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(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

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked donuts, gluten free donuts, keto donuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 donuts
Calories: 140 kcal

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.

Print

Ingredients

For the keto donuts

For the chocolate glaze

Special equipment

Instructions

  1. See recipe video for guidance!

  2. 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. 

  3. Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk and xanthan gum. Set aside. 

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.

  6. 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. .

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  1. 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'. 

  2. 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. 

  3. 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!

Recipe Video

Recipe 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 Facts
(Pillowy-Soft!) Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donuts
Amount Per Serving (1 donut)
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 155mg6%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 3g12%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 265IU5%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

152 comments

  1. Teri says:

    I’m thinking about using this to make eclairs, filled with pumpkin cream cheese, and then making a maple glaze. I’m assuming this dough would work for that? Maybe just pipe out large logs, then after baked, cut them in half and fill?

  2. Martin St John says:

    Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if anyone actually has a “donut pan”, you’re probably eating waaay to many donuts. Just saying’!

  3. Alyssa says:

    These were delicious! Mine did end up eggy in the middle and didn’t quite cook enough, but it still tasted good and tasted like French toast donuts. Next time I will add one less egg and see if this will fix my problem.

  4. Sally J Goode says:

    This is one of my all time favorite recipes to make. I turn them into donut holes, all my friends and family love them. I also made waffles and they are delish.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Taste good but keep deflating. Reground psyllium husk and reduced egg. Still not having much luck. Any other ideas? I think opening to put foil on might also be a problem… Help

    • Hi Stephanie! If you are tenting them and they’re deflating right away it means that you are covering them too early (and maybe you don’t need to cover them at all!). Keep in mind that covering them is only to prevent overbrowning, and the foil should not rest directly over them or they’ll weigh them down. xo!

    • Cate says:

      I was having the same problem. I made two batches of donuts – one I “let be” for the entire baking time, and the other I tented in foil after the 15-minute mark. The pan that I tented is the pan that deflated – I could see it happening as soon as I opened the oven, and it only got worse as I took the 10-15 seconds to place the foil over the top of the pan. I’d say give the no-foil option a try.

      • Guys tenting in baking is on a ‘as needed’ basis! But thanks for letting me know this isn’t clear. Also- if you’re resting the foil directly over the donuts it’s going to weigh them down too xo!

  6. Lizzy says:

    Mine are not turning out right.. they are wet and undone on my fourth batch, I’ve tried less eggs and double grinding the psyllium , now I’m trying hotter oven longer time.. we shall see

  7. Rashell says:

    You know, if you leave out the sweetener and vanilla and bake in silicone cupcake liners you get *really nice* popovers. That was a happy discovery because we had been really missing popovers 🙂

  8. Jill says:

    You show a metal pan in your video. I have a small size silicone pan. Do I need to adjust the baking time or temp?

    Your finished product looks larger than the holes in my pan

  9. Angel says:

    Hello! I am so excited to try your recipe. I did notice that you listed butter or coconut oil as ingredients in the glaze, but when I read the instructions, there is no mention of either one of them and you wrote to use water. please advise.
    Also do you have an exact weight for the eggs, seems everyone is having different results? Warm regards, Angel.

    • Hilary says:

      I noticed this too, and had already added the coconut oil to the dry ingredients before I realized something was off. I just added a teaspoon of water to everything else and whisked it until it was smooth and it turned out to be the perfect consistency.
      Hope that helps!

  10. April says:

    I love this recipe! The flavor is just amazing! am at a loss though because mine keep falling flat or have a wet interior or both! I’ve made it at least 5 times so far and haven’t figured out the problem. I even tried using less water, baking longer, adjusting the temp of baking to 425 for 10 minutes and 325 for 15. I ground my husk with a food processor then grind it more with a mortar and pestle but they still turn out mushy/flat. Please help!! I will note I live in an extremely high humidity climate (gulf coast Texas)

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Don! Are you counting the sugar alcohol as regular carbs? I can promise they’re definitely keto (you should be able to tell by just looking at the ingredients too!) xo!

  11. Jeff says:

    Hi there!

    I am excited to try these but I don’t think I have quick access to super fine flours. I don’t necessarily think they’re coarse but they aren’t super fine. Will they still work?

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      What brands Jeff? I mean you’ll still get good results with things like Bob’s etc, but I do always recommend Anthony’s as I’ve noticed it does give the same results. As long as it’s not almond meal or a homemade version you’ll likely be alright 😉

  12. Jennifer Anderson says:

    Dear Paola,
    My husband and I have been Keto since August 2018. I’ve made so many of your recipes:
    1.) Cream Cheese Brownies (your chocolate powder suggestion is A MUST, and ON POINT! AMAZING RECIPE.
    2.) Chocolate chip cookies. Unbelievable.
    The list goes on and on, and every one (except gnocchi) was perfection. Your gnocchi recipe is great, it’s just a taste thing for us.
    I still crave donuts. So, this morning, I made your recipe. I dusted in Golden Lancanto & Cinnamon. OH MY GOODNESS…unbelievable! Absolutely, unbelievably delicious.
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes and for sharing them with us.
    😊 Jennifer

  13. Deb says:

    These donuts are the bomb. I’ve just gotten back to low carb eating so am always on the lookout for new recipes to try. They did sink a tad but not enough to affect the texture (they are still nice and light). I want to try using this batter for other things, like churros for example. Do you think that would work? I would pipe the batter into my deep fryer. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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