If you’ve read more than about two blog posts here at Curiouser & Curiouser, I’m sure you’ve gathered that I love to bake. I do love the sweet treats that result from baking, but I also enjoy the act of baking. The precision required, the guarantee that if I put in a pinch of that and a teaspoon of that, the end result will likely be just right. For me, baking is a stress reliever, and makes me feel calm and happy. (I love sharing the results of my baking with friends, family, and co-workers, too!)
Since I’ve been a part of Fat Loss Foodies Cooking School, though, I’ve started to become more interested in different kinds of baking. I’ve started dabbling with baking recipes that use coconut or almond flour in place of all-purpose flour, and that incorporate elements like coconut oil instead of butter. (These pumpkin protein pancakes were all the proof I needed to believe fully in these healthier versions of recipes.)
And so, when I got a donut pan for baking donuts last week, I wanted to break it in with a new-to-me style of recipe. I recently discovered Elana’s Pantry, a blog written by a woman who lives a Paleo, grain-free, healthy lifestyle and whose recipes reflect that, and have loved gleaning inspiration from her recipes. She’s known for having recipes with a refreshingly short list of ingredients and — most importantly — recipes that don’t sacrifice taste for the healthy substitutions she makes. Sold!
We’re not going to go strict anything (grain-free, Paleo, gluten-free, etc.) at our house anytime soon, but we do try to mainly eat foods that are good for us and keep us feeling our best, so this exploration into new baking territory has been a fun adventure. (Another note: I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of baking ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, and xanthan gum that my local Harris Teeter grocery store had in stock. I figured I’d have to hit up Whole Foods for at least a couple of ingredients for new recipes I wanted to try, but so far I’ve been able to get it all at HT.)
I’d love to eventually start coming up with some substitutions of my own in recipes I love, but first want to get a bit more comfortable with this approach to baking. With that in mind, I went searching for the perfect donut recipe to christen my shiny new baking pan.
Elana’s recipe for Paleo chocolate donuts sounded mouthwatering (so much delicious chocolate), and I was super happy with the way they turned out. Initially, you get the chocolate flavor, of course, but then it’s followed by a hint of coconut, which I adore. Kevin loved them, too! (Despite his laughs about cavemen — the original Paleo peepes — not eating chocolate baked donuts. My response? “I’m sure they would have if they’d known about this recipe!”)
Paleo Baked Chocolate Donuts With Chocolate Frosting And Sprinkles
(makes about nine donuts)
Ingredients (for donuts)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 large eggs (sub for flax eggs when making a vegan version!)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature — not melted)
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
Ingredients (for frosting)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon palm shortening (note: I didn’t have the palm shortening on hand that she recommended for the frosting, but used a Tablespoon of butter instead, and that worked great!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray donut pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Mix in eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup until well combined.
- Fill each donut well about three-quarters full of batter.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove donuts from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While donuts are cooling, melt chocolate chips and shortening (or butter) in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken and start to look like chocolate frosting you’d buy pre-made.
- Once donuts have cooled completely, use a butter knife to spread frosting onto the top of each donut, then dip the donut in sprinkles to top.