Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Salted Caramel Mocha Donuts (Vegan, GF)

Breakfast, GF, Vegan, Whole GrainHaley HansenComment

This post is sponsored by Your Superfoods. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Challenge: make chocolate donuts free of refined sugar and gluten, also free of any cardboard-esque flavors and/or textures. 

Challenge accepted, self. Challenge. Accepted. 

Variations of these donuts have been coming out of the oven for the last few weeks - I'm still getting used to messing up recipes multiple times instead of perfecting it on the first try. Welcome to life, right? My roommate keeps asking me why the heck I'm trying so hard to create the ideal donut minus refined sugar. Bless your soul, Michaela. I've asked myself that question eighteen-and-a-half times in this process. 

Salted Caramel Mocha Donuts (Vegan)

But I carry on and I continue to purchase dates (that I'm convinced will wring my wallet dry completely dry someday) because I'm d e t e r m i n e d here. I'm as determined in the creation of this recipe as the donut is chocolate-y and unexpectedly comparable to your dad's traditional favorite. I've also been drinking cups - plural - of coffee as I've been pulling baked goods out of the oven. 

With that, my body is communicating a couple signals to me opposite of what I would've expected:

My morning cup of coffee wakes me up and keeps me awake until much later in the day than it used to. So, that second cup in the mid-afternoon hours I used to cherish so much (usually with half-and-half, honey, and cinnamon) now stimulates those jitters we coffee-lovers know and don't really love aaannnnndddddd keeping my brain up and running as I lay in bed at 11 PM trying to force it to shut down (WAY harder than it seems, despite my activity level every busy day).

After a few days spent convincing myself that the flavor of said cup of coffee + the comfort of holding a cup of something warm in my hands was not worth the sleep it stole from me, I constructed enough of an argument against that selfishly desired cup number two. 

Salted Caramel Mocha Donuts (Vegan)

My sweet tooth has quieted its once characteristic boldness. I can still feel its presence and it voices its opinions - typically first thing in the morning and sometime before bed. All this time, I've been thinking my cells would develop some level of resistance to all this glucose I'm consuming, and yet here I am, finding myself more and more satisfied on fewer bites of sweets. 

If any of that made sense, I'll pat myself on the back because I struggled to explain it. If none of it made sense, well, forgive me - it's almost the end of the quarter over here at Cal Poly and my brain sometimes feels like its barely crawling when I expect it to run full-speed ahead. The main takeaways are: 1) I'm reducing my caffeine intake to hopefully improve my sleep and 2) I'm still figuring out my body's hunger for sweets - all I know is that cravings have unexpectedly decreased in frequency lately. 

So, I hope this donut makes sense - free of refined sugar and sweetened only with dates + spiced up with a touch of coffee to balance the sweetness and add a rich, complex note noticeable only to the real lovers of the classic caffeinated beverage. It's my way of figuring out balance and having a heck of a lot of tasty fun doing so. 

Have you heard of Your Superfoods? These people are makers of delicious certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO mixes like Power Matcha, Super Green, and Chocolate Lover, used in this recipe. It's more than just cacao powder - it's that, accompanied by coconut, chia seeds, and lucuma to pack extra antioxidants and healthy fats. Unlike most superfood mixes, Your Superfoods blends into batter or dough extremely well. Chocolate Lover is my favorite thus far, and these donuts make an excellent vehicle for delivery. I'm excited to keep trying them and I hope you give them a try, too! You can use "HUNGRYHALEY" for 15% off your online order - holiday gift idea, anyone? 

Makes 6 donuts

For the Salted Caramel Mocha frosting:
8-10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked 1-2 hours
4 tbsp. strong coffee
2 tbsp. filtered water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

For the donuts:
1 1/4 cups oat flour
1/4 cup Chocolate Lover superfoods mix
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
8 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked 1-2 hours
1/4 cup coconut oil, plus extra for greasing (if needed)
2 tbsp. creamy nut butter (I recommend almond)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 3-oz. dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Mocha frosting:

  1. Drain the soaked dates and toss into a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the donuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a donut pan with oil (unless using a silicone baking mold, which I highly recommend buying!). 
  2. Toss the dry ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, except the dates. Pour the wet mixture into the blender and blend until just combined. 
  4. Add the dates and blend again until smooth - you don't want any date chunks. Stir in the chopped chocolate bar. 
  5. Scoop the batter into the donut mold and evenly distribute amongst 6-8 individual molds. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely, then top with Salted Caramel Mocha frosting and sea salt. 
  7. Enjoy!
Salted Caramel Mocha Donuts (Vegan)