I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys today. I had been wanting to try my hand at making a healthy alternative to doughnuts for a while once I discovered you could bake them using a doughnut pan (this is the one I have). After researching recipes and techniques I came up with a recipe that I am really happy with. These doughnuts are light, moist, and the perfect combination of sweet and tart from the lemon – not to mention how much better* for you they are than the traditional fried variety of
heaven doughnuts like the glorious Krispy Kreme.
I decided on the lemon flavor because 1.) I love lemon flavor anything and 2.) when combined with baking soda, it reacts to make a lighter, fluffier cake (the same result can be achieved with a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar if you choose to do a different flavor, just FYI). I also used real vanilla beans in these because you just can’t beat the flavor of scraping the seeds out of a vanilla bean pod, but don’t not make these if you don’t have any. You can use extract if you must. Also, I bet these would be great with poppy seeds, but I didn’t have any – maybe next time!
I use oat flour in this recipe, but you could try to use any alternative flour – I think almond flour, coconut flour, or a combination of the two would make a comparable doughnut and would make it a Paleo-friendly recipe. So if you’re going Paleo or don’t like using oat flour, give it shot and let me know how it goes!
I used the scraped out seeds from one whole vanilla bean in the batter and another one in the glaze. If you’ve never worked with real vanilla beans before, you’ve got to try it. The flavor is amazing. Here is a good reference on how to scrape the seeds out to use in baking and what else you can do with the beans.
Besides using lemon juice and baking powder to make a lighter batter, I also whipped my egg whites separately, until they were frothy and bubbly (not very liquid-y), before adding everything together. I believe this really helps because with my first batch, I didn’t whip them as much and those doughnuts, though good, were much denser than my second batch where I whipped them a lot more (and they were so very light and fluffy). So don’t skip this step!
The glaze for these has a base coconut butter, which is different than coconut oil and much creamier. If you’ve never bought coconut butter before, you can find it in the health food section at your grocery store, and it will probably have some separation going on with a layer of coconut oil sitting on top. Bring it home and warm the jar in hot water or on low in the microwave so that you can stir it all together. For this glaze, you’ll want the coconut butter to be warmed enough to be pourable to make mixing everything easier.
I hope you’ll try these! If you do, let me know in the comments!
Clean Eating Lemon Vanilla Doughnuts – A Healthy Alternative to Krispy Kremes
yields 10-12 doughnuts
Ingredients – Doughnuts
2 cups flour of your choice (I like oat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I like to use baby food applesauce)
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
4 egg whites
Ingredients – Glaze
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice (depending on how much lemon flavor you like – I like a lot!)
Directions – Doughnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or if using a doughnut maker, preheat accordingly).
- Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together melted cocounut butter, honey, lemon juice, applesauce and the scraped out seeds from one vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract). Set aside.
- In a third bowl, whisk egg whites for a few minutes until light and frothy and not much liquid remains.
- Add egg whites to wet ingredients and mix.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Fill greased doughnut pan about 3/4 of the way full using a spoon.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until just slightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool in doughnut pan for a few minutes before removing.
Directions – Glaze
- Combine all ingredients. May need to heat coconut butter – it should be easy to stir. Taste as you go when adding lemon juice to reach desired flavor and consistency. If you want less lemon flavor, but it’s too stiff, add a tablespoon or two of water.
- Once doughnuts are cooled, pour or spread glaze over the doughnuts and try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting :)
*I called these doughnuts “healthy” on Instagram over the weekend and I’d like to revise my statement a bit to say that these are a wonderful alternative, with a fraction of the fat and calories, with added nutrition of healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals however they are still a treat to be eaten in moderation (if you can manage…). There’s a good bit of sugar in these from the honey, though it’s not refined and honey does have great benefits, but still. Healthier is what I should have said.