Chocolate Coconut Vegan Donuts

CocoDonuts10 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?

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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.

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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).

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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!

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Coconut Caramel inspired by Heather Christo.

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Brett's Peanut Butter Banana Honey Dip Donut Cake!!

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I try to challenge myself every year to come up with a clever, new dessert for my husband Brett's birthday.  Past creations have included a Mountain Dew- flavored "Hamburger" cake, chocolate-dipped potato chip cupcakes, donut-shaped macarons, and Reese's peanut butter cup cake.  Brett is not afraid to indulge his adolescent-junk-food side every now and then.  So with his favorite foods being hamburgers and donuts, he is certainly a fun "client" to create recipes for.  We typically try to eat healthy (to balance out all of the pastry taste-testing), so I must  dig deep into the most decadent recipe archives for his special day, once a year.

This year, I incorporated flavors from Brett's favorite afternoon snack to make a new cake.  What is this snack, you ask?  Well he enjoys making peanut butter, banana tortilla wraps with honey.  And he says my eating habits are like those of a 5-year old when I leave sandwich crust on my plate.... Anyways, without further ado, please let me introduce you to his Peanut Butter Banana Honey -Dip Donut Cake.

 

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Let me explain.  I started with my favorite banana cake recipe.  Without fail, this recipe is always moist and super flavorful.  It calls for ripe bananas and sour cream, so I guess it's no question why it is so decadent.  I filled the layers of cake with Brett's favorite peanut butter buttercream, and iced the entire cake in honey buttercream.  The sweet and salty definitely balance each other in this rich, flavor-packed combination.  To finish, I did a dark chocolate glaze- with sprinkles for extra birthday flare.  And last but not least, the entire cake was topped with honey-dipped donut holes, because- you know, the boy sure loves his donuts.

 

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The Chocolate Glaze recipe was adapted from SprinkleBakes.  Thank you, Heather, for helping me (and all of you who try) to achieve perfect drips!!