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Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts

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Small batch recipe for gluten free donuts that are baked soft, sturdy, and covered in a decadent chocolate glaze.  These Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts are easily made with almond flour and maple syrup, and have a powerfully delicious vanilla flavor!  The donuts are dunked in chocolate and finished with cheerful sprinkles.

Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts

Add another winner to the lineup of gluten free and small batch sweets!  For starters, who can resist a very vanilla baked donut?  Not me, that’s for certain!  And secondly, a rich vanilla donut that is covered in a rich chocolate glaze and fun sprinkles will have all of us reaching for a second serving!

I know, a baked vanilla donut is well, pretty vanilla.  However, what sets this recipe for Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts apart from the rest is the following:

  • Sturdy – A lot of times a baked donut resembles the texture of cake.  In contrast, these baked vanilla donuts are sturdy.  Translation:  they are easily dunked in your morning cup of coffee and won’t fall apart!  Think of a good muffin, but in donut form.
  • Soft – Just because the donut can survive a swim in coffee doesn’t mean it can’t have a pleasurably soft texture.  That is these donuts.  They are soft and moist, and will stay that way a day beyond baking.
  • Refined Sugar Free – Maple syrup adds a delicate sweetness to these donuts.  And while it is mild in flavor, it does add to the rich and buttery flavor of the donuts.
  • Easy – And it bears repeating, these donuts are easy to make.  A few ingredients along with a few stirs, and you’ll have donuts in no time.  
  • Almond Flour Gluten Free Blend – Obviously, almond flour is my go-to gluten free flour to bake with.  And this is for good reason.  I find my almond flour blend to produce a ridiculously moist and flavorful bake.  And I have provided more detail on my almond flour blend below.
  • Very Vanilla – The donuts are called vanilla donuts, and they will not disappoint in vanilla flavor!

Small Batch and Gluten Free Donuts

So, we covered what makes these baked vanilla donuts so tasty.  But one other key feature of this donut recipe is that is also small batch!  I must say I am enjoying taking my new found love for gluten free baking and making it in my trademark small batch portion.

A small batch of donuts may seem controversial, because when it comes to donuts, more is better.  However, this recipe for 6 donuts should be enough to satisfy your morning sweet tooth.  

Close up of a vanilla gluten free donut with chocolate glaze on a wood tray

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts

Ingredients

  • Almond Flour – I’ve linked all of the flours I use in the actual recipe.  Additionally, I have provided a little more detail below on the flours in my gluten free flour blend.
  • Arrowroot Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Baking Powder and Salt
  • Egg – 1 egg is all we need for this recipe.
  • Milk – I use unsweetened carton coconut milk.  However any milk or dairy-free milk will work.
  • Maple Syrup – Make sure to use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup.
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is solid – much like shortening.  And it is often referred to as cold-pressed.  I also recommend a refined coconut oil, which means it doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – A must for vanilla donuts!
  • Chocolate Chips – Use semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips. The choice is yours!  I prefer a semi-sweet chocolate chip because I don’t want any flavors to overpower the other.
  • Sprinkles – This is where you can get creative and have fun with the sprinkles!

Baking Equipment


Paleo/Almond Flour Blend

  • Blanched Almond Flour
    • The base in the flour blend.  Almond flour produces a light and fluffy cake-like bake.  Which makes it a great option for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and even gluten free cookies.  I will always recommend a blanched, super-fine almond flour.  This means the flour is ground as fine as it can be (before turning into butter), and the skins are removed.
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour
    • Flour and starch are used interchangeably in the package titles.  Arrowroot aids in the tender texture we like in baked goods.  It also adds structure to the crumb.  
  • Coconut Flour
    • Ground from dried coconut meat, coconut flour is super absorbent.  It should be blended with other flours as it does not work well as a 1:1 swap.  Its absorbency allows swapping granulated sugar for liquid sweeteners –  like maple syrup or honey.  I also find it counter-balances other wet ingredients in the recipe.
  • Tapioca Starch/Flour
    • Another where flour and starch are used interchangeably in package titles.  Tapioca adds a little more chew to the baked good – where normally we’d get that from gluten in all-purpose flour.  And I have found in baked goods, it gives a ‘crisp’ exterior.

Tips For Making Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts

  • Grease the donut pan, well – Donuts like to stick to the pan – especially the donut hole.  Just give the donut wells a good spray of baking spray (or butter!), and the donuts should fall right out of the pan when you tip it over.
  • Use blanched almond flour – Which means the skins have been removed and the almonds have been ground a little finer.  This just makes for a smooth, lump free, flour.
  • Pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup – The latter is often made with high fructose corn syrup.  And that is not what we want when we are making a refined sugar free donut!
  • Let the donuts cool completely – For two reasons:  1.  the donuts need to be cool to dunk them into the chocolate.  Otherwise the chocolate will just run off.  2.  completely cool gluten free baked goods taste better.  That is my opinion, and I’m sticking with it!
  • Do not overheat the chocolate – If you heat the chocolate too long, you could end up with seized chocolate.  I recommend heating the chocolate until it is mostly melted.  Meaning, if there are a few chocolate chunks remaining, that is ok.  the residual heat will melt them.
  • Have fun with the sprinkles – There is absolutely no rules here!  Nor, do you even have to use sprinkles.  Though they do add a fun look and bite.
Top view of a vanilla gluten free donut with a bite on a table

Easy Chocolate Glaze For Donuts

Is it a chocolate glaze or a chocolate coating?  Whatever you call it, it is the perfect topping for these vanilla donuts.  A good vanilla donut requires a delicious topping.  Sure, we can eat the donuts naked, but that may be a little too vanilla!  Delicious features of the chocolate glaze for these vanilla donuts:

  • Easy – Two ingredients is all you need to make the chocolate glaze:  chocolate chips and coconut oil.
  • Dries Hard – Maybe it is just me, but I love biting through a shell of chocolate to get to my soft vanilla donut!  That is this glaze.
  • Easily Decorated – And by decorated I mean sprinkled with sprinkles!
  • Balanced Flavor Combo – You will certainly taste both of the star flavors in this recipe – vanilla and chocolate.  

Common Questions For making gluten free vanilla baked donuts

Can this donut recipe be doubled?

I have not tested a larger batch and can’t say for certain how they would turn out. But let me know if you try it!

Will a gluten free 1:1 flour blend work instead of the almond flour blend?

I don’t believe it will. I have tested other recipes using a 1 to 1 swap of my almond flour blend and the 1:1 gluten free flour blends, and it did not turn out. Personally, I find the 1:1 blends bake dry and would need other adjustments to the ingredients to make it work.

Can I make this recipe with a different sweetener?

I don’t recommend substituting honey. Honey is more acidic and requires different baking temperatures and time. You could certainly try a granulated sugar, but I can’t say how it will turn out since I have only tested the recipe as written.

What is the texture of the donuts like?

The donuts are soft, yet sturdy. I find they have more of a muffin texture versus a cake texture.

What do the donuts taste like?

The donuts taste like a very vanilla baked donut that is soft, yet sturdy. The donuts are incredibly moist and yield a buttery flavor that is complemented by the rich chocolate glaze.

Does the chocolate glaze dry hard?

Yes, it does! Just make sure to give it a few minutes to set up on the donuts.

My donuts aren’t coming out of the pan. What can I do?

Make certain you are greasing the wells of the donut pan liberally. And if the donuts still won’t budge, you can loosen them from the pan by running a knife or spatula around them. Be sure to get the middle as well!

Chocolate glazed donuts with sprinkles in a pile on a wire cooling rack

More Donut Recipes

Stack of vanilla gluten free donuts with chocolate glaze on a white plate

Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts

Yield: 6 Donuts
Small batch recipe for gluten free donuts that are baked soft, sturdy, and covered in a decadent chocolate glaze.  These Gluten Free Vanilla Baked Donuts are easily made with almond flour and maple syrup, and have a powerfully delicious vanilla flavor!  The donuts are dunked in chocolate and finished with cheerful sprinkles.
Prep15 mins
Cook22 mins
Total37 mins

Ingredients

Gluten Free Vanilla Donuts

Chocolate Glaze

Instructions

Gluten Free Vanilla Donuts

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Liberally grease the wells of a 6 cup donut pan.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the egg, milk, maple syrup, melted oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until thouroughly combined. Sprinkle the dry ingerdients over the wet ingredients and mix until no dry streaks remain.
  • Pour, scoop, or spoon the batter equally into the prepared donut pan. Bake the donuts for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they are springy to the touch and a light golden brown.
  • Cool the donuts in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then invert the pan to relase the donuts, and let the donuts cool completely on the wire rack. If any stick, gently run a knife or offset spatula around the donuts to release them from the pan.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Once the donuts are completely cool, make the glaze.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil. You can either melt the chocoalte in the micorwave in 30 second increments – stirring after each – until the chocolate is mostly melted. Or, you can melt the chocolate using the double boiler method. Add the chocolate chips to a heat proof bowl set over a saucepan with 2-inches of simmering water. Heat until mostly melted. The residual heat will melt any remaining chocolate bits.
  • Dunk the cooled donuts into the chocolate glaze, sprinkle on the sprinkles, and set on a wire rack to allow the glaze to set. Enjoy!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich
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