Healthy Donuts


5 from 775 votes
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These healthy donuts are baked, not fried, and are perfectly soft and fluffy! Made with just 4 ingredients, they are secretly vegan and gluten free! 

healthy donuts

Healthy Donuts (Doughnuts)

Donuts made without yeast and baked in the oven? You aren’t dreaming, these healthy donuts are your answer!

I used to be somewhat reluctant about baked donuts. I was always under the assumption that the best kind of donuts required yeast and needed to be fried. 


With the right combination of ingredients, you can create baked donuts that taste just as good as their fried counterparts. Not only that, but they skip over some of the usual ingredients in them! This healthy donut recipe is proof of just that. They use just 4 ingredients and they come together in under 15 minutes!

No eggs, no yeast, and no refined sugar are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture is perfectly soft and fluffy in the middle, and perfectly light on the outside. They are pleasantly sweet and fabulous with a healthy chocolate glaze!

What I love about these baked donuts is that they are also completely vegan and gluten free. Many commercial and store-bought donuts are neither of these, so now no one misses out!

How do you make healthy donuts? 

The Ingredients

  • Self rising flour– A flour blend that already contains salt and a raising agent (baking powder). Skip the expensive pre-packaged kind and make your own. If you choose to keep these donuts gluten free, use a tried and tested brand, like Dove Farms gluten free self rising flour. 
  • Maple syrup– Adds sweetness and helps hold the donuts together. You can substitute this for agave nectar. 
  • Coconut oil– Measured in its melted state. Use refined coconut oil to ensure there is no coconut flavor whatsoever. 
  • Milk of choice– I used unsweetened coconut milk, but almond, soy, oat, etc. can all be used. 
  • Chocolate frosting– Homemade 2 ingredient chocolate frosting. Make the frosting fresh so it will be still in a mostly liquid state, making it perfect to dip the donuts in! 

The Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Lightly grease a 12-count donut pan (or 2 6-count pans) and set it aside.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, add your sifted self-rising flour. Slowly add your coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut milk and mix very well, until a thick batter remains.

Step 3: Scoop out the batter in the greased donut pan(s). Lightly wet your hands and form the dough into a donut shape. Bake for 13-17 minutes (mine needed around 15) or until the donuts have risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Step 4: Allow cooling in the donut pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Step 5: Once cool, dip each donut in the chocolate frosting. Allow frosting to set in the refrigerator, to firm up. 

vegan gluten free donuts

Are Donuts Fried or Baked?

Donuts can be both baked or fried! I prefer baked donuts, as they can be significantly healthier and much less fat than their fried counterparts. 

To achieve the ‘fried’ donut taste, do as I did (in the pictures). Once the donuts have baked (and before frosting it), lightly heat a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Once hot, quickly toss each donut in it, until golden on the outside (45 seconds-2 minutes). 

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Do not overbake the donuts, as they will firm up once cooling in the pan. If you do over-bake them, you’ll find the texture to be dense and firm, instead of light and fluffy. Check around the 12-minute mark, and check every minute or so from then. 
  • Ensure your self rising flour has been sifted, to avoid any clumps. 
  • The donut batter will be incredibly thick, so don’t fear using moist hands to spread out in the donut pan.
  • Do not over-fill the donut pans, or they will rise and flow into the other donut cavities. Fill just under the flat base of the donut pan. 

Storing and freezing tips

  • To store: Baked donuts can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

healthy donut recipe

More healthy dessert recipes to try

healthy donuts

Healthy Donuts (4 Ingredients!)

5 from 775 votes
These healthy donuts are baked, not fried, and an easy recipe made with 4 ingredients! Perfectly soft and fluffy, you won't believe they are vegan and gluten free!
Servings: 12 Donuts
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 12-count donut pan and set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift your flour into it. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until a thick dough remains. 
  • Spoon out dough amongst the donut pan. Lightly wet your hands and shape them into the donut cavities. Do not overfill. 
  • Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean.
  • Remove the donuts from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost them.


* If you don't follow a gluten-free diet, any self-rising/raising flour will work.
TO STORE: Baked donuts can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSodium: 29mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 1IUCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 18g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have made these three times now. Instead of donuts though, I turned them into twelve muffins at the same temperature and the same amount of time. This is the most simple and easiest baking recipe I have found. The very big plus is it does not use any refined sugars. I am a vegan and I try not to use refined or processed food stuffs in my cooking or baking. I like to keep it as simple as possible. If it takes more time then I am OK with that. Thank you for this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these gluten free! Turned out SOOOO nice! Not too sweet either which I love.

    Next I’m going to get it using regular flour for the rest do the family.

    Thank you for a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    These are so yummy! My 6 year old had never had donuts due to several food restrictions since age 2… he is finally free to have almost anything and wanted to try donuts! He loves these!

    How do you recommend reheating after being in the fridge?

    Thank you for an easy and healthier option for a special treat! I’ve used your recipes in the past when he had more restrictions and have never been disappointed. You are one of my go-to sites for sweets.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this with multiple substitutions and it turned out wonderfully. I used mostly all-purpose flour (about 2 cups) and a little coconut flour (about half a cup) since I ran out out of the all-putpose flour, with some baking powder. I also used one for one unsweetened applesauce instead of oil. Additionally, I made brown sugar syrup to substitute the maple syrup. Lastly, I used almond milk.

    I did have the same experience as others with the muffin top on one side due to my doughnut pan being smaller. This was perfectly fine though as one can fill it with one thing (perhaps custard or jelly) and then top it as it will have a sturdier bottom.
    All over this tasted wonderfully, was easy to make, and I look forward to making and eating them again!

  5. Is therea easy to make the Paleo version vegan as well? My daughter can’t have grains… Or egg… (Food allergies) and we were so bummed so see that the Paleo version was not egg free 🙁

  6. Hi!! For the Original version, did you use canned full-fat coconut milk or just a non-dairy milk alternative, like Almond Breeze?

  7. Hi there! Wow thanks for posting two versions of this – so excited to try both! In the keto version of this recipe, it calls for coconut milk. Are you referring to coconut canned milk or coconut milk that you buy in the non-dairy milk section (like almond milk, soy milk etc)? Thanks!