Healthy Baked Vegan Doughnuts with Maple Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
This doughnut recipe was born out of a Sunday-morning sweet-tooth, on a day when we had very little in the house for breakfast. It was cold and I drank coffee while I whipped up the batter. I padded around the kitchen -- toes freezing but absentmindedly forgetting to put on socks. The light was golden. As I popped the baked doughnuts out of the pans, the kitchen filled with the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and clove. I dipped and swirled them in the sticky, smooth vanilla and cinnamon cashew frosting. Logan and I ate them warm from the oven, licking the frosting from our fingers, mad grins on our faces.
This is the magic of blogging about recipes. You get to go home and make what I made, taste what I tasted. It's not just an imaginary connection. In a way, we create an unspoken bond of shared experience. That's what elevates cooking from utility to art. Very delicious art.
The recipe is based on the proportions of these beauties but I took major liberties on the ingredients.
These healthy vegan baked doughnuts are made with coconut oil, pumpkin, apple cider, coconut sugar and einkorn flour -- which is very similar to white spelt flour in baking. It's genetically quite different from spelt and is commonly tolerated by those of us with non-celiac wheat intolerance (ahem... me!). You can read all about einkorn here. I've been sourcing my einkorn flour from Jovial for years. It's available at Whole Foods, Thrive Market and many independent health food stores.
The best thing about these doughnuts is that you would never know how healthy they are. I mean, yeah they're not fried or coated in a sugar glaze. So right from the get-go you know they're not that bad. But they're not just better for you than regular doughnuts (which, face it, most foods are better for you than regular doughnuts). They're legitimately good for you, and you should feel really awesome about eating them!
These doughnuts are full of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins!
Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and full of energy-rich MCTs (medium-chain-triglycerides). Coconut oil of course is high in saturated fat, primarily MCTs -- which differ from LCTs (long-chain-triglycerides) that are found in other plant and animal foods. The body assimilates and utilizes MCTs for energy more easily than LCTs, which is why we see a lot of athletes using pure coconut oil as an energy booster. You can read more about the benefits of Coconut Oil here.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, hypertension-preventing phytoestrogens and serotonin-enhancing tryptophan. Pumpkin is an all around feel-good food!
Apples are an every day super food. And apple cider -- made solely from raw apples pressed with their skins -- is a more wholesome way to get more apples into your diet than consuming refined apple juice.
Coconut sugar is our sweetener here, and it's a pretty great 1:1 sub for white sugar. It's lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, but like all natural sweeteners will still spike your blood sugar (as does maple syrup, agave, raw sugar, etc). I like its brown-sugar / molasses flavor qualities. I don't experience a sugar crash from it, personally. It's my crystallized sugar-of-choice for cakes, cookies, pies etc.
Finally, Einkorn flour is a good source of protein, thiamine, B-vitamins, iron and fiber. There are loads of benefits to einkorn, especially in comparison to modern wheat. I suggest you read about it more here, as there's a lot to learn. If you're like me, it's worth it to have a wheat flour that is tolerable, delicious and healthy on hand! It makes baking a hell of a lot easier, that's for sure!
These healthy baked vegan doughnuts are soft and cake-like, with a delicate and moist crumb. They taste subtly of pumpkin, cider and warm, wintery spices.
Topped with my creamy cashew maple frosting they're completely, stupidly heavenly. This frosting is rich, sweet and silky. It's the kind of frosting you want to eat by the spoonful.
I served them at a friendsgiving party and all 20 of the guests were clambering for them! That's pretty much my signal that these babies were worth posting.
So, the recipe is very simple. 6 ingredients, not including spices. They take 12 minutes to bake. And they're actually good for you! Although you'd never know that once you taste them! So without further ado...
For a gluten free version, you might try to adapt my gluten free chocolate doughnut recipe. Omit cocoa, sub applesauce for pumpkin and warm cider for warm water. Admittedly I haven't tried it that way put I'm pretty sure it would work out.
Vegan Pumpkin Cider Doughnuts (Einkorn) + Maple Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
Created by Renee on November 26, 2016
Note: these are made with Einkorn wheat flour that I source from Jovial Foods. However it could alternately be made with a soft white spelt flour. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid, with spelt, as einkorn tends to require slightly more moisture than other wheat flours. ALSO: you need to soak your...
- Prep Time: 5m
- Cook Time: 12m
- Yield: ~13 doughnuts
Pumpkin Cider Doughnuts
- 3 1/3 cups einkorn flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons hawaij or pumpkin spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp cardamom)
Maple Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
- 2 cups soaked cashews
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped of its seeds
- 1 tablespoon warm water
Pumpkin Cider Doughnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil two 6 cavity doughnut pans lightly with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the einkorn flour, baking powder and coconut sugar. Add the melted coconut oil, pumpkin puree, apple cider, vanilla and spices. Stir everything together until the batter is moist, even and sticky. Like thick cake batter.
- Add around 3 heaping tablespoons of batter to each cavity in your doughnut pan. Fill each cavity all the way up to the top, and smooth out any peaks in the batter. You might have a couple of tablespoons extra, which I like to bake off as mini bundts and frost just the same.
- Bake for 12 minutes on the center rack, rotating the pans half-way through. The doughnuts will be golden and springy to the touch.
- Let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the doughnuts from the moulds with a butter knife.
- Let cool to room temp before frosting. To create a marbled effect, dip a doughnut in the lighter colored frosting. Then lightly dip the doughnut into the darker color, twisting it as you remove it. It takes some finesse to get the effect.
Maple Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
- Soak the cashews overnight, or a minimum of 8 hours. Drain the cashews and add them to the bowl of a high powered blender. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla bean seeds and warm water. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, stopping the blender and scraping down the sides as necessary to get everything incorporated into the frosting. It will be perfectly creamy and smooth like cream cheese frosting when finished.