Home » desserts » (Pillowy-Soft!) Baked Keto Donuts 🍩 gluten free & dairy free

(Pillowy-Soft!) Baked Keto Donuts 🍩 gluten free & dairy free

These are easily the softest and tastiest baked keto donuts you’ll ever make… guaranteed! Think pillowy-soft results at just 1g net carb a pop.

Fluffy baked keto donut with a chocolate glaze
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

Suuuuper Soft!

Been working over here for the past few months in bringing you a true grain free and keto donut recipe. I’m talking about truly pillowy-soft baked donuts (rather than cakey and dense ones)!

Turns out the secret lies in making an easy keto choux pastry, which I first used for our keto churros. And with a couple small modifications, you’re guaranteed to end up with the softest keto donuts… ever!

And note that you can also pretty much do your topping of choice! I love a good chocolate glaze, but brushing them with melted butter and sprinkling with cinnamon ‘sugar’ is also sooo delicious.

p.s. don’t miss out on our glazed keto donut holes and the chocolate donuts twist!

Baked keto donut holes with coffee
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

The Method

The batter for these keto donut holes is essentially a choux pastry (used to make anything from eclairs to gougeres). But this is just a fancy way of saying that you first boil together water with sugar, butter (or coconut oil) and salt. Adding in the flour and cooking it until it forms into a ball. And step three, mixing in the eggs off the stove. I also add a bit of baking powder at the end for extra rise!

Now, when you mix in the eggs the dough will be very stiff, and given that we’re also adding in baking powder, the job is best done with a hand-mixer here. The final dough should be very elastic (courtesy of the eggs and xanthan gum).

For the shaping you’ll need a pastry bag (disposable ones are terrific) or simply use a thick plastic bag. You don’t need a tip here! Just to pipe it out onto a donut pan as smoothly as you can (so they rise evenly).

Alternatively, if no donut pan is at hand, line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw circles 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Your donuts will come out flat on the bottom, but will taste the same.

Grain Free, Gluten Free & Keto Churros ☁️ Easy-peasy and 1g net carbs each! #ketodesserts #lowcarbdesserts #ketomexican
Grain Free, Gluten Free & Keto Churros ☁ Easy-peasy and 1g net carbs each! #ketodesserts #lowcarbdesserts #ketomexican
Unbaked keto donuts in metal mold
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts
Freshly baked keto donut in metal tray
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

Top Tips For Success!!

As many of you seasoned bakers know, choux pastry is light, absolutely delicious and honestly very easy… but it is a bit finicky and known to deflateunder certain circumstances, so be sure to check out these tips!

  • The most common reason for deflating choux pastry is excess liquid. This can come in the form of too large eggs (just try using 2 rather than 3!), be sure you’re cooking your dough long enough that it actually forms into a ball (see video), and make sure your oven is calibrated to the correct temperature (or just get a cheap oven thermometer- like most pros do anyways!).
  • You also want to be sure your dough is below 125°F/52°C before beating in the eggs. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your room temperature. Otherwise you could be curdling your first egg (or two), leading to a lack of structure = deflating donuts.
  • Allow your final choux dough to come to room temperature before transferring to a piping bag. I’ve come to realize this is a very important step to keep your donut (holes) from deflating post bake; the donuts will rise a bit less but hold their shape great.
  • And last, but not least, be gentle! Refrain from opening your oven for the first 20 minutes… and if possible don’t open it at all! Definitely be careful to not slam your oven door (I know mine has a tendency to do that), and be gentle when taking them out of the oven. Don’t have your A/C blasting, keep doors closed, etc… i.e. ensure there are no drafts!

What to do if yours deflate?! Turn them into French toast (for real!). During my latest experiments to see what was causing the pastry to deflate, I ended up with a lot of ‘mistakes’… and it turns out that they make the most delicious French toast bites ever (and you’ll come back raving about it either way lol!).

Dipping a keto donut in chocolate glaze
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

The Flours

I like a mixture of super fine almond flour (Anthony’s is awesome) and coconut flour (again Anthony’s, best taste and texture by a mile!). Add a touch of psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum, and we’re golden.

Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking. And there’s absolutely no skipping it here!

In all honesty, no substituting anything here. You really do need the full combo of grain free flours to get the choux just right.

Overhead shot of freshly glazed keto donuts
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

The Sweetener

This choux pastry to make the keto donuts is very lightly sweetened (and fairly bland solo), think just a couple tablespoons. But this is really to accommodate for the glaze or topping of choice.

So to sweeten the keto choux pastry itself you can use anything from erythritol (Lakanto is my fav here), allulose and xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!) . So you’ve got options!

And if just grain freecoconut sugar is your best bet here. And of course, raw sugar works great too.

If you’re opting for the glaze, which comes highly suggested, you can use any of the sweeteners from above- but they must be powdered.

So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

Or you can always grab a bag of Powdered Lakanto (just keep in mind its twice as sweet).

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

Extra fluffy keto glazed donut with a glass of milk
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts
Baked keto donuts with a dripping chocolate glaze
(1g net carb!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

Fluffy baked keto donut with a chocolate glaze

(Pillowy-Soft!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts

These are easily the softest baked keto donuts you'll ever make... guaranteed! Think pillowy-soft results at just 1g net carb a pop.
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
4.83 from 74 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 donuts
Calories 140 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the keto donuts

For the chocolate glaze

Special equipment

Instructions
 

  • See recipe video for guidance!
  • Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Grease and flour (with coconut flour) a donut pan. Alternatively, line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw circles 3 1/2 inches in diameter. 
  • Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk and xanthan gum. Set aside. 
  • Heat up water, butter, sweetener and salt in medium pot (or Dutch oven) until it just begins to simmer. Lower heat to low and add in flour mixture, mixing constantly to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir until the dough pulls away from the pan and forms into a ball, 1-3 minutes. 
  • Transfer dough back to the bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. The dough should still be warm, but not hot enough to scramble the eggs. And if you have an instant thermometer, temperature should be below 125°F/52°C.
  • Add in one egg at a time, mixing with an electric mixer at medium/high speed until fully incorporated (if using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment). Be sure to mix the dough for 2 minutes after adding in the last egg; the final texture should be very elastic. Mix in vanilla extract and baking powder. .
  • Allow the dough to rest until it comes to room temperature (about 15-20 minutes). I've come to realize this is a very important step to keep your donuts from deflating much post bake; the donuts will rise a bit less but hold their shape better.
  • Spoon dough into a piping bag or plastic bag (no tip needed). Cut out bottom of piping bag 2 cm (3/4 inch) wide. Pipe out dough onto donut pan, or onto prepared parchment paper (staying within the drawn circle). Wet your finger tip and smooth out where the ends meet (for a more even rise).
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F/220°C, lower temperature to 350°F/180°C and continue to bake for 17-20 minutes until deep golden. Do not open your oven door before the first 20 minutes (or at all if possible!), as choux pastry is notoriously sensitive to drafts. Allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Note: if your donuts are browning too much, feel free to tent them with aluminum foil (just be sure it isn't resting directly over them!).

For the glaze

  • Sift powdered sweetener and cocoa powder onto a bowl. Add in vanilla extract, butter and milk-of-choice (as needed) until desired consistency is reached. The glaze should be thick, but pourable (I like to use our fingertip here to test for thickness!). Glaze donuts by dunking them onto the glaze (if your tops came out a bit wonky, you can always use the rounder bottoms as your new 'tops'!). Alternatively, feel free to brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon 'sugar'. 
  • These are best enjoyed still warm and freshly glazed, but they keep quite well for a day or two stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 
  • UPDATE: I've updated the baking temperatures and methodology a tad, and this should keep your donuts from deflatting. But if it happens to you, its generally due to excess liquid (the main reason why baking goods collapse in general). Please note that keto flours vary tremendously from brand to brand, and of course the size of your eggs- so just try using 2 eggs rather than 3!

Video

Notes

As many of you seasoned bakers know, the batter for these keto donuts is inspired by a traditional choux pastry. It's light, fluffy, absolutely delicious, and honestly very easy... but it is a bit finicky and known to deflate under certain circumstances, so be sure to check out these tips!
  • The most common reason for deflating choux pastry is excess liquid. This can come in the form of too large eggs (just try using 2 rather than 3!), be sure you're cooking your dough long enough that it actually forms into a ball (see video), and make sure your oven is calibrated to the correct temperature (or just get a cheap oven thermometer- like most pros do anyways!). 
  • You also want to be sure your dough is below 125°F/52°C before beating in the eggs. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your room temperature. Otherwise you could be curdling your first egg (or two), leading to a lack of structure = deflating donuts. 
  • Allow your final choux dough to come to room temperature before transferring to a piping bag. I've come to realize this is a very important step to keep your donut (holes) from deflating post bake; the donuts will rise a bit less but hold their shape great.
  • And last, but not least, be gentle! Refrain from opening your oven for the first 20 minutes... and if possible don't open it at all! Definitely be careful to not slam your oven door (I know mine has a tendency to do that), and be gentle when taking them out of the oven. Don't have your A/C blasting, keep doors closed, etc... i.e. ensure there are no drafts
What to do if yours deflate?! Turn them into French toast (for real!). During my latest experiments to see what was causing the pastry to deflate, I ended up with a lot of 'mistakes'... and it turns out that they make the most delicious French toast bites ever (and you'll come back raving about it either way lol!).
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated for the donuts only (so you accommodate for your topping of choice), and we found a batch to yield 8. Still, most toppings add very little (i.e. negligible) carbs.
Oh, and apologies for the awkward yield number, but every time I tried to yield 6 it simply didn't work the same.  

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Keyword baked donuts, gluten free donuts, keto donuts
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

249 comments

  1. Heather says:

    I made these yesterday and they are ahhhmazing!! They turned out perfectly- I did use just 2 eggs because my eggs were on the larger size. My kids loved them too!

  2. Jennifer Colunga says:

    Hi Paola! Have you tried the Anthony’s Powdered Erythritol? I know you’re a fan of their almond flour and wondering if their sweeteners are good as well!

  3. SJ says:

    Could these be frozen after baking? I want to make a whole batch and keep them on reserve in case I have a weak moment and want donuts, my pre-keto favourite treat.

  4. Sarah Grandy says:

    Love, love these donuts which says a lot, since I actually hate regular donuts. My husband loves donuts and is on keto too, which is why I made them. Regular donuts always look good, but the sicky sweetness mixed with deep frying always made me feel sick. These however tasted good and didn’t make me feel sick. I made my own glaze with no sugar chocolate chips and coconut oil melted, sprinkled with unsweetened coconut. The other half of the batch I covered in butter and xylitol with cinnamon. My kids actually liked these better than the store bought donuts they brought home from church. My husband even said, ” Could you make this donut dough with less erythritol and put it in a bread loaf so I could have sandwich bread?” I think it would work what do you think Paola?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Sarah – not the creator of the recipe here, but with knowledge of working with choux pastry, a couple of comments/suggestions. Choux pastry is often used to create smaller pastries (like cream puffs) and risks collapsing, so putting this dough into a full sized loaf pan as-is (I imagine, without trying it) would easily result in a collapsed loaf. However, you could try baking this in a muffin top pan for a bun or biscuit-shaped bread. Similarly, you might have success simply piping this onto a baking sheet in rounds for individual sandwich bread you could then cut in half. Even into eclair-like shapes could be fun.

      Lastly, keep in mind that removing the erythritol or granulated sweetener could affect the dough chemistry slightly (sugar and things acting like sugar influence texture and structure), so for starters I would just try cutting the amount in half. The resulting texture may not be exactly the same and may benefit from slight tweaking of ingredient ratios (after trying it once to see what happens), but definitely sounds worth experimenting with! If you do, I hope you follow up. :] ALSO, if you do try something out and it doesn’t work exactly or isn’t enjoyable as sandwich bread, I strongly suggest trying to salvage the result before tossing. I’d imagine something like French toast, bread pudding, or croutons could work (or at the very least, make breadcrumbs!). LOL just caught one of the author’s tips I missed and Paola also strongly recommends the French toast option. :]

  5. Veronica says:

    These are definitely pillowy soft donuts!!! I fried my batch after it was done baking and used maple glaze instead of chocolate. TOTAL HIT! I love that it doesn’t taste like cake donuts too!

  6. Kristen says:

    Game. Changer. I can’t wait to try all the other choux recipes!! I blitzed my dry mixture in the food processor to get it really fine. The only thing I messed up was that I was getting worried they were browning too much, so I tented with foil, but the foil touched them and they got a bit squashed. The texture was still amazing and fluffy. Never seen anything like this that was keto. Thank you for the super detailed recipe!

  7. Jami Bingham says:

    I have done this recipe 3 times to the exact recipe and everytime the middle never cooks all the way through. What am I missing? I never skimp on ingredients or bake time. They always look wonderful. Nice and fluffy on the outside but the middle is always soggy. Should I leave them in for a few more minutes?

    • Laura Villarreal says:

      I used a silicon try for baking…it doesnt work well. Better use metal donut pan, or draw the circles in a metal try with parchment paper. They rise better and get the inside well cooked and dry! Delicious recipe! Thanks!

      • Anne says:

        I turned these into Boston cream doughnuts, and they are amazing! I just piped doughnut shapes with no hole in the middle, then used a keto pastry cream recipe to fill them, and the glaze.
        The flavor combo and the nice soft texture are spot on (at least, to my memory of the Boston cream donuts I used to eat, before I knew I have celiacs!)
        Anyway, for those who’ve made the base recipe and are looking for another culinary adventure, I highly recommend adding the cream.

    • Chris says:

      I had this issue too, uncooked in the middle. I returned the donuts to the oven to cook for a bit more and the tops became very brown.

      • Oh no Chris! It just sounds like an underbaked issue. Try tenting with foil as soon as you see they begin to brown faster, and hopefully that solves the trick. Though do note that Keto baked goods (particularly with allulose) tend to brown a lot more and faster than traditional ones. Its just chemistry, not much we can do about that :-/

  8. Emily says:

    I just made these. Amazing! “Pillowy soft” is the perfect description. The chocolate icing is spot on as well. The directions were so helpful. I’m at high altitude so I really feel like I accomplished something. Time to eat another one. 😂

  9. Kathy Cooke says:

    Loved these! The cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter added a lot. It’s pretty much the same recipe as the waffles, which I’ve made many times. So I had no problem preparing the batter. I got 9.5 donuts in my batch. Next time I’d make a double. I baked them in silicone donut molds placed on top of a cookie sheet, which worked great. Used three, medium eggs and the full cup of water, and they did not collapse. I never opened the oven during baking, and while the donuts were pretty brown, they did not burn. Since people have had mixed opinions on the recommended glaze, I made my own by melting a 1/2 cup of Lily’s chocolate chips with 2.33 tbsp of coconut oil over a double boiler, and it came out wonderful. I dipped one side of each donut in the glaze, placed them in the freezer for five minutes to harden up, then repeated on the other side. So good!

  10. Line says:

    Very good and also happy to know this a pâte à choux recipe that I will use to make keto profiteroles!!! Thank you for the recipe.

  11. Stephanie says:

    These were GREAT. I followed the recipe to a T and they came out perfectly. I DID make a couple changes to the glaze. I used Besti allulose monkfruit powdered sugar so reduced the amount by 2/3 and I put it in the microwave to get all the ingredients to blend together which took a while. These are definitely soft, almost like french toast. I’m going to try the apple cider donuts next. I prefer a denser texture to donuts but these were really good.

  12. Ann says:

    I haven’t tasted them yet but found the oven temperatures were way too high. I have a convection oven so next time I will reduce the oven temperature 20 degrees lower and hopefully they won’t overly brown.

  13. Galit Yagen says:

    OMG ! These are the super Donuts. Got the whole family hooked on them, even though they are not on Keto, they are lovers of this amazing recipe!! I did make some changes due to the fact that I don’t like coconut!! I replaced it with almond flour. The vanilla was replaced with Jordan Skinny Syrup mocha flavor which gave it a different flavor. I did double the amount from recipe.
    They are simply amazing. So you understand how amazing-I’m making double the batch twice a week! No topping needed, it’s great like that!
    Thank you so much for this amazing donuts!!
    Btw they remind me of Dunkin’ Donuts Crullers
    😊

  14. chris says:

    Amazing! I can’t wait to make these again. My kids were begging for donuts and I kept putting it off because I thought it would be complicated. They were super easy and we cooked them in the mini donut maker my in laws gave the kids years ago. We just melted some chocolate w a bit of coconut oil for the glaze.

  15. Jay G says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your many wonderful recipes!
    I am sorry if this question has been addressed before, but I cannot find the answer:

    Is there a possibility of enabling us to print recipes in the US measurements?

    I wish I were better with metric, and do aspire to be one day!

    Thank you again — you are truly amazing and helpful! Hopes and prayers for all of us to be well during this difficult time.

  16. Olivia says:

    These look soooo goooood. Is there anything that would be able to replace the eggs here? (Allergic to eggs. And cow dairy/casein. And gluten). I’m guessing ghee could work instead of butter?

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