Every once in a while I'll crave something a little sweet. Enter these delicious baked gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts.You might be surprised, despite the name, each of these little circles of joy doesn't contain that much sugar. And unlike other store-bought donuts, this babies are made with entirely healthy coconut oil. They're also gluten free, which is big in our house. Lower in sugar, healthy fat, gluten free and FULL of flavor. What's not to love?
The Making: Baked Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Coconut Sugar: Why I like it
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts sounds very sweet for something I would normally make, but I really tried to curb the amount of sugar - keeping it to 2/3 cup for the main recipe. That comes to about 12 grams per donut. Compare that to a cup of sugary yogurt (24+ grams), or bowl of cereal (16+ grams) - and it's a big cut! Of course, the topping has sugar on it, too, but you can really keep that to a minimum, if you'd like!
The sugar I use in this recipe is coconut sugar. Why coconut sugar? I actually have organic cane sugar in my cabinet, too, but prefer coconut sugar's flavor. It's also slightly healthier (and I emphasize slightly...after all, it's still sugar). Coconut sugar contains a nutrient called inulin, which can aid in digestion. It's also a little lower on the glycemic index, so it could help manage blood sugar levels better.
Gluten Free Flour: My easy recommendation
I always have a variety of gluten free flours in my pantry. Most of them require some sort of combination of one another to ensure they work the way their gluten-rich counterparts do. Fortunately, I only needed to use one easy flour for these donuts. I used this one from Bob's Red Mill. If you want to make this recipe paleo, you'll need to swap out the flour for a paleo-friendly alternative.
Coconut Oil: Always healthy and delicious
I'm a super fan of coconut oil...in just about everything. At room temperature, coconut oil becomes solid, which helps makes it easy for baked good to take their shape. Even though the flavor of coconut isn't dominant in this recipe, coconut oil lends a really pleasant flavor. If you'd like to make this recipe with butter, feel free to swap with a softened (not melted) butter. We always have Kerry Gold in our house.
If you're new to coconut oil, and are concerned about adding fats to your diet, you'll be happy to know that coconut oil converts to energy faster than any other fat. But no one should be concerned about adding a little fat to their diet, right? Healthy fats make our skin glow, control appetite and keep our bodies nourished.
Are you ready to start baking? These are actually fun to make. All you need is a donut pan, like this one, and the recipe below.