As popular as healthy eating may be, it’s hard to deny the overall crowd-pleasing appeal of a sweet, warm, doughy doughnut.
That’s why we’ve taken a healthier spin on this comfort classic. Our doughnuts are baked, not fried; they’re wheat-free (using mostly a combination of ground whole oats and nuts for our flour base); and they’re free from refined sugar.
The sweetness in these small cakes comes from a little bit of honey, a couple of dates, and (of course) the fruit that gives them their name: cherries. Not only do cherries add sweetness and texture and give the frosting its lovely ruby hue, but they also offer a whack-load of health benefits.
Naturally, they’re good for you in all of the obvious ways (low in sodium and cholesterol; high in fibre and antioxidants), but they have a few bonus benefits as well. Cherries are rich in melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. And according to one study, people who drank 30ml of cherry juice shortly after waking and again before their evening meal boosted their melatonin levels, leading to an increase in time spent in bed, in total sleep time, and in sleep efficiency.
How’s that for an excuse to eat a doughnut?
Guilt-Free Cherry Doughnuts
Recipe adapted from Ashley McLaughin’s Baked Doughnuts for Everyone
Tip: Before beginning, make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature so that the coconut oil doesn’t firm up.
- ½ cup oat flour*
- ½ cup sweet rice/glutinous rice flour (Despite its name, it does NOT contain gluten)
- ¼ cup cashew or almond meal*
1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp milk of choice
- 3 Tbsp yogurt of choice
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp runny honey
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup chopped Bing cherries
Guilt-Free Cherry Doughnuts Frosting
- 2 Tbsp soft, but not melted coconut oil
- 2-3 soft Medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp cherry juice (obtained from muddling a handful or two of cherries in a bowl and straining out the juice)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease your doughnut pan liberally.
- Combine the oat flour, sweet rice flour, cashew or almond meal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 30-45 seconds. Whisk in milk, yogurt, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture and fold together until combined. Gently fold in the chopped cherries.
- Pour batter into a large zip-style plastic bag and snip off the corner. Use this to pipe your mixture into the doughnut pan. Fill to ¼-inch from the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then slide a thin spatula around the doughnuts to loosen them. Gently lift them out and place them on a cooling rack. Wait until completely cooled before icing.