Take n’ Bake: Low Carb/Gluten Free Donuts

Like many other Canadians, I love my Tim Hortons.  My memories of my childhood are filled with plenty of trips to the coffee shop chain for a cup of hot chocolate on a Saturday afternoon and sharing boxes of timbits with my classmates. In high school it was a good go-to for hanging out and it became a beacon of hope during many late nights studying while I was away at university. And though I’ve gone through my phases of loving their cookies, cinnamon buns and coffees, the ultimate treat has always been their donuts.

These days I’ve been opting for a simple plain donut instead of anything glazed, cream-filled, or sprinkled when I visit Tim’s, but those too are extremely addictive. Since I already had a giant 2kg bag of coconut flour sitting in my pantry ($8 from Costco, a total steal), I thought I would fulfill my cravings by making a batch of donuts at home. Although the end product just did not compare to any Tim Hortons donut, it was still fairly enjoyable.

Coconut flour is pretty temperamental. It absorbs liquid fast so it needs a lot of moisture, and many coconut flour recipes depend on eggs and honey to do the job. These ingredients tend to be problematic for me. A lot of the time the finished good tastes too eggy and given the fact that my mother is diabetic, I can’t use honey as it may have an adverse effect on her blood sugar levels. This was also the case in the donut recipe I used, which required a few tweaks.

Instead of six eggs, I used five and made up for the needed moisture with a half cup of unsweetened almond milk. In place of the honey, I used a half cup of erythritol. Unfortunately the coconut flour still absorbed the liquid very quickly, making the batter less fluid and much, much more thicker, similar to cookie batter. I had to pack in the batter by hand instead of just spooning it in.

Since this is the first time I have ever made donuts, I thought I would make three different types. I made plain, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate chip donuts, and was pretty happy with the end result of all three of them. While the texture of the donuts were quite dense and more on the dry side, the flavour was great. The plain donuts were a little more on the savoury than sweet side, but the addition of the cinnamon-erythritol mixture and 71% cocoa chocolate chips in the other donuts were just the ticket to making them a real treat. I wasn’t sure if my mom would enjoy them since she is just as addicted to Timmy’s plain donuts as I am, but I was really happy to see her snacking on them in the days that followed.

Next time, I’m going to try using sugar-free maple syrup to see how the thick consistency of the ingredient affects both the texture and taste of the donuts. I’m also really keen on adding cocoa powder and making a double chocolate donut.

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