This week’s challenge, “Gluten-Free Vegan Donuts,” are downright delicious. My son Monte shoved one in his mouth and yelled, “Awesome!” while spraying crumbs. But I’m not satisfied. I think I’ve entered a grass-is-always-greener landscape. Perhaps I chose wrong (for me), but decisions had to be made.
When you only have a week, to perfect from start to finish, you’ve got to be decisive, and act fast on those choices. So, first, I had to decide on the type of donut: baked or fried? I settled on baked. Next: cake or yeasted? I settled on cake donuts, because they required fewer ingredients. And so that is what I tackled, a “baked cake donut”, without wheat, gluten, eggs, butter, milk, soy, tree nuts, or peanuts.
And tackle it I did. It took 5 tries. That’s 3 more than last week’s Gluten-Free Chicken Fried Rice , but 5 less than week one’s Gluten-Free Caramel Cupcakes, so I guess I’m doing okay. And these baked cake donuts are undoubtedly yummy, better for us, easier, and less time consuming, so I’ll give them big props, even though they’re not exactly what I wanted. What they made me want, desperately, is the other kind of donut. No, not the kind with gluten! The other kind. So next week, I’m going to try this challenge all over again.
What I realized, through working on this recipe, is that I’m a yeast donut kinda gal. I also discovered I’m a fried donut kinda gal. I like my donuts puffy, and fattening. So come back next week for my attempts at an airy, crispy yeasted fried donut. For now, take comfort in the ease, scrumptiousness, and low-fatness of this one. What kind of donuts do you like best? Let me know by leaving a comment here, and keep the requests coming!
Gluten-Free Vegan Baked Cake Donuts
Makes 6 donuts
If you don’t already have a donut pan, get yourself over to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, or Sur la Table, and buy one! You thought making cupcakes was fun? Wait till you try baked donuts. The perfect sized treat, any time of day. And as an added bonus, these little beauties are low-fat!
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons rice milk
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix (recipe follows)
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8th teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons rice milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla glaze (recipe follows)
- Sprinkles (Edward & Sons makes GF sprinkles )
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine rice milk with lemon juice and set aside.
- Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Combine flour mix with xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk well. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Sift in the flour mixture in three bathes, alternating with the rice milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 30 seconds.
- Using a teaspoon, spoon the batter into an ungreased non-stick donut pan, filling each donut cup about 7/8th full. Do not overfill them or they’ll rise too much. Smooth down batter with back of teaspoon to even surface, then wrap pan firmly against counter a few times to really settle batter into pan.
- Bake 15 minutes in center of oven until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Invert onto rack and wrap back of pan lightly to dislodge donuts. Let cool on rack to room temperature. Dip top of donut (the smoother side) into vanilla glaze, then into sprinkles. Set back onto rack to let glaze set. Best when eaten fresh (like all donuts), or they can be frozen and then thawed on counter, on demand.
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice milk
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.
Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
MAKES 6 CUPS
The key to the very best gluten-free baked goods is Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour; it is the Cadillac, or cashmere, of brown rice flours and is worth its weight in gold. It is not grainy like other rice flours, and bakes the most fantastic cookies, cakes, pie crusts, and so on. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods market or Whole Foods, order it online. Both Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flours will also work in these recipes, but they won’t turn out quite as well. The brands of potato starch and tapioca flour or starch are not as important; I find them all interchangeable. (Please see Resources, page 177, of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook for more information.)
- 4 cups superfine brown rice flour
- 1 1⁄3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
- 2⁄3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.
2. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix recipe reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
Gluten-Free Vegan Baked Cake Donuts
Copyright © 2010 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com.