RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

How many of you actually love your job? I’m talking passionate, happy, excited and motivated by the life you’ve chosen. Sadly, I don’t know too many people who would raise their hands. The last paying job (early 2010) I had just about broke me. I was at an all-time low – physically falling apart with numerous ailments, mentally and emotionally unwell and I remember day dreaming about things I wish I could be doing. I felt defeated. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? I promise, this story has a happy ending…obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this, right? After connecting the dots and realizing that my job was the cause of my unhappiness, I gave my notice and quit. I needed to take control of my life, health and well-being, as well as find my true passion…my calling. I brainstormed all sorts of ideas – everything from homemade jewelry to opening some sort of vegan, gluten-free bakery or food cart. So, I started experimenting in the kitchen with homemade donut recipes. I spent a couple of months running various trials and scribbled my creations down in an old notebook which later got lost during one of our moves. Luckily (and I owe thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book) I found a few of my recipes from almost six years ago!

As for finding my true passion or calling, I’m living my dream now. Being a stay-at-home mom and being able to have fun with my hobbies (recipe creating and product making) is more than I could ask for. I actually wake up in the morning excited for what the day holds, for what adventure awaits. I feel truly blessed.

I’ve spent the last few weeks refining these recipes – adjusting the ingredients to my current way of eating and making them even “healthier” than they were originally. In the last few weeks I have gone through MANY trials and attempted to make these oil-free, but I gotta tell you, this is an instance where a little oil takes it from: “It’s OK” to “Whoa. This. Is. Amazing!”  I am SO excited to share this first donut recipe with you!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

BAKED COCONUT PECAN MINI DONUTS: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free}

Makes 24 mini donuts

Soft, cake-y, sweet and almost melt in your mouth delicious! The combination of ground pecans and coconut oil create a buttery treat.

What you Need:

Mini Donut Pan(s)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

All of the ingredients needed. Our kitchen table is always covered with large brown paper so we can doodle while we sit together…it’s also a great distraction for Willow while she waits for meals.

{DRY}

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground raw pecans (almost flour-like, not butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

{WET}

  • Flax “egg” (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons raw coconut oil (no need to melt)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

I almost didn’t post this photo because of how messy it looks, but I felt it was important to show the process – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit & lightly grease your donut pan(s) with either coconut oil or avocado oil.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the ingredients for the flax “egg” and let it sit for five minutes.
  3. Measure out your milk, ACV and vanilla; add it to a large mixing bowl (preferably to a stand-up mixer or you can use a handheld mixer). Add in the coconut oil and flax “egg,” then mix until well combined.
  4. Next, add in all of the dry ingredients – works best if you sift your flour, sugar and finely ground pecans, but my sifter recently broke…that’s what happens when a three-year-old plays with your kitchen stuff!  Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix). It will be a somewhat sticky, pudding-like consistency.
  5. Using a piping bag or tablespoon, fill each donut “cup” 1/2 – 2/3 full – do not fill to the brim as they will expand as they bake. Bake for 15-19 minutes. They should spring back to the touch and your tester should come back clean (no wet batter).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to rest in the pan for five minutes before removing.
  7. You can enjoy as is OR indulge and coat them in this delicious Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mixture (see below).
  8. As for leftovers, DO NOT store in a plastic container (such as Tupperware or a Ziploc bag) otherwise they will get “wet” and sticky. They’re actually best kept on the cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper draped over them loosely. Best eaten within the first 2-3 days.

***UPDATE*** For an oil-free version, simply omit the coconut oil and replace with coconut milk (I used full fat) – so, 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk. You might have to adjust the baking time, but start with the suggested time above.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

You can see which donut “cups” I overfilled! Ha! That’s OK, they got eaten pretty fast!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A couple of the donuts before being tossed in the Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mix.

CINNAMON-MAPLE SUGAR:

If you’ve never had maple sugar before, you are missing out! We used fresh maple sugar from Graham Farms Maple in Vermont and I’m not kidding when I say, it is the BEST I’ve ever had. Rich, sweet and oh so maple-y. The smell is absolutely intoxicating. Pure heaven. If you don’t have access to maple sugar, you can substitute it with either coconut sugar or regular sugar, but I recommend whirling it through a spice grinder or coffee grinder to get it a bit finer. I’m sure you could use brown sugar too.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A close up of the maple sugar.

  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon

Measure out the maple sugar and cinnamon – then add it to a medium-large Ziploc bag. After the five minutes of setting in pan, remove the donuts and shake them in the cinnamon/sugar mix. I only had a small bag, so I did a couple at a time.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

My little helper and taste tester patiently waiting for a donut!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

Thanks for stopping by!

28 thoughts on “RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

    • Awww! Thank you so much!!! ❤ Pecans are easily on the top of my list for favorite nuts (with cashews and hazelnuts). Too funny, I just bought two pounds worth on Monday! I need pumpkin flour so I can try your donuts!!! Not sure if my comment went through on your IG post (seems like there were some glitches last night), but I've tried subscribing and commenting on your blog posts, but continue to get booted off. So frustrating!

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    • Would you believe we only have two left from our batch we made yesterday?!?! I did give some away, but still…I guess you can say they’re a bit dangerous. The maple sugar is amazing!! Graham Farms Maple is run by members in Josh’s family – hands down the best maple syrup, maple cream and maple sugar that I’ve ever tasted. If you make these before you get the maple sugar, you can definitely sub coconut sugar ❤

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    • Awwwww!!! YAY! I’m so bummed I didn’t get to run a trial with walnuts for you before I published this post…you’ll have to be my tester on that one. And thank you!!! I never imagined my life feeling so complete – definitely found my happy place. Love you, friend! ❤

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    • Isn’t she getting so big?!? Bittersweet. I love how much she enjoys being in the kitchen with me – measuring ingredients, mixing, but I think her favorite part is the taste testing. Thank you, Angela! We ate quite a few donuts yesterday…that maple cinnamon is quite dangerous! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh my goodness. My mouth is watering. I’m not a fantastic baker, but I must look up your recipe and attempt! 😍😍😍
    Also, I’m so glad that you love your job now of being a mama and a magician/creator of beautiful and delicious things and lovely products…. You are where you are meant to be!
    Ps. Instagram isn’t letting me comment or even like your last two posts. So bizarre!!

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    • You are the sweetest!!! Isn’t being a mama the most amazing gift?! While there are many challenges that come with it, nothing brings me more joy and fulfillment than spending my days/nights with Willow.
      You had the same problem?!?! I haven’t been on since last night, but I spent like 20 minutes trying to comment on some posts and they all ended up with that red exclamation point alerting me that it failed. And I couldn’t “like” several posts. Hopefully that’s all fixed now. Thanks for reading, sweet friend! Please let me know if you try these…I promise it’s a super simple recipe! ❤

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    • Oh wow! No way? You’re not the first person to tell me that….I’m curious now as to why you’re not a donut fan. These flavors work so well together and don’t have nearly as much oil/butter as most donuts do.
      Thank you! She loves helping me in the kitchen ❤

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  2. I’m not even sure my mini donut pan could handle this much goodness!! I think I need to size up, biting into one of those full-sized sugar-coated donuts just sounds too good ❤ I haven't ever had maple sugar, and I totally feel like I'm missing out now. Love Willow in the background 🙂

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    • Haha!! I sure do love the mini donut pan…so much fun. I know these are far from low-fat, but sometimes it’s ok to indulge a little 😉 Although, I’ve indulged a bit too much with all the recipe testing lately! Ooops. I’m working on an oil-free donut recipe, but that one still needs a good bit of work! Thanks for reading and commenting, Natalie – it’s always good to hear from you! ❤

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  3. Danggggggg DROOL with a capital D girlfriend!! Seriously, these are the best sounding donuts EVER! I’m a HUGE donut fan but haven’t eaten any in sooo long because of course the commercial ones are just full of grease and crap, but these look amazing!! I love, love that you used maple sugar. I ran out of mine well over a year ago and now want to get some more. I’m totally craving donuts. I have both a mini donut pan and a donut machine maker thing, but the last time I used it was when Olivia was around 2 I think?? I actually wrote a double chocolate donut recipe back then when I first bought it, but never posted it because I hadn’t perfected it…so like you, it has sat and you have just inspired me to get busy and pull it back up. I still have the picture of Olivia eating it and a major chocolate face, lol!
    Seriously, Mandy these are gorgeous and just PERFECT!

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    • Hahaha!! Thank you, friend!! I’m a HUGE donut fan, too, but don’t get to have them very often since they’re usually loaded with things I can’t have. I know these have oil in them, but only 3 TBSP for 24 donuts…not too bad. The coconut oil really adds a wonderful flavor, too. And the maple sugar is just wonderful. I was going to use it in the donut batter, but I know that a lot of people don’t use it – besides, I need to make that stuff last and ration it! HA!
      No way?! Me too!!! When i first played with the idea of opening a bakery, my aunt bought me a mini donut maker (electric) and it takes three minutes to make donuts…amazing. I love the mini pans too…anything mini is just so much fun! Ooooohhhh! Double chocolate?!?! You’re speaking my language, friend. I think you need to get that one on the blog ASAP! Awwww! I know the chocolate face all too well…happens frequently here. Thank you so much for the kind words, means a lot! XO ❤

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      • Ok, so they were beyond amazing!! I’ve made them twice already and am making them again today for company:D My only problem… I need a second pan!! I used spelt flour and unsweetened cashew milk and they came out to perfection. Thank you thank you! Now my next question, do you have a chocolate donut recipe that I need in my life??

        Liked by 1 person

      • OMG!!! This makes me SO happy to hear!!! Hahaha!! Yeah, a second pan is definitely a good idea 😉 And I’m happy to hear that spelt flour worked for you! Thank you so so much for trying my recipe and for leaving feedback! Oh, and yes, there will most definitely be a chocolate donut recipe coming in the next month or two! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! This is actually a recipe for mini donuts! So, no need to get a large donut pan 🙂 These are a huge favorite in our house! ❤

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  4. Mandy…these were DELICIOUS!!! Our 25 days of xmas tree house this morning had a message for the kids to “make something special for breakfast”, =) and so we made your coconut pecan mini donuts! The kids had a blast! I wish I had some maple sugar because it sounds delicious, but since we didn’t, and the kids were all about chocolate and sprinkles this morning, I simply melted some dark chocolate with a little coconut oil and the kids enjoyed dipping the donuts in the chocolate and coating with sprinkles. It was a fun saturday morning baking with the kids, and the donuts were delicious! Super easy to make, and even my husband LOVED them. He said we should make them for dessert at our annual friends holiday party this year…you should know that if he suggested that, then he definitely loved them! So glad I finally got around to some baking and tried out this recipe! Definitely a staple…now I need another mini donut pan so I can make a double batch (I only have one). BTW…i’m doing a bite-size recipes roundup for the holidays on my site this month and would love to include these mini donuts! I will of course have a link back to your site for the actual recipe. Thanks so much Mandy!

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    • Anjali!!! Thank you SO much for giving this recipe a try!! I am happy to hear that everyone enjoyed them! haha! Definitely grab a second donut pan…comes in handy 🙂 I love that you used a chocolate glaze on these because I’ve been meaning to try that combo out myself. Thank you, again, my friend! ❤

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  5. Pingback: 2015 Annual Holiday Party Menu + 30 Vegan Bite-Sized Party Recipes - Vegetarian Gastronomy

  6. Mandy, these were nothing short of incredible! The donuts were simply heaven!! The batter was one of the most amazing tasting batters I’ve ever tried. I very much could have been totally happy just eating the batter all by itself, hahaha! As you know, I shared a pic on IG and did a chocolate espresso glaze, since chocolate and espresso are my all-time favorite combo, and my chocolate craving has been intense lately, so I did some with that and then some with the cinnamon sugar. I loved them both so much but my husband liked the cinnamon sugar better, he is not as big of a chocolate fan as I am, lol! I made the recipe as is, just used pecan butter instead of the oil. I roast my pecans and then I blend them literally until they are liquid and dripping like melted oil and it made them taste so darn buttery and amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, I ate so many donuts, I’m ashamed, hahaha!

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    • Brandi, I was literally crying tears of joy when I saw your IG post and this review. Means SO much coming from you, someone I deeply admire. I am so thrilled that you enjoyed these and will most definitely try the pecan butter addition next time…so genius! Hahahaha!! Not even kidding, I gained a few pounds during the making of these…they’re addicting! But with that espresso glaze?!? Good lord! I can’t wait for that recipe!!!! Thank you, again, my friend!! XOXOXO ❤

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