CARROT CAKE PROTEIN DONUTS (VEGAN)
It’s no secret I love carrot cake – and these Vegan Carrot Cake Protein Donuts tasted even better than I hoped! I am picky with my carrot cake: it has to have cream cheese frosting, nuts, the perfect amount of spice, and a moist, rich texture. These donuts checked all the boxes – and they’re high protein, low fat, and low sugar! You might also like my vegan Blueberry Glazed Protein Donuts!
Did you know? Carrots are a good source of biotin, which plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism (source). I love how whole foods contain so many nutrients, each with unique roles for optimal health.
To add protein to these delicious donuts, I used a LIV Body Lean Vegan Protein in Pumpkin Pie flavor. Pumpkin pie has similar spices to carrot cake so it worked really well! You can use my code “NOEXCUSES” for 20% off all LIV Body products, including their skin care, performance supplements and collagen protein.
Feel free to use any vegan protein powder you like, such as soy isolate, rice protein, or a vegan protein blend. You should also be able to substitute whey concentrate, casein, or a whey-casein blend (not whey isolate). If you use something other than pea protein, you’ll need to adjust the amount of milk (or water) to get a thick dough. The dough should be thick enough to “pipe” into a circle on a baking sheet, or into a donut pan if you have one.
For flour, I used a gluten-free baking flour combined with coconut flour to lower the carbs. You can substitute the gluten-free baking flour for 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. You can also substitute the coconut flour for twice as much of any of the aforementioned flours. However, I do NOT recommend substituting the gluten-free baking flour for almond flour, coconut flour or garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour because the baking properties are too different.
I used two different sweeteners in these carrot cake protein donuts. For the donut itself, I used a monk fruit brown sugar alternative. I just love the hint of brown sugar flavor! You can use any reduced-calorie brown sugar alternative, like Lakanto Golden, Sukrin Gold, Swerve Brown, or Truvia Brown Sugar (use half as much for Truvia). Baking stevia, granulated erythritol, granulated monk fruit, or a granulated sugar like coconut sugar will also work. If using stevia extract or drops, please refer to the brand-specific conversion chart.
For the frosting, I used Pyure Organic Confectioner’s Sweetener. Although it’s a bit more cost-effective than Swerve Confectioner’s, I did feel like it had a slight stevia aftertaste. You just have to be careful not to use too much! You can also try powdered monk fruit sweetener, vanilla stevia drops or regular powdered sugar.
To make these donuts super moist, I used unsweetened applesauce! You can totally substitute pumpkin puree or yogurt if you don’t have unsweetened applesauce. You can also add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil if you don’t like the “fat-free” texture. I like both ways!
Now, I have tested this recipe both with egg whites and ground flax. I have to say, the egg whites yield a fluffier, more tender donut, but the ground flaxseed does the job of holding these together. If you have vegan egg replacer, I find that gives a better texture than flax eggs.
Cream cheese frosting
The frosting base is a dairy-free cream cheese. I used Simple Truth’s plant-based cream cheese this time, which you can find at Kroger stores. It’s very good and affordable! I have also used Daiya in the past, which I liked better than Tofutti, but not quite as good as Kite Hill. Kite Hill brand is probably the best but so darn expensive! I just can’t justify spending over $6 for a tub of cream cheese.
Just add some confectioner’s sweetener or any powdered sweetener you like and some pure vanilla extract and you’ve got dairy-free cream cheese frosting! You can also add a couple tablespoons of vegan buttery spread for richer frosting.
Anyway, here is the printable recipe for these vegan Carrot Cake Protein Donuts! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try them 🙂
This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.
Carrot Cake Protein Donuts (Vegan)
- 1/2 cup (60g) vegan protein powder* I used LIV Body brand in Pumpkin Pie (code "NOEXCUSES" for 20% off)]
- 1/2 cup calorie-free brown sugar alternative* or sweetener of choice
- 1/4 cup (32g) gluten-free baking flour*
- 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flour*
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon*
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg*
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger*
- Dash ground cloves* or use 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning in place of individual spices
- 2/3 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce*
- 1/3 cup (3 large) egg whites or vegan egg replacer* or 2 tbsp. ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil optional
- 4 oz. dairy-free cream cheese softened at room temp
- 1/4 cup calorie-free powdered sweetener*
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
*See blog post above for more substitutions.
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