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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Have you ever craved donuts, but not indulged because they're unhealthy? Well I have news: not all donuts are bad for you!! This recipe is a perfect example of how donuts can be nutrient-dense and good for your health (NOT bad). These chocolate peanut butter donuts are baked, not fried, are free of sugar and are sweetened with fruit, are vegan, are gluten-free, and are yeast-free. Plus, they taste A-MAZING (what's not to love?!). And to top it all off (literally), I have included a recipe for peanut butter icing for these donuts (which really bumps the flavor up a notch!). So, now that you know not all donuts are created equal, feel free to eat these healthy & tasty donuts to your heart's content!



Hearty and wholesome baked donuts with a rich, creamy, peanut butter-y icing are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. I highly recommend making the PB icing for these donuts because it brings out the peanut butter flavor in the donuts more and is downright delicious!


For those of you on the paleo diet, these donuts are made with oat flour, so technically this recipe will not work for you since it isn't grain-free. However, check the "Substitutions" section of this post for an almond flour substitute and other alternatives.



These donuts are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, date-sweetened, and baked (so what I'm basically saying is they're guilt-free). You can use a mini donut pan, a regular-sized donut pan, or a donut maker (like Sunbeam's Donut Maker that makes 3"-diameter donuts, and only takes 6 to 7 minutes to bake!). I used a mini donut pan and a donut maker for this recipe.


If you're not feeling the decadent icing or some of the ingredients for it don't work on your diet, feel free to just drizzle some creamy peanut butter or your desired toppings on top. Also, I've provided a chocolate sauce recipe as part of this post for another topping option.



Nutritional Profile of Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts


Dates- dates are antioxidant powerhouses and are also rich in fiber, protein, potassium, iron, and micronutrients. Dates protect against anemia, promote a healthy gut, benefit heart health, and help prevent disease (my go-to variety of date is the Medjool date).


Peanut butter- peanut butter is packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, and potassium.

Healthy fats benefit cardiovascular health, nervous system health, and skin & hair health. Fiber is good for digestion and heart health, protein builds muscle, and potassium lowers blood pressure. (Tip: try purchasing 1- or 2-ingredient peanut butter that's unsweetened, low in (or free of) sodium, and free of hydrogenated oils. In other words, try buying peanut butter that's either made with just peanuts (raw or roasted is fine) or peanuts and a little salt (not too much salt, though)).


Cacao powder- cacao powder is the unprocessed form of cocoa powder and boasts high levels of antioxidants, protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and beneficial plant compounds. Cacao powder is known to ease PMS symptoms, raise HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve mood, and protect against disease. (I almost always use cacao powder over cocoa powder because cacao powder is more nutrient-dense and has a richer flavor).


Oats- oats (and therefore, oat flour, which is just ground oats) are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and iron. Oats are good for digestion, heart health, red blood cell production, and provide long-lasting energy thanks to their complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. (Tip: not all oats and oat flours are gluten-free because although oats themselves are free of gluten, they can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing crops during the growing and harvesting process. If you need to be 100% gluten-free, then be sure to buy certified gluten-free oats and oat flour).


Sea salt- sea salt (calcium chloride) is less processed than table salt (sodium chloride) and helps to balance electrolytes, nourish the adrenal glands, and provide the body with numerous micronutrients. Himalayan pink sea salt is a good choice.


Almond milk- almond milk is a great source of vitamin E and calcium & vitamin D (if fortified). Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is good for your skin and hair, while calcium & vitamin D support bone & immune health. (Fun fact: many almond milk brands (like Almond Breeze) have more calcium than cow's milk!).


Flaxseed- flaxseed (and thus, flax eggs which are just flaxseed meal and water) are filled with omega-3s, protein, fiber, and iron. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for many different parts of the body, ranging from the brain to joints to skin. Protein builds muscle and is an important macromolecule in the body, fiber boosts digestion and heart health, and iron helps form healthy red blood cells.


Coconut oil- coconut oil is loaded with healthy fats and fatty acids that are good for heart health, brain health, skin & hair health, immune health, and may have antimicrobial properties. (Tip: you can use raw coconut oil as a natural, at-home hair treatment! First, wet your hair and towel dry it. Then, use anywhere from 1 tsp to 2 Tbsp (depending on your hair type and the oiliness of your scalp) and melt it in a pan over the stove or take the raw coconut oil and rub it between your hands until liquified (if melting over the stove, allow to cool several minutes before handling). Next, apply the liquified coconut oil to your strands, making sure to concentrate the oil on the ends (the most damaged part of hair) and if you have a dry scalp, feel free to slather it onto your roots all the way to your ends. Let it sit on your hair for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse off in the shower and follow with shampoo and conditioner. This treatment will moisturize, strengthen, soften, and add shine to your hair. Do a coconut oil treatment at least once a week and no more than 2 to 3 times a week. Be cautious about applying to your roots if you have oily hair (like me)).



Substitutions


The peanut butter in this recipe can be substituted with almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini, coconut butter, or any nut/seed butter that works on your diet. The cacao powder can't really be substituted for these donuts seeing as they're chocolate peanut butter donuts but you can swap cocoa powder (regular or dark/alkalized is fine) for the cacao, or omit the cacao powder altogether for a regular peanut butter donut. The oat flour may be replaced with 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of gluten-free/grain-free 1-to-1 baking flour (if using this option be sure the 1-to-1 baking flour has xanthan gum and/or another thickener in it. If it doesn't, use the cassava flour/starch and if it does, omit the cassava flour/starch). Alternately, you can use approximately 1 3/4 cup of almond flour, packed to make this paleo/grain-free and you must use the cassava flour/starch if using the almond flour. The cassava flour/starch can be replaced with arrowroot flour/starch or tapioca flour/starch. The dates are necessary because they are the base for this recipe and trying to swap from dates to a sticky sweetener may not yield the same consistency. However, you can use a different variety of date like Deglet Noor dates in place of the Medjool dates. Moreover, if you have baking experience feel free to try maple syrup, agave, date syrup, coconut sugar, maple sugar, date sugar, stevia, etc. and play around!


The sea salt can be swapped out with table salt or may be omitted. The baking powder and baking soda are necessary as they leaven these donuts as they bake (buy gluten-free/aluminum-free baking powder as needed). The unsweetened almond milk can be replaced with your unsweetened plant milk of choice or your sweetened plant milk of choice (if you can do sugar on your diet). The flax eggs can be substituted with 2 chia eggs or 6 Tbsp of aquafaba (chickpea water). The coconut oil can be replaced with any neutral-flavored, healthy vegetable oil. The vanilla extract can be swapped out with vanilla powder, can be omitted, or may be reduced to half of the amount as the recipe is written with the other half can be replaced with almond extract.


For the PB icing, you can sub any nut/seed butter for the peanut butter. The coconut cream can be replaced with cashew cream or almond cream. The date paste can be replaced with maple syrup, coconut sugar, or an artificial sweetener, to taste. The unsweetened almond milk can be substituted with any unsweetened plant milk.


For the chocolate sauce, you may use any kind of dairy-free/gluten-free/sugar-free chocolate chips/chunks/bars (chopped) or any chocolate that works on your diet. For a healthy, vegan, sugar-free, date-sweetened dark chocolate recipe, check out my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate recipe on The Dimpled Date. The coconut oil for this chocolate sauce is difficult to substitute, but perhaps a neutral flavored oil like sunflower, canola, or avocado would work. Or you could just try melting the chocolate in a double boiler without any oil.



Woo, It feels good to be back!! I've been trying so many recipes and have been trying to perfect them all so I can share them with all of you! Ones I'm in the process of improving/posting:


-Almond Joy Overnight Oats

-Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

-Vegan & Paleo Oreos

-Cinnamon "Sugar" Pop-Tarts

-Raspberry Pop-Tarts

-Sea Salt Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

-Chocolate PB + Blueberry Almond Smoothie

-Matcha Donuts

-Date-Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies

-Paleo Peanut Butter Cups ...


AND MORE!


Thanks for checking out this post and let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it!


Enjoy!

-K.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 12 to 14 minutes (for 2"-diameter mini donuts in the oven) or 6 to 7 minutes (for medium-sized, 3"-diameter donuts baked in a donut maker like Sunbeam's Donut Maker)

Total Time: 41 to 42 minutes (for medium-sized donuts made in a donut maker) or 47 to 49 minutes (for mini donuts baked in the oven).

Servings: 12 mini (2"-diameter) donuts and 14 medium-sized (3"-diameter) donuts*


Ingredients:


-1 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted

-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)

-2 flax eggs

-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour (see the "Substitutions" section of this post for flour substitutions)

-2 Tbsp cassava flour/starch (can sub arrowroot/tapioca flour/starch)

-1/4 cup cacao powder (can sub cocoa powder)

-1 Tbsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-pinch sea salt

-1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

-3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened plant milk of choice)


For the peanut butter icing:

-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or creamy nut/seed butter of choice)

-1/4 cup coconut cream (the hardened white cream from a can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream that's been refrigerated for 24 to 48 hours)

-2 Tbsp + 2 tsp date paste (Detoxinista has an excellent date paste recipe!)

-1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened plant milk of choice)


For the chocolate sauce:

-1/2 cup vegan, paleo, sugar-free chocolate chips/chunks/chocolate bar (chopped) OR homemade paleo & vegan chocolate, chopped (see my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate recipe)

-1/2 tsp coconut oil


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat a donut maker (like Sunbeam's Donut Maker). Grease a mini donut pan (that makes 2"-diameter donuts) or a regular sized donut maker (that makes 3"-diameter donuts) with coconut oil or dairy-free, gluten-free non-stick spray.


2. Soak the dates in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes, until softened. Make sure you've made the flax eggs and melted the coconut oil already.


3. Blend the softened and drained dates in a food processor until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as necessary.


4. Add the peanut butter, flax eggs, and vanilla to the food processor and blend until uniform.


5. Add the oat flour, cassava flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt and blend until a thick batter forms.


6. Make sure no attachments on the food processor are blocking the feeder tube hole. While the food processor is turned on, slowly drizzle the melted and slightly cooled coconut oil through the feeder tube hole, into the donut batter until incorporated (BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER-BLEND).


7. While the food processor is still turned on, slowly drizzle the unsweetened almond milk through the feeder tube hole and into the donut batter until the batter is thick yet moist (BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER-BLEND).


8. Scoop or pipe the batter into the greased mini donut pan or donut maker molds, filling each mold about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way. Smooth the tops.


9. Bake in the preheated oven (at 350 degrees F) for 12 to 14 minutes OR bake in the donut maker according to the donut maker instructions (I used a regular-sized donut maker from Sunbeam that makes 3"-diameter donuts and it takes about 6 to 7 minutes for mine to bake). You'll know the donuts are finished baking when a knife inserted into the donut comes out clean and the donuts have risen and become solid.


10. Allow the donuts to cool.


11. While the donuts are cooling, make the peanut butter icing and/or chocolate sauce (if using).


12. To make the peanut butter icing: combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.


13. To make the chocolate sauce: melt the paleo chocolate with the coconut oil in a double boiler until liquified. Allow to cool slightly.


14. Drizzle the peanut butter icing, chocolate sauce, pure peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice), and/or your desired toppings on the donuts and serve. Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.




*Please note: I will be updating the number of either only mini (2"-diameter) donuts OR medium (3"-diameter) donuts this recipe makes to make the number of donuts this recipe yields less confusing.

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