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Gluten-Free Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts {Vegan}

by Jeanette on September 7, 2011 · 55 Comments
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Gluten Free Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts
I am so pleased to be participating in this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally, founded by Shauna from the Gluten Free Girl, and hosted this month by Meg of GF Boulangerie.

This month’s assignment is donuts, something my mom used to make when I was young, but I have never tried making before. After my 9-year old son was found to be allergic to gluten, dairy and eggs last year, he’s had one gluten-free donut from a pack I found at a natural foods store (it did have some egg in it). Although it satisfied his craving for a donut for the moment, he left the rest of the box untouched.

So, when I found out this month’s theme was donuts (or doughnuts/fritters), I was ready for the challenge. With fall right around the corner, I decided to make Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts, similar to the apple cider donuts sold at our farmer’s market (except those are fried). It was the perfect excuse to pick up one of those mini-donut baking pans.

The concept behind the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is that once you understand what the proper ratios are for key ingredients in a recipe (e.g., flour, liquid, egg), whether it’s for pancakes, quick breads, scones, pasta, or cake, you can easily substitute ingredients and be assured consistent results each time. These ratios are by weight, however, not measured in cups and spoons as most of us are used to.
Different flours have different weights, and this is especially true in gluten-free baking, where flours range from lighter flours like tapioca starch to denser bean flours. I used this method to make Pineapple-Coconut Scones a few months ago, and had a lot of fun coming up with the ratios that worked best for that recipe.

The nice thing about baking with ratios is that substitution of ingredients becomes a breeze. Since ingredients are weighed out, any flour and liquid can be used as long as the ratio remains the same – almond flour can be substituted for brown rice flour, olive oil can be substituted for butter, and pumpkin puree or applesauce can be substituted for eggs or some of the fat. 

As I started working on this Pumpkin Spice Donut recipe, I knew I wanted to make substitutions so this recipe would be dairy and egg-free on top of being gluten-free. The ratios I settled on were 2:1:1.5 flour/egg/liquid.

For my flours of choice, I used a mixture of brown rice flour, almond flour, potato starch and tapioca starch. The first time around, I used brown rice flour, but no almond flour, pumpkin puree or apple butter, and found the donuts a bit dry. By adding these other ingredients (and a bit more baking powder), these Pumpkin Spice Donuts came out moister and lighter. I was unable to weigh the oil as I have a very simple weighing scale, not one of those fancy digital ones.

For the egg, I substituted a mixture of pumpkin puree, egg replacer, water and baking powder (based on a recipe I found on Kim’s Cook It Allergy Free).

The results? These Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts came out nice and light with a tender crumb. My little guy gobbled up three of these mini-doughnuts, and I gave the rest to a friend whose daughter is on a gluten-free diet. I hope she enjoyed them as much as my son.

Gluten-Free Donut Flour Blend:

Printable Recipe


  • 125 grams brown rice flour (~1 cup + 1 teaspoon)
  • 125 grams almond flour (~ 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 125 grams potato starch (~ 3/4 cup)
  • 25 grams tapioca starch (~ 1/4 cup)


  1. Sift all ingredients together.
Makes 400 grams.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Donuts {Vegan} 

To make these donuts lower in fat, I used some apple butter, which typically can substitute for half of the fat in baked goods. 

Printable Recipe

Egg Substitute:

(makes 50 grams = 1 egg)

  • 3/4 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 tablespoons warm water
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Pumpkin Spice Donuts Ingredients:

  • 100 grams Gluten-Free Flour Blend (~ 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 50 grams ground jaggery sugar or other unrefined sugar (~ 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 50 grams Egg Substitute (see above)
  • 75 grams almond milk or other non-dairy milk (~ 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons organic sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. To make Egg Substitute, combine Ener-G Egg Replacer, warm water, baking powder and pumpkin puree. Set aside.
  3. To make Pumpkin Spice Donuts, combine Gluten-Free Flour Blend, jaggery sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Add Egg Substitute, almond milk, apple butter, olive oil, vanilla and pumpkin spice. 
  5. Stir until well blended.
  6. Fill each donut hole 2/3 full. Tap baking pan on the counter several times to get rid of air pockets.
  7. Bake 8 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, mix together Cinnamon Sugar by combining cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  9. Remove donuts from pan and toss gently with Cinnamon Sugar.
Makes 10-12 mini-donuts.

Please be sure to check out all the other gluten-free donuts that everyone made for this month’s Gluten-Free Ratio Rally.

Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie | Old-Fashioned Doughnuts
Britt of GF in the City | Blueberry Fritters
Brooke of B and the Boy! | Apricot Fritters
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Beetroot Fritters
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Thai Fried Bananas
Charissa of Zest Bakery | Picarones (Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Fritters)
Claire of Gluten Freedom | Chocolate Coconut or Cinnamon-Glazed Vanilla Cake Doughnuts
Gretchen of Kumquat | Peach Cider Doughnuts
Jean of Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes | Cinnamon Apple Fritters
Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living | Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Mini Raspberry Doughnut Cakes
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Apple Butter Maple Syrup Doughnuts
Mary Fran of Frannycakes | Raspberries and Cream Doughnuts
Mrs. R of Honey From Flinty Rocks | Jelly Doughnuts
Pete & Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem | Jelly Doughnut Holes
Rachel of The Crispy Cook | Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen | Vanilla-Glazed Chocolate Chip Doughnuts
Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl | Glazed Yeast Doughnuts
Tara of A Baking Life | Brioche Doughnuts with Italian Plum Jam
T.R. of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | Sweet Pepper and Pancetta Fritters

This recipe has been submitted to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Happy Post Pumpkin Recipes, and contributed to Remembrance Cakes for 9-11 in memory of all the loved ones lost on September 11, 2001.

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  1. First step – purchase a donut pan.

    Second step – make these immediately and then find some way to restrain yourself from eating the whole batch in one shot!

  2. If I had an oven in my apartment here in Chiang Mai, I would be making these right now. They look so yummy!

  3. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Oh Jeanette, these are my FAVORITE. I look forward to the apple orchard trip every fall, specifically for the spiced donuts.

  4. I was really happy with the way these little donuts came out. Been looking for an excuse to buy one of those mini donut pans!

  5. I used some of my Christmas money to buy a pan. :) Yours looks so great, and I love the idea of replacing the egg using pumpkin puree. Awesome!

  6. What perfect fall flavors! Great job on the doughnut challenge.

  7. Congrats on successfully veganizing gluten free doughnuts! The pumpkin spice sound perfect for Fall :)

  8. These are beautiful – and I love anything with pumpkin! I can't wait to try these (as soon as I get a doughnut baking pan – been meaning to)! :)

  9. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    These rock!

  10. I love the idea of a baked donut. The fact that they are gluten free and so yummy looking is even more exciting!

  11. I think there is a can of pumpkin in my cabinet…Another recipe to add to my list of ones to try (and soon!)

    They sound delicious!

  12. Lisa @ GF Canteen says:

    wow – those look fabulous. pumpkin spice sounds very tasty and while I don't bake vegan, I would totally make these! I love using apple butter, too. great flavor and less fat. love these.

  13. Beloved Green says:

    I have been seeing donuts of all varieties the last several days. I am agreeing with the comment above, need to find a donut pan :-) Love the pumpkin flavoring.

  14. Ooh, yum. It's still definitely summer where I live, but your recipe is making me crave autumn spices and pumpkin! The texture looks lovely, too.

  15. Jeanette I did not have a chance to participate this month, but my plan was pumpkin donuts too. These look amazing!

  16. 5 Star Foodie says:

    These look picture perfect, very healthy and scrumptious!

  17. Shirley @ gfe says:

    Those look TOTALLY AMAZING, Jeanette! I'd say you excelled (understatement!) at this challenge and are ready for the next one! :-)



    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around "healthy" donuts, but they look amazing. Gotta try this!

  19. France@beyondthepeel says:

    I needed an excuse to buy a donut pan and now I have one!

  20. Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry. says:

    I am so glad I found your site! Your recipes and photos look amazing! Im now following you so I wont miss out on any new posts!

    Love these here doughnuts!!! :) they are just glistening with all that cinnamon and sugar! yum!

  21. What a wonderful and beautiful recipe!! You are making the world a healthier place! :)

  22. Cookin' Canuck says:

    Oh my goodness, these look so good. I am so interested to try this baked version of donuts – would love a healthier recipe in my repertoire.

  23. Kristen - Dine & Dish says:

    Those look truly delicious!

  24. Kristen - Dine & Dish says:

    Those look truly delicious!

  25. Wow.. these donuts are calling out to me.. i agree.. step one get donut pan! and make some of these yumm goodies!

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog

  26. The mini-donut pan is definitely key. I'm hoping to get a lot of use out of it and try other variations. Baking donuts is so much easier and less messy than fried (and a lot healthier!).

  27. Mary Brinton says:

    I wonder if you might consider including a conversion table into American measurements for ingredients. I have not bridged that gap in my education yet and really like the look of this recipe. Thank you do much! Oh – and I need to hunt up the mini-donut pan, too!

  28. Yes, I will work on that and post it.

  29. Tara Barker says:

    Gorgeous doughnuts, Jeanette! I love the flavors you used. And the idea of a healthy doughnut is quite appealing, I must say.

  30. Jeanette, where is the baking temp? I'm assuming it's 350 degrees but don't see it anywhere on your recipe.


  31. Whoops, thanks Kelly. I baked these donuts at 325 degrees. I used the mini-donut pan. If you use a regular size pan, you'll have to adjust the baking time.

  32. Can someone help me with unit conversions to cups?

  33. Also, could I just use coconut/sorghum? My kiddo can't eat rice or potato. I have tapioca starch, sorghum, millet & coconut flours. We also can't do almond, but cam do walnut.

  34. Yes, I will remeasure out the dry ingredients and post it. However, the measurements for the flour mix will differ depending on the type of flour you use and its density. If you keep the flour to starch ratio the same, it should be approximately right. For example, instead of brown rice flour, use sorghum, millet, quinoa or amaranth flour. For potato starch, substitute arrowroot starch or more tapioca starch. You can substitute any nut flour for almond flour. I would not use coconut flour as it has a very different texture than grain/nut flours and seems to absorb a lot of liquid.

  35. I have added the conversion to cups, and teaspoons to the recipe above.

  36. My pan came in the mail last evening.. so we are having these for breakfast. I am not sure who is eating them faster, me or my non-celiac kids, but each dozen has disappeared before the next comes out of the oven (and we are on our fourth batch)…

  37. Maris (In Good Taste) says:

    Love donuts! these look terrific.

  38. Jeanette – Thank you so much!!!! I'm so excited to try these tonight!

  39. I made these tonight and they were scrumptious!

  40. Beth and Mary – so glad you tried this and enjoyed them!

  41. Cant believe these are gluten-free and EGG free. They look so good.

  42. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    Back here again 😉
    I would love if you added this and any other pumpkin themed links to my "Happy Post" today. http://su.pr/1rMDg2

  43. This sounds like a great recipe! Perhaps you're missing regular donuts? If so, or even if not, please check out http://wp.me/p1244N-6k as it features a Celiac Disease cure that is really useful at replacing the gluten free diet and treating the disease once and for all!

  44. Baker Street says:

    healthy and gluten free donuts!! That's lovely. Can't wait to try them!

  45. i was just craving pumpkin donuts the other day. i must try making this soon once i get a baking pan. thanks for submitting your post to #applelove! unfortunately, the apple bloghop is only for posts in october 2011. :( i'm sorry!!! ahhhh. please feel free to make a new post and participate though! have a great day jeanette!

    ps -i need to learn more about this whole baking in ratios! where can i get this info?

  46. Hi Junia – The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is based on Michael's Ruhlman's book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. It's an interesting concept – if you know the standard ratios for bread, for example, you can make any kind of bread as long as the ratio of flour and water remain the same.

  47. These look delicious and I so want to make these for a special morning treat! I have a question about the egg replacement. No one here is allergic to eggs, just gluten intolerant, so I’d like to use a real egg. However, I’m not sure how to add the pumpkin puree into the mix without messing up the ratios. Can you help? Thank you!!

    • Thanks Annie, you can simply use one egg instead of the egg substitute. Instead of the apple butter, you could use pumpkin puree.

  48. What a wonderful recipe! I used chia (1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons hot water) as my egg replacer. Otherwise, followed your recipe. I used the large donut pan that makes 6 instead of a small one. (Need to get one of those!) I just baked them for about 10 to 12 minutes. Scrumptious!

    My husband usually doesn’t eat more than one sweet. He ate 3! I made a second batch and diced up some apple . Those were yummy, too! Thanks for the recipe!

    • So glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for providing your substitutions and baking time for the larger donuts.

  49. Jeanette,
    I hope your kids appreciate how lucky they are to have you cooking for them!

  50. Hi Jeanette,
    I just found this and baked a batch. Mine took 12 minutes, and only made 8 donuts. Crazy??? I don’t know. This Gluten Free, Vegan baking thing has been so frustrating. I recently discovered “ratio” baking through your group, and I have been experimenting, with a little more success than I used to have. I went completely raw vegan this past summer, and was on that course before. I love it so much that I went and got a chef & instructor certification in September through Living Light in California. When I got back, I was able to hook up with a newly opening cafe that boasts organic, and local fare. They were very excited about my raw addition, but with the limited space, and traffic until thing get going, and the persihable state of raw foods, I am waiting. But, so many people have been flooding our place for gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian fare that I want to accommodate them. This gluten free baking is bringing back the frustration I used to feel, and more failures than successes with my baked goods. I find all of my baked goods are so hard to judge when done. The toothpick comes out clean, and then once cooled the interior is gummy! So then I leave it longer, and they are dry. Like my zucchini bread tonight. Perfect the first time, and now dry. I am so nervous about getting it right, and with the amount of failures, I am oven shy. I find that the gluten free goods just don’t have the same screaming “I am Done” like regular baked goods. Do you find this? I ordered the ratio book, hoping this will help. Any advice is appreciated. The donuts are very tasty. Thanks for sharing. Jen

    • Hi Jennifer – thanks for sharing. I used a mini-donut plan, so that might help explain the difference in baking time and number of donuts in the recipe. Also, every oven is different, so that might part of it too. Gluten-free baking is pretty tricky, although I found that a mixture of almond flour, brown rice flour and starch works pretty well in most of the quick bread recipes I’ve made. I’ve been using 1/2 almond flour, 1/4 brown rice flour, 1/4 starch (tapioca or potato). Also, I’ve found that gluten-free flours just don’t seem to have the same rise, so I often double the amount of baking powder and baking soda. Most gluten-free baked goods seem to taste best the same day. Some turn a funky texture the next day. Pamela’s makes a good gluten-free flour mix – I stayed at a hotel a few summers ago and discovered they were using this gluten-free mix for their breakfast muffins.

  51. Now, if we could just find a Donut Pan that is Free of Teflon…. most non-stick pans today are TEFLON. Even, caphalon is questionable &secretive. Yes life is short, but I’ve had my blood tested & my liver does not detox properly due to an MTHFR gene mutation (50% of US population has). So, I have to watch my exposure of pollutants & heavy metals. Most people should, since our society is overloaded today. But, these baked donuts look YUMMY.

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