[vegan, soy-free, palm oil-free, refined sugar-free; gluten-free option available]
Are you like me that you think making donuts at home would be too much work? You’d have to let the yeast sit, the thought of deep-frying the donuts is more revolting than tempting, and you’d end up with a huge mess from all the frosting. Phew. Think so no more. Vegan chocolate chip donuts are the answer! Made totally yeast-free, with a sensible amount of sugar, and without the need to wait impatiently or attempt to form donuts from the dough in the deep fryer. And the only mess you might end up making is with your diet, when you can resist popping these totally delicious vegan donuts in your mouth.
Vegan chocolate chip donuts are the real deal. Apple cider vinegar, bubbling in the dough, makes them just the right kind of cakey. Unsweetened applesauce makes them soft and moist, helping bind the dough together. And maple syrup adds its always-as-delicious sweetness to them. You’ll love these cute, squishy donuts!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Donuts Need No Deep-Frying
I don’t see myself as any type of virtuoso as a baker. I’m much more of an unconventional taste combination experimenter and recipe creator. And as such, making traditional, sugar-coated donuts has never really been my cup of tea. Instead, I’ve just pictured the disappointment from a pile of misshapen donuts, on top of a mess of ingredients and kitchen utensils.
What makes my vegan chocolate chip donuts different is that there’s no deep-frying involved. This has a couple of inviting consequences. First, you’ll make a batch of vegan chocolate chip donuts in no time, when you won’t have to watch over frying each and every one of them. Second, they’ll contain much less fat (and sugar) as deep-fried donuts. Third, when using the neat invention of a donut-baking pan, you’ll end up with 12 pretty much identical donuts.
And if you don’t happen to have one of those donut pans, don’t go anywhere. There’s another way of making vegan chocolate chip donuts. You can pipe good-sized circles straight onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Just scoop the dough into a piping bag with a large decorating tip and get to piping. This adaptation of the recipe has one major pro, which is making donuts just the size you like them.
Cover That Frosting with Chocolate Chips
If you have an idea of me as a baker, you’ll know that I like to put chocolate chips in everything. To me, chocolate chips capture the essence of American baking. They always take me on an overseas journey of tastes, catapulting me back under the burning hot Arizona sun. On my about page, you can read more about what it is about American baked goods that I love so much.
By now, I’ve shared many chocolate chip recipes here on my blog. I’ve folded dark chocolates chips in fudgy peanut butter cubes and of course my signature cookie dough, and melted them into yummy peanut butter cups.
In this recipe, chocolate chips are used to add sweetness, of course, but also in a decorative function. You’ve got the frosting part covered. Just through in a few handfuls of chocolate chips and you’re all set. That’s why I love making these vegan chocolate chip donuts. They’re a one-bowl deal with no waiting and no frosting. Now, that’s not to say that frosted donuts wouldn’t be stunningly beautiful. But what I am saying is that I love eating donuts that are still warm from the oven. To me, enjoying baked goods warm is definitely one of the major perks of home baking.
So when you decorate your baked goods with chocolate chips, you get everything done at once. You won’t have to wait for the donuts to cool or the frosting to set, which will not only save you some time but even your nerves, as it’s much cleaner this way.
I guess you could dub chocolate chips the lazy baker’s go-to topping. They work with pretty much everything, adding just enough sweetness and quirky detail to your baked goods. No wonder they’re also the kids’ favorite add-in. And as such, your little ones will definitely love these vegan chocolate chip donuts, as well.
Nothing But an Empty Plate in the Fridge!
I got to experience that first hand. I was writing my blog in our bedroom, when our two-year-old down for a nap. In the meantime, our five-year-old and my husband were slacking on the downstairs couch, most likely entertained by Netflix. My daughter has really fallen for The InBESTigators.
With a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me downstairs, I headed down for a cup. I thought I’d grab one of the donuts at the same time. But as I opened the fridge door, I was in for a surprise. There was nothing but an empty plate where the donuts had been! Just a couple of petty crumbs spoke to their previous existence. But it didn’t change the fact that all of my vegan chocolate chip donuts had been eaten.
I immediately pointed the finger at the hubby. It wouldn’t have been the first time for him to eat my precious goodies. But then my daughter interrupted us, admitting quite matter-of-factly to eating the rest of the donuts. She said that she had watched two episodes of The InBESTigators and had three donuts. Three! My disappointment quickly changed into amusement. Because, quite obviously, I had come up with another favorite. My kids had loved my vegan chocolate chip donuts!
What About Making Vegan Chocolate Chip Donuts Gluten-Free?
I say: go for it! Use your favorite gluten-free flour to make vegan chocolate chip donuts gluten-free.
So far, I’ve only made this recipe with spelt flour and all-purpose wheat flour. In my opinion, I achieved the best combination of airiness and denseness with this wholemeal spelt flour by Birkkala Spelt Farm. For someone looking for a gluten-free option, I’d recommend either gluten-free oat flour or a light gluten-free flour blend. In relation to spelt or wheat, you’re likely going to have to adjust the amount flour used. If using oat flour, slightly less will probably do, and if using a flour blend, you’ll probably end up using a bit more than stated in the recipe.
In any case, you’ll end up with sweet and squishy vegan chocolate chip donuts that will blow your socks off. They’re so melt-in-your-mouth soft you’ll easily plant your face in them. Just ask my daughter!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Donuts
- ½ cup almond drink or other plant drink
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup hazelnut butter or other nut or seed butter
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups spelt, wheat, or gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Lightly grease a 12-donut pan with vegan butter or baking spray.
- Whisk together the almond drink, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, applesauce, hazelnut butter, and maple syrup in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix as little as necessary to combine the ingredients. Do not beat. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the donut pan. Fill the cups all the way to the top. Bake the donuts for 10–12 minutes or until they have risen and are firm to the touch. Let the donuts cool in the pan for 10–15 minutes. Pop them up carefully with a knife and transfer onto a plate or dish. Serve and enjoy! Store leftover donuts in the fridge up to a week.