I love sweets but super sugary sweets don’t like me. Lots of sugar isn’t the best for my skin and overall health. Because of this, I’ve made some adjustments to my diet over the years to eliminate food items loaded with sugar.
Coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey and agave nectar have become my go-to natural sweeteners in many of my recipes. Since making the switch, super sweet desserts are too much for me.
I occasionally crave donuts, but since they are too sweet for my tastes now, I created these VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE and NATURALLY SWEETENED alternatives!
They are sweet, but not tooooo sweet. And that’s why I love them!
I adapted my recipe of Vegan Dreamalicious Donuts to create these! Check out that recipe after making this one. They are super YUMMY too!
Suggested Tools/Pans: Two 6 cavity donut pans (I used a Wilton), whisk, 2-3 mixing bowls, measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, grease (for easier release of donuts, I used Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening—I put a little shortening on a paper towel and rubbed it into the donut cavities to keep my hands mess free!), cooling rack, food processor or another tool to crush the pineapple
3 cups almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour)
2/3 cup tapioca flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour/Tapioca Starch)
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 small pinches of salt
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup pineapple juice (I used the juice from the can of pineapple rings, which totaled 1/2 cup. If your can doesn’t have this much, sub in either bottled pineapple juice or water)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut sugar (I used Madhava brand. After doing some research, I learned some coconut sugars contain gluten, so check the labels if this is a concern for you).
15 oz. can of pineapple rings
2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (I used the brand Melt Organic)
Optional Toppings: Maraschino cherries (I did not use these in my recipe as they tend to be made with lots of sugar, but feel free to use them in yours. Just watch the label for the ingredients…..I’ve used Tillen Farms Maraschino Cherries before, which weren’t too full of sugar and they were organic)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Grease the donut pans. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the donut dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, soda, salt). Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the donut wet ingredients (warm water, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla).
Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the mixed dry ingredients and stir together until smooth. (See the images below the recipe for a visual reference….this wet and dry mixture combo will bubble a bit due to the vinegar and baking soda reaction). Set aside.
Make the pineapple topping: Crush the pineapple either by putting the rings into a food processor and pulsing a few times OR by finely chopping them with a knife. (Alternatively, you can use canned CRUSHED pineapple).
Place the crushed pineapple into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the coconut sugar and the melted butter. Stir until combined.
Put 2-3 teaspoons pineapple topping into each donut cavity. (See the images below the recipe for a visual reference and my Tips and Tricks section below the recipe if you want to add cherries).
Pour the batter into the the donut cavities evenly on top of the pineapple topping.
Tap the pan on the counter several times to settle the mix (it’ll flatten easily by doing this).
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until slightly golden and puffed and a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.
Allow the donuts to cool in the pans on the cooling rack completely.
Remove the donuts from the pan and place on the cooling rack or in a storage container (pineapple topping side up). They should flip right out of the pan. If not, wiggle them a bit and gently pull them out one at a time.
Eat and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
Want a more traditional pineapple upside down cake look? Add halved maraschino cherries in your pans first, then the pineapple topping, then the batter.
I stored my leftover donuts (I made extra to take to a friend!) in a sealed container in the refrigerator. These are SUPER moist so not refrigerating them could cause mold if left out of the refrigerator in a sealed container.