I used to buy them out of a vending machine–packages of 6 mini powdered sugar donuts with so much sweet powder they could induce a coughing attack just by biting into them. Like sucking a sugar cloud into your lungs.
I decided to recreate those favorite donuts of my youth with a healthier profile. I’ve done it before i.e. these Homemade Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-tarts. What would happen if I baked the donuts instead of frying, substituted white whole wheat flour for all-purpose white flour and added some yogurt for extra protein?
After a few false starts, I found powdered sugar heaven for around 100 calories a donut. I’m not claiming you can’t tell the difference from their fattier relatives but they more than satisfy my cravings. Mix them up easy as muffins and bake in less than 10 minutes with no greasy mess or odor in your house.
Thanks to Lara Ferroni who got me started down the baked donut path with her Baked Chocolate Doughnuts. She also taught me about the importance of nutmeg to get the characteristic flavor of a donut. I didn’t know and likely would have left it out since it’s not my favorite spice. The idea of using a zippered plastic bag (she used a decorator bag) with a hole to fill the pans also came from her. Absolutely inspired!
Don’t have a doughnut pan? Make donut “holes” with a mini muffin pan. I bought my doughnut pan at World Market but they are available at most kitchen stores and online in the 9-15$ range.
- White whole wheat has all the nutritional value of regular whole wheat without the characteristic bitter flavor. I have not tried regular whole wheat in this recipe.
- Pecans pack a lot of flavor in these little gems. Chop finely and the kids won’t notice or leave them out if you wish.
- Regular yogurt can be substituted for Greek yogurt. Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup.
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon very finely chopped pecans (optional)
- ⅓ cup fat-free milk
- ¼ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A few drops of almond flavoring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease doughnut pan well (I use spray oil with flour in it i.e. Baking by Pam).
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and pecans (if using) together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk yogurt, milk, egg, oil and flavorings together in a separate small bowl. Combine all at once with dry ingredients and stir only until everything is moistened.
- Spoon batter into pastry bag or quart-size zippered plastic bag. Seal. Snip small corner of plastic bag and force dough out of hole in a fat rope that encircles each doughnut cup. Fill only ½ to ¾ full or you will lose the hole in the middle of your doughnut. Makes 12 donuts and possibly 3-4 “donut holes” in a mini cupcake pan. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Serving size: one donut
Total Fat 2.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 114 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.7g
Sugars 9.7 g
Protein 1.8 g