Gluten-Free Doughnuts


Doughnuts.  There are few things that dominate my flavor snapshots of childhood like a perfect cake doughnut.  In my book, people are in two categories:  those who like the light, airy, raised doughnut, and those who like the velvety crumb of a cake doughnut.   I’m firmly entrenched in the cake doughnut camp and a few food allergies and intolerances aren’t going to pry me out.  I create recipes because I yearn to recreate my food memories despite my dietary limitations.  I bake what I remember.  Everyone has different cravings and preferences, but I hope that for some of you these will hit the spot.

A must have on my list of doughnut qualities is a tight, dense crumb that will hold up to a dunk in your coffee or tea without being leaden.  They should not be muffins in the shape of donuts like many of the baked doughnut recipes I have tried.  There should be a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg without being overpowering.  The glaze should be shiny, and sweet with no attempts at being a fussy ganache.  I want the glaze I remember from my childhood, chocolaty and sweet with the chocolate flavor not being too bitter or assertive.  I also have a fondness for maple glaze, and have included my recipe for that too.  Or you can simply roll these in a bit of cinnamon sugar after baking.  Whatever you choose, these will be a treat.

For now, I’ll try a maple glazed one with a steaming cup of Ruby Chai tea and a good book.

Gluten-Free Cake Doughnuts

  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (click this link to see my mix)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain brand or homemade for corn-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (I use a corn-free variety from Authentic Foods) or guar gum
  • 4 tablespoons spectrum shortening
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (use yogurt if you eat dairy)
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (omit if using the yogurt)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk or milk substitute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and thoroughly grease a non-stick doughnut pan with cooking spray.  I have found that cooking spray yields the best results.   I used a Norpro 6-doughnut pan (not mini doughnut size).

In a stainless steel mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.  Mix dry ingredients with a whisk to incorporate.  Add the shortening and using the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and dry ingredients in your standing mixture (low speed) until your mixture looks like damp sand.

Then add the applesauce (or yogurt), apple cider vinegar, 1 egg, and milk (or milk sub).  Mix on medium for approximately 20 seconds, or until just mixed.  Over-mixing will incorporate too much air and yield an inappropriate texture.

Scrape batter into a large Ziploc bag.  Snip a corner with scissors and pipe the batter into your prepared doughnut pan.  This recipe will yield exactly six donuts so you should not have any leftover batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are just barely golden and the donuts spring back when gently pressed with a finger tip.

Cool on counter for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, flip the pan over and rap it hard on your counter so that the doughnuts drop out.  Move donuts to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

Storing your doughnuts:  Freeze unglazed doughnuts in heavy duty Ziploc storage bags or a Tupperware.  Defrost/Reheat one at a time on a plate in microwave.  I heat mine on 20 or 30 percent power for 20 second intervals until gently warmed.  Then glaze and serve.

If you want to store glazed doughnuts, place in a tightly sealed Tupperware in fridge.  Warm on 20 percent power in microwave (uncovered) on a plate.  Go slow and heat in 20 second intervals.

Chocolate Glaze for Doughnuts

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (we use a cornstarch free version)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute of choice (slightly warmed)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, butter, or butter substitute
  • 1 tablespoon light agave syrup or your liquid sweetener of choice (honey will work)

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl  until smooth and silky.  Let sit for 5- 10 minutes, stir again, and then dip donuts one by one into glaze.  Place on wire rack to let the glaze set a bit before serving.  If you can wait that long!

Maple Glaze for Doughnuts

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (we use corn free powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (always check to make sure there is no added corn syrup or flavorings!)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, butter, or butter substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Frontier or homemade)

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and silky.  Let sit for a few minutes, stir again, and then dip doughnuts one by one into glaze.  Place doughnuts on wire rack to let the glaze set before serving.

12 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Doughnuts

    • Thanks Megan. Yes, YAY for corn free. It can be such a challenge to find good resources for corn free folks. That’s why I was so pleased to see your gorgeous blog. :)

      • Thank you so much for the compliment – I feel the same about yours! I love your pictures! I have such a hard time taking pictures with just the right amount of light.

        I’m going to add your blog to my recommended links! 😉

  1. Thanks so much for these recipes! My seven year old was just diagnosed with strawberry, shrimp, tomatoe,peanut, milk, soy, corn, wheat, and chocolate allergies. I am so excited for the marshmallow and doughnut recipes as these were two items I was sad he want not able to eat again, but he can! I cannot wait to try these this weekend!

  2. Maddie is making these and is wondering if she should use 1 egg or 2 eggs(ingredients list says 1 directions say 2). Also, the directions mention adding the cream of tartar, but that us not listed in the ingredients. She’s made these before, but can’t remember what she did. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes! I have told so many people about your blog…the best!

    • Hi Katy, I just got in and I couldn’t answer blog comments from my cellphone for some reason. I saw your comment and tried to email you (that was working!) but I’m wondering if it just ended up in your junk folder? Anyways, I am SO sorry about the mix up on this recipe. I recently made some changes on the blog and it looks like that recipe has an error. It is supposed to be one egg and 1 teaspoon baking powder (omit the cream of tartar and baking soda). If you are corn-free, you can make the homemade baking powder that I have on my page about corn-free cooking/baking:
      Wish I could have responded sooner! Best, Terris

  3. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times for my boys (the youngest has a severe wheat allergy) and it’s always a HUGE hit! Last time, I added 1/3 cup cocoa powder to the flour, added a bit of extra applesauce and milk and omitted the glaze. All the kids – even the non-gluten-free visitors – loved them so much that I had to make a second batch :)

  4. Hi there! I love your recipes! One question, these were great for me however I sometimes end up with a muffin or donut that while it stores gets wet or sticky on the tops…. Why does that happen? You’re amazing. Thank you.

    • Sunnyrose08, When I make baked goods. I try to never put them in a fully sealed container. Like a donut shop or bakery, they leave them in a airy place on racks usually. Try leaving the lid cracked so air can get into the container.

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