Yesterday, I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and saw donut pans. I've always wanted to try to make my own donuts, but wasn't up for yet another specialty pan (I have quite a few already). But let me tell you, this pan is going to get a lot of use! Yesterday was overcast and very rainy all day, so my morning run was out. I decided that it would be the perfect day for some donut experiementation :)
I also just got a brand new range, and I hadn't used the oven yet. I was really curious to see if this oven was better than my last one. It's definitely better, especially for baked goods. The donuts cooked evenly and turned out really spongy and cake-like. My old oven would have left them doughy or overcooked for sure. Read on for the recipe!
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Donuts
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 /12 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
a dash of nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 individual size (4 oz.) cinnamon apple sauce
Preheat oven to 350. Grease donut pan by spraying Pam onto a paper towel and rub the inside of each section. Set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine all the wet ingredients in a mixer or a large bowl. After the wet ingredients are mixed well, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Do not overmix. The batter should look similar to cake batter.
Carefully spoon the batter mixture into the greased donut pan, filling just about to the top of each section. Be careful not to let the batter fill each section higher than where the pan ends. They poof up plenty, so you don't want to overfill them.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The donuts should feel spongy and spring back to your touch. You can also use a toothpick to test for doneness.
When donuts are done, remove from pan after a few minutes. I waited about five minutes just so they wouldn't fall apart from being so hot. Place donuts on a cooling rack or plate until cooled.
After cooled, they can be stored in a plastic baggie or Tupperware to keep fresh.
My batch actually only made me 10 muffins. I was hoping for a dozen, though. I was happy with the size of the donuts, but it's kind of random to have 10 donuts instead of 12. Oh well!
What makes these "healthy?"
No dessert food is necessarily healthy, unless of course consumed in moderation. I am in no way claiming these are really good for you, especially if you plan to eat a bunch! However, this is a much healthier alternative to donuts than anything you can get in a store. Using apple sauce instead of vegetable oil saves about 550 calories a batch, or 55 calories per donut! Furthermore, using almond milk instead of cows milk saves a little bit on calories too (almond milk is 40 calories per cup, whereas 2% milk is 122 calories per cup). If you decide to use oil instead of apple sauce and regular milk instead of almond or another low-calorie milk, these donuts will definitely not be as healthy.
Per one donut (with a batch yielding 10 donuts total). If your batch yields 12 donuts, the calories will be even less.
On a side note, these donuts have no glaze or anything. But to make it truly like a donut, I of course had to experiment with some kind of topping. They are pretty cake-like and simple with a topping, but a topping really makes these a hit. For a topping, I dipped the donuts in melted butter and then dipped them in cinnamon sugar. It was devine! I used whipped butter that's half the calories of regular butter to make a little better for you. I estimated that the topping adds about 66 calories a donut if you only coat the top and bottom (not the sides).
1/4 cup melted butter (whipped preferred)
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon (or however cinnamony you like cinnamon sugar to be)
This mixture only coats about 4 donuts. I wasn't planning on coating them all though, so that's why I didn't make this enough to coat them all. I would recommend coating them only right before you're about to eat it as the butter will make it all soggy.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know what you think if you try it!