Yes, you read that right. Style Sweet CA's first (intentionally) vegan recipe. No, I am not turning vegan. And no, I did not swap out ingredients to try to make a crowd pleaser. I made this recipe because the donuts taste amazing and just happen to be vegan. You feel me?
I made these babies on a rainy weekend. Brett was feeling under the weather and I stole some time to myself to bake for pleasure. Don't get me wrong, I still like baking and feel blessed every day that I get to do something that I love for work. I've always had to find the right balance between baking for my clients and baking what I want. Most of the time, I develop recipes with a client or specific project in mind, so when I can steal a moment to bake just for fun I really try to enjoy the whole process - from initial idea to the very last garnish.
The fridge/freezer of this freelance pastry chef is always full of 3/4 layer cakes and desperate attempts to keep pastries fresh until someone can take them of my hands. If I kept up eating what I baked every week, I'd make myself sick. So when it comes time to develop a new recipe to be enjoyed guilt free on a lazy weekend, I went with a healthy version of a chocolate donut.
First of all, these donuts are baked. They will never have the same characteristics as a real, fried donut, but they are delicious nonetheless. Using some coconut oil and a jar of apple sauce from the back of the pantry, I created the chocolatey vegan batter. To bring out the coconut flavor even more, these Chocolate Coconut Vegan Donuts were given a non-dairy coconut caramel glaze and topped with coconut flakes. Like most chocolate batters I make, I added a touch of almond extract for depth and for the love of almonds (almond extract just might be my most favorite scent ever). Sliced almonds were sprinkled on the other half of the donuts for those of us who don't care for coconut flakes (me, specially - lol).
The donuts were super moist and crazy flavorful. And that vegan caramel?!?!? Incredible. These donuts turned the whole weekend around. Brett started to feel better, and by Sunday, we were able to share the leftovers with friends at a sunny puppy play-date. Enjoy!
Coconut Caramel inspired by Heather Christo.