And the donut stood there with a glazed expression.–Unknown
Honestly, I am not what I would call a “donut” person. Even before I knew I had celiac disease, I never, per se, craved donuts. However, when I was quite young, my grandparents would occasionally drive about an hour away from their home to a Dolly Madison bakery outlet. They would buy treats that would normally never be in my own childhood home. Oatmeal cream pies, twinkies, fruit pies, zingers, and bags of donut gems. I can recall the childlike appeal of those colorful, catchy items on my grandparents’ kitchen table.
I never really understood why they made this trip because my grandmother was an excellent cook and an exceptionally tasty baker of desserts. Up until the day my grandfather went to a nursing home, it seemed as if Grandmother always had some freshly baked dessert on-hand. Maybe they made this trip because they came of age during the depression and never had much during those lean years. Then again, it could have had more to do with the fact that they had once owned and operated a grocery store and simply enjoyed having packaged products.
Regardless of the reason, the grandkids were often able to reap the benefits of these bakery outlet trips. While we were certainly limited in the amount of sweets we were permitted to eat, my grandparents were always more lenient. In particular, I fondly recall those donut gems that came in the white bag with a cellophane center allowing purchasers to see those orbs of processed confectionery–ready to spike blood sugar levels of consumers far and wide, especially the small bodies of children.
In the end, I am not sure if those memories have inspired my latest obsession with donut baking, but I do find baking these treats once per month to be a sweet, creative outlet in a world often filled with bitter headlines. However, I do try to find ways to bake these donuts a bit more healthily–although let’s be honest, they’re still donuts. Nonetheless, this recipe is gluten-free that can be made free from animal products, if desired, and it is less sugary than those rings of gems from that long ago bakery outlet.
Why not set aside less than an hour of time to bake up a pleasant headline in your own home? They are easy to make and a cinch to glaze. You don’t even have to own a donut pan. Most of all, your house will be smelling like a bakery outlet without the two-hour round trip drive!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Donuts with optional Glaze
1 egg OR 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water*
1¼ cup oat or all-purpose (gluten-free) flour**
⅓ cup dutched cocoa powder ***
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
¾ cup milk
3 melted tablespoons of favorite nut-butter, butter, or applesauce****
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
½ cup gluten-free chocolate chips
1-2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- If using flaxseed, combine flaxseed + 3 tablespoons of water, set in the fridge to “gel” for 10-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a donut pan(s) with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray, OR if you do not have a donut pan, do the same with a muffin pan and plan on filling with batter ½ way full.
- Combine dry ingredients until well blended.
- Mix in the remainder of wet ingredients including flaxseed/egg with a large wooden spoon.
- Divide batter among 8-10 donut spots of donut pan.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping onto the rack to cool 10-15 more minutes. Serve immediately or add glaze. Makes 8-10 donuts.
To make glaze:
- Lightly spray a microwave-safe bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add in chocolate chips and milk. Heat for 30-45 seconds until slightly melted.
- Stir gently, and once well mixed, add in maple syrup and vanilla extract
- While glaze is still warm, individually dip one side of each donut into glaze, and place back on the cooling rack to firm up. Repeat for each donut. Feel free to add sprinkles, sparkling baking sugar, or shaved bits of chocolate for a more festive look.
*Choosing between the egg or flaxseed is personal preference, but it is worth noting that
flaxseed is plant-based.
**I have celiac disease, so I cannot bake with wheat-based flours. However, if you do
do not have a gluten allergy, feel free to use all-purpose flour instead.
***I prefer dutched cocoa powder over regular cocoa powder due to its mellow, smooth
flavor that I find to be less bitter than regular cocoa powder. Plus, it makes baked goods
dark and rich looking. However, IF using REGULAR cocoa powder, reduce baking
powder to ½ teaspoon and baking soda to ¼ teaspoon.
****Nut-butters, including tahini, offer a richer flavor and consistency; whereas, butter offers a lighter flavor and can be dairy or plant-based. Applesauce is a no-oil choice.