If you’re missing bakery style treats, try these chocolate cherry donuts. These decadent treats are gluten free and vegan, and are a great way to use summer cherries. A soft chocolate donut with a swirl of pink icing is a delicious breakfast or dessert that your family is sure to love.
You want to have a weekend tradition of donuts, but food allergies are standing in your way. In a perfect world, there would be an allergy friendly donut shop right next to every regular donut shop, but that just isn’t reality.
And that used to really be a downer for me, but then I started making my own allergy friendly donuts, and honestly, they are so good, my family doesn’t miss the donut shop at all.
From double chocolate donuts to spiced cider donuts, to vegan powdered donuts, there’s a lot to choose from if you want to make your own safe donuts. And now you can try these yummy gluten free vegan chocolate cherry donuts, too!
These are super easy to make, and they are a great way to use some summer cherries. If you don’t want to frost them, you don’t have to, but the frosting really makes these extra special. The frosting is just a simple dairy free buttercream made with some fresh cherry juice – that’s what gives it a nice pink shade.
Try these this weekend! I think you’ll love them.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend for this recipe, and it worked very well. The donuts had a nice shape, and a great texture. You can use any gluten free blend that works for you dietary needs. If you aren’t gluten free, go ahead and use regular all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa Powder – Depending on your allergies, you may want to check out Hershey’s or Rodelle for allergy friendly unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Applesauce – I used unsweetened applesauce to help hold the batter together. You can use beet puree or mashed banana in place of applesauce if you like.
- Cherries – I like the addition of chopped cherries to the donut batter, but you can leave these out if you want to. Either cherry juice or freeze dried cherry powder works well to add color and flavor to the frosting.
- Grain Free Flours – I don’t recommend using coconut flour – it works best in recipes that call for eggs. Without eggs, coconut flour results in very dry, dense baked goods. If you want to use almond flour, you can use up to a ½ cup in this recipe without it negatively affecting the texture.
- Different Fruit – These donuts would work well with different fruits like blueberries or raspberries. Blueberry juice makes turns vanilla frosting a pretty color like on these chocolate cupcakes with berry frosting.
A donut pan is needed to make baked donuts at home. I use a metal donut pan by Wilton. You can find it at JoAnn Fabrics, Target, or on Amazon. I have seen the silicone donut pans, and they probably work well, too! I just haven’t tried them.
Step by Step Instructions
- Whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and stir well.
- Grease a donut pan, and carefully spoon the batter into the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 11-14 minutes. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning the pan over and tapping to release the donuts.
- Make the cherry frosting. You can use cherry juice, berry juice, or freeze dried cherries or berries to get the color you desire.
- Frost the cooled donuts and enjoy!
Store leftover donuts in an airtight container in the fridge. They should stay fresh for about three days.
You can freeze these donuts – just wrap them well and store in a freezer bag. I recommend freezing them without frosting. They should stay fresh for about three months in the freezer.
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Cherry Chocolate Donuts (Gluten Free, Vegan).
For the donuts:
- ¾ cups gluten free flour blend Namaste Perfect Flour works well
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- ⅙ cup coconut oil or melted vegan buttery spread
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cherries optional
For the frosting:
- 2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cherry juice fresh or bottled
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a donut pan with a little coconut oil. (Even though it's non-stick, I still recommend greasing it).
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Melt the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for about 15 seconds.
- Add the melted coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar, and non-dairy milk. Stir well. Add the chopped cherries if using – for picky eaters, you may want to leave them out.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-14 minutes.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn pan over onto a cookie sheet and tap to remove donuts.
- While the donuts cool completely, make the frosting.
- Place the vegan buttery spread, cherry juice, and powdered sugar in a bowl. Mix on medium high speed until smooth. Add more cherry juice if you want a thinner glaze.
- Frost the cooled donuts and enjoy!