If this doesn’t look like the most fun, decadent holiday treat…then I don’t know what does!
OK…so this is my very first foray into making donuts. I’ve always wanted to give them a go, but I never actually bought the damn donut pan, which was a pretty major hinderance to the donut making process.
BUT, I finally have one. And it came to me in a very weird, unexpected way.
Every year, Ben and I host a Holiday White Elephant Party at our house where we have SO many friends over for the festivities. I make a whole big thing out of it and make a full dinner (this year was BBQ themed), create my own signature Moscow Mule cocktail using the oranges from my backyard orange tree (recipe to come), I create a nostalgic and borderline inappropriate playlist for the gifting, and we use a megaphone. I take my holiday parties SERIOUSLY, you guys.
Anyway, back to the donuts.
The white elephant gift I ended up getting this year was A DONUT MAKER! Not just a donut pan, but an actual donut maker…kind of like a waffle maker, but for donuts! WOOHOO! I was pretty excited about this one…and now I can finally experiment with creating fun and healthier donut recipes.
So first up, I obviously had to create a holiday donut. I wanted to make it chocolatey, glazed and sparkley…all while keeping the calories fairly low and the good stuff high. Plus they look super cute and will totally impress your guests…or just look good on your table.
These aren’t a totally free food, they are just a lightened up way to enjoy a treat we all love. Who doesn’t LOVE a donut?! And a healthier one you can make at home and decorate yourself? Even better in my opinion.
Healthier Mini Chocolate Donuts
5 tbsp vegan butter, softened (I like Earth Balance) or ghee
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup gluten free flour (I like oat flour, but any flour will do- use what you have)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Piping bag is needed for transferring the batter to the donut maker!
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat your donut maker so it is ready to go. If using a donut baking pan in the oven instead, heat your oven to 325 degrees F and spray the pan with cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder and mix well until well combined and clump-free. Set it aside.
In another medium bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar, but don’t overwork. Add in the egg, almond milk and vanilla extract and use a whisk to combine. Next, whisk in the baking powder and salt. Add the flour and cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined…again, don’t overwork the batter!
Spoon the batter into a piping bag or a heavy duty ziplock bag, snip the corner off and use the bag to pipe the batter into the donut maker. Each donut slot should be filled about half the way up. Bake in the donut maker for 6-7 minutes or in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack, with tin foil underneath (for when you glaze them later).
To make the glaze, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and glossy. Once the donuts are cool, dip each donut into the glaze and let the excess drip off before letting them set on the wire rack. While they are still sort of wet, add your fun sugar pearls and sprinkle toppings of choice! My favorites are linked below! Lots of glaze will drip off, but that is totally fine! You don’t want a soggy donut.
Have a happy holiday and Merry Christmas!