Or, I guess “DOUGHNUTS!!!” if that’s what you’re into.
I have no idea which is correct. But today, we’re going with “DONUTS!!!”!
I don’t know if you remember my Portland trip last year, but it was my quest to find an awesome vegan donut while I was there.
It didn’t happen (I had a very mediocre one), and I left knowing my search for the perfect vegan donut would live to see another day.
Pittsburgh isn’t the most vegan-friendly city ever, but it is getting there, which is really cool! But it’s not like I could just drive to our local donut shop and ask for a dozen vegan donuts, you know?
That’s why I decided to make my dream a reality…in my very own kitchen.
I asked you guys on Instagram whether you wanted a fried or baked donut recipe, and you, overwhelmingly, voted baked! I still have a feeling a fried donut recipe will be making an appearance here sometime soon, but until then all you need is a donut baking pan to make your homemade healthier donut dreams come true. <3
(I call that extra coconutty one in the corner 🙋♀️)
Baked Vegan Lemon Coconut Donuts. Can we first just fan-girl over this flavor combo? omg. It’s so spring I can’t even handle it.
I’ve always associated this time of year with coconut (thanks to my Nana and her obsession with coconut chocolate eggs), and lemon is just so bright and fun = the food equivalent of spring.
And the texture! Goodness gracious. I gave Mark a bite (yes, just one because I’m obsessed), and the first thing he said was, “wow, these are so light!” They aren’t super dense and rich; instead, they’re fluffy, moist, and flavorful.
Let’s dig into how we get this amazingly addictive texture and flavor in a vegan baked good, shall we?
- Flour. A trick I learned from this epic chocolate cake recipe is that mixing whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour is perfect for vegan baking. Why? Great question. :) Whole wheat flour is a bit denser and heavier than all-purpose, so it helps give your vegan baked good some structure (you know, the structure it’s missing from the lack of eggs). I always use Bob’s Red Mill’s Organic Whole Wheat Flour and their Organic All-Purpose Flour. When I want the best vegan donuts, I want to use the best ingredients—Bob’s flours are the best.
- Dairy-Free Yogurt. I know! Weird, right? But again, I learned that dairy-free yogurt is the perfect egg replacement in baked goods from my favorite chocolate cake. Yogurt helps tenderize the final product, and it’s the best consistency! I find mine at Whole Foods, and I really like the unsweetened yogurts made from coconut milk! I actually used an unsweetened vanilla version in these donuts.
- Homemade Buttermilk. Yep, you’re going to be a culinary superstar and make your own buttermilk! It’s super simple, so don’t freak out. You just need to mix up some coconut milk (canned, full fat) with a wee bit of apple cider vinegar, let it sit for a hot sec, and then use it like you would buttermilk. This “soured” coconut milk gives our donuts a bit of tang and tenderizes the donut like boss.
- Nutmeg. So. A long time ago, I read an article that said to get that you get that bakery taste in a homemade donut by adding a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg to the batter. Weird? Totes. But I did it here and it so worked. Even with the coconut-lemon flavors going on! You just need a tiny pinch to add that gourmet bakery flair to your donuts.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut + Coconut Oil + Coconut Milk. The shredded coconut gets mixed directly into the batter, and it just adds a bit of chewiness to the donut. I know that sounds weird, but trust me. We loved that added texture! The coconut oil adds richness, and the coconut milk adds a light coconut flavor and moisture. Feel free to find coconut extract and use that for an extra oomph of coconut flavor, but I thought it was delish without.
- Lemon Zest. I wanted a “mostly coconut with a hint of lemon” donut, and it totally worked with the addition of lemon zest in the icing! I adore cooking / baking with lemon zest over lemon juice because you’re not adding any additional liquid to the mixture and because SO much sweet lemon flavor is hiding in that zest! You need one giant lemon to zest into your powdered sugar / coconut milk mixture. Yaaas.
Of course, toppings are the best part. I added a thiiiiccccc layer of icing, toasted coconut, and a wee slice of lemon on top, but you do you. Keep it plain or go crazy with the toppings. You could even leave out the lemon and drizzle them with chocolate. There’s an idea.
Regardless, these cuties are perfect for feeding your fam this Easter. Donuts for brunch? Is there anything better?!
Baked Vegan Lemon Coconut Donuts
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 10-11 donuts||Total:|
Super soft, moist, and flavorful baked vegan donuts with a spring flair! So simple to make, and only requires a handful of ingredients. The perfect healthier sweet treat for spring and summer!
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- splash vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy free yogurt*
- 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp. coconut milk
- zest of 1 large lemon
- pinch salt
- toasted coconut, lemon slices
- DONUTS: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6-cavity donut pans (affiliate link) with a bit of coconut oil. Set aside.
- Combine coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup—this is your homemade vegan buttermilk. Mix and set aside.
- Add coconut oil, cane sugar, vanilla, and yogurt to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low until combine. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add coconut and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides again.
- In a separate bowl, mix your whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
- Turn your stand mixer on low, and alternate adding your flour mixture and your "buttermilk," starting and ending with your dry ingredients. Mix only until combined, then turn off your mixer.
- Evenly divide the batter into 10-11 of your donut cavities, filling the batter to the top. Smooth out the tops with your finger.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the donuts comes out clean. They'll be light in color.
- Allow your donuts to rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them and place them on a cooling rack and allow to cool.
- ICING: Mix your powdered sugar, coconut milk, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to remove any clumps. Your icing should be thick but drippy.
- Once your donuts are at room temperature, dip them one-by-one (the smooth side will be the top) into the icing. Top with your desired toppings, and allow them to dry on the cooling rack. Enjoy immediately, or store in an air-tight container (I like storing mine in the fridge).
*I find my unsweetened dairy-free yogurt at Whole Foods! It's back by the dairy-full yogurt. I use the So Delicious brand.
Adapted from my photography idol, Sarah @ Broma Bakery!
A special thanks goes to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post! Check out more delicious healthy recipes, snag coupons, and find stores near you at BobsRedMill.com!
ps. Affiliate links were used in this post. That means if you click the link and purchase through that link, Fooduzzi will get some moolah at no cost to you. Kinda cool, right? Thanks for supporting more plant-based yum on the blog!
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