These vegan baked doughnuts are seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla, smothered in luscious coconut caramel with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Before I go any further, a warning: you have to eat these doughnuts with a fork.
It’s so worth it though.
I’m a big fan of glazes and frostings of the rich but not-too-sweet variety. So basically the ones made without powdered sugar. It’s amazing that it took me this long to glaze something in coconut caramel, and now that I’ve done it, I want to glaze everything in coconut caramel.
So, about the fork thing…these doughnuts are sticky. And they’re not the kind that get un-sticky when the glaze dries. You could get it to set a bit in the fridge, but do you really want to eat these suckers cold? Better if you don’t.
The doughnuts follow my basic formula for baked vegan doughnuts, and I went super simple with some cinnamon and vanilla for flavorings. But the caramel glaze would be delicious on all kinds of doughnuts, so feel free to try different spices, or a whole different doughnut recipe. I’m itching to try it on chocolate and, come fall, gingerbread.
The glaze is a super simple caramel that whips up on the stove in five minutes. Coconut caramel is pretty similar to regular caramel, but it uses coconut oil and milk as the sources of fat instead of butter, so it’s vegan! Also, for this particular coconut caramel I used coconut sugar too, because I’ve got a lot of coconut love, and also because it makes me feel like my caramel is a tad bit healthier than it would be otherwise. I’m sure you could get away with brown sugar too though.
After baking and glazing, I ended up with some doughnuts that tasted quite a bit like gooey cinnamon rolls. I’m happy about that because I failed in an attempt at vegan cinnamon rolls a few weeks back. I’ll try again some day, but until then, I’m extremely happy with my caramel glazed doughnuts. They’ll be perfect brunch material this spring.
Salted Coconut Caramel Glazed Baked Doughnuts
For the Baked Doughnuts
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Coconut Caramel Glaze
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Coarse ground sea salt
Make the Doughnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a six cavity doughnut pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until mixed.
- Divide the batter among doughnut cavities.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
Make the Coconut Caramel Glaze
- While the doughnuts bake, combine the coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut oil, and salt in a small saucepan, then place it over medium heat. Bring everything to a simmer while whisking and lower heat. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture darkens a bit and smells like caramel. Watch the pot closely while simmering to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
Finish the Doughnuts
- When the doughnuts and caramel are cool, dip the top of each doughnut into the caramel to coat it. Place the doughnut on a sheet of parchment paper, and repeat for all of the doughnuts. If you'd like to glaze the bottoms, place the doughnuts into the refrigerator for about an hour to chill, so they're easier to grip without making (as much of) a mess. Sprinkle the tops lightly with coarse ground sea salt and serve.