Growing up, birthdays were always a big deal. There were streamers, presents at breakfast, and a really fabulous birthday cake. My mom was brilliant when it came to making birthday cakes - simple vanilla butter cake, cut and shaped into the most elaborate creations: disney characters, paint palettes, type-writers, trains, anything you could think of really. Since I began baking, I've always tried to make the extra effort on birthdays; make the cake that much bigger, that much more delicious, and that much more creative. For Nigel's birthday last August, I tackled baked donuts for the first time. Since then, I've acquired a rather incredible cookbook - Baked Donuts for EveryoneNot only was this recipe gluten free, but it catered to the vegan birthday girl as well. I couldn't believe how delicious and 'real' they tasted, nom nom, I love birthdays!


Adapted from Ashley McLaughlin's Baked Donuts for Everyone.

Note: The recipe calls for a variety of flours that you probably won't have in the house. If you're not gluten-free, you'll be tempted to replace then with white flour. Resist the urge, walk to the store, and buy the proper ingredients. Trust. Also, if you're not aiming for a vegan donut, feel free to use regular butter, milk and chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350.


1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp almond meal
2 tbsp ground flax meal
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened milk (soy or almond)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

For the frosting...
2 tbsp milk (soy or almond)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
1/4 cup cocoa powder

coloured sprinkles, for decorating

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix to eliminate any lumps.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, apple sauce and oil.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined, stop when you no longer see any dry flour. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. The batter will firm up, don't worry.

While the batter is sitting, grease the donut pan with butter.

Spoon the batter into the donut tray, filling to just below the top of each mold (these donuts don't rise very much). Smooth out the top of the donuts and transfer to the pre-heated oven.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the pan sit for 5 minutes before gently removing the donuts and transferring to a wire rack.

To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.

You can either choose to frost and sprinkle each donut individually, or create a donut tower. For the tower, frost the side of one donut and sprinkle, set on a plate. Continue with the rest of the donuts, stacking as you go. For the top layer of donuts, frost and sprinkle the tops as well.