Spicy cinnamon date sugar healthy donuts that burst with the flavors of fall. And they are light and airy, vegan, dairy-free and perfect for dunking in coffee or eating plain. They are also free of gluten and refined sugar. Coat with chocolate too if you want to be more festive.
Cinnamon Date Sugar Healthy Donuts (vegan, refined-sugar-free)
Baked donuts are wonderful – so much lighter and airier than fried. In fact, once I tried baked, I never wanted a fried one again. And to increase the health aspect of these, I sweetened them with date sugar.
Hmm, you say, date sugar? What the heck is that? Glad you asked, pull of a chair!
You probably are super familiar with recipes sweetened with dates. However, this recipe is a bit different: The sweetener here is date sugar. I’ll first give you a briefer on dates. Just skip on down to the date sugar explainer if you are already a date aficionado.
The Scoop on Medjool Dates & the Like
Dates are a fruit that are thought to have been cultivated since ancient Mesopotamia. Ancient history shows that Egyptians used the fruits to eat dates commonly and even use them to make wine.
Today, especially lately, as the push for healthy eating gains ground, dates are becoming a popular healthy sweetener, primarily known for adding fiber and iron and having a low GI.
The soft sweet pitted fruit tastes like caramel so it is quite often used in healthy dessert recipes involving caramel. Here are two family-favorite recipes that use whole dates: Easy Chocolate Caramel No Bake Slices and Fudge Brownie Walnut Buckwheat Bites.
And while dates are pretty much sold worldwide, to keep them fresh, they are typically found in supermarkets in a semi-dehydrated form. This drying however does not apparently diminish their nutritional profile.
And that nutritional profile is quite strong.
Exactly How Healthy are Dates?
The most common varieties – Medjool and Deglet Noor – are high in fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin B6. The NIH reports they are also considered very high in antioxidants and disease-prevention.
So that’s the scoop on dates. Now I’ll tell you about date sugar .
So Exactly What is Date Sugar?
Well, it’s simply dehydrated dates in powder form. The beauty of date sugar is that — just like with dehydration – converting the date to powdered form does not diminish the nutritional profile at all.
So you can use date sugar to replace any sugar in a recipe and have a super high boost in the nutritional profile! Win, win!
Using Date Sugar to Sweeten Healthy Donuts
Using this sweetener in these donuts helps impart a caramel flavor that really boosts the flavor.
And while I used all purpose gluten-free flour in both recipes, I have been recipe-testing to try to make it work with a protein-rich flour like quinoa or chickpea. So far it hasn’t worked out, so I’m waiting for a bell to go off in my head to tell me why.
This recipe is a adaptation of my basic baked donut recipe here, with the addition of date sugar and the punch of cinnamon. Both recipes use the apple cider vinegar trick for added lift.
As an additional option to celebrate fall baking, replace some of the milk with apple cider for an additional burst of apple.
These donuts are wonderful with my basic chocolate glaze, but frankly next time I am going to just sprinkled with cinnamon, or leave them plain and use them to dunk into tea, or hot cider.
The spicy flavor is too good to mask in chocolate. If you are on pinterest, perhaps pin the image below?
or this one..
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Cinnamon Date Sugar Healthy Donuts (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free)
These healthy donuts that are far healthier because they are baked, not fried, and these are extra healthy because the sweetener is nutritious-rich date sugar.
Put in a Large Bowl
Put in a 2-cup Measuring Cup
- 1/4 cup date sugar
- 1/4 cup plant milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
Put in a Small Bowl
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease donut pan with butter or coconut oil.
Make the batter
- Stir up the ingredients in the bowl.
- Stir up the ingredients in the measuring cup.
- Pour the measuring cup contents into the bowl, and stir until all is combined.
- Do not over stir or the donuts will be rubbery.
Spoon or pipe the batter into the donut rings and bake 12 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
- Remove pan and let donuts cool in the pan 2 minutes ONLY. Then tip out the donuts and let them cool more on a rack bottom-side up.
Make the Glaze
Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a shallow bowl in a microwave for 60 seconds or hot water bath (use a pyrex measuring cup if melting in a water bath and pour into a bowl to dip donuts).
Dip each donut to coat with chocolate on one side, and set on parchment or a rack to drip set.
I added sprinkles right away so they would stick. Or dust them with cinnamon, or leave plain.
Keep them refrigerated and eat within 2 days for best texture.
Dee Dine is the recipe developer and writer behind Green Smoothie Gourmet. She shares her super healthy wholesome recipes on her blog and her Instagram that she feeds her family and friends. She gravitates toward recipes that are fast to create, plant-based, nutritious, easy, and use familiar ingredients. And chocolate is always a good idea! More about Dee.