APPLE CIDER PROTEIN DONUTS (VEGAN)
These Apple Cider Protein Donuts are vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free while keeping that classic apple cider taste! They have a crispy exterior you’ll swear is deep-fried, and a crave-worthy cinnamon “sugar” coating. I am seriously contemplating making a third batch… they’re that good. Surprisingly, there’s only 1 gram of sugar per donut, with 9 grams of complete protein!
Did you know? Pea protein contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a “complete” protein (source). However, it’s low in methionine, which can easily be solved by combining it with pumpkin, flax or chia seed protein (all high in methionine).
For the flour, I’ve found gluten-free baking flour works best for gluten-free vegan baking! You can use an equal measure of all-purpose flour, brown rice flour, cake flour, cassava flour (Paleo), oat flour (oats blended into flour), sorghum flour, spelt flour, tiger nut flour or whole wheat pastry flour if you don’t have gluten-free baking flour.
For added protein, I used LIV Body Lean Vegan Protein in Snickerdoodle flavor (a pea protein). I love that it has no artificial ingredients and tastes amazing! Use my code “NOEXCUSES” for 20% off all LIV Body products 😉
I also tested this recipe with soy isolate and pumpkin protein as well, and both came out great. As a general rule of thumb, you should always use an equal or greater ratio of flour to protein powder for best results! This applies to using whey protein, casein, soy, pea protein, pumpkin protein, rice protein, and various protein blends.
To sweeten these protein donuts, I used a granulated monk fruit blend that measures 1:1 like sugar. If using a sweetener that’s twice as sweet as sugar (like Pyure or Truvia brand), just use half as much! If you ask me though, granulated monk fruit blend is the closest natural substitute for sugar. You can also use coconut sugar, but this will significantly increase the calories, carbs, and sugar per donut.
These donuts get their buttery taste and slight crispiness from vegan buttery spread. This ingredient is essential! I like Earth Balance because it doesn’t have any weird ingredients or inflammatory oils. Of course, you can use unsalted butter or ghee if you’re not vegan!
Final note: I used ground flaxseed in this recipe to hold everything together, but you can also use a chia egg, one whole egg or two egg whites if not vegan, one teaspoon of psyllium husk, or an equivalent amount of vegan egg replacer. I just always have ground flaxseed on hand!
Here’s the printable recipe for these vegan Apple Cider Protein Donuts. Please rate and comment below if you try them 🙂
This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.
Apple Cider Protein Donuts (Vegan)
- 2/3 cup (80g) gluten-free baking flour*
- 1/3 cup (40g) vegan protein powder* I used LIV Body brand, code "NOEXCUSES" for 20% off
- 2/3 cup calorie-free sweetener* I used a monk fruit-erythritol blend that measures like sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp. water*
- 1/4 cup reduced apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tbsp. vegan buttery spread* melted
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon “sugar” coating:
- 1 tbsp. vegan buttery spread*
- 2 tbsp. calorie-free sweetener* I used a monk fruit-erythritol blend that measures like sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*See above for substitutions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to a sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half (yielding one quarter cup reduced vinegar).
- Combine ground flaxseed with water and let sit for a minute to make a “flax egg.”
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through nutmeg) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add reduced cider vinegar, flax egg, applesauce, melted buttery spread, and vanilla. Mix until a thick dough forms.
- Spoon dough into a sealable sandwich bag and cut off one corner. Coat five wells of a donut pan with cooking spray and pipe dough into wells. Or, spoon into a muffin pan if that’s all you have!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Melt another tablespoon of buttery spread in a small dish, and combine sweetener and cinnamon for coating in another larger bowl.
- Brush each donut with buttery spread, then shake in cinnamon sweetener to coat. Enjoy!
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container at least one week.
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