Sometimes I get lucky with an idea for a recipe, gather my ingredients, and nail it on the first attempt. These donuts were not one of those recipes.
I somehow got it in my head that it would be the best thing ever to fuse a donut, with a muffin, with cornbread. Something involving cornmeal, and where the finished product would be a denser, heartier cake. Apparently, that’s easier said than done, especially when you also decide to make this baked good vegan and gluten-free.
It took me three attempts to get these cornbread-inspired donuts right. I tried them with and without a flax egg, with different ratios of cornmeal to flour, and also played around with the types of flours. I ended up nixing the flax egg, reducing the cornmeal, and going with my current favorite combination of gluten-free flours: white rice, sorghum, and potato starch (I think tapioca starch would also work well).
Lemon-blueberry just seemed like the perfect flavor pairing for the cornmeal. Then again, I like to find any excuse to use lemons and blueberries together. And the good news? You can use either fresh or frozen berries. The frozen berries will add a slight purple swirl to the batter, but if you like, you can minimize this by lightly coating them in a little flour before you fold them in at the end.
So, yes. It took me several attempts to bring this recipe from idea to reality, and I may or may not have subsisted almost exclusively on donuts this weekend. But really, sometimes half the fun is just spending an afternoon (and a morning) in the kitchen, covered in flour and powdered sugar, and eating your way through three donuts in a row for the sake of quality control.
Donut meets muffin meets cornbread. Life. is. good.
- ⅔ C. Finely Ground Cornmeal
- ⅔ C. Sweet White Rice Flour
- ⅓ C. Sorghum Flour
- ⅓ C. Potato Starch
- 1 Tbs. Baking Powder
- ½ Tsp. Xanthan Gum
- ¼ Tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ C. + 2 Tbs. Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- ⅓ C. Coconut Sugar (or other vegan sugar)
- 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice + 1 Tbs. Lemon Zest
- 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil, melted
- 2 Tbs. Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
- ⅔ C. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- 1 C. Organic Powdered Sugar
- 3-4 Tsp. Lemon Juice
- Pinch Sea Salt
- Lemon Zest (for garnish)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease a donut pan (I like to use coconut oil).
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, white rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the non-dairy milk, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest, melted coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until they’re just combined.
- Fold in the blueberries. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Spoon or pipe the batter into the greased donut pan. I find that piping it is easier, as the batter will be very thick.
- Bake the donuts for 20-22 minutes, until they are golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Remove the donuts from the oven and allow them to cool.
- While the donuts are cooling, prepare the lemon glaze by sifting the powdered sugar into a medium bowl to remove any lumps.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and pinch of sea salt until no lumps remain.
- Once the donuts have cooled, dip each donut into the lemon glaze and set them aside on a lined baking sheet or cooling rack.
- Garnish the donuts with lemon zest and allow the frosting to set.
- The donuts can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.