Home » desserts » Suuuuper Soft (Baked!) Keto Donut Holes 🍩 gluten free & dairy free

Suuuuper Soft (Baked!) Keto Donut Holes 🍩 gluten free & dairy free

Unbelievably soft, incredibly tasty and just 0.5g net carb a pop! Whether you glaze them up or roll them in cinnamon ‘sugar’, these are the tastiest gluten free and keto donut holes you’ll ever make- guaranteed!

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

Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

Baked (Or Fried!)

I truly believe our original keto donuts are one of the closest recipes on the site to the real deal (and most of you agree!). I repeat, they’re just sooo unbelievably soft, totally airy and tender… all in all, next level delicious guys!

But, I also know many of you have had problems with the original recipe deflating post bake. Reading through the comments is a combination of “these are the best keto donuts ever” and “can’t believe how close they taste to actual donuts!”… to “mine deflated and I want to kill you…!” (literally lol!).

So over the past couple months I’ve been testing out the recipe (and ‘messing it up’ on purpose!) to see where some of you guys could’ve gone wrong and make it fool-proof with more tips and tricks. Be sure to check out the section on ‘top tips for success’ for the full deets!

Oh! And you can also pretty much do your topping of choice. I love a good glaze, but brushing them with melted butter and sprinkling with cinnamon ‘sugar’ is also sooo delicious too… and I’m fairly certain a raspberry jam filling is going to be bonkers here too!

Bitten keto donut with a chocolate glaze
Glazed Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Keto Donuts

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!

Keto choux pastry in a bowl after cooking
Grain Free, Gluten Free & Keto Churros ☁️ Easy-peasy and 1g net carbs each! #ketodesserts #lowcarbdesserts #ketomexican

Now, you can either do them ‘free form’ on a baking mat (or parchment paper!) or actually procure a donut hole pan. Just keep in mind that if you do them on a baking tray the bottoms will be flat (obviously right?!).

Smoothing out the keto donut dough on a baking mat
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes
Unbaked keto donut holes on a silver pan
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

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 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!).

Freshly baked keto donut holes on a doughnut hole pan
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes
Comparing the donut holes baked in a pan versus on a baking mat
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

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.

Freshly glazed keto donut holes on a rack
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

The Sweetener

This choux pastry to make the donut holes 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! 🐕

Glazed keto donut holes in a paper bag
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes
Taking a cinnamon sugar keto donut hole
Baked Gluten Free & Keto Donut Holes

Looking for more recipes with our keto choux pastry?! Be sure to check out our legit fried churros, chocolate donuts and (extra fluffy!!) waffles!

Baked keto donut holes with coffee

Baked Keto Donut Holes (0.5g net carb!)

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free donut holes, gluten free donut holes, keto donut holes, keto doughnut holes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 30 donut holes
Calories: 38 kcal

Unbelievably soft, incredibly tasty and just 0.5g net carb a pop! These are the tastiest gluten free and keto donut holes you’ll ever make, guaranteed! 

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 donut holes

For the glaze

For the cinnamon 'sugar' coating

  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee/coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2  cup allulose xylitol or sweetener of choice, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon to taste

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 hole pan. Alternatively, line a baking tray with parchment paper or a baking mat (see reference pictures in post).

  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 5-10 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 donut (holes) from deflating post bake; the donuts will rise a bit less but hold their shape.

  8. Spoon dough into a piping bag or plastic bag (no tip needed). Cut out bottom of piping bag 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) wide. Pipe out dough onto donut hole pan, or onto prepared parchment paper. Wet your finger tip slightly and smooth out the top (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. 

For the glaze (or coating!)

  1. Sift powdered sweetener onto a bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and water (a teaspoon at a time!) until desired consistency is reached. The glaze should be thick, but pourable (I like to use my fingertip here to test for thickness!).

  2. Alternatively, feel free to brush with melted butter and roll in the cinnamon 'sugar'. 

  3. 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. 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

As many of you seasoned bakers know, the batter for these keto donut holes 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 donut holes only at 0.5g net carbs (so you accommodate for your topping of choice). I found a batch to yield 30. Still, most toppings add very little (i.e. negligible) carbs.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Keto Donut Holes (0.5g net carb!)
Amount Per Serving (1 donut hole)
Calories 38 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 1.4g0%
Fiber 0.9g4%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 1.5g3%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

22 comments

  1. Wendy says:

    Omg! These are amazeballs!! I made them today and “air fried” half the batch and put the other 1/2 in the oven. They were both DELICIOUS! But the air fried ones were puffier and didn’t deflate any! I will be making the waffles tomorrow! Your recipes are amazing! I have both ebooks and I swear I am your biggest fan. Keep the recipes coming! Thanks

  2. diane says:

    I made these with the same EXACT ingredients and using a very well known commercial business nutritional label app, this does not come out to .5 net carbs. It comes out to 2.5 net carbs each donut hole. Why such a discrepancy? This is not the first of your recipes to come out like this. It is very troublesome for those who are trying to stay within macros when the information is not accurate-how are we to know?

    • Hi Diane! Please refrain from ‘hinting’ anything shady of this sort- clearly not appreciated, particularly when all the content is free for you guys and I do my absolute best!

      We also use a professional app (and even then things can go wrong, see the pad Thai!). But our choux batter has been around for a while and the nutritional info has been verified by plenty of readers.

      Most likely scenario? You’re counting in the sugar alcohol as regular carbs.

      Xo and take that attitude somewhere else pls! The internet is big enough that if you don’t like the vibe here, you can simply browse elsewhere 😉

      • Mara says:

        Wow! kind of shocking you would respond to a concerned reader in such a way. I’ve never seen anything like your curt response.

        • Hi Mara!! She was clearly hinting that I do dodgy math and I’m not transparent with carb counts at gnom-gnom… that’s really not appreciated (obviously!) when I bend over backwards to create content that truly works for you guys for free 😉

          Plenty of you get different carb counts and we discuss them (ALL the time!), it’s the hinting of dishonesty which is not cool xo!

          • Andra says:

            And seriously, anyone who needs to keep track of macros but can’t be bothered to educate themselves on what to count and what not to count or to do their own tallying doesn’t really have any right to complain.

            Changes in ingredient amounts, substitutions, and tweaks can all change the macros of the final result. Get a macro tracking app of some sort if you don’t already have one and plug things in for yourself.

            Paola does her best, but we’re all ultimately responsible for knowing what we’re putting in our own mouths. The insinuation that she’s somehow being dishonest with us is right out of line.

    • Donna says:

      Bob’s red mill almond flour net carb is 4. Kirkland almond flour net carb is 2. So based on what Paola got as a net carb is correct based on the brand she used. So if you are not sure of the net carbs in your ingredients, just use an app to figure it out. I use an app to calculate cause I know we’re not all using the exact brands.
      Thanks Paola for this recipe. Will be trying this tomorrow. I just hope it’s not eggy in taste. So tired of eggy things, it gets me nauseous now 😞

  3. Emily S says:

    PAOLA THESE ARE UNBELIEVABLE YOU’RE A GENIUS!!! I only wished I had doubled the batch because the kids gobbled them up in seconds! Absolutely no one questioned they weren’t real donuts 🙂 THANK YOU!

  4. ADAM BRIAN DADA says:

    I’m not the only person here who wishes you videotaped all your “mistakes” and published it to YouTube!

    • DEAD!! 🤣 we’ve actually been talking about doing a video with all the bloopers (the behind the scenes can get pretty ridiculous!) BUT I think we might need to use your idea for future ‘how (not!) tos’ lol

    • I swear that these taste quite like fried donuts even though they’re baked (fluffy soft texture!)… BUT you can also definitely fry them Jen! Check out the keto churros post for more details (those use one less egg and have some added cheese for crispness) xo!!

      • Lisa says:

        Can’t wait to try these! I’m going to get that pan just so they look as authentic as your pictures show. Amazing!!! 😍

        I’m impressed by how the glaze dried. That must’ve taken quite a while.

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