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Homemade Gluten-Free Donuts with Coconut Icing

These donuts are totally gluten-free, made with coconut flour and wonderfully spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
May 14, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

These donuts turned out perfect! They were fluffy and moist with a texture that's similar to a muffin. I love how easy they are to whip up, too. And the main ingredient is one of my favourite flours for baking, coconut flour. It's a great source of fibre and protein, and it's totally grain-free because coconut flour is simply coconut meat that's been dried and ground, making it super digestive friendly. 

Gluten-free donut with coconut icing on a cooling rack.

I got this recipe from Karlene Karst's beautiful new cookbook, This Kitchen is for Dancing. This book is gorgeous and jam-packed with simple real-food recipes – so it's right up my alley! The recipe photos are beautiful (and so is Karlene, as well as vibrant!) and I believe there's a photo for every single recipe.

For these donuts, I made a few minor modifications based on the ingredients I had on hand. Instead of cream of tartar, for instance, I used baking powder. I also made a super easy icing by melting coconut oil and coconut butter and then sprinkling with toasted shredded coconut but you can use Karlene's original recipe, which is made with cashews and cacao – I'm sure it tastes amazing, too!


I've made these donuts a couple of times and they've consistently turned out great! I used large eggs the second time I made them and I like the texture better, so that's what I'd recommend.

The second time I made them, I filled the donut tin up to the top and it made for a fluffier donut. I spooned the batter into the donut tin, but you could use a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off to place the batter into the donut tin. 

Icing is a must! As is toasting the shredded coconut, which you can do at the same time as baking the donuts.

Gluten-free donut on a blue plate.

Now because coconut flour can be finicky I do not recommend altering this recipe at all. It may seem like a lot of coconut sugar compared to coconut flour but remember that coconut flour is extremely absorbent! I mean, a mere half cup makes nine donuts!


Here's the recipe!

Homemade Gluten-free Donuts with Coconut Icing Print
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  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar or baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a donut pan really well with avocado or coconut oil.
  2. Sift coconut flour into a large bowl before whisking in coconut sugar, cream of tartar (or baking powder), baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add eggs, oil and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir batter together until well combined. Spoon into the prepared donut pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in a donut comes out clean, about 15–18 minutes.
  4. Let donuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely at room temperature.
  5. In a small pot on the stove, combine coconut butter and coconut oil. Melt on low until a creamy liquid. Coconut butter burns very easily so be sure it let it melt slowly.
  6. To toast the coconut shreds, place on a baking sheet and bake at the same time as the donuts for 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
  7. Spoon the melted coconut glaze over top of each donut. Sprinkle toasted coconut shreds on top.


Makes 9 donuts

Recipe adapted from This Kitchen is for Dancing by Karlene Karst (Mind Publishing, 2019).

Gluten-free donut with coconut icing on a cooling rack.

I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!! Vienna eats them with or without icing – she loves them both ways – but I prefer them with icing. 

Let me know if you try these out!

Joy xo

Stacey   •   May 15, 2019

Could you recommend a good donut pan? Also have you tried the silicone ones?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 15, 2019
Janet   •   May 21, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   May 21, 2019
Janet   •   May 21, 2019

Lindsay   •   May 15, 2019

Made these tonight! So delicious!! Any tips to make the icing harden and look delicious like yours? Mine was quite runny and absorbed into the donut immediately! (And yes, as hard as it was, I did wait for the donut to cool completely)

Joy McCarthy   •   May 19, 2019

Julie   •   May 17, 2019

Could these be made in a regular muffin pan?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 19, 2019

Fran   •   May 18, 2019

Awesome recipe... texture and fluffiness was perfect... only thing is I feel like the amount of cardamom is overstated, cut it to 1/4 tsp on the second batch and they were perfect

Joy McCarthy   •   May 21, 2019

Kelly   •   May 21, 2019

Can stevia be used to replace the coconut sugar?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 21, 2019

Fiona Manoon   •   May 22, 2019

I Have found this recipe quite amazing. Thank you so much for sharing . I am going to try this out very soon. My family will love it. Thanks for posting !! Also you can check out my site ML Caterers I hope you will like it and find it useful.


Janet   •   May 26, 2019

These are fantastic! Thank you. Didn't change a thing and only cost me $20 for a new doughnut pan. I'll be using it again. So fun!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 27, 2019
Janet   •   May 27, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   May 27, 2019

Barb   •   June 14, 2019

I am going to make your donut recipe. I am confused about the vanilla. The ingredient list says 1 tsp. Vanilla divided but the instructions say 2 taps. Vanilla. Can you clarify for me. Thanks so much, Joy.

Joy McCarthy   •   June 17, 2019

Tania   •   June 14, 2019

Hi there.. do you know what the nutrition facts are? I will be making these tomorrow for Father’s Day and some people have diabetes. It will be easier to inform them what the carbs are. Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 16, 2019

Robyn H.   •   September 6, 2019

These doughnuts look absolutely dee-lish! And, I really like the topping you used! Now I must go out and purchase some doughnut pans and coconut butter. Thanks, Joy! 🌞

Joy McCarthy   •   September 6, 2019

Margaret   •   September 6, 2019

Have you ever tried an egg free version using chia seed?

Joy McCarthy   •   September 7, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   January 26, 2020
Joy McCarthy   •   January 28, 2020
Joy McCarthy   •   January 29, 2020

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