In honor of Mardi Gras (and Fat Tuesday), I’m bringing you a veganized version of one of my favorite childhood treats: the powdered sugar-covered Vanilla Kreme Donuts (seen here). I used to love these powdered sugar-drenched donuts loaded with sickeningly sweet vanilla cream. Because I now eat gluten-free vegan, I didn’t see eating one of these guys again in the foreseeable future.
But, I’ve taken on childhood favorites before, so why not try this donut?
With the help of Gina from Running to the Kitchen’s Blood Orange Donut recipe, I was able to recreate the powdered sugar baked shell without any frying necessary. I swapped regular AP flour with my favorite gluten-free AP version from Trader Joe’s. The coconut cream filling mimics the sugary hydrogenated oil-filled VanillaKreme from DD, but in a much healthier way. I used a pan like this to make my donuts, but you could also use a parchment-lined baking sheet or even a greased muffin tin to yield like results.The end product is a slightly crisp outer shell with a soft, sweet creamy center, totally reminiscent of my childhood favorite.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, warmed (lukewarm to the touch)
- 1/4 cup water, warmed (lukewarm)
- 1 package (1/4oz) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup all natural cane sugar
- 2 3/4 cups sifted gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1/4 cup natural butter spread (I used Earth Balance), melted/slightly cooled
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Vanilla Cream:
- 1 can coconut cream, refrigerated open overnight
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warmed milk, warm water, and cane sugar, mix. Sprinkle yeast on top of the milk/water/sugar, let rest for 10 minutes to activate.
- Using the dough hook attachment, (this could also be done by hand using a wooden spatula), turn the mixer on low.
- Slowly add 21/2 cups sifted flour to the bowl, running the mixer on low. Add the melted butter and salt, mix until incorporated. Continue to add the remaining 1/4 cup sifted flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough begins pulling away from edges of bowl while mixer is running.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface (I placed on floured parchment paper), shape into a ball.
- Spray mixing bowl with cooking spray, add dough back to bowl, flip dough ball over to fully coat with cooking spray. Cover with a clean dishtowel, place in a warm, draft-free place for an hour to let rise.
- Once risen, turn dough out onto floured surface. Cut dough into 6 equal portions, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or into a greased, round donut mold, see above for link). Cover baking pan or donut mold with dishtowel, let rise for another 45 minutes.
- While donuts are rising, prepare Vanilla Cream. Add 1 can of refrigerated coconut cream to a stand mixer bowl (or a regular mixing bowl). Be sure not to add any of the watery liquid on the bottom of the can. Using whisk attachment or electric beaters, whisk vigorously until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, whisk again until completely combined. Place in refrigerator to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add a loaf pan half filled with water on top rack of oven to help with moisture.
- Remove dishtowel from donuts, place donuts in oven. (If baking donuts on the parchment lined baking sheet, reshape donut dough slightly to form rounder donut balls if they have spread thin during the rising time.) Bake for 4 minutes, rotate pan, bake for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven just when they begin to brown on top.
- Let donuts cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Using the thin tip of a pastry bag attachment, the handle of a spoon or fork (or a straw), stick utensil in each end of donut and slightly move around to make room for cream.
- Combine 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar with 2 tbsp arrowroot powder in a small bowl. Gently dip slightly warm donuts in powdered sugar mix, place back on cooling rack to cool completely.Save remaining powdered sugar (you’ll be dipping the donuts again.)
- When donuts are completely cooled (important- be sure donuts are completely cool or else cream will melt), fill a pastry bag fitted with a long skinny tip with vanilla cream. (Alternatively, you could use a small plastic pipette or very small spoon.) Pipe one to two tablespoons of cream into each donut, place back on cooling rack to set. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar/arrowroot mixture. Place cooling rack in fridge to help set cream.