Healthy Pumpkin Donuts – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Healthy Pumpkin DOnuts - Gluten Free & Vegan
Pumpkin donuts.  In a word, …yum!  I have made these several times now, and since they are so delicious, they get gobbled up quicker than I can set up a photo-op.  I am pretty sure a picture of crumbs wouldn’t snag anyone’s interest, so I finally put to the task after all the kids went to bed last night.  I have promised several tasters I would be putting this recipe up….they have been waiting patiently (and anxiously!) for over 2 weeks now.  Any mom food blogger knows…finding time to take the picture that you like while the vultures are hungry and circling you is…well…..IMPOSSIBLE!  In my house, it means waiting for a time when they are not around or sleeping to get it accomplished, especially as I tinker and learn how to take better pictures of food.  I am not going to put off those who’d like the recipe any longer.  SO…here it is, without any further ado!

LUNCHBOX TIP: The kids love these tucked into their boxes!

SUPPLY NOTE:  It is no big deal to cook these as muffins or free-formed donuts if you are lacking a donut pan.  In fact, I do this often when I want a bigger, meatier donut!  I simply plop a round ball of dough on a cookie sheet, and wiggle my pointer finger to make a hole in the center!

INGREDIENT NOTE: Please refer to this post for how to bake your own squash or pumpkin if you’re interested.

Makes about 1 dozen mini donuts, plus a few extra!  With no frosting, 90 calories, 4.3 g fat, 12.1 carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 4.6 g sugar, 1.4 g protein per donut

Healthy Pumpkin DOnuts - Gluten Free & Vegan

4.8 from 5 reviews
Healthy Pumpkin Donuts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • ¼ cup almond flour or meal (for nut free replace with more oat, brown rice, or 3T coconut flour)
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup oat flour (the brown rice and oat flours are interchangeable)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour (or other starch)
  • ⅔ cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (corn free)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal or 1T chia meal mixed w/ 2 tablespoons hot water (or 1 egg)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (I used fresh Sugar Pie pumpkin)
  • ¼ cup oil (I have used both melted coconut oil and canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg or flax, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
  3. Sprinkle in the flours and then the baking powder, soda, salt, and guar gum. Whisk in, mixing well. The dough should be sticky at this point, and you have three options.
  4. Option 1: Place dough inside a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip, or make your own by putting the dough into a ziploc bag and cut a small diagonal hole in one corner. Squeeze a small tube of dough in a circular motion into the greased pan, slightly overlapping the ends.
  5. Option 2: Using more oat or brown rice flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, work in enough flour so that you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. Roll small snakes, about an inch in diameter and place in your greased pan, slightly overlapping the ends. This will make a slightly firmer donut (more flour).
  6. Option 3: Without adding more flour, plop a ball of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Use your forefinger to shimmy a hole in the middle (swirling your finger in a circular motion).
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes until firm. Let rest for a few minutes, invert and top/dip in the topping of your choice.
  8. Cinnamon & Sugar: Dunk in melted Earth Balance, or any allowed butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  9. Chocolate Glaze (via Simply Sugar and Gluten Free): Place ½ cup palm sugar (or brown), 2 tablespoons coconut milk, and vanilla to a boil. Mix in ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and a dash of salt.
  10. Caramel Glaze (via Simply Sugar & Gluten Free): Melt ½ cup palm sugar (or brown), 2 tablespoons Earth Balance, and vanilla on the stove top. Mix in 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk.
  11. Chocolate Ganache:Melt ½ cup dark chocolate chips w/ 1 tablespoon Earth Balance. Thin w/ non-dairy milk of choice to desired consistency, about 1 tablespoon, whisking until smooth.

Healthy Pumpkin DOnuts - Gluten Free & Vegan

This recipe was shared on  Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesday,Hearth & SOul,  GF Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not,  GF Wednesday, Pennywise Platter,

It's only fair to share...Share on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

Posted in Breads & Muffins, Breakfast Tagged with: , ,
49 comments on “Healthy Pumpkin Donuts – Gluten Free & Vegan
  1. nanabella15 says:

    This recipe makes me drool! However, I am allergic to nuts, seeds and coconut – what can I sub for that 1/4 cup almond meal/flour? Anything? Thanks for any help … :)

  2. Tessa says:

    Sure, I use the almond meal to add more nutrients and texture, you would be fine subbing more "medium-heavy" flour like brown rice, oat, teff, millet would all be good options. You may also want to increase the fat by 1 or 2 tablespoons for improved texture from the loss of the fat in the almond. Good luck, let us know if it works out or if you need more tweaks!

  3. Tessa says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Maria says:

    These were a BIG hit in our home this weekend. I ended up having to make some modifications due to what we had in our home, but my husband tells me they are the best donut I have ever made. Thank you for sharing. :)

  5. Tessa says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed them as much as we do! I love to hear about it!! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I love making donuts and pumpkin is perfect for the fall. I'm going to feature your recipe at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday tomorrow. Thanks for linking up!


  7. Tessa says:

    Thank YOU Amy for the delicious frosting recipes! Glad you are feeling better now!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yum, yum, yum! I can't wait to make these!!

  9. Naomi Devlin says:

    They look just great! I love that you used almond, pumpkin and oatmeal for a slow burn carb treat. Palm sugar gets a huge thumbs up too!

    x x x

  10. I have a question about the batter: Do you think I could I use it to make a cake? Or would the cake not cook all the way through? I love, love, love this recipe and think it would be perfect for my son's 1st birthday cake! :-) Thanks!

  11. Tessa says:

    @jamie: I think it would be fine, probably an 8 X 8 or 9" round would work. You could also do birthday cupcakes with this recipe! Good luck, let us know how it turns out!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I just have one question, what exactly is guar gum and when can we buy it?
    Thank you!
    This looks divine.

  13. Tessa says:

    Guar gum is a product that helps bind gluten-free baked goods (gluten does this for you in regular baked goods). Xanthum Gum is more commonly used, but is more expensive and can be hard to digest for some people (like me!), although they function pretty much the same. Most natural food stores will carry guar gum or xanthum gum in the baking aisle by other bagged flours or in a gluten-free section, just ask them!! You could also order it online. AND you could replace the gum entirely with 1-2 teaspoons ground up chia seeds soaked in 1-2 tablespoons water! I have done this with success. Good luck!Let me know if you have any other questions!

  14. The birthday cake turned out great!! I had mini train cake pans that I used with this recipe and even though I overbaked them a bit, they still turned out great! I used some sugar-free frosting recipes from Elana's Pantry to top it off. Thanks again!!!! Love your blog!

  15. Stacey L. says:

    I notice in your helpful hints, you had said to use flax mixed with liquid to replace eggs but you don’t mention to mix the flax with liquid before adding to the batter. I wanted to check if it needs to be mixed with water before adding? thanks!

    • Generally, would default to gelling the flax or chia meal first. It only takes a minute in the liquid. Some recipes, this extra binding isn’t necessary, but gelling it first should never hurt!! Thanks for pointing this out, I will make my suggestion more clear!

  16. Stacey L. says:

    Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until after I made the donuts. I used the free form method since I don’t have a donut pan. They tasted good but they didn’t rise very much at all so they were a bit doughy. Next time, I will mix the flax with water first and see how it comes out. Happy Spring!

  17. These look so great! Ill definitely have to try a batch! I would love it if you would share the post at my Blog Fest:

  18. Rogene says:

    Those look good. And I’ve never been a big fan of donuts. May have to give these a try.

  19. tina says:

    I just made these and they were awesome. One of my favorite gluten-free recipes for sure! So quick and easy to make! I made them free-form and on the large side. The only change I made was I used xanthum gum because that’s what I had. I think these would be great as cookies too. Raisins or chocolate chips would be yummy, or frosting…lots of potential for this recipe.

  20. Alana says:

    These look fabulous!

  21. I’m going to have to try these! I tried concocting my own pumpkin doughnuts the other night and they kind of flopped – tasty, but too gummy :( I should learn to just follow others’ tested recipes instead of banging my head against the wall and fiddling around myself, then throwing half of my concoctions in the garbage. My husband refers to these events as my “kitchen shenanigans”!

  22. Dana says:

    Oh, I love anything pumpkin and these look wonderful! I can’t wait to try out this recipe. Thank you! And so funny about your testers :) I have trouble taking photos too.

  23. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says:

    Got this yumminess pinned and tweeted! :)

  24. Diane Balch says:

    I’m impressed I would say these are healthy donuts…not even fried.

  25. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Tessa,
    Your Pumpkin Donuts are just amazing, I can’t wait to taste them, you did save me some, right? Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  26. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma says:

    Great recipe! My husband is VERY excited to try it. Poor guy misses doughnuts. Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Monday

  27. madge | the vegetarian casserole queen says:

    Yum! Its great these are baked not fried. Why can’t Dunkin Donuts figure that out?

  28. emily says:

    Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap-Time Creations. This recipe looks amazing!!! Just wanted to let you know it is being featured at this weeks party. (yeah!) This link will go live at 8:30 pm central time.

    Please come by and grab a featured button if you don’t already have one.

  29. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says:

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back shortly when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  30. Heidi says:

    Wow. These look so yummy! My GF 7-year-old thought she could never have donuts again. She’ll be happy to see this recipe. I would love it if you visited my new Gluten-Free Monday party at and linked up this and any other idea you would like to share. I hope to see you there.

  31. meghan says:

    THese look AWESOME!!!!! I can’t wait to try them out. THank you so much for linking up with us at GF Fridays:). I’m highlighting you this friday as one of my favorites.

    Fall recipes are the BEST!

  32. Deb says:

    Have had this recipe bookmarked forever but finally made them tonight. They were a HUGE hit. MY BIL (who isn’t GF) actually moaned while eating them. LOL I made a couple substitutions due to allergies but overall followed the recipe and they turned out very well. I love the pumpkin flavor and the toppings were also tasty.

  33. Holy cow, these look amazing! I love fresh pumpkin donuts from our local farm stand but they are definitely not as healthy as these bad boys. And if they are kid-approved, they must be awesome. Can’t wait to try them!

  34. Amber says:

    Who wouldn’t love a healthy donut! I’ve been looking for good pumpkin recipes to get us in the fall spirit and this one looks perfect! Also,I can totally relate to you. I have gotten on to my husband & boys for grabbing at the food I just prepped for a picture!

  35. Emily says:

    Oh wow! I’m pinning this to my baked donut board… yum! I’m featuring you today at my fall recipes roundup!! I’ve posted it on facebook and twitter… please feel free to reshare :o) oh and grab a featured button if you don’t have one… Emily@nap-timecreations

  36. Miz Helen says:

    Sure wish I had one of your fabulous donuts. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  37. Stacey Rose says:

    I just made these, but they didn’t rise very much. I had brand new levening product too. Question – is Ground Flax the same as Flax Meal? If not perhaps that was my issue?

    I did hand form them vs. pipe them as I do not have a donut pan. Let me know. Anxious to try more GF+Vegan recipes.


  38. I’m impressed I would say these are healthy donuts…not even fried.

  39. Oh wow – I’ve got such a thing for pumpkin, and doughnuts – these look great! Thanks for sharing them on Gluten Free & DIY Tuesday!

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Healthy Pumpkin Donuts – Gluten Free & Vegan"
  1. […] might also like my other two donut recipes, Pumpkin Donuts, and Cake […]

  2. […] Healthy Pumpkin Donuts From […]

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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