Whole Living Daily

Better Than a Donut, Better Than a Muffin: Allergy Free Donut Muffins

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Search “donut muffin” in Google Images, and you’ll come up with literally hundreds of lovely recipes. It seems just about every food blogger has tackled this charming old-fashioned treat.

Supposedly the donut muffin was born early last century, when a baker had leftover donut batter and not enough time to fry it all, so she poured it into a muffin tin. What a happy accident.

I first spied a batch last month at my local bakery. I was intrigued: they looked so comforting. Then a woman came in and bought a dozen. Clearly, they were just that good. So, I figured it was high time I baked up an allergy-free version to see what the fuss was all about. And thanks to all those who requested I do so. My curiosity is satisfied, and they are that good!

1 of 7

1 Mix batter until smooth.

2 A cookie scoop is a useful tool for filling the muffin pan with batter.

3 Make sure the batter is divided evenly.

4 Bake until golden, then let cool on wire rack.

5 Dip the top of each donut muffin in melted shortening.

6 Then roll the top of each in cinnamon sugar.

7 Serve warm!

Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Donut Muffins
Makes 12

3/4 cup rice milk
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp double-acting baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup Spectrum Organic Butter-Flavor Vegetable Shortening
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with ¼ cup rice milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin pan well and set aside.

2. Combine rice milk with lemon juice and set aside.

3. Measure out flour: Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, then level 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 with xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk well. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine ½ cup of the vegetable shortening and 1 cup of the granulated sugar, beating about 1 minute until combined. Add egg replacer, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute more.

5. Add the flour mixture in three batches, 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.

6. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each about 7/8 full. (I like to use a cookie or ice cream scoop.)

7. Bake in the center of oven until golden and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

8. During the last 5 minutes of baking, melt the remaining ¼ cup vegetable shortening and set aside. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar with cinnamon.

9. Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Dip each muffin top in melted shortening, then roll in cinnamon sugar. (If you like a sweeter treat, melt an additional ¼ cup shortening and roll the entire muffin in cinnamon sugar.) Serve warm!

Allergy-Free Donut Muffins © 2011 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 or follow her on twitter @CybelePascal.

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Comments (19)

  • These look awesome! I can't find what is in the "butter" flavoring in the shortening, though. I know earth balance uses corn to flavor their soy free spread so I suspect spectrum is doing the same.

    I finally got the corn free xanthan gum and your recipes are working out so much better for me (and I already loved them before!), especially the tortillas. Perfection!

    I wanted to ask if you knew of allergy friendly places to eat in San Diego - we're going there in September and my plan is to cook while we're there pretty much.

  • Hi Homa:

    They use sunflower, not corn. See here: https://www.navanfoods.com/baking/spectrum-butter-flavor-shortening hope that helps!



  • Do you have to use the egg replacer if you don't need to be vegan? Can you use 1 egg in rice milk? I ask because hubby is not vegan, but is allergic to milk, gluten and corn. So even the baking powder we do a baking soda and cream of tartar mix.

  • we are not gluten free here so I'm wondering if I can make them with regular flour and omit the xanthum gum? Anyone know if that would work?

  • So excited to make this one! I think I'll leave out most of the granulated sugar and sub agave and see what happens:) You should make an addendum book to your baker's handbook if you're not working on book#2. My baker's book is filled with your recipes that have been added!

  • My little guy can't have the Spectrum because of his coconut allergy. Do you think that butter such as Earth Balance would work? He can't have the egg replace either do to his potato allergy, but I have used applesauce in it's place on the past and that has worked out great!

  • Dear Megan

    You can sub 2 small eggs for the 1 T egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk. 1 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer mixed with 2 T rice milk is approximate to 1 egg.... ALso, do you know about GF corn-free Hain bakign powder? THey use potato starch instead of cornstarch. http://www.hainpurefoods.com/products/product.php?prod_id=1842

  • Hi Susan;

    Yes, you can use regular all purpose and omit the xanthan gum.


  • Hi Melissa:

    Thanks for your comment! You amy end up with a bit too much moisture doing that. What about using palm sugar instead? Or maple sugar? I am working on book #3, in fact! But it's not baked goods. Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe at some point I'll do another baking book too.

    all best,


  • Hi Jennifer:

    Yes, the Earth Balance should be fine. Enjoy!


  • OMG, Cybele!! I just made these, and with one bite I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I was a huge baker before going on my allergy-free diet almost 2 1/2 years ago, but most of the recipes I found were not so good. I had about given up on baking until I saw you on the Martha show. I can not thank you enough for giving me back my baking. Donuts are my favorite food group, and these are so incredibly yummy!

  • Cybele, these are amazing! I am having so much fun with your recipes. My 2 year old have severe allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, sweet potato, and strawberry. We are also strictly avoiding soy, fish, and shellfish. I would love a "safe" hollandaise sauce!!! I have tried to find a vegan recipe, but the ones I have found online contain tofu.

  • I've just stumbled across your recipes after going dairy and soy free (and possibly later gluten free), so I'm not sure if you've been asked this before but a recipe for a dairy and soy free cheese we can make at home. I am in Australia and there isn't one commercially available here.
    Another thing I've been trying to do is to find a gelatin substitute (as you can be sensitive to beef along with dairy)to make marshmallows. I used to make an egg free one but when I tried it with Agar Agar, it just wouldn't whip up.

  • This is wonderful! I've only been GF for 2 years and this has the texture I miss so much and it tastes great. I did to cut the nutmeg by half. I'll be trying it as my new go-to recipe base for fruit muffins. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • [...] figured it was the perfect time to take on The Food Allergy Recipe Challenge from Amelia for a safe allergy-free hollandaise sauce. Her 2-year-old son has severe allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, fish, and [...]

  • I am wondering where to find the corn free xanthun gum like Homa found...anyone know?

  • I would love to hear your thoughts on palm oil and sustainability. I'm vegan and have a wheat allergy, so your recipes are wonderful! But have cut out palm oil (so no more Spectrum shortening) from my diet after learning about the environmental effects.

    I've had good results subbing solid (cold) coconut oil for vegetable shortening in all of your recipes that I've tried. Of course, there is a slight coconut flavor, but I do love coconut.

    Just thought I would pass this along. I love your recipes and was so happy to find that I could make this substitution. (:

  • Is the lemon juice for the milk, I didn't see it posted, thank you!

  • Sprinkle one teaspoon of tumeric powder onto poultry,
    pork, fish, and egg dishes or add to lentil soups for a touch of healthy spice flavor.
    Cinnamon - helps reduce blood sugar and "bad" cholesterol.
    Since it functions as an active form, SAMe is naturally transformed to cysteine within your body.

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