You probably love a soft, fluffy donut as much as the next person, but that local bakery’s version probably isn’t doing your waistline any favors. Traditional recipes for fried donuts are loaded with unhealthy fats and refined sugar – two ingredients that we could all do without. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy a delicious donut without all of the guilt! This healthy baked donut recipe uses whole wheat flour and is sweetened with coconut sugar – meaning that it is filled with nutrients and devoid of any refined ingredients. Plus, they’re baked instead of fried so you won’t have to worry about consuming any unhealthy fats. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your favorite breakfast treat, look no further than this delicious and nutritious recipe!
Are Baked Donuts Healthier Than Fried?
There is no denying that fried foods are delicious. However, they are also loaded with unhealthy fats and calories that can negatively impact your health.
Vegetable oils, which are commonly used for frying, are high in saturated fats and have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease (3). Additionally, high-fat diets have been shown to contribute to weight gain and obesity (4)
Baked donuts, on the other hand, are a much healthier option. Because they are not fried in oil, they contain far fewer calories and unhealthy fats. Additionally, baking is a much gentler cooking method that preserves more of the nutrients in the food.
What Is The Healthiest Donut?
A few ingredient swaps can make any donut recipe much healthier.
- Flour: traditional recipes call for all-purpose flour, but you can easily swap in whole wheat flour for a boost of fiber and nutrients (2). You can also use alternative flours such as almond flour or oat flour.
- Sugar: refined sugar is empty calories with no nutritional value (6). Instead, opt for a natural sweetener such as agave, honey, pure maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
- Milk: choose a non-dairy milk such as almond milk or coconut milk to make your donuts dairy-free and lower in calories.
- Glaze: ditch the sugary frosting in favor of a dark chocolate glaze or a simple icing made with sugar free white chocolate.
Healthy Baked Chocolate Donut Recipe (1)
Made with oat flour as the base, these donuts are not only gluten-free, but also high in fiber and protein. The addition of almond milk and monkfruit sweetener keeps them dairy-free and keto-friendly. And, of course, the chocolate glaze makes them irresistible!
- 1 cup oat flour – see notes
- ¼ cup lakanto monk fruit sweetener – or coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk – or water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil – like melted coconut oil
- 1 cup powdered lakanto monk fruit sweetener – see notes
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- ¼ cup milk – or water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chocolate sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and Grease a donut pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, lakanto monk fruit sweetener, cacao powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
- In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together milk, vanilla extract, egg and oil until combined.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined – do not overmix!
- Spoon batter evenly into the prepared donut pan, filling each cavity about ¾ full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.
- Allow donuts to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For The Chocolate Glaze:
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered lakanto monk fruit sweetener, cacao powder, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Dip the tops of each cooled donut into the glaze and then sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
- Allow the glaze to set before serving.
- Oat flour can be made by blending rolled oats in a blender or food processor until a fine powder forms.
- I used lakanto monk fruit sweetener to keep this recipe keto-friendly and sugar-free, but you can use coconut sugar instead.
- To make powdered monk fruit sweetener, simply blend granulated monk fruit sweetener in a blender or food processor until powdery.
- Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 3g | Calories: 166kcal | Fat: 9g | Protein: 6g | Carbohydrates: 18g
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Healthy Baked Pumpkin Donut Recipe (5)
Pumpkins are not only for Halloween – they make a delicious and healthy ingredient for baked goods! These pumpkin donuts are spiced with cinnamon and ginger, and are covered in a sweet maple glaze.
Note that the glaze isn’t sugar-free, but you could easily omit it and enjoy these donuts plain. You could also make your own powdered sugar glaze with monk fruit sweetener or erythritol.
- 1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/3 cup dark brown coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp butter or vegan butter melted, I used Myokos
- 1-3 tsps almond milk or any milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease two donuts pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a separate bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the wet ingredients – maple syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Spoon the batter evenly into a piping bag or ziplock bag and snip off the corner. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan, filling each well about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more milk until desired consistency is reached. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze and set aside on a wire rack to set.
Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 2194IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Healthy Grain Free Baked Almond Donuts (7)
This one’s for allergy sufferers or those with sensitivities to grains! These donuts are made with almond flour and are naturally sweetened with honey. You could also use maple syrup if you prefer.
- 1 cup (100g) almond meal/flour
- 3 tbsp (65g) honey (or maple syrup/coconut nectar/agave)
- 2 large eggs (100g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease a 6 hole donut tray with oil (coconut or olive work well). Alternatively, you can use silicone muffin trays.
- If your almond flour is very coarse, add it to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until it resembles a fine meal.
- Add the almond flour, honey (or other liquid sweetener), eggs and vanilla extract to a bowl and whisk until well combined. If the mixture is too thick, add 1 tbsp milk of choice.
- Add the baking soda and mix until well combined. The mixture should be pourable but not too runny.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the donut tray or silicone muffin trays. The donuts should be about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool completely.
- These donuts are best enjoyed on the day of baking, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
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The Bottom Line
Whether you’re looking for a healthier alternative to fried donuts or just want to cut back on refined sugar, these recipes are for you! Baked donuts are a great option when you want a sweet treat that is relatively low in calories and fat. And, because they’re baked instead of fried, they’re also a bit easier on the waistline.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Chocolate Baked Donuts With Sprinkles (2021, andianne.com)
- Dietary Fiber from Whole Grains and Their Benefits on Metabolic Health (2020, nih.gov)
- Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence (2015, nih.gov)
- Fat Quality Influences the Obesogenic Effect of High Fat Diets (2015, nih.gov)
- HEALTHY BAKED PUMPKIN DONUTS (2021, hungryhobby.net)
- Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding (2016, nih.gov)
- Recipe: Grain Free Baked Almond Donuts (2015, southerninlaw.com)