Store donuts in the refrigerator. Makes 18-20 mini donuts (depending on your donut maker).
NOTE: The cake part of this donut recipe is grain-free, although I labeled this entire recipe as “gluten-free” only because the powdered sugar in the glaze introduces cornstarch into the recipe.
*If you follow a strict gluten-free diet, make sure that this ingredient is labeled appropriately.