Learning how to bake while following a gluten-free, vegan diet was a serious struggle for me. I went through trial after trial of different recipes and somehow failed in every way possible. I made cookies that looked good before they went into the oven and somehow flattened into a single rock-hard inedible sheet when they came out. I made cupcakes that were somehow simultaneously burnt and raw. I made breads that were gummy and crumbly at the same time. It was a mess. It took me at least a year to produce anything that was even halfway edible, and much longer than that before I felt confident enough to share my baked goods with other people. It was outrageously disappointing and discouraging and made the beginning of my transition to following a gluten-free, vegan diet very difficult. Eventually, after a lot of failures, I learned the tricks and substitutions that made for delicious gluten-free, vegan baked goods, but it certainly took me a long time.
Two years ago, my mom gave me the cookbook BabyCakes Covers the Classics and it was a huge part of helping me bake something that was not only edible, but delicious (seriously, I couldn’t recommend their cookbooks enough). After trying donuts at the BabyCakes bakery on a trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law in New York, I decided their donut recipe had to be the first thing I tested out. The donuts came out perfectly, and finally some of that overwhelming discouragement around gluten-free vegan baking was lifted.
After that first success I went on a somewhat obsessive donut-making spree testing out different recipe variations and flavor combinations. Now that I could finally bake something worth eating, I couldn’t stop myself from making batch after batch to make up for lost time. The weirdest thing about it is: before I was vegan and gluten-free, I actually hated donuts. It was definitely a bizarre food group to hate, but up until a few years ago I refused to eat any donuts except for fresh made apple cider donuts. This recipe, and the ability to make fun and unique flavors on my own has helped me to understand the donut hype — and now I can’t get enough.
These donuts utilized some of the farm-fresh peaches from my local CSA box, and when paired with cinnamon created a flavor that perfectly fit these early-fall days. I may have broken my recent rule regarding small portion recipes and no processed sugar, but the outcome was definitely worth it (sometimes you just need to treat yo self). The peach puree allows for a sweet peach taste throughout the donut, while also working as an egg replacer (just like in my Spiced Peach Muffins), and the hand-mashed peach allows for some larger pieces throughout the donut to give it that extra kick of gooey peach taste in every bite.
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar
- 2 peaches, with coconut oil for brushing
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Slice 2 peaches in half, removing the pit.
- Place peach halves cut side up in a baking pan, brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake peaches for 35 minutes.
- Remove peaches from oven and allow them to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F
- Place 3 of the peach halves in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Keep one peach half in a separate bowl and mash with a fork by hand, leaving some larger pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well combined.
- In a separate bowl combine the roasted peach puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil (leave out the hand mashed peach for now).
- Pour the wet ingredients (withholding the hand mashed peach puree) over the dry ingredients and hand mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be thick and sticky.
- Fold in the hand mashed peach puree.
- Distribute dough into a well greased donut pan. (This recipe makes 12 donuts. A typical donut pan makes 6, so you will either need to own two donut pans, or make the donuts in two batches).
- Bake donuts for 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove donut pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for around 10 minutes.
- Remove donuts from pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Once donuts are cool enough to handle, coat the donuts with cinnamon sugar (This works best if the donuts are still relatively warm when you are coating them).