Recipe Test: Apple Spice Baked Vegan Doughnuts (Rainbow Plant Life)

Before we get into this, I want to acknowledge that Rainbow Plant Life calls this recipe "Apple Spice Baked Vegan Donuts," not "Doughnuts." But "Donut" has always looked super weird to me. I don't know why, but I can't call them that.

However you spell it, I was putting away some dishes and my eyes fell on my doughnut pan, and I had a momentary irritation with myself for having bought a doughnut pan but not having really gotten into making doughnuts. And for only buying a single mini doughnut pan, which makes one dozen mini doughnuts, when there are no recipes out there that only make one dozen mini doughnuts.

And suddenly I needed doughnuts. I had taken the day off work, and yet I didn't have clear recreational plans. It all came together. It was time. Doughnut time.

The recipe title Nisha gave her creation at Rainbow Plant Life is, I think, a bit of an undersell. They should be called Apple Spice Doughnuts with Maple Cardamom Glaze, Toasted Coconut, and Pumpkin Seeds. This is what I would put on a little card in front of them if I were labeling them for my nonexistent tea party where I would have to serve these, so that people would be amazed before they even tasted one.

The original recipe was for full-sized doughnuts. After some Googling, it seemed I could cut a recipe for a dozen-ish full sized doughnuts into a third for a dozen mini doughnuts. The math wasn't all that simple in some places but fortunately I have odd-sized measuring spoons, a calculator, and apparent dedication to nonsensical projects.

I quickly discovered that for mini doughnuts I needed to crumble my toasted coconut and chop my pumpkin seeds, which is why the ones on the right look more tea party-ready than the ones on the left. I'll know for next time.

My one regret is probably that I made these at night so I couldn't photograph them in all their glory, because the pictures don't do them justice. These flavors are complex but don't fight each other. The doughnut itself is soft and light, a texture I've never encountered in a doughnut but that I really love.

A dozen mini doughnuts is probably all I should make for one person, so I'm contented with the single pan for now. But it did make me wish I could share them with someone, in a way few things I've made in isolation have done. They were adorable and tasted amazing, and I can only share photographs. Such is the life I live in the era of COVID.

But these would be fantastic at a tea party. I don't think I've ever seen doughnuts at a tea party but if you have one I highly recommend it. These are fancy enough, and cute enough, to earn a spot on your tiered serving plate.


  1. These are so cute! I somehow have both doughnut and mini doughnut pans. And a whoopie pie pan. And a muffin top pan. And just... a lot of random weird pans. It was all fun and games when I used to to do a lot of baking for bake sales! One day again I will. There is one on Saturday but I don't know that I have the energy to bake for that.
    I also use the spelling doughnut, donut looks and feels weird to me. Like you'd say it doo-nut. But each to their own. You and I can hang out and be cool with our extra letters. ;)


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