Date sugar 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.
Date Sugar Donuts
Date sugar donuts are baked and 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.
FAQS about Date Sugar
First let me tell you about dates. 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: Chocolate Caramel Cakes and Chocolate Buckwheat Healthy Brownie Recipe.
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.
Do They Put Sugar in Dates?
No, dates are sweet by nature and full of other nutrition. 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 .
Is Date Sugar Better For You Than Sugar?
Yes. Dates are full of essential nutrients, while cane sugar has none. And date sugar is merely 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 healthy chocolate glazed donuts recipe here, with the addition of date sugar and the punch of cinnamon. Both recipes use the apple cider vinegar trick for added lift.
Adding Cinnamon Balances Blood Sugar
I add apple cider in this recipe for an additional burst of fall flavors! In this recipe, I am heavy on the cinnamon to help balance sugar levels
And regarding toppings. These donuts are wonderful with my basic chocolate glaze, but frankly next time I am going to just sprinkled with more cinnamon, or leave them plain and use them to dunk into tea, or hot cider.
Other Healthy Baked Donut Recipes
If you are on pinterest, perhaps pin the image below?
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Date Sugar Cinnamon Donuts
Put in a Large Bowl
Glaze Ingredients - put in pyrex measuring cup
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly spray donut pan with olive oil spray. Or any non-stick you prefer.
- Stir up flaxseed in 3 tbsp water and aside for 10 minutes.
Combine the dry ingredients
- Whisk up the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
- In a larger bowl, whisk up the flaxseed egg, date sugar, milk, apple sauce, melted butter and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stir by hand until just combined. Don't overmix unless you want rubbery donuts.
- Spoon or pipe the batter into the donut rings and bake 10-12 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. I used a cake frosting bag or you can use a storage bag.
- Remove pan and let donuts cool in the pan 1 minute ONLY. Then tip out the donuts and let them cool more on a rack bottom-side up.Store them without a topping in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or frozen indefinitely
- Coat them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture, or make a chocolate glaze, because...chocolate.To make the chocolate 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.
- To top with cinnamon sugar, spray cooled donuts with a non-stick spray and quickly dip them into a cinnamon sugar mix of 1 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Or sprinkles.
- Once coated, eat immediately.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.