Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

I once gave up doughnuts for Lent. It was a long six weeks.

When I was a little girl, doughnuts were the ultimate treat. Seeing the vibrant red glow of the “Hot Now” sign at Krispy Kreme was the cue for the mouth watering to begin. “Doughnuts with Dad” events at school were sacred, and weekend morning doughnut runs were reserved for the most notable occasions.

As I grew up, I became more health-conscious and learned that while delicious, doughnuts were not exactly a superfood. My favorite doughnut variety (chocolate glazed with sprinkles) contains 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 23 grams of sugar. Yikes! This is dangerously close to the American Heart Association‘s recommended maximum of 25 grams of added sugars I should eat in an entire day! Maybe it was not such a bad idea to give up doughnuts for Lent–or for life.

But that would be too extreme.

What if I told you that you could make a lower-sugar, lower-fat, all-around-healthier version of your favorite doughnuts that are every bit as scrumptious as the real deal? You can. Just bake them!

Baking avoids the mess of frying and results in soft, dense, moist doughnuts that are perfect for topping with the drool-worthy combination of cinnamon and sugar. After watching Ina Garten prepare her Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts on the Food Network, I created this recipe. I love Ina’s philosophy of focusing on the basics.  She uses ordinary ingredients and cooks them in a simple way to produce dishes that are full of flavor.

These doughnuts call for everyday ingredients that you probably already have in the pantry. I use Truvia Baking Blend for the doughnuts and Truvia natural sweetener for the topping, but you could use regular sugar if you prefer. The only unusual thing you will need is a doughnut pan, which you can find for about $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or Sur la Table. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can bake in a muffin pan instead.

Baked doughnuts are a cinch to make and simply delightful. This healthier version tastes even better than the real thing, evoking all of the precious childhood doughnut memories without any of the guilt–unless you gave up doughnuts for Lent.

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

Yields: 12 doughnuts

2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend (or 1 1/2 cups sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 large egg)
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon almond extract

4 tablespoons light butter, melted
1/3-1/2 cup Truvia natural sweetener
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans with cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, yogurt, and almond extract. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the doughnut pans. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

For the topping, melt the butter in a saute pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut in the butter first and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Servings: 12
Calories: 130
Fat: 2.7g
Carbs: 27.9g
Sugar: 6.8g
Fiber: 3.1g
Protein: 3.5g