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Baked Vegan Coconut Donuts (Gluten Free and Sugar Free options)

Light, fluffy, and bursting with rich coconut flavor inside and out, these vegan coconut donuts are not only absolutely DELICIOUS, but they are made in one bowl and done in under 30 minutes!

One dozen donuts arranged with a color gradient from dark brown toasted coconut flakes on top to white untoasted coconut flakes on top

Welcome, welcome, coconut donut curious friends.  I have SO many things to say about these vegan coconut donuts, I don’t even know where to begin.  I want to talk about how amazingly fluffy they are, and how light they make you feel due to being baked not fried.  And how beautifully coconutty they are, made with coconut milk AND coconut oil.  About how I can eat a dozen straight from the pan, but that if you choose to also top them with a sweet coconut milk glaze and some shredded coconut flakes, oh how decadent they become!  I want to talk about how they are made with just one bowl, and how they go from just a bunch of stuff in your pantry to being fully put together donuts in under 30 minutes.

But, you will experience all that for yourself shortly.  So I don’t need to say more.  But what I will leave you with is this masterpiece of 90s dance music, a forgotten favorite, called Coco Jambo.  And I am leaving this here because when I emailed myself the photos for this post, I titled the email “Coco Donuts”, and then that song popped into my head and there it has remained for an ALARMING amount of time.  Honestly even if you are reading this weeks or months or years after I have posted it, it’s safe to assume I’m still humming it to myself.

Close up of two donuts in a pile, the top one with a bite taken out

How To Make Them:

These vegan coconut donuts fall into my favorite category of baking technique, which is essentially – throw it all in a bowl and that’s it.

Of course, we will go a bit deeper than that, since I want to talk about order of operations as well as substitutions.  But yeah if you’re in a time crunch you can kinda get it from just that.

Start by melting your coconut oil, since you don’t want it to be piping hot when adding it to the batter, so you can let it come to room temp while doing everything else.  In your one bowl, mix together the (optionally gluten free) flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar (see the Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make these sugar free!).  Then add in the melted coconut oil, coconut milk, soda water, and vanilla extract.  Mix it all together, spoon or pipe it into a well-greased donut pan, and voila!  15 minutes later – donuts!  Let’s talk about the toppings, then come back to substitutions.

Donut batter in a pan, uncooked
Cooked donuts still in the pan
Baked donuts on a cooling rack
Glaze!

If you want to make a coconut glaze for the top, it is so simple!  Just mix together some coconut milk with powdered sugar and a pinch of salt, and you’re ready to go.  The amounts I give in the recipe below make a very thick glaze, as you can see from the photos it really stays on the top of the donut beautifully.  If you want a thinner one to either coat the whole thing or just to be lighter, ease up on the sugar or add some more milk.  Normally I don’t add salt to iced toppings like this, however I feel strongly that without the salt, the glaze becomes overpoweringly sweet and detracts a bit from the coconut flavor.  Thus the pinch of salt to round it out.

Last optional topping – shredded coconut flakes.  As you can see from the gradient color photo, I have tried these with fully toasted coconut flakes, completely untoasted coconut flakes, and a mixture of both.  My personal favorite is a mixture of both, heavier on untoasted, but play around and see what you like!  If you choose to toast the flakes, put them on a parchment paper lined pan in the oven at 350 degrees for just a few minutes.  Keep an eye on them, they brown FAST.

Substitutions..

Now, back to donut substitutions.  I have done these every which way, so here are some of my thoughts on the main ingredients, which will be found again under the Ingredients Needed section so sorry to be repetitive.

  • Coconut milk – this really is the base of the flavor, and the texture, and I would strongly encourage you NOT to swap this out.  Use good canned coconut milk, this one is my personal favorite and I always keep a few cans in the pantry for coconut donut emergencies.
  • Coconut oil – this also adds heavily to the flavor.  If you do not have any and are craving these, you can swap this with a neutral oil, but you will be missing some of the layering of the flavors here.
  • Soda water – sparkling water pops up occasionally in my recipes.  If you haven’t seen it before, I find it really useful in certain baked goods to help keep things light, fluffy, and bind them together.  And of course, extra moisture.  If you don’t have any fizzy water around, you can just use regular filtered water and it will work okay, but lose some fluffiness.  Normally I suggest replacing soda water with more milk in other recipes, but here the coconut milk is so thick, it alters the texture too much to add much more.

That’s it! Time to eat your vegan coconut donuts!! Nutritional info can be found below in the Notes section below the recipe instructions.

Storage:

After the vegan coconut donuts have fully cooled, seal air-tight in plastic wrap or a large Tupperware, and keep at room temperature.  They will stay good around 3-5 days. 

Artistic photo of a bunch of donuts resting on a white background

Pro Tips & Tools:

  • Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Make sure you measure your liquid ingredients using liquid measuring cups.  This will ensure accuracy!  I love this set.
  • If you need a donut pan, these are the ones I use, and they are perfect and worth every penny.
  • If you are unsure on what coconut milk to use, this one is my favorite.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Baking powder – I recommend using baking powder that has no added aluminum. This one is my go-to.
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar – If you want to make these sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Coconut milk – I go into this in more depth above, but I do not recommend swapping this out, it really is the base of the flavor and the texture.  If you haven’t worked with coconut milk before, I recommend this one.
  • Coconut oil – really adds to the flavor, but if absolutely necessary you can swap out for a neutral oil like grapeseed.
  • Soda water – I also go into more depth on this ingredient above, but it adds to the fluffiness of the donut.  If you don’t have any, you can use regular filtered water to keep the moisture levels the same, it will just lose some fluff.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar – optional, for the glaze. If you want this part to be sugar free, you can use this Monkfruit Powdered Sweetener in place of powdered sugar.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut – optional, for the topping

What To Bake Next:

One dozen donuts arranged with a color gradient from dark brown toasted coconut flakes on top to white untoasted coconut flakes on top

Vegan & Baked Coconut Donuts (Gluten Free option)

Light, fluffy, and bursting with rich coconut flavor inside and out, these donuts are not only absolutely DELICIOUS, but they are made in one bowl and done in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Birthday Party, Breakfast, Dessert, Lunch Box
Servings 6 donuts

Ingredients
  

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp soda water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze & Topping Ingredients

  • ½ cup powdered sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite powdered sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a donut pan.  
  • Start by melting the coconut oil, and while it returns to room temp you can mix together the rest of the ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar.  Then add in the coconut milk, coconut oil, soda water, and vanilla extract and mix with a spoon or spatula until combined.  If you are looking to substitute any ingredients, see either Ingredients Needed or How To Make Them sections above.
  • Spoon or pipe the batter evenly into each donut tin, and bake for 15 minutes.  Let them sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing.
  • If you choose to make a glaze, simply mix the powdered sugar, coconut milk, and salt in a small bowl.  This amount of coconut milk will give you a very thick glaze, as you see in the photos.  If you want to fully coat the donuts or use a lighter glaze, add more milk to your desired consistency.
  • Lastly, if you want to add unsweetened shredded coconut flakes on top of your glaze, my personal recommendation is do mostly untoasted but mix in a bit of toasted flakes as well.  Put in the oven on a parchment paper lined pan for just a few minutes – they brown quickly! – then sprinkle over the top.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Notes

NUTRITION INFO

Total amount: 6 donuts 
Serving size: 1 donut
Per serving amounts: (note – this does not account for the optional glaze or shredded coconut over the top)
  • Calories – 211
  • Grams of fat – 9.8
  • Grams of carbs – 28.2
  • Grams of protein – 2
Keyword baked donuts, coconut, coconut donuts, donuts
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