{Gluten-free, Vegan} Pumpkin Spice Donuts


Hello bloggereaders! I’ve missed the CRAP outta yah.  So much so that, yes, there as a “h” on the end of “ya” to prolong the sound of the word and therefore encapsulate my joy at getting to blog right now.

In a nutshell: sourcing for magazine, writing for diff magazine, shooting DB show, hanging with Meals on Wheels, managing family business, going to Chocolate Show.

Okay forget that, I’m tired after waiting for my internet to decide to work while watching Pan Am (it’s like a bad car crash, I just can’t look away… or plane crash, as it were).

Let’s just say I’ve missed blogging.  Because while I’ve been baking away I haven’t had any time to take photos (with my new lens – which now makes my camera completely old and completely manual and completely ah-MAZ-ing) or write up the recipes.

But I have still enjoyed reading YOUR blogs! And if there’s one thing I’m learning from the holidays approaching it’s to sit and have a breather now and then, to drink more water, watch my sweets, and to enjoy the little moments.  To give thanks.  Gracias to my life coach, Lindsay at Rosemarried and the murder-sprees on American Horror Story and Boardwalk Empire for reminding me of this lately.

Now, end of the rambling and onto the donuts.

Sometimes 1st time is a charm.  I didn’t quite believe that when making these so tried two more times, concluding that my first go was by far my favorite.  In each recipe I adjusted a bit here and there – kind and quantities of flours, amount of leveners etc.  I knew that:

  • I wanted them to be high in fiber / whole grain
  • I wanted them to be vegan
  • Obviously gluten free
  • Easy to assemble
  • I wanted them to be moist

Check, check, check, check, check.

I brought the batch upstairs to some neighbors: we all have dogs and now and then gather for walks, a glass of wine or some delicious food.  One is a private chef and the other is just really good with food, so they’re great to run recipes by.  The chef remarked that the flavor was “perfect, perfect, perfect”.  But he had no advice as to how to get them to taste chewier, like a real donut.  Because while these do taste amazing, the texture is more like a moist cake than a donut.  Making them gluten free and vegan… gonna be hard to get the chew.  I’m still working on it, but let’s just say that these are a delicious take on a classic donut.  Their guests noted that the pumpkin flavor was full throttle, the texture was soft, the flavor balance was perfect and they might even fare well after a day or two of drying out a bit.  I didn’t take any home with me – so they were a hit.

For this recipe:

I recommend having all ingredients at room temperature or slightly warm.  Like a basic cake recipe, you want the ingredients to meld slowly and not be shocked into expanding and then collapsing.

This recipe does NOT use xanthan gum.  I usually do, in everything.  But with this I found the absence of it made for a better texture given the amount of starch in the recipe already, as well as the flax, which also binds things together.

Teff is wonderfully high in protein and fiber and the world’s smallest grain so it’s extremely fine and works well in this kind of recipe.  If you can’t find teff flour, I’d suggest amaranth or quinoa – because of the moist pumpkin and spices, the flavors get absorbed well and give you all the punch-packing nutrients.

I tossed some in cinnamon and sugar, made quick glaze for others with almond milk, powdered sugar and nutmeg, brushed some with melted coconut oil and then dunked them in sugar… have fun.

Let me know what you think.  What’s your favorite gluten free donut recipe? I want to try it!

This pumpkin at my family’s home made me happy…

So I STOLE and MADE DONUTS OUTTA IT! Just kidding… I used the kind in a can… organic…

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 325°.  Lightly grease donut pan.

Whisk together in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch)
  • 1/4 cup teff flour
  • 1 Tbsp sweet rice flour (or sticky rice flour)
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

Whisk together in a large bowl:

  • 1/2 cup palm sugar (or white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup almond milk, warm, with 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar

Whisk dry ingredients into wet until thoroughly combined.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until springy to the touch.


  1. rosemarried says:

    You’re too cute. I love your blog for a million reasons, but this post is great. First off: those donuts look OFF THE HOOK. So delicious. And, of course, I’m glad you were inspired to be thankful. :) It’s the little things, isn’t it? p.s. I haven’t tried Pan Am yet. It looks so bad yet good. I’m sure I’ll watch soon and be horribly addicted.

    • It is so bad and yet so good… like dessert :) And I love YOUR blog for a million reasons, including “oh, yeah, so someone out there totally is in the same boat right now and can remind me to breathe a bit too”. xx

    • Aw, thanks Brooks. One day I hope we’re in the same space so I can make you something and you can teach me how to make one of your creations of which I am normally all thumbs :)

  2. Donuts are a weakness of mine and the standard donut is far from being healthy and nutritious. I am glad you have brought forth this recipe to help ward off the craving for the unhealthy donuts.
    I am hooked on Boardwalk Empire and have yet to see Pan Am. Glad there are these out there to watch, I am a bit tired of the Dancing and Idol shows.

    • Pan Am is gloriously not great. There are some hysterical lines that I LOVE and, well, it’s just FUN! But Boardwalk or Mad Men it is not. But much more fulfilling than competition shows in my book. While eating teff donuts, even better.

    • Thanks (sheepish smile). Rambling comes naturally to me when over tired. And thanks for the photos comment – I just got a new lens and a new tabletop lighting studio and so it’s been an adjustment period to figure them both out. Learning is fun… and frustrating :)

  3. Great post Jx! I can’t stress enough how much I love your writing style. Congratulations on Top 9 missy! These donuts look delicious! Miss ya lots, see you very soon =]

  4. Wow, these sound really fantastic! and I’m a new reader to your blog. It’s always fun discovering another food blogger out there, especially when that blogger is FANTASTIC, which you are :) I look forward to reading further!

  5. Nicki says:

    These look so good and healthy. I am going to have to try these. My boys love donuts, but they are usually so bad for you. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Rachel says:

    You make high-fiber, gluten free, and vegan look and sound wonderful! I really, really want to make these. I think it’s the deep, rich color that really drew me in.
    I’m wondering where I would find sweet rice flour. Can I just make it by grinding up some sweet or sticky rice?

    • I don’t know about making it. I used the Bob’s Red Mill brand. It was somewhat hard to find (I found it at Fairway on 74th in NYC) but I’m sure you can request it at your local health food store! Teff as well – that’s what gives the high-fiber and dark color.

  7. I am so excited for this recipe. A) I love donuts B) I don’t eat dairy, gluten, or egg C) I am currently obsessed with pumpkin. So thank you for sharing this! Where might one find a donut pan? Sur La Table or Bed Bath I would assume. Thanks again!

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  11. Amber K says:

    These look great! It is so hard to find vegan, gluten-free baked goods that don’t use xanthan gum (which hurts my gut way more than dairy or gluten does). So thankful to finally find one!

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  13. Lil' Sis says:

    I just got donut pans (yay!) and reread this entry to get your recipe and I absolutely love the way you write when something really excites you. <3

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