Learn how to make the most delicious Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts gluten-free and oil-free! These donuts are so soft, fluffy and moist, baked and not fried. It is hard to believe they contain no oil or gluten!
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VEGAN CINNAMON SUGAR DONUTS GLUTEN-FREE OIL-FREE
I’m whistling at these donuts, because gluten-free never looked so pretty! I only have one donut recipe on the blog, these Vegan Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts and those are fantastic. I’ve received many requests for a classic cinnamon sugar donut, in particular, a gluten-free one. Cinnamon sugar donuts used to be one of my favorite types of donuts as a kid.
These Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts are not only oil-free and gluten-free, they are incredibly soft, light and fluffy. They are baked, not fried, so they have a cakey texture, that I just love. I’m not into the greasy fried donuts these days, yuck. If you want to learn more about baking oil-free, be sure to check out all of my tips and tricks on How to Cook and Bake Without Oil!
GLUTEN-FREE BAKED DONUTS
Have you ever notice most gluten-free donuts are just lumpy bumpy and ugly? They just are! But not these my friends. I have to be honest, not only do I need my food to taste good, I want it to look pretty. These babies look just like ones made with all-purpose flour, don’t they? These vegan cinnamon sugar donuts aren’t just fluffy, they aren’t dense or mushy! Gluten-free often is.
To make these fluffy and soft, I used my go-to flour blend that is the base of my most popular cake on the blog, my Funfetti Cake! That recipe has hundreds of remakes and I’ve seen so many of your kid’s birthday parties and that cake is a hit with all the non-vegans too.
So, naturally I wanted to test the blend as a gluten-free donut. I simply added cinnamon and scaled down the recipe and added a cinnamon sugar coating. They turned out perfect!
HOW TO MAKE BAKED VEGAN CINNAMON SUGAR DONUTS
To make the best baked vegan cinnamon sugar donuts, you will just need 8 ingredients:
- blanched almond flour
- white rice flour
- potato starch
- baking powder
- maple syrup
- lite coconut milk
You only need 1 big bowl and a donut pan and a tiny bowl for the coating.
First, you will add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl, add the wet and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
Divide the batter into the donut pan. Bake for 14 minutes until light, fluffy and they are a light golden color.
Mix the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl and coat one side of the donuts.
Or do the glaze option listed below if you prefer! Basically, both are delicious.
I will say what I always say. To get the best vegan cinnamon sugar donuts, you need to follow the exact recipe and weigh the ingredients. Anytime you sub a flour or ingredient, you are changing the result and sometimes it is a fail. Baking is a science, always remember that. However, I give suggestions below if absolutely needed.
Almond flour: Crucial as it is what gives these vegan cinnamon sugar donuts their moisture. It simply cannot be replaced. If you are allergic to nuts, it will be best to find a recipe online that doesn’t use nuts. Or, you can try replacing it with ground up sunflower kernels. Note, this will obviously yield a sunflower taste and make them more dense.
White rice flour: It leaves no nasty aftertaste like brown rice flour does. It also gives much better binding. Brown rice flour will make them dry and crumbly. If you cannot have rice, then I think subbing with all-purpose flour would work in place of the rice flour (although I have not tested it), you will sub it with 3/4 cup (96g) which is less grams than the rice flour, since they bake up differently.
WHY POTATO STARCH?
Potato starch: Do everything you can to find this ingredient if you want the best results. Many grocery stores sell it or simply order it off Amazon. I buy Bob’s Red Mill. Potato starch does not behave the same as other starches. When there is a good amount of it in a recipe, like with these donuts, subbing it will have very different results. This ingredient is the very starch that makes these donuts light and fluffy. Tapioca starch and cornstarch simply will not yield the same results. Tapioca will make them gooey and rubbery. Cornstarch will make them more dense and chewy. This is the result I’ve noticed when combined with almond flour. It would be better than tapioca, so it’s up to you if you want to try the cornstarch. Just please keep in mind that it will make them much more chewy and dense.
Coconut milk: Okay, I know people will ask about this one. Lite coconut milk yields no coconut taste, yet adds wonderful moisture and lightness to the donuts. If you are allergic to coconut, I would suggest another high fat milk for best results. Cashew milk will likely work, although they will perhaps be a tad less light and less moist.
Donuts and coffee, or even better, the Best Vegan Hot Chocolate with whipped cream, never looked so good.
I really hope you all love these Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts! As always, please come back and leave feedback if you love them. I hope these detailed tips are helpful.
OTHER VEGAN BREAKFAST RECIPES TO TRY
- Best Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Best Vegan Fluffy Pancakes
- Vegan Chocolate Crepes
- Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins
Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten-free & Oil-free)
- 3/4 cup (84g) superfine blanched almond flour (I love the brand Nature's Eats)
- 3/4 cup (120g) white rice flour
- 6 tablespoons (60g) potato starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (200g) pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) canned "lite" coconut milk, shaken first (I use and highly recommend Thai Kitchen brand, very creamy)
- 6 tablespoons (60g) white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
SUGAR GLAZE OPTION
- 2 tablespoons (30g) canned "lite" coconut milk, you can sub other milks, but the glaze will be thinner
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (140g) powdered sugar, sifted if it is lumpy
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and spray a 6 regular size donut pan well with nonstick spray. If you don't spray them, they WILL STICK. This recipe makes 7 donuts, which I know is a little annoying since the pan is only 6 but hey, you get an extra donut and the batter is totally fine sitting out as the first batch bakes. Also, this may VARY depending on your pan having different donut size holes or depth of each one.
- To a large bowl, add the almond flour, rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whisk very well to ensure there are no lumps. Pour the syrup and milk over the dry ingredients and whisk until completely smooth. It should be similar to a cake batter, pour-able. Do not worry about over mixing, this is a gluten-free batter and the smoother, the better.
- Divide the batter evenly into the 6 donut pan, reserving enough for the 7th donut. Basically the batter should be filled up to about 1/8- 1/4 inch gap remaining at the top of each cavity.
- Bake 12-15 minutes. Each batch mine were perfect at 14 minutes. They are done when a toothpick basically comes out clean. A few dry crumbs are ok, as they will still finish cooking as they cool. Do not overbake.
- Leave the donuts to cool in the pan JUST 5 minutes. This will allow them to set a bit, but then you will want to gently remove them to coat the bottoms of the donuts while still warm. This will help the sugar to stick better.
- You can choose to either add the cinnamon sugar coating or the glaze. I did both and loved both equally! For the cinnamon sugar, combine them in a bowl and whisk until well combined. After the donuts have cooled in the pan for just 5 minutes, gently remove the donuts. Slide a toothpick around the edges of the donuts if needed to loosen and they should pop right out. Place the bottom side of the donut (that had the spray on it) and coat with cinnamon sugar. The sugar sticks well since there is a bit of nonstick spray on it, the dry side did not stick well. I also found this half amount was perfectly sweet enough! If you used a pan and no nonstick spray, the cinnamon sugar will not stick, so the glaze will be a better option.
- Place all the coated donuts onto a cooling rack to cool completely. They will still finish "cooking" as they cool and get even more fluffy. So, it's best to let them cool before eating.
- For the glaze, combine the sugar and milk and whisk until completely smooth. Place the donut flat into the glaze and rotate it to coat it. Place on a wire rack to let the glaze set. You can also speed up the drying by placing it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Store the cooled donuts in a covered container so they don't dry out. They will stay moist and fresh this way.
If you are allergic to coconut, you can try subbing with another creamy milk like cashew milk. They will be slightly less moist and fluffy likely, but should still be tasty.
Nutrition based on 7 donuts (per donut), which will obviously vary depending on your donut pan: 289 calories, 7.5g fat, 1.8g protein, 53.4g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 26g sugar, 177mg sodium