March 26, 2024


It’s no secret I love carrot cake – and these Carrot Cake Protein Donuts tasted even better than I hoped! I am picky with my carrot cake: it has to have cream cheese frosting, lots of spice, and a moist, rich texture. These donuts checked all the boxes – and they’re high protein, low fat, and low sugar! There's even a vegan option ;)

You might also like my 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.

Protein recommendations

To add protein to these delicious donuts, I used a LIV Body Lean Vegan Protein in Oatmeal Cream Cookie. This pea protein is all natural and loaded with probiotics and organic superfoods. Their new formula is also free of stevia and erythritol! You can use my code “SARAHWILKINS" for free shipping on 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 *might* 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.

Flour substitutions

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 almond flour, coconut flour or garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour because the baking properties are too different.

Sweetener substitutions

I used two different sweeteners in these carrot cake protein donuts. For the donut itself, I used this sugar-free brown sugar alternative with NO stevia or erythritol. Recent studies raised some concerns about erythritol, and I know many of you struggle with stevia, so I stopped using either in my recipes.

With that said, feel free to use any sugar-free brown sugar alternative that measures like sugar. 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 this sugar-free powdered sweetener made with monk fruit and allulose. You can use any sugar-free powdered sweetener that measures like sugar, or regular powdered sugar!

Other substitutions

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 avocado oil or 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 pretty 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 sugar-free powdered sweetener (or powdered sugar) and some pure vanilla extract and you’ve got dairy-free cream cheese frosting! You can also add a couple tablespoons of vegan butter 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.


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