Healthy Pumpkin Donuts (Gluten-free & Vegan!)

These easy pumpkin donuts are naturally gluten-free and sweetened with coconut sugar, for a healthier way to satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings. You can make them in just about 30 minutes!

Gluten-free baked pumpkin donuts

You have my son to thank for this recipe, as he’s been asking me to make “healthy donuts” for the last two weeks.

We’ve been explaining to him how sometimes certain foods don’t make us feel very good when we eat them too often (like deep-fried donuts), so it’s important to eat them in moderation, with plenty of healthy food, too.

child's hands holding a baked donut

His solution is that I just need to make healthy donuts so he can eat them more often. Ha!

These healthy pumpkin donuts are made with gluten-free oat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, and coconut oil, for a naturally-sweetened treat. The batter can be stirred together in just minutes. (If you’re looking for a grain-free donut, try my Paleo Pumpkin Spice Donut recipe instead.)

I used to be intimidated by making donuts, but they’re almost as fast as making muffins– the extra step is simply pouring the batter into a piping bag of some sort (I simply use a plastic bag with a tip cut-off) so you can pipe the batter into the donut mold easily.

how to make healthy baked donuts

These donuts are lower in sugar than the kind you might buy at a shop, and their texture is a little lighter, too, since I tried to keep the use of oil to a minimum. Think of them as a cross between a muffin and a donut.

If you want a sweeter treat, you can sprinkle the tops with extra coconut sugar or even drizzle some Maple Pecan Glaze over the top for something a little more decadent. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

gluten-free pumpkin donuts

4.86 from 7 votes
Gluten-free baked pumpkin donut
Print
Healthy Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

These baked donuts are gluten-free and naturally sweetened with coconut sugar for a healthy morning treat. Ready in just about 30 minutes!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 6 donuts
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and generously grease a donut pan with melted coconut oil. 

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, pumpkin, sugar, melted oil, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar and stir well until a uniform batter is formed. 

  3. Transfer the batter to a large plastic bag (or a piping bag for frosting) and cut off one of the bottom corners so that you can pipe the batter into the donut pan. Pipe the batter into the 6 donut wells-- this should use all of the batter completely. 

  4. Bake the donuts until they are lightly golden and feel firm to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the pan. 

  5. I think the donuts are easiest to remove by twisting them clockwise in the pan, to help loosen them. Then place a wire wrack or plate on top of the pan and flip it over so that the loosened donuts will release from the pan and fall on to the plate. 

  6. Top with extra coconut sugar or Maple Pecan Glaze and serve. Leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

baked vegan donuts

Recipe Notes:

  • If you’d like a sweeter donut, I think you could add an extra 1/4 cup of coconut sugar into the batter without changing anything else. I’m not sure how other sweeteners, like maple syrup or honey would work, so please leave a comment below if you try those out. I’d guess maybe 1/3 cup of honey would produce similar results?
  • The temperature of your ingredients will affect the thickness of your batter, but the final results will be the same either way. In the picture above, my pumpkin puree had been chilled in the fridge, so the batter was thicker than it would have been if the pumpkin puree had been warm or at room temperature. Rest assured that the results are perfectly fine either way!
  • I have a feeling applesauce or mashed banana could be used instead of the pumpkin puree with delicious results. Let us know in the comments below if you try something different!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite donut flavor? Our local donut shop makes an Apple Spice Donut that melts-in-your-mouth, so that’s next on my to-do list!

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Comments

THuy

Do you think it would be ok to sub gluten-free flour for the gf oat flour?

    Megan Gilmore

    I’ve never tried it that way, so I have no idea. I imagine they will have a different texture with GF flour… but they will probably still be tasty!

    Dawn

    I had the same question. Have you tried it yourself and if so how did turn it?

Lindsay Long

These look amazing.

Any thoughts on cooking them as if they were waffles?

I know they would be dense but then I don’t have to buy a new baking pan 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    They’d probably be delicious as waffles! Just make sure you grease the waffle maker really well.

Sarah B

Hi Megan! These look amazing! I don’t keep coconut sugar around all the time, so could I use brown sugar or Morena sugar instead? Any idea of the amount I would need for similar sweetness? Thank you for all your amazing recipes! I’m gearing up to try lots of your soups as the weather cools. 😊

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I think brown sugar would work just fine in this recipe. If you use a 1/2 cup like the recipe calls for, they’ll probably taste a little more like a “real” donut, which could be a good thing! Or, you could try reducing it to 1/3 cup for a less sweet option.

Kathryn Lloyd

Wow – they look delicious and such a simple recipe! I don’t have a donut pan. I wonder if I could make them on a cookie sheet (with some coconut oil wiped on it to prevent sticking). I thought I might be able to form circles of the “dough”. Any thoughts on this?

    Megan Gilmore

    They might spread more into muffin tops on a cookie sheet, so you might try using a muffin pan instead and extend the baking time a bit.

    Melissa

    i don’t have a donut pan either, so when I made donuts in the past in the oven on a baking sheet, I would make aluminum foil rings, then put dough inside the rings, and then put an aluminum foil ball in the middle of each to form the donut shape.

Wendy

These look delicious. I don’t have a doughnut pan. Is it worth experimenting with mini muffins? Do you think the dough would work as a muffin?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I think they’d make awesome muffins! The mini muffins might bake around the same amount of time the donuts would… I think a standard muffin tin would have to be baked a bit longer.

      Angela

      I do n have a donut pan either but i have used the pan with 12 mini bundt cakes and it worked great! Tasty and pretty and i didn’t have to buy a new pan.

Sara B

Would it work to use just plains GF flour and not oat GF flour? Look so yummy! Thanks so!

Linda Felton

Is the 1/4 cup coconut oil only for greasing the pan?

    Megan Gilmore

    Nope, I just forgot to add that ingredient in the instructions! Thanks for catching that– I just updated it. 🙂

Randi

These are fabulous. Made them with oat flour and then also another batch replacing it with 1/2 c buckwheat flour and 1/4 c sorghum for my son who can’t have oats. Couldn’t tell a difference. First thing the kids asked for this morning. Thanks once again for a new family favourite. You’ve made real food a joy to make and feed my young family.

Asia

Hi Megan

What do you use to grease the donut pan?

I use the same pan and have tried coconut oil, butter,and ghee but my doughnuts always stick (especially if they are gluten free).

thank you

Jennifer

This recipe is amazing!! I couldn’t resist; I almost ate all the donuts.. Thank you for sharing this recipe Megan, it’s definitely a winner.

Newly Gf df paleo

Thank you for posting this recipe. My kids loved these and my husband actually did too! And normally he won’t eat any of the gluten free dairy free stuff! These were quite yummy. I added an egg, cause eggs just always seem to help things bake up nicely. I’m just getting into the gluten free dairy free paleo cooking for some diet problems our kids have. So I was happy to find this recipe! Oh also I did half coconut sugar, half honey.

Brenna

Hi Megan,
Thank you so much for this recipe. My son and I have had fun baking some of your desserts. We tried the vegan chocolate cake and also this one today. We follow the directions exactly except we used coconut flour instead of oat flower. Both recipes turned out very crumbly and actually fell apart after baking. They seemed dry- as if an ingredient was missing. We love how helpful they are and everything seem so perfect would love any suggestions so that they turn out better . I noticed someone said that they added an egg. Is that something we should try?

    Megan Gilmore

    Coconut flour can’t be swapped for any other flour in baking– it usually requires a LOT of eggs for structure, and you usually much less coconut flour than you would any other flour. If you want to use coconut flour, I actually have a pumpkin spice donut recipe here on my website that calls for it: https://detoxinista.com/pumpkin-spice-donuts-grain-free-nut-free/

      Brenna Humphreys

      Mystery solved! Thank you! Love your recipes. Keep them coming!

Stephanie

This recipe looks great and I would love to try it. Do you think we can freeze any leftovers and reheat them later?

Ashley

Holy smokes these are amazing. My toddler and husband ate them almost instantly! Thanks for all your amazing recipes…they really do add value to the lives of families like ours!!

Louise

I love you recipes. Do you think you would be able to use almond flour instead?

Mary

I made these and they are delicious!

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