The Dilemma: Finding an Easy, Delicious Allergy-free Donut Recipe!
If you’ve read any of my blog, you’ve probably figured out that I am NOT one of those creative, talented, recipe-designing foodies that you’ll find on other food-allergy blogs. No-sir-ee… not me! Thank goodness for people who have cooking talent and can invent delicious recipes, because I am not one of them! No, I’m more of the scour-the-internet-for-an-easy-recipe-I-can’t-screw-up kind of gal. 😉
Dealing with multiple food allergies means the whole cooking/baking/grocery shopping thing is already more complicated than I’d like it to be, so recipes need to be easy and relatively foolproof for me to use them regularly. Obviously, this is why I have always thought making donuts for my food allergic girls was off the table. I mean, who makes homemade donuts, right?!?
Weirdly, over the past few months I noticed some fairly simple donut recipes floating around the inter webs, so I decided to give a few of them the old college try. If you’re like me and need quick, easy solutions, here’s my honest review of three fast, food-allergy donut recipes that I felt brave enough to attempt. I hope you find one that works well for you!
The First Donut Experiment: Petite Allergy Treats recipe
The first recipe I found, Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Donuts, hails from Petite Allergy Treats. This caught my eye because:
- It is simple.
- It involves chocolate.
- The pictures make the donuts look mouthwatering. Sold.
Now, to be totally up front with you all, I DID NOT follow this recipe exactly. (I heard that gasp.) Yes, I know that us allergy-free cooks have to stick with proper ingredients and proportions in order to get all the dang food chemistry right, but you know…I just don’t have the energy for that all the time. When I made these donuts, I cheated and used one cup of a flour blend mix (rather than the two kinds of flour for which the recipe calls) that had several kinds of flours and the xanthan gum already in it (Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend). In full disclosure, this may have very well thrown the whole thing off. Also, I just made a plain powdered-sugar glaze frosting for these donuts; I didn’t take the time to make the fabulous frosting included on the original blog post.
While I loved the simplicity of this recipe — you just mix and pour into a donut pan to bake — it wasn’t sweet enough for us, and the texture felt a bit off. Had I made the frosting recommended for these donuts, our opinion may have been different. The basic chocolate donut base tasted a bit ho-hum, and the texture was on the mushy and gummy side. I loved throwing all the ingredients into a bowl and combining — as the recipe instructs — but there were bits of flour that didn’t get incorporated evenly, which I assume is from NOT mixing dry & wet ingredients separately before adding them together.
If you try this recipe, I would definitely recommend:
- using the exact flour ingredients as listed,
- mixing dry and wet ingredients separately before combining, and
- putting a nice SWEET frosting on top, as there is not a lot of sweetener included in the donut recipe itself.
Let me know if you give it a whirl!
The Second Donut Experiment: Learning to Eat Allergy-Free recipe
The next donut comes from one of my recommended resources: Learning to Eat Allergy-Free. This recipe actually comes from one of Colette Martin’s books: Learning to Bake Allergy-Free. I can’t link to the recipe here because of copyright, but frankly, you should invest in this book, anyway. If you don’t like the donut recipe, you’ll love the chocolate glaze (look at the yummy pic above!), and I guarantee you’ll find other workable recipes for you. My basic bread recipe comes from this book. Ms. Martin helped me keep my sanity when first learning how to live with multiple food allergies: no joke. 😉
I was a better baker this time and followed her recipe as written. 🙂
These donuts are chewier and have a more bagel-like texture. They felt heavier and seemed to get stale a bit more quickly than the other two recipes. Overall, though, this recipe definitely ranks as our our second choice! Out of the three donut recipes we tested, these look the most like traditional donuts, especially after topping them with glaze, sprinkles, or both! They were fun to make, and not messy or difficult at all. You mix up a solid dough that you can roll into long snake shapes and form into donuts. I have a donut pan, but it wasn’t even necessary to use it. In fact, I think the treats held their shape better baking them on a plain old Silpat®.
These were our favorite donut recipe, until we tried—
The Final Donut Experiment: Chocolate Covered Katie recipe
By far, my daughters’ favorite allergy-free donut was the Blueberry Baked Donuts from Chocolate Covered Katie. Katie’s blog is one of my go-to places for treats, anyway (see my recommended sites), because her concoctions are so simple, foolproof, and delicious. Of course, our favorite donut would come from her. 🙂
I particularly loved this recipe because:
- We had (and usually have) all the ingredients on hand.
- It was so fast to pull together and bake!
- The recipe is actually pretty healthy! (as far as desserts can be healthy…right?)
- My girls loved them, even without a glaze or frosting!
The only downside to this recipe was that it seemed small; I think I needed to double the recipe to get enough batter to make bigger, fuller-sized donuts. Katie’s recipes do tend to make smaller batches in general. Either that, or I needed to try a different flour blend. I’ve found that blends with xanthan or guar gum included can make a batter too weighty, which most likely happened here. As you can see below, the blueberry donuts looked gorgeous on one side, and more like sliced-bagels on the other. 🙂 So funny…but Izzy and Tessa didn’t care a lick. They gobbled them up, and even my husband thought they were tasty. And he hardly ever eats the allergy-free baked goods I make for our kids, so that’s saying something!
So there you have it, folks. It IS possible to make allergy-free donuts without making your head (or kitchen) explode. I’d love to hear if you try any of the above recipes and/or have any tips for making them even better.
Have you found a great, easy allergen-free donut recipe that I haven’t listed here? Please share!
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