Is there anything better than a deliciously fluffy, perfectly sweet cinnamon sugar donut? Nah, I don’t think so! Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find a decent store-bought version, so here’s a gluten free baked donut you can make at home in no time at all.
The recipe comes together quickly, so it’s perfect for when a donut craving strikes. (Which, around here, is quite often…)
What is a cake donut?
A cake donut is exactly the way it sounds - basically a bit of cake that’s baked in donut form! Traditionally, donuts are leavened with yeast and deep fried, which is a whole lot of extra work - and calories! Cake donuts are a much easier way to get your donut fix.
What pan to use for gluten free baked donuts
In order to make this recipe, you’ll need a donut pan (or two). Since this recipe is not a yeast-leavened donut, using a donut pan helps keep the donut shape and will give you a perfect bake every time!
This recipe makes 12 sugar donuts, so I use 2 of the Wilton 6-Hole Non Stick Donut Pan. By using a piping bag to add in the dough, it’s an incredibly easy pan to use and clean.
- White rice flour: a gluten free flour that provides a starchiness to the bake.
- Brown rice flour: different from white rice flour, the brown rice flour lends more protein to the bake, so they make a great pair!
- Sorghum flour: a gluten free flour that lends a nuttier taste to bakes (without the nuts!) It’s one of my favourite gluten free flours.
- Sugar: in a donut? Of course!
- Baking powder: is a leavener, giving your gluten free donuts their fluffy texture.
- Cinnamon: the aromatic spice that makes these donuts extra delicious!
- Nutmeg: a natural BFF to cinnamon!
- Salt: always needed in bakes as a flavour enhancer
- Xanthan Gum: this is the glue that holds a gluten free bake together. Since this recipe does not contain gluten, xanthan gum will help provide stability and elasticity to the donuts.
- Egg: also used as a binder.
- Milk: room temperature in this recipe ensures the donuts rise properly and get nice and fluffy!
- Butter (unsalted): essential in a bake to get a good rise and flavour, but if you’re dairy free, feel free to use your favourite dairy free brand.
- Vanilla extract: amps up the delicious flavours of the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
Substitutions for gluten free baked donuts
If you have additional food allergies, restrictions or preferences, here are some changes you can make to the recipe to suit your needs!
- Replace the egg with a flax egg: Use 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and mix with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes to form a gel and then add into the recipe as you would with an egg.
- Substitute your favourite dairy free milk for regular cow’s milk: Just ensure it’s also room temperature.
- Trade butter for your favourite dairy free version: Just ensure it is melted before adding.
- Gluten free flour substitutions: While it can get tricky changing up the gluten free flours and getting the same texture during a bake, you can definitely try! Substitute all of the flours for an all-purpose version (if the blend already has xanthan gum, omit that from your ingredient list). Just a note - this recipe was not tested with an all-purpose gluten free flour, since I’m such a fan of making my own.
Tips for making the best gluten free baked donuts
Making gluten free baked donuts is super simple, but here are a few tips to help you out during your bake:
- Pipe your dough into the donut pan. This ensures all of your donuts are uniform, but it also makes it much, much easier to transfer the dough into the donut pan. If you don’t have a piping bag - don’t worry! You can easily use a medium-sized sandwich bag - just snip off one corner and you’re good to go.
- For perfect donut holes, use a moistened finger to pull the batter away slightly from the centre of the well. If the dough is too close, or overlapping, the donut hole might shrink or cease to exist at all! Where’s the fun in a donut with no donut hole?!
- Use melted butter or water to sugar the donuts. Once baked, a little brush of melted butter or water will help the cinnamon sugar stick to your donuts. Feel free to sugar them right out of the oven, or wait until they cool completely.
A different option for finishing the donuts: add a glaze!
Not feeling the cinnamon sugar coating on the donuts after you bake them? I have another option for you - you can glaze them instead!
To make the perfect glaze for your gluten free baked donuts, mix together confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) and water (or milk) until you get the consistency you want. A runnier glaze would be great for all over the donut, while a thicker glaze would be perfect to pipe on top (with sprinkles, of course).
Gluten Free Baked Donuts
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons (110g) white rice flour
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons (85g) sorghum flour
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (85g) brown rice flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons (14g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon (4g) xanthan gum
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (365g) milk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (40g) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (105g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
- ⅛ cup melted butter or water for sugaring
- ½ cup sugar for sugaring
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon for sugaring
- Preheat your oven to 400℉.
- In a large bowl, mix together the white rice flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ground nutmeg, and xanthan gum.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add in the milk, butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well until combined.
- Add the wet mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until the dough is fully incorporated and wet.
- Grease donut pan using a bit of melted butter. Using a piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut off, pipe the dough into each well of the donut pan. Ensure the piped dough is even and fills ¾ of each well.
- To avoid the donut hole sticking to the pan, wet your finger slightly with water and push the dough away from the centre, moving it slightly towards the outside of the well. You can also smooth out any uneven dough.
- Bake donuts in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- While the donuts are baking, prepare the cinnamon sugar by mixing together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
- Once slightly cooled, brush each side of the donut with a bit of melted butter or water and dip each side into the cinnamon sugar.
- I recommend weighing all your ingredients for the best gluten free baking experience. All of the weights are listed directly in the recipe, in grams.