These doughnuts are something special to linger over during brunch. Light and fluffy, these vegan and gluten-free treats are a bit less guilt-inducing since they’re baked instead of fried. The maple-roasted almonds here add a great crunch and textural contrast to the cakey doughnut, but feel free to garnish with whatever nuts, seeds or sprinkles you have on hand.

  • By Lawren Moneta
  • May 24, 2018


    1 cup raw almonds

    5 tbsp maple syrup, divided

    1¼ tsp ground cinnamon, divided

    1 cup brown rice flour

    ½ cup almond meal

    ⅓ cup coconut sugar

    2 tbsp flax meal

    1 tsp baking soda

    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

    ¼ tsp ground cardamom

    ⅔ cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas)

    1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other plant-based milk of choice, divided

    1½ tsp vanilla extract, divided

    ⅓ cup grape seed oil

    ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

    1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 4 hours and drained


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Start by making maple-roasted almonds for garnish. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and spread out almonds into a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes.

    2. Transfer warm almonds to a bowl and stir together with 1 tbsp maple syrup and ¼ tsp cinnamon until evenly coated. Spread out once again on parchment-lined baking tray and bake, stirring once or twice, until glossy and toasty brown (about 12 to 15 minutes). Set aside to cool completely before roughly chopping.

    3. To make doughnuts, in a large bowl whisk together rice flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, flax meal, baking soda, nutmeg, cardamom and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon.

    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together banana, ¾ cup almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, oil and vinegar until well combined. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and whisk until well combined. Spoon or pipe batter into cavities of a non-stick or lightly greased doughnut pan (or muffin tin), taking care to fill each cavity only three-quarters full. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in a doughnut comes out clean (about 12 to 15 minutes). Let doughnuts cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Doughnuts may be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days before serving. Makes 12 doughnuts.

    5. While doughnuts are cooling, make icing. In a blender, combine drained cashews with remaining ½ tsp vanilla extract, 4 tbsp maple syrup and ¼ cup almond milk until creamy and smooth.

    6. Once doughnuts have cooled completely, spread with icing and sprinkle with chopped maple-roasted almonds. Best served within an hour of assembling.

    No doughnut pan? No problem. Simply divide batter among 12 cups of a standard-sized muffin tin and bake until puffed and cooked through (about 15 to 20 minutes). And for a pretty finish, top doughnuts with edible rose petals.

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