Since Valentine’s Day is next week, and I’ve recently been very into pink and red desserts over on Instagram, I decided I wanted to come up with a vegan-friendly strawberry baked donut. After a less-than-thrilling first recipe attempt, I came to the conclusion that the donut would just be better if I added cocoa powder. Is this my life now? Adding chocolate to anything and everything because it just makes things better? Anyways, these baked cake donuts are so light and fluffy, they’re basically cake. My toddler, who knows what a donut is, took one bite and decided all on her own that these donuts were in fact cake – she chased me around trying to get a bite of my “cake” – ha!
I added strawberry purée to both the donut batter and the icing. The icing is really where the strawberry flavor hits you, so don’t skimp on the purée! I made this recipe twice in an attempt to perfect the pink icing and both times I ended up with results that just weren’t visually appealing enough for decent photos. BUT that doesn’t mean I didn’t perfect the recipe! And since Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, I really wanted to get this recipe published for you all, even with this one photo. I hope that’s okay with you, and I promise that at some point I will make these again and get more than just a “donut in hand” pic. Happy baking!
Strawberry Chocolate Baked Donuts with Strawberry Icing
Makes 6 regular donuts or ~32 mini donuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 large egg or 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp water) if vegan
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
3 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, light olive oil)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry purée*
3 Tbsp applesauce
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp strawberry purée*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-4 tsp nut milk
1.) Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray your donut pan with olive oil (or other non-stick spray). For vegan donuts, prepare your flax egg.
2.) In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar and egg. Add the almond milk, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until totally combined. Stir in the strawberry purée and applesauce; set aside.
3.) In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder. Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until no white streaks remain. Add liquid ingredients to dry and gently fold until totally combined, making sure to scrape flour/cocoa off the bottom of the bowl.
4.) Add your batter to a piping bag or ziplock bag. Snip the end and pipe batter into donut pan, filling close to the top. Bake regular donuts at 350°F for 10-11 minutes and mini donuts at 350°F for 6-7 minutes or until toothpick inserted into a donut comes out with crumbs.
5.) Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. I like to turn my pan over and wave it a bit until the donuts fall out.
6.) Once your donuts have cooled, you can make your icing. In a small saucepan, add the powdered sugar, strawberry purée, and vanilla extract. Use a small spatula or whisk to combine the ingredients. If needed, add nut milk 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached – I added around 3 tsp. Keep stirring/whisking until icing is totally smooth and no lumps of powdered sugar remain.
7.) Place icing over a very low heat on the stove and heat up until just warm. Turn off the heat and begin dipping the tops of your donuts. Work quickly and stir the icing as you go along to keep it from crusting. The icing will harden on your donuts very quickly, so if you plan to use sprinkles or other toppings, I recommend having a second person do that part immediately after each donut is dipped. Enjoy your donuts! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator if it’s warm.
*for my strawberry purée I simply blended 2 cups of whole frozen strawberries that I had thawed at room temperature. The 2 cups of berries gave me about 1 1/4 cup strawberry purée – you’ll only need half of that for this recipe.