Heaven is a Gluten Free Donut

By Laura Keiles

Fresh Lemon donut with Lemon glaze, Saskatoon Berry with Lemon glaze, and Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple Cream Liqueur glaze

I admit it, I’m a donut junkie. You name them, I love them. My deadly weakness is the Dunkin’ Donuts blueberry cake or their seasonal pumpkin donuts. I’ve had Krispy Kreme; I’ve had Yum Yum; but to me nothing beats the perfect glaze on either of those cake donuts. In my line of work, my favorite afternoon stress reliever is a cup o’joe and one of those beauties. Over the years, however, stress eating caught up with me and had to get that under control. After starting to exercise and eating healthier (including watching the coffee and donuts), I still wasn’t feeling completely better.

Eventually, it was determined that the gluten (most everything I ate with wheat, barley and oats) was the main culprit. To top that off, the nightshade plants had to go, too. This means no tomatoes or potatoes or green peppers. Who can live without donuts and french fries with ketchup??? I had to give up all gluten and watch for hidden by-products. Life was like cardboard and after a while I got used to it. To give up my donuts was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. In simple terms, gluten was toxic to my health. (Note: I am not diagnosed with celiac disease, but I may as well be one, for what gluten does to me.)

Ready to bake some donuts? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to read more…

For over a year, I watched my husband bring home donuts for him and the kids and I keep telling myself “you don’t miss them.” One of my girlfriends knowing this deep-seated need for a good donut went hunting in the health food store and found what looked to be a reasonable facsimile of a glazed donut. They were frozen, and made from a blended gluten-free mix with no potato starch. You have no idea how hard it is to find gluten-free batters without any potato products. But these donuts, as expensive as they were, filled the void on those ever present stressful days when no amount of celery and carrots with veggie dip would do.

As a foodie and creative dessert chef on barbecue grills (I make cheesecakes, puff pastries, and other eclectic desserts on smokers and gas grills for my BBQ team), I compared and researched all different batters to find myself one that could be used to make my own donuts. I haven’t planned on making donuts on the grill, but don’t put it past me for a contest. This project was personal. I would watch any food television shows about gluten-free baking. I was particularly inspired by the young lady from Babycakes in Brooklyn, NY. She is true celiac and I watched her make the kind of donuts I could only dream about. I don’t have aspirations of making donuts for sale, just a couple decent mini donuts and a latte to get through my afternoons.

After much research, I finally found a batter that reminded me of a really good cake donut! Hallelujah! It is Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin & Scone mix.  After experimenting with flavors by doctoring the basic mix and making muffins, I recently procured a Wilton mini donut pan and went to town. Pictured here is a selection of my mini donuts, from left, Fresh Lemon Donut with Lemon Glaze, Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple Cream Liqueur Glaze, and Saskatoon Berry with Lemon Glaze. My personal favorite is the lemon with lemon glaze. It is homage to the Archway frosted lemon cookie that I would never get to eat again.



For a basic recipe, just follow the instructions on the box, adjusting baking times according to your mini-donut pan (or just make muffins). For my flavors, adjust the basic recipe as follows:

For Lemon Batter, add to mix: 1 tsp gluten-free Vanilla extract and 1.5 Tabs fresh grated Lemon Zest

For the Saskatoon Berry, which is not indigenous to the USA, but found in Canada, you could substitute Lingonberries. I filtered down Saskatoon Berry jam to leave more fruit, whole and crushed, along with some jelly, to mix into the batter. It needed more Maple sugar to bring out the sweetness of the berries as they are naturally tarter than a blueberry.

The Pumpkin Gingerbread is heavy on the spice, but I like that. Omit butter the mix calls for and replace it with 6oz of unsweetened pumpkin butter; then add 2 tsp each cinnamon and allspice, 1 tsp ginger and 2 tbsp maple sugar. (I prefer to use desiccated Maple syrup, otherwise known as maple sugar instead of white sugar.)

Standard Donut Glaze

1 cup Confectioners Sugar

1 tbsp Milk

½ tsp Gluten Free Vanilla extract


For Lemon Glaze, use freshly squeezed Lemon Juice in place of milk, plus 1 tsp of zest.

Maple Cream Liquor is another Canadian product. You can use the plain glaze, or substitute any liquor you like for the milk in the basic glaze recipe.

Put the glaze together while the donuts are baking. Once they have come out of the oven and cool slightly on a baking rack, dip them on one side in the glaze and put back on the rack glazed side up to allow the glaze to drip down over the sides. Allow the donuts to rest and the glaze to set. Try to only eat a couple at a time!

I keep them in the freezer because they really don’t freeze solid, they’re really more chilled and quite tasty that way. Now, when I’m on a crazy project for work, I can get my donut fix without hurting myself and that is a good thing.

Laura Keiles is a Certified Barbecue Judge and Project Manager of the Ribs Within BBQ Team.

One Response to Heaven is a Gluten Free Donut

  1. Florian says:

    Its really great, look like “baba au rhum”
    You can put the all thing on a small round chocolate :)

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