Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Doughnuts | Jump to Recipe
Easter is going to be different this year for many. From Zoomed family gatherings to drive-by Easter egg hunts, things are more bizarre than we ever could have imagined. While lots of plans are inevitably turned upside down, we can cling to our culinary traditions (or invent new ones), however big or small, and make the most of a bad situation. So thank goodness for the small things, like these Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Doughnuts.
I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to holiday meals. On Easter we do dinner, not brunch, and we always have lamb, we always have lemon tart, and sometimes we have carrot cake. But since our group will be much, much smaller this year, I won’t need to make a multitude of desserts. So that’s why I decided to turn my gluten-free carrot cake into carrot cake doughnuts because life is uncertain and I’m pretty sure that cake for breakfast is acceptable if it’s round and has a hole missing from the middle and/or you’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Plus they are baked, not fried, and have carrots and everyone knows that carrots are a heath food.
So carrot cake, I mean doughnuts, for Easter breakfast it is!
My carrot cake is rich, spicy and moist. I don’t usually add nuts, but you certainly can — chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans would be a great choice here. If you’re feeling really crazy you could add shredded (unsweetened) coconut too, but you don’t need to make a special trip to the market for it, especially these days. I topped these carrot cake doughnuts with a cream cheese glaze and lots of colorful sprinkles because I was making them for a friend with littles, but you could always decorate them with toasted nuts or toasted coconut (or both), or for those who have entirely too much time on their hands, candied carrot curls.
So for those of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you a joyous holiday full of Zoomed family gatherings or Zoomed church, drive-through communion or drive-by Easter egg hunts. But most of all I wish you health, flexibility, peace, patience, and strength in the face of this (temporary) new reality.
If you make this recipe, or any of my others be sure to tag me on Instagram, and use the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes!
- 2 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup neutral oil (like sunflower oil or expeller pressed canola oil)
- ½ cup buttermilk (or ½ cup non-dairy milk of your choice mixed with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 carrots, shredded on the smallest side of a box grater
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 2 - 4 tablespoons of whole milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (f) and grease two, 6 doughnut baking pans.
- Mix flour, xanthan (if using), baking powder and soda, salt, spices and sugar in a bowl, whisking well to smooth any lumps. Add the oil, buttermilk, and eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in the carrots and vanilla and mix until evenly combined.
- Pour the batter into a gallon-sized ziplock bag and snip off one corner. Squeeze the batter evenly into the prepared doughnut pans, filling each well about half full. This recipe makes about 18 regular-sized doughnuts, so if you only have two pans like I do you'll have to make them in two batches.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a doughnut comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pans 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. If you are baking more than one batch, be sure to wipe the pans clean and re-grease them.
- Make the glaze. Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. It should be thick, but pourable. Add the vanilla extract and salt and stir well. Dip each doughnut top into the glaze and return to the rack. Top with sprinkles, chopped nuts or toasted coconut. Serve immediately.
- Tip: these freeze well and thaw quickly at room temperature.