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One of my favorite things to do is bake. One of my mother-in-law's favorite things is chocolate. Works out well, eh? Unfortunately, my mother-in-law has Celiac disease, which bars her from enjoying many of her favorite gluten-filled foods. When I ran across this gluten-free doughnut recipe from the famed Babycakes bakery in New York City, I knew just what to do for Mom's upcoming birthday.

The recipe is super easy to follow. The trickiest part of the whole project was finding some of the more obscure ingredients. Fortunately Bob's Red Mill makes most of the items I needed. Thanks Bob!!

Babycakes Plain Cake Donut
Makes one dozen


1/3 c. canola oil or melted refined coconut oil, plus extra for brushing the pan
1 c. vegan sugar
¾ c. white or brown rice flour
1/3 c. garbanzo and fava bean flour
½ c. potato starch
¼ c. arrowroot
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
6 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
¼ c. vanilla extract
½ c. hot water


You start off by brushing the wells of your donut pan with a little melted coconut oil. Then the dry ingredients get mixed together in a bowl. Next, simply add in the wet ingredients and combine with a spatula. DEAD EASY.

You want the wells of the pan about half full of batter. The recipe suggests about 2 ½ tablespoons, but that can vary depending on which donut pan you have. I found that a little more than that was needed. You can either fill the wells with a spoon, or you could also put the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe the batter into the wells. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can also use a large Ziploc bag and snip the corner off.

Slide your filled donut pan into a 325° F oven and leave 'em for about 8 minutes. Then turn the pan around, front to back, and let them bake about 7 minutes more or until golden brown. Where you go from here is up to you. If you plan on glazing the donuts (as I did), let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before loosening them (gently) with the tip of a butter knife and popping them out. If you would rather do a simple finish such as rolling them in cinnamon sugar, you can get them out in 5 or 7 minutes.

I just used a simple chocolate ganache glaze--equal parts melted chocolate and cream, stirred till thick and shiny. Other equally delicious coatings would be cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, or a basic glaze made from powdered sugar with a few spoonfuls of milk, a pinch of salt, and some vanilla extract. Have fun and go crazy!

I thought these donuts turned out swell...gently crispy exterior and a tasty, fluffy crumb that you might not expect in a gluten-free dessert. My mother-in-law's only complaint? She was mad at me for sabotaging her diet. Oh well.

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