These Sweet Potato Doughnuts are lightly spiced, contain a clever time-saving ingredient and are baked to make them healthier (even with the delicious Maple Glaze). gluten free and optional dairy free.
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Sweet Potato Doughnuts or Sweet Potato ‘Donuts’?
Meet my gluten free Sweet Potato Doughnuts or should that be sweet potato ‘donuts’? Apparently, like so many wonderful foods, the name and spelling matters depending on which side of the world you inhabit… Think courgette vs zucchini; scones vs biscuits; biscuits vs cookies; aubergine vs eggplant… And that’s just for starters.
I love the variations in language around the world. It makes life so much more interesting and richer, but it can be confusing sometimes.
Gluten free baked doughnuts for an inclusive, healthier treat
Whatever your language, these babies are awesomely good and way healthier than most doughnuts you’ll find. They are wholesome not only for the ingredients they contain, but because they are baked doughnuts, rather than fried. So, there’s less guilt and less fat going on.
They are also gluten free sweet potato doughnuts… Which makes them perfect for Coeliacs, like us.
I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love a donut. If you are a gluten-avoider though, a decent gluten free doughnut is an elusive treat (I know… I’ve hunted high and low for them…).
Equally, if you fancy a doughnut but have a health-conscience, you’re pretty much stuffed… So these baked, gluten free sweet potato doughnuts, my healthy but ‘intolerant’ friends are for you…
The story behind my sweet potato doughnuts recipe
Anyone who has followed Gluten Free Alchemist for some time will know that I love a challenge. My creativity is most inspired when given an ingredient or some strange specific ‘guideline’ (like a colour or foodie event) that I have to incorporate into a new recipe.
These sweet potato doughnuts are the result of one such provocation. They were developed in response to a sweet potato challenge thrown to me at the Allergy and Free From Show back in 2019. The specifics of the challenge (set by Fullgreen, in partnership with Hip and Healthy) were to create a recipe using Fullgreen’s Sweet Potato Vegi Rice.
I’m all for finding ways to hide veggies in treats to make them healthier (and to sneakily get the kids to eat more good stuff). So, a treat bake (which would also harness the natural sweetness of the sweet potato) seemed the way to go.
Fullgreen Vegi Rice and why it’s perfect for baking
At GFHQ, we already used Fullgreen’s Vegi Rice products before this challenge. In addition to sweet potato, they produce various riced cauliflower products. These make a lovely healthy alternative to normal rice, but… without the hassle and mess of ‘ricing’ the cauliflower at home. Seriously… Being able to buy it already prepped in a bag, made the difference between me trying or not trying riced cauliflower.
I had never however, tried baking with Full Green’s ready-prepped riced veg. Heaven only knows why. It has to be one of the easiest, most time-efficient ways there is to bake with veggies… No peeling, chopping, grinding, grating, pulsing, steaming or extra washing up. You just tip the bag into your mix at the right time and bobs-your-uncle, veggies included!
The sweet potato adds moistness as well as goodness to the doughnuts without any obvious hint of ‘veg’. And yes… Rest assured, they’ve been tested on kids who didn’t come anywhere near guessing the ‘secret ingredient’.
Don’t have access to bagged sweet potato rice?
You can still make these sweet potato doughnuts if you can’t get bagged sweet potato rice. Simply peel, cube, food process and steam the sweet potato before using.
Sweet Potato Doughnuts – a two-in-one recipe
This recipe for sweet potato doughnuts is really versatile. Not only will it make delicious baked doughnuts, but it can be used to make lovely, healthy gluten free Sweet Potato Muffins too. They make the perfect ‘grab and go’ breakfast.
Although I haven’t yet tried it, I also suspect that the recipe could be used to make a standard layer cake or tray bake as well. Delicious with a little cream cheese frosting. And with the cinnamon spice, it would make a perfect treat for Autumnal celebrations like Halloween and Guy Fawkes.
What else goes into healthier gluten free Sweet Potato Doughnuts?
A little unrefined sugar
These particular baked doughnuts are healthier for many reasons. Because of the natural sweetness of the potato, they need less sugar for starters. The sugar that has been added is of the less-refined variety. You can use either coconut sugar (a favourite of mine) or light soft brown sugar. Both of these are better from a health-perspective as well as offering a lovely caramel hit on the taste-buds.
They also contain a good portion of nutritionally-rich ground almonds. These are high protein, low carb, with great levels of healthy mono-unsaturated fat and vitamin E. Ground almonds are great in gluten free bakes. Not only are they good for you, but they help keep the doughnuts fresh for days (if you can make them last that long).
Protein-rich, rice free flour
These sweet potato doughnuts also use my home-mixed Gluten Free Alchemist rice free flour blend B, and some wonderful psyllium husk for gluten-replacement. This gives the best texture and incorporates protein and fibre-rich whole grain gluten free flours.
If you are not gluten free, the recipe should be fine with bog-standard wheat flour (leaving out the psyllium husk too).
Butter or coconut oil
Sweet potato doughnuts can be made with butter for a little decadence. But they have also been tested and work equally well with both a good dairy free spread or with coconut oil. The choice is yours.
Maple Syrup Glaze
Although the glaze contains a cheeky bit of icing sugar, the bulk of its luscious sweetness comes from the use of natural maple syrup. Maple syrup is one of my favourite ingredients. Not only does it give a beautiful caramel colour, but it tastes divine. And… it pairs perfectly with the warming cinnamon and ginger spices in the doughnut.
Gluten free baked doughnuts… recommended by children
Want to know how good these gluten free sweet potato doughnuts are? When I gave them to my teenage daughter’s friend (who is a gluten eater), she told me that they were ‘the best doughnuts she had ever eaten’… And that makes me happy that they are good enough to share with you too.
Ready to make Sweet Potato Doughnuts?
Ready to give them a go? Don’t forget to let me know if you do. Tag me on social media (#glutenfreealchemist) – all links at the top of the page.
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Spiced Sweet Potato Doughnuts (baked) with Maple Glaze
- baked doughnut tins (2) – See NOTES
- disposable piping bag
- clean tea towel
- 160 g gluten free flour blend (preferably rice free) I use GFA rice free flour blend B (see NOTES)
- 80 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1½ tsp ground psyllium husk powder or 1 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tsp GF baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 50 g unsalted butter/dairy free spread/coconut oil butter should be softened; coconut oil should be melted
- 120 g soft light brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs UK large
- 200 g Full Green Sweet Potato Vegi Rice (1 bag) or equivalent weight mashed/riced cooked sweet potato
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 g butter/dairy free spread
- 120 ml Maple syrup
- 125 g icing/confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
- 1 tbsp roasted chopped nuts (optional) to decorate
- Prepare a doughnut tin by lightly greasing the doughnut holes (Tip : use cake release paste/spray).
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together the dry ingredients (flour; almonds; psyllium; salt, baking powder; bicarbonate of soda; spices) and set aside. TIP : weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously to mix.
- Beat together the butter/spread/melted coconut oil with the brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add and beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended and slightly lighter in colour.
- Add the sweet potato and vanilla extract and beat again until well-blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and lightly fold through until evenly blended.
- Pipe the dough batter into the holes in the doughnut tray.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until firm and springy (be careful not to over-bake, or the doughnuts will become dry).
- Carefully remove the doughnuts from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely (cover with a clean cloth whilst cooling).
- Melt the butter/spread with the maple syrup either in a small saucepan stirring over a low heat, or in a microwave (30 second bursts at medium, stirring frequently). Stir together until well-blended.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the icing/confectioner’s sugar.
- Leave to cool (stirring intermittently to prevent 'crusting') until the glaze has thickened to a light coating consistency.
- Dip the top of each doughnut into the glaze (TIP : dip the ‘fluffy’ side) and place on baking paper or a wire rack (glaze side up).
- Sprinkle with chopped, roasted nuts (optional) and leave (either at room temperature or in the fridge) to allow the glaze to set.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist