I love donuts any time of the year, but donuts and fall go together like pumpkin and spice… like plaid and flannel… like football and a cup of bean soup. Ok, maybe that last one only makes sense if you grew up in my hometown. Anyway, there’s something about snacking on a warm, freshly baked donut on a chilly autumn day that feels utterly perfect and just fills me with a joy that I can’t even describe in words.
In short, I love making donuts in the fall.
Especially when they’re made with wholesome ingredients and taste like maple nut goodies! Are you guys and gals familiar with this candy?? Ok, I admit it wasn’t quite at the top of my list of favorite candies growing up, but I have fond memories of it since it has always been one of my dad’s favorite sweet treats. My dad would go to the Farm and Home store, (yes, did I mention I grew up pretty country? haha) his main purpose to buy the bulk maple nut goodies and licorice (did I also mention I have my dad’s sweet tooth? Actually I think it comes from both sides… I really had no chance). Anyway back to those candies. As I got older, I couldn’t resist swiping a few of those ultra sweet, super-maple flavored chewy nutty candies from my dad’s stash every now and again. They started to grow on me. While I didn’t set out to make a “maple nut goodies” flavored donut, during recipe testing I tried a peanut butter and maple syrup frosting and thought, this tastes just like maple nut goodies! Like exactly. And so a new donut flavor was born.
They are also the softest, fluffiest, most perfectly textured donuts I have created to date! I think I achieved healthy donut perfection with this one, and if I didn’t have 2,000 more flavor ideas I’d just hang up my donut baking hat and be happy forever. The secret to their amazing texture is a gluten-free flour trifecta – oat, almond, and potato starch. I tried these with just oat flour, as well as a combination of buckwheat and oat flour, and the results were pretty good, and I thought, well that was easy… done! Then I decided to try one more flour combination, and this is the winner folks! You’re going to love these donuts.
The frosting is where the maple nut goodie flavor really comes together. While the donuts are lightly maple infused, the thick icing combines the warm flavor of maple with peanuts that tastes just like the candy. I resisted thinning this out to make a glaze, because I wanted to avoid using oil, and also I didn’t want to dilute that signature flavor. So while many donuts are dipped in a glaze (like my banana bread donuts) these donuts are thickly spread with this luscious maple peanut butter frosting. Yes!
Whip up a batch of these easy donuts and grab a hot mug of apple cider, tea, or coffee. Hooray for fall and donuts!
Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (Vegan, GF, Oil-Free)
- Makes 6
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Bake time: 12 – 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 2 tsp psyllium husk powder or ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch or two of cinnamon
- scant 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 very ripe large banana, mashed until liquidy
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- optional: drop or two of pure maple extract
- 6 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp powdered coconut sugar or powdered erythritol (like Swerve)*
Chopped roasted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease donut pan with tiny bit of coconut or avocado oil.
- Combine the dry ingredients (first 8 ingredients) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mash the banana until liquidy and no large chunks remain. Stir in the maple syrup, and extracts. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until you get a thick batter. Let rest for a minute or two.
- Use a spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared donut wells, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 12-14 minutes. You can check after 10. Donuts should be lightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch.
- Let donuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the donuts and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Mix all frosting ingredients together, adjusting almond milk and powdered sugar/erythritol to achieve desired thickness and spread over donuts when they’ve cooled. Top with chopped peanuts.
Notes and Variations:
I have made these using all oat flour as well as various combinations of oat and buckwheat, and it works well but doesn’t have the amazing texture that this 3 flour blend has.
I make the oat and almond flour in my blender. After blending them, I sift out the flour using a fine metal strainer, and save the larger pieces of nuts and oats left in the strainer for using in smoothies or granola. This will give your flour a fine texture, like those you buy at the store. Sifting really makes a difference in how my baked goods turn out, and I highly recommend it!
*You can leave the powdered coconut sugar or erythitol (a sugar substitute) out of the frosting, if you like. I have been experimenting with erythitol a little bit, and while I like to stay as close to whole ingredients as possible, this is nice for adding a little extra sweetness in conjunction with another sweetener like maple syrup. It’s not something I would use everyday, or in large amounts, and I don’t care for the flavor of it on it’s own. You can see what my favorite plant-based doctor, Dr. Michael Gregor of Nutritionfacts.org has to say about erythitol here and here (hint: he’s a fan and uses it in his tea everyday!)
To make powdered coconut sugar, just give it a whirl in your blender for 30 seconds or so.