Who doesn’t love a good doughnut? Cakey or light, frosted or glazed, filled or in hole form, doughnuts are just a (very good) excuse to eat cake for breakfast. But some of those store-bought delights may as well be in the dessert display, given that they can pack up to 52 grams of sugar! Here are 28 recipes to help you make a healthier doughnut to enjoy (without all that sugar) any day of the week.
1. Coconut and Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Doughnuts
Mashed bananas, coconut flour, and almond meal make up the super-healthy base of these fiber-rich breakfast doughnuts. Dark chocolate and honey do the sweetening, while vanilla extract adds extra flavor.
2. Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts With Coconut Maple Glaze
We’re suckers for anything pumpkin. Throw in pecans and cinnamon, and we may just worship you (or at least your recipe). These babies are baked, glazed with a mixture of coconut oil and maple extract, then dipped into ground pecans. Can you say yum?
3. Baked Apple Cider Protein Doughnuts
Vanilla protein powder will help these guys keep you energized ’til lunch, while spices and apple cider vinegar give them a special twist.
4. Gluten-Free Banana Doughnuts
Bananas and gluten-free flours make the cakey base of these sweet treats, which are then topped with a touch of olive oil and beetroot powder.
5. Paleo Donuts With Cashew Cinnamon Glaze
No grains or dairy in this recipe! Almond meal and coconut oil combine with apple cider vinegar for a healthier, nut-based doughnut topped with a cashew butter glaze.
6. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts
Coconut oil and agave make these doughnuts a little less sugary without cutting down on taste. They’re basically like eating peanut-butter cups for breakfast.
7. Banana-Chocolate Chip Doughnuts
A batter made from mashed banana, Greek yogurt, and spelt flour gets studded with dark chocolate chips in this easy recipe. Roll the freshly baked rounds in a mixture of raw cane sugar and cinnamon for an extra-special crunchy-sweet coating.
8. Greek Yogurt Cinnamon Roll Doughnuts
While they’re certainly delicious, it’s no secret that Cinnabons aren’t even remotely healthy. Indulge the craving with these cinnamon roll doughnuts instead. Our favorite superfood Greek yogurt helps achieve that buttery texture and flavor without a ton of added fat. And don’t worry, this recipe still opts for a traditional cream cheese glaze—just go easy with it!
9. Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
Double the chocolate, double the fun. Pumpkin and cocoa join forces in this cakey batter, which is then topped with a rich dark chocolate glaze.
10. Whole-Wheat Apple Butter Doughnuts
These whole-wheat rounds get most of their sweetness from applesauce and apple butter, making them a semi-healthy alternative to glazed doughnuts. But it’s the honey-maple icing applied post-baking that gives them that extra something,
11. Vegan Coconut Vanilla Doughnuts
Vanilla-flavored coconut milk and a gluten-free flour combo sub in for the regular stuff in this recipe, making them dairy, egg, and wheat free but still divine.
12. Pistachio Cardamom Doughnuts With Mascarpone Glaze
Cardamom is a fantastic spice best known for its appearance in traditional chai blends. It lends a bit of heat (thanks to ginger) and sweetness (thanks to cinnamon) to these beauties, which pair wonderfully with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
13. Lemon Poppy Seed Doughnuts
Classic lemon poppy seed gets a kick of vanilla in this easy recipe. Plus, who wants to eat a boring, old muffin when a doughnut is an option?
14. Vegan Maple Doughnuts
Maple syrup is one of our favorite sugar alternatives, so these vegan doughnuts are our version of heaven. Whole-wheat flour is sweetened with applesauce, then glazed with a combo of maple syrup and maple extract.
15. Baked Sweet Potato Doughnuts
Homemade sweet potato purée makes this doughnut a little healthier. Throw in cinnamon and ginger, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
16. Peaches and Cream Doughnuts
Sprinkle diced peaches into a doughnut pan, then cover with a dough made with some of our favorites (whole-wheat flour, apple cider vinegar, almond milk) to create these creamy, vanilla-flavored sweets.
17. Whole-Grain Strawberry Doughnuts
The bright pink, fried ’n’ frosted, artificially flavored rings lining the shelves at the bakery? Not so healthy. These whole-wheat ones filled and glazed with real strawberries? Much better!
18. Double-Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Doughnuts
Almond flour and chia seeds pump up the protein content of these minis. Add brewed coffee, avocado, and chocolate chips, and you have a doughnut worthy of any healthier dessert plate.
19. Blueberry Lemon Glazed Doughnuts
These little rings are a great way to start (or end) the day. Blueberries and Greek yogurt take center stage, while lemon zest brightens them up.
20. Baked Coconut Donuts
This coconut milk, coconut extract, and toasted coconut topping is hard to resist. We recommend using whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and you could also try using ground toasted coconut in the icing instead of powdered sugar (it will probably just be a little grainier and not as thick).
21. Carrot Cake Doughnuts With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
If you throw a veggie in it, it has to be healthy, right? Oat flour serves as the base for this recipe, but it gets amped up by shredded coconut, applesauce, pineapple juice, grated carrot, and cinnamon. Top it with a cream cheese and honey glaze and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
22. Double-Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
These doughnuts are made with ground flaxseeds (higher in fiber!) and sweetened with only agave and pure vanilla extract. The double-chocolate combo makes for a delightful treat with a big flavor hit.
23. Mini Low-Carb Cinnamon Donuts
Almond flour makes these donuts a lower-carb option, while vanilla protein powder ups the protein factor. Glaze with a mix of cinnamon and a sweetener of your choice for a decadent (but still healthier) option.
24. Vegan Sour Cream Doughnut Holes
Doughnut holes: a favorite elementary-school snack! Instead of getting a dunk in the fryer, these sour cream and whole-wheat bites are baked in a mini-muffin tin and topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.
25. Gluten-Free, Vegan, Healthy Cake Doughnuts
A mix of oat, brown rice, and almond flours paired with chia or flax meal make a healthier doughnut base worthy of any breakfast plate. This recipe’s vegan, but feel free to sub in animal-based products—regular milk, real butter or margarine, milk-based yogurt, an egg—if that’s your thing (or just what you happen to have on hand).
26. Healthy Gingerbread Doughnuts
Perhaps this one is best suited for the holiday season, but it’s never a bad time to celebrate. The gingerbread flavor comes from nutmeg, cloves, and superfoods cinnamon and ginger. Mix the seasonings into spelt flour, applesauce, molasses, and coconut sugar for a hearty, festive doughnut. You can almost taste Christmas!
27. Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Donuts
You’ve probably tried baked oatmeal by now. But what about baking the whole-grain breakfast in a different form? This recipe calls for homemade oat flour (it’s easy; we swear) combined with raisins, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed.
28. Healthy Pumpkin Doughnuts
A mix of alternative flours makes these doughnuts nutrient rich and gluten free. Pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, and cinnamon make a flavorful batter that gets finished with a range of optional glazes.